At 12:00:01 on December 1, 2018 (EST), the 2019 Tour of Honor registration opens. That makes it 11:00:01 here in Alabama since we are on Central time! Here it is, 5:00pm and I have to wait…
I have been talking with my bride. Since we got another motorcycle for her, I have suggested that she register too. Then we could both ride together. As of last night, she isn’t ready to join me on this yet. Looks like it will be just me registering this again this year.
This will be my second year. Last year I had number 506. I asked for input from others who have ridden many years about getting the same number the following year. Seems that the opinions are about 50/50. Half get new numbers each year, trying to get a lower number. The other half request a specific number, whether it is the number they had the previous year or a number that means something to them. I have decided to just register and get whatever number I get.
Now I sit here and wait…
Checked with my bride she is sure she will pass on registering this year. I explained that registration is at 11:00 tonight and that I will wait up. She just rolled here eyes and said okay.
I’ll watch TV, work on the laptop reviewing the various options for 2019, and wait…
Got one more hour. Last year, I had the K9 memorial, doughboy, and Huey locations all loaded into the mapping software on the laptop. The last few hours, I have loaded the Madonna of the Trail locations into the mapping software. Even set out a route from home, to Bethesda, visit all 12 Madonna of the Trail sites, then a 50CC from Los Angeles to Jacksonville, FL, back home.
My bride has seemed to have fallen asleep, dog has been out for a while. Just one more hour…
Ok, get the laptop fired up, load the browser, and at the Tour of Honor page. My laptop is set to a time server because of some of my other hobbies. Clock says 10:58. Time to refresh browser. Home page still says registration starts at 12:01 December 1. I click the Registration link. Just a blank page. Laptop and phone both say 11:00pm. Refresh a couple of times and finally! There it is! The registration page!
In my haste and excitement I really fat finger everything. Double check all the information, hit the check out button and off to PayPal. I enter my payment information and press “SUBMIT.” I hear my phone “ding” twice, meaning I just got two e-mails. I check them and one congratulates me for registering, the other is my payment receipt.
I go to the 2019 Rider List page. Page says showing 1-45. I look and don’t see my name. I go to the Facebook page and see a couple of others have registered. A few comments that people are registering, but not seeing anything. Replies that we need to refresh the page. I go back and try that a few times, no luck. I read more comments and it seems that we are being impatient. All registrations are manually checked before issuing their Rider Number. I guess that it will not be done right away, so I call it a night and head off to bed.
Update: 7:00am, December 1
Alarm goes off since this is one of the few days that I have something to do early. I hit the snooze button. I load the Tour of Honor site on the phone. Still only showing 1-45. I am registered, I’ll be happy to have 100-199. REAL happy if below 100. I head out for my meeting.
Update: 11:00am, December 1
Last update. No need to keep updating. I am registered. I have my number. Before I note what number I was assigned, just remember a few things. Numbers 1-10 are reserved for the top 10 point earners from the previous year. State sponsors are allowed to preregister. And there are those that make special requests. I know there were a LOT of people that were trying to register in the first few initial numbers.
I get out of my meeting and pull up the page on my phone. I check the rider list and see that there are over 100 riders listed. I go to the second page which shows 51-100 and look for my name. Not there. I go to the last page, not there either. I select to sort by state. Alabama only had a few people last year, so I should see may name near the top. I see only one person from Alabama and scroll over to the name. There I am.
I got #46!
I feel extremely lucky to have gotten a number this low. I wasn’t seriously expecting a number under 100, but I am not going to give it back!
Now to wait for April 1 when the sites are announced. I had a pretty good score my first year, I was in the top 10% (tied at 73rd with one other person out of 796 riders).
I will set serious goals in the next few days. But here are a few goals I am setting.
- I will visit more ToH sites in 2019 (I visited 32 in 2018).
- I will visit more total sites in 2019 (I visited a total of 59 in 2018).
- I will completed more states in 2019 (I completed 4 states, AL, GA, KY, and TN).
- I will visit more states in 2019 (in addition to the 4 I completed, I also visited IN, MS, and NC)
- Certain National Parks will give bonus points in 2019. I will visit at least 2 (being conservative since I have no idea if any will be even close to me).
- I will do one Iron Butt Tour of Honor.
- I will earn one trophy (goal will be AL and/or MS)
So, pretty lofty goals, but I think they are all doable. In 2018 I was off the bike for about 3 months due to shoulder surgery and sprained ankle. In 2019, I will have two bikes to spread the miles between.
Until April 1, I guess I will plan routes using the Doughboys, Hueys, K9 Memorials, and the Madonna of the Trail Memorials
All of this to fit in between Little League which will be a week or two in Georgia in July/August and other rides with my bride and the Harley Chapter.
Update: December 3
One of the other riders had asked about having a link to their own status page. The website admin made it happen in a matter of less than an hour! Here is mine: Gary Allmond (Rider 46)