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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Spring has begun peeking from under Winter's cold and dreary days. Springtime brings with it more opportunities for riding and, my favorite, Rallying.

The Heart of Texas Rally is being held on April 23-25 with a 54 hour format AND a 12 hour format. Both rallies running concurrently.

This time I am going to let my 11 year old son accompany me on this rally. Since this is his first rally experience we are opting for the 12 hour format.

The Heart of Texas is hosted out of the scenic town of Fredericksburg, TX in the beautiful Hill Country of Texas! Come and enjoy the scenery!

http://www.theheartoftexasrally.com/
 

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Sounds like fun.

However, one of the General rules prevents my participation: "As a rider in the HoT Rally you shall have a street legal and properly functioning motorcycle"

I don't know if my barn beast will be operational by then, or reliable. Can I tow it on a trailer? ')
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Jazz,

You could trailer the BB to the event but she must ride the rally under her own power.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The Rally Pack arrived yesterday! There are a LOT of neat places to visit. Daniel has had a lot of fun perusing the list of Bonuses (bonii?) and has made a few suggestions, especially some of the Combo bonuses. Cannons, Trains, Ferries.

We have determined at least three potential routes, all to the east and/or southeast of Fredericksburg.

As usual there will be Spotwalla tracking. The track will become active the morning of the Rally. 05:30am, April 25.
https://spotwalla.com/tripViewer.php?id=c55054ee7b33474ba
password = hot
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hidalgo has a flat on the rear. Our Rally is over.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well I discovered the reason for the flat tire: A Broken Spoke tore the tube. So now Hidalgo is sitting safely in a storage building in LaGrange Texas, thanks to Ron's Auto and Towing, waiting on me to bring her a 'not broken' rear wheel.

In the meantime Daniel and I are going to pick up a rental car in Austin so we can get back to Fredericksburg tonight to visit with some of the Rally finishers. Then we'll drive back home tomorrow.

I will come back in a week or so to bring Hidalgo back home. Probably in a truck. :(

If there is a moral to this incident it is: CHECK YOUR SPOKES REGULARLY

Ride safe everybody. See ya when I get home.
 

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A Broken Spoke tore the tube.
If there is a moral to this incident it is: CHECK YOUR SPOKES REGULARLY
What a bummer - unusual for that to happen :confused: But everyone's safe and your son is getting some valuable experience - all good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The Adventure continues. I am going to get Hidalgo today. I am at the Lubbock airport waiting on the first leg to begin. Next stop is Austin. Stay tuned for further updates.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Here's and update: it has been wet, cool and just generally not very nice.

I got to La Grange and swapped the wheel on Hidalgo as planned. Just as soon as I got on the road the bottom fell out. Out of the 280 miles so far maybe 50 of them have not been thru rain. Even more, within three miles of the last fuel stop in Merkel I passed two semi's that were overturned. I am thankful that I had to stop for fuel when I did or I might have had some serious issues.

I'm still about 164 miles from home waiting on a break in the precipitation.

Ride safe my friends.
 

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Yeah, that radar looked mighty rough around there, but maybe the last two hrs of your trip will be rain free. I bet that's been the longest 12 hr rally you've ever ridden!

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I bet that's been the longest 12 hr rally you've ever ridden!
Yep! My first 12 hour rally ended up taking a LOT longer to complete than originally planned. :)

The last 150 miles were rain free. Even the clouds eventually gave way and let the stars shine. The moon was also a welcome sight.

All told I traveled 471 miles by motorcycle, 58 miles by truck, 340 miles by plane, and 36 miles by car, for a total of 905 miles. Rain was present in some form for at least 300 miles of the return trip with winds gusting to 33mph 'at my back'. Austin got nearly a half inch of rain just before I traveled through it. I witnessed the aftermath of two semi's overturned and forded a couple of flooded frontage roads with water about a foot deep.

Sometime over the next few days I will give the wheel a through inspection to determine exactly what made the spoke break.

Anyway I made it home safe and sound, if a bit soggy also.

Keep safe my friends.
 

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Sometime over the next few days I will give the wheel a through inspection to determine exactly what made the spoke break.
Your spoke issue has me thinking that I, or someone who knows how, will check the spokes on my wheels during the next tire change. Frankly, I never gave that a moment's thought.

I know some of your rallies require quite spirited riding on unimproved and downright rough roadways and trails, and also requires pushing the legal speed limits as much as possible. (I know, cause I cracked both driving light lenses following you one day :eek:) That, and your normal everyday riding on a lot of 2 lane Texas roads (which have a higher speed limit than most other states in eastern US) means your overall everyday average speeds I suspect are fairly high. Add in a full time auxiliary gas tank, loaded saddle bags, and 150k plus miles, I imagine your rear wheel and spokes have taken plenty of punishment and are just TIRED. Maybe simple metal fatique is the culprit and keeping the spokes properly tuned is more important than previously thought.

On a side note, although my average speeds I'm sure are lower than yours, the Commander II rear tire on my my 500 just turned 15k miles and has 3mm tread depth left at the shallowest points. I expect at least another 5k miles. Strangely enough, the Commander II front tire is wearing faster and has a little less than 3mm tread depth. I guess both new tires came with the same tread depth but I don't know what that was.

Enjoy Memorial Day.
 

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I used to check the spokes on my bicycle by tapping them one at a time with a pencil or small wood dowel and, sorta like a piano tuner, listen to see if each one had about the same "note". After reading Biker Bill's report, I think I'll try that on my EN500. At least it would identify very loose or broken spokes.
 

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Murphy sure raised its head there.

Where did the spoke break? How far into the tire did it go, or was it just wallowing around and eventually rubbed a hole? Maybe it separated under tension and "shot" through there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
redfish,

The spoke did snap under tension forcing its way thru the inner tube as can be seen in this pic: https://bikerbillsvulcan500rebuild.shutterfly.com/700. The spoke was intact within its socket in the wheel, except the part that attaches to the hub.

In hindsight I do remember hearing something like a gunshot about five minutes before we were forced to stop by the low tire.
 
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