Ural National Rally Day 2011 – September 10, 2011. I was rider #121 out of just over 300. The rules were pretty simple – get out and ride your Ural around and collect points. Points were given for each kilometer ridden in addition to the bonus points!
Since it was the Ural Rally, I wore my Ural T-shirt. It has the engine detailed on the front. I’ve only ever had one person recognize what it was.
The bonus points are the real way to get lots of points quickly and easily. Points for pre-ride inspection, historic sites, bridges, interesting vehicles, non-domesticated animals, UDFs, running out of gas, changing a tire, and changing the oil on the side of the road (just to name a few). The full list of bonus and bonus, bonus points are here: http://nationalrallyday.com/?page_id=21
Once I realized bonus points were the way to go, I spent a lot of time on the historic register website and Wikipedia planning the route. There are a LOT of bridges over the Mississippi river. To get the points they have to be over 50 years old. I found 13 of them without riding outside of the Minneapolis or St. Paul city limits! They are 50 points each too!
My first bridge. Merriam Street Bridge built in 1887.
Other bonuses I collected on were historic sites – 25 points each. I found 14. County courthouses, state capitols. easy points!
Mill City Museum. It used to be the biggest flour mill in the world.
I thought “Gate Guard” would be an easy bonus too. 50 points each for any piece of military hardware. This is what I found at the first site I went to. A blank space. It’s gone. dang.
Stone Arch bridge with St. Anthony Falls in the background. St. Anthony falls is the only natural waterfall on the entire Mississippi River.
Another view of the Stone Arch Bridge. It was built in 1883 as a railroad bridge. It is now a pedestrian bridge across the Mississippi. I had never found this little road before today. It offered some nice views I hadn’t seen before.
My first animal spotting (25 points) – two wild turkeys.
Another bridge. (Franklin Ave – built in 1923)
Intercity Bridge aka Ford Parkway Bridge built in 1927.
One of the lock and dams.
My second animal encounter. A family of four deer.
This was the bridge I was trying to photograph from underneath when I saw the deer.
I figured there HAD to be a tank or something near the Army Reserve area, so I rode over there. I had to be quick to take the photo. They get made when you’re taking photos near the entrance to a military base.
My first “Gate Guard” – 50 points – a Tank. I found two more down the road too!
A better picture of Fort Snelling over looking the joining of the Minnesota River to the Mississippi River.
I stumbled upon these two historic sites.
Two more bridges in St. Paul.
My second county courthouse (25 points) which gives a bonus for finding more than one too.
Assumption Church. I have walked past this building several times on the way to lunch. No idea it was a historic site too.
St. Paul Cathedral
State of MN Capitol – 50 more bonus points.
Como Conservatory is also a historic site. I had no idea. It’s a great place to hide out in during the winter. The plants and flowers bloom year-round inside. I had planned to get a picture of a monkey in the attached zoo. Parking was crazy, so I skipped it.
My first UDF (Ural Delay Factor) in the parking lot of home depot on my way in to buy more primer. The guy was nice and let me be without too many questions.
I found a couple gravel roads too. They are triple points (3pts/km vs. 1pt/km)
A bonus point called “The Basic Pucker” was to set the fuel petcock to on and see how far you get until reserve. I normally make it 150km. Today I did 161.5km to reserve.
While looking for the Anoka County courthouse, I found an antique car show. They had some neat stuff. I didn’t stick around long. I wasn’t in the mood for crowds.
I’ve never run my Ural out of gas. It makes it 214.6km. I was on I-35 heading south and it died just as the entrance to a rest stop showed up. I coasted into the parking lot. This was for “the full pucker” – 100 points – run out of gas.
It would have been extra points if it was empty and I had to walk. I wasn’t in the mood to walk for gas, so I had some with me. You can see the big pail of primer in the background.
All in all, a good day of riding. I rode about 8 hours and covered 252km (157miles) according to the Ural ODO. GPS says I did 171 miles.
I earned 1,942 points of which I earned 1,482 of them in less than four hours during the first 82km. I was going to quit after that, but I was curious how far I could go before running out of gas. Since I had more than 350 points, I’m qualified for the drawing of a t-shirt. Winners are announced on Monday. Wish me luck!
This was a fun way to do an event. Might do something like this as a contest sometime then everyone can participate!