Posted by: fergy1008 | February 10, 2013

Settin’ Up Our Season

Authored by: Angela Ferguson

photo(4)Woo Hoo!  This stack o’ envelopes – plus, 4 more sent over the next couple days – are registering us for what we hope will be a great riding season.  In my grief of losing DamTour, I admit I grabbed on to just about anything I found offered.  We’re doing all the various rides and tours from past years, plus a couple of new ones.  It’s taken me some time to rediscover my enthusiasm – for a month or so I found that, without DT, I couldn’t really see the point of the rest. The rest were exactly that…the rest.  The remains.  The lumped together “others” that had existed simply to give additional entertainment along the way to the dams.  It was the dams that mattered and losing DT felt like losing our way.  We had all these points to visit, but without a dam guiding the way, they seemed like scattered dots on a map with no meaning.  DT was our compass, it guided us to which roads we would take, and therefore, what other locations we might visit along the way.  But as I worked through my stages of grief (still haven’t reached acceptance, btw), and fellow DT riders posted options on Facebook, I began to compile a list of “things to do” which – just through sheer volume – began to fill the void and bring some fun back.  So below is a list of all we’ve signed up for – so far!  I’ve also pulled a list of dams from past DamTours which we will be adding to our map and visiting just because we can’t let it go! 🙂
This is a brief listing of names and dates…for links and event descriptions, scroll to bottom.

BMR2013 (Jan 1 – May 25)
Wing Washington (Jan 1 – Oct 12)
Steeple Chase 2013 (Jan 1 – Dec 31)
Green Freeze I (Jan 19) – we actually missed this because I was siiiccckkkk
Green Freeze II (Feb 16)
Oregon Airport Tour (Mar 1 – Sept 1)
Green Freeze III (Mar 16)
GLMC Grand Tour (April 1 – Sept 28)
RCMC Grand Tour (April 1 – Sept 30)
Rose City Oregon 250 (April 7)
Lime Run (April 28)
Rose City Oregon 500 (May 11)
Orting Soldiers Home Cemetery Cleanup & BBQ (May 19)
Western States 1000 (June 1-2)
GWTA-WA State Rally (July 4 – 7)
Gold Rush – GWTA National Rally (July 15-18)
Run for the Dogs (July 20)
Riddle Ride? (July)

BMR 2013 (
This tour is in it’s 2nd year and is put on by a group of volunteers, as you will be able to tell from the very casual, conversational tone of web content 🙂 BMR stands for Big Money Rally which is tongue-in-cheek.  It’s a nationwide self-guided tour that runs January 1st – May 25th. It’s twist is that all photos must be taken with a cell phone and submitted immediately to the website via email.  They are then reviewed (surprisingly quickly) and scored online. I like that they are uploaded and reviewed quickly – if you did something wrong, you may still be close enough to go back and get it right!  Your bike and placard (provided with signup) in front of the location must be in each picture.  In rally format, all the locations are called bonuses but they are, in fact, simply locations.  Throughout the event different lists of bonuses will be published, containing locations within various categories, each worth a certain number of points. 144 points are needed to be a finisher for which you receive… a t-shirt!  There are additional finishing levels – as you get more points, you get more opportunity to win raffle items.  The people putting this on and participating all seem in it to have a good time, which we like.  Sometimes people put together local events, like a RTE (ride-to-eat). (previous blog post:

Wing Washington (
This is our 3rd year participating in this tour.  Put on by GWTA-WA Chapter E, this is an all-Washington self-guided photographic tour that starts January 1st and ends the day of the banquet (Oct 12th this year).  Since you bring your photos to the banquet for verification, you can take photos right up to the last minute.  (Well, last hour since you’ll need time to get them printed).  After signing up, you are provided with a list of 25 locations, plus, 12 bonus locations. There are 6 categories – this year is Haunted Locations, Distilleries, Middle Schools, Unusual Museums, and Roadhouses with ‘Lakes & Resorts’ for the bonuses.  They’ve divided the state into 5 regions; each region has a location from every category.  You choose which locations to visit and take your picture in front of the chosen destination.  You print all your photos and bring them to the banquet where they are confirmed/counted – you get a raffle ticket for each location so the more places you visit the more chances you have of winning something.  They actually have some fairly decent prizes.  The pricing is a bit odd – they break out the site list separate from attending the banquet.  And attending the banquet is separate from eating at the banquet.  We paid $20 apiece – $10 for the list, $10 to attend banquet but not eat.

Steeple Chase (Steeple Chase 2013 Flyer & Ap)
This is the first year we are participating in this event.  I have known about it for a couple of years but could not find any info online. Finally got the flyer this year thanks to Jerry, of the Wing WA event, who emailed it to me after a conversation about my not being able to get any info.  This photographic tour, as with most, is intended to take you down some of the best motorcycling back roads in the area. You visit (chase) up to twenty churches (steeples) across Washington.  With registration, you’ll receive the list of steeples for the year and a number card.  You take a picture of the bike and card (and yourself, if there is someone else around to take the picture) in front of the church.  Each photo is worth one entry into the prize drawing which is held at the Steeple Chase Banquet in January. You get 5 bonus entries if you visit all 20 churches.  If you get all 20, apparently there’s another 5 bonus locations you could visit for another 5 entries in the raffle. You can mail or email the photos when you’re done. Not sure what grad prize is but you need not be present to win, which is nice.

Green Freeze XXVI (
This 3-part event is put on by our GWTA-WA Chapter, Chapter V. When you register for the event you are signing up to take part in 3 separate day rides – one in Jan, one in Feb, one in March. When you arrive at Hinshaw’s on the day of the ride you’re provided with turn-by-turn instructions which will take you on a ride lasting about 1 1/2 – 2 hours and ending at a restaurant.  At the restaurant you check in and pull a poker chip, the number of which is recorded on your form.  You can choose to stay, chat and eat or simply head home.  After the 3rd ride, your chip count is totaled and there are prizes for highest and lowest totals.  The 3rd ride ends at a banquet location where we provide food, lots of door prizes, hand out other prizes and pull the raffle winner.  Even though registration is good for all 3 rides, you can sign up even if you’ve missed one or two. They just have you pull an extra chip to make up for the ride(s) you’ve missed. (FYI – if anyone’s interested we’re selling raffle tickets…$1 each for a chance at a $500 cash prize!)

Oregon Airport Tour (
This is a new self-guided tour that is begins March 1st and runs through September 1st. Upon registering you will receive a list of 10 airport locations.  After visiting all the locations, you mail in your pictures and get… a t-shirt!  This is the only tour event we’re doing that requires you visit all the locations to finish.  We are participating in this because we already plan to be riding around Oregon for the RCMC rides and Grand Tour (see below).

GLMC Grand Tour – A Trip from Z to A (
This is new to us.  It’s a nationwide annual self-guided tour with a changing theme.  This year is “A Trip from Z to A” with the objective being to visit towns which start with the letter Z or end with an A.  There does not appear to be any sort of population requirement – you just need to take a picture of your provided rally towel and bike in front of a building with the town name on it. It runs from April 1st – September 28th and to be considered a finisher you need 25 points for which you’ll get – drumroll, please – a t-shirt! Plus, entry into a first prize drawing. There are other drawing levels for other point levels. All photos are submitted through the mail but you can choose whether to print them or send a cd, thumbdrive or SD card.

RCMC Grand Tour (
Also starting April 1st is the Rose City Motorcycle Club’s (RCMC) Grand Tour.  The RCMC is a large motorcycle group based in Portland – they are not a “chapter” and they are not bike specific, just a group of people who like to ride.  This will be our 3rd or 4th year participating. This is also self-guided, but no pictures this time! Registering gets you a “passport” – a booklet that lists each location with name, address, hours of operation and other notes of worth.  There is a spot on each page for the location to stamp for proof you were there. I think there are about 15 locations in Oregon, and 4 or 5 bonus locations in neighboring states.  They are all restaurants but they’re in out-of-the-way locations and/or along good roads to ride.  There is no requirement to eat at the restaurant – you can show up, get your book stamped and leave.  We tend to get at least a little something.  This runs through September 30th, at which point you mail in your passport (unless you finish sooner). You need 10 Oregon locations to be considered a finisher.  You get a pin for finishing this one, and raffle tickets for each location visited. They have a banquet at the end of October (costs extra) with good food and really good prizes (the best of any event we’ve been to).

Rose City Oregon 25o (
This annual RCMC ride event is April 7th.  You show up in the morning, are given a list of instructions at check-in, then you follow those instructions to the next location where you’re given a new instruction sheet.  The days ride totals around 250 miles and you end at a location where they hand out prizes for the closest guess to actual mileage, and some other awards.  I think there are some prizes, too.

They also do the Rose City Oregon 500, which is similar to the 250 but this time you’re riding about 500 miles in a day (
Over the first weekend of June they also host the Western States 1000 (  This is a 2-day event with each day about 500 miles.  These routes all tend to take you by Grand Tour locations which is great if you’re participating in that as well.

Lime Run
This ride event is put on by GWTA-WA Chapter S.  It’s unique in that the intent is to follow splotches of lime (powder, not fruit) that have been tossed on the roadway, indicating your route, but it only took them a year or two to figure out, in rainy Washington, you need to hand out paper instructions, too!  It’s been a couple years since we participated but I recall you get turn-by-turn instructions to a location where you get new turn-by-turn instructions.  It ends with a banquet, lots of door prizes and a performance by the NW Wings Motorcycle Drill Team. Couldn’t find link to flyer online but you can call Lee & Jean Eklund (360) 630-4021 for information.

Orting Soldiers Home Cemetery Cleanup & BBQ
Not a ride event but something in which we feel it’s important to participate.  On Sunday, May 19th, our Chapter and anyone else who is interested in attending meet at the Orting Soldiers Home with shovels, rakes, weed wackers, gardening tools, etc. to give the cemetery a much-needed spruce up in preparation of Memorial Day.  There’s breakfast items and coffee served in the picnic shelter prior to everyone being shuttled to the nearby cemetery where we go to work on whatever is needed.  Some prune bushes, others pull weeds, plant flowers, mow, weedwack, raise sunken headstones…whatever needs doing to make sure our soldiers final resting spot is treated with the respect it deserves.  After the spruce-up, we head back to the shelter for a picnic.

Rally at the Alley (
We are missing this event because it conflicts with the Cemetery Cleanup but I thought I’d still share.  This is a day ride put on by the Whidbey Island GWTA-WA chapter.  We did this a couple years ago and had a pretty good time. We were looking forward to doing it again, but as I said, we felt the cemetery cleanup more important to do.

Wingstock (
The GWTA-WA state rally is being held in Omak July 4th – 7th.  This year’s theme is “Wingstock” and we’re tentatively planning on attending.  We’ll decide for sure closer to the event when there’s more information available and some of our other plans are solidified.

Gold Rush (
This is the annual national GWTA rally, taking place July 15-18 in Big Sky, Montana.  Since it’s on our side of the country this year we thought we would attend but aren’t sure we’ll stay for the entire event.  We’re thinking, since we’re over there, we might take a few days and go visit Yellowstone. Again, we’ll decide closer to the event when there’s more information available and some of our other plans are solidified.

Run for the Dogs (
2013 is the 15th Annual Run for the Dogs, a fundraiser for Guide Dogs of America hosted by the local IAM&AW and held at the Tacoma AMVETS Post #1 at 57th & Tyler.  Along with the ride is a mileage guess, 50/50 drawing, and door prizes. Onsite registration opens at 8am, first bike out at 9am.  We’ve known about – and wanted to do – this event for the past 2-3 years but it’s always conflicted with something.  We’re hoping this is the year we get to participate.

Riddle Ride
Last year we had a great time participating in the Moose Riders Riddle Ride, a one-day photographic scavenger hunt in the Tacoma/Lakewood/UP area.  I’ve emailed last years organizer to see if their holding it again this year, but haven’t heard back yet. (previous blog post:

When we get the various location lists from the above events, we will post a screen shot of our map designating all the points we might visit over the next 10 months.

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