Support Vehicle Registration Info

Plan and organize support resources for the 2010 Cannonball

Support Vehicle Registration Info

Postby bagel » Fri Mar 12, 2010 12:24 am

Dave brought up the point about registration for support teams. In order for support crews to receive the same benefits as the registered riders, I've created a separate registration form for support vehicles:

SUPPORT REGISTRATION FORM

Registration will still cost $25, but it's per vehicle, so the base fee covers all members of the support team. I've made space for up to four people per team, if there are more than that (!), just write the additional names on the back.

Also, I'd like to suggest that riders who are supported by those teams might want to consider pitching in to pay the base fees for their support drivers, since they're essentially going to be working for them during the Cannonball, and not necessarily having as much fun as the rest of us. Any questions, just ask.

Cheers,
Bagel
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Postby mogeewogee » Fri Mar 12, 2010 9:04 am

OK here come the stupid questions....
I am a "go with the flow" type of person and
I don't want to step on anyones toes, and I realize that by the end of the "event" many of us will be fast friends. But for now, as a first timer,I have questions about the formal support relationships.

It is obvious that there is a cost associated with driving a vehicle across the continent and I would submit that any support driver and participant should stop and help any rider in need ( per the rules) yes?

I plan to change my own tires and belt along the way but would welcome any tips / suggestions from any other rider on the finer points etc... I look forward to the wrenching comraderie ( I am not a mechanic,but I am not afraid to take things apart in the hopes of getting it all back together in the same week LOL

I suppose that I will offer to haul the junque / parts/ excess baggage of 3 or 4 riders in exchange for a set sum for petrol, tolls, fines, bribes beer for the driver and also the cost of any rental of a trailer should the need arise...
Is it good to get a little support agreement in writing? have there been issues in the past?
I suppose that a busy support vehicle may cover MANY more miles than any scooter in the "event".


Looking back over the history ie; reading blogs and comments from 06 and 08.
(the below observations may or may not be accurate.)
06 had "official support" and it was overloaded / overwhelmed?? ( many vintage scoots requiring more attention)true? or no?

08 support was done " individually / informally"?
Dan H > ryder truck
supported Joel and marcocet and Bobo by default?? and?

Jess' red pickup/ trailer and Rolf
OZ, Jess, Bagel, Glassaye?? and?

Steve Hess' wife and his Pickup
Helped get JimT to Okla city?

Others??
Rob Taylor? did he have a follower?

Feel free to comment anyone...
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Postby bagel » Fri Mar 12, 2010 9:45 am

You're more or less correct, mogeewogee. Support must be organized individually by riders this year; we used this plan in 08 and it worked pretty well. 06 was a nightmare, we had 2 trucks with trailers and a car, plus a lot of riders who were overconfident in their bikes' reliability (mostly vintage, but not all), so the support vehicles were pretty much full up from day 1 onward. Also, support teams in 06 did not carry riders' gear for the most part, which placed a much bigger burden on the riders (both literally and figuratively). Not having "official" support in 08 forced riders to be more self sufficient and better prepared mechanically; whatever issues we did encounter, the support teams were able to deal with without being overwhelmed, and it made the ride much more enjoyable for the riders.

The idea this year is basically the same as 08 Riders should pool their resources together to share support teams, who will carry their gear and provide transportation if needed during the ride, and possibly help with transport of bikes and gear to/from the Cannonball as well. This saves on both support costs and transportation costs. It does cost a good bit of money to run a support vehicle, at the very least for gas, not to mention wear & tear on the vehicles... the Cannonball is not kind to four wheelers either. They will need maintenance before, after and possibly even during the ride. It's up to the riders and the support drivers to work out the costs in advance and decide how to share them. Some support drivers may decide to be generous and donate their time and vehicles for free, asking only to be compensated for gas, others may ask for funds to help cover maintenance costs as well. I don't know if a written agreement would be needed, as far as I know we've never had one before, but if anyone feels that way, that will need to be worked out between the support drivers and the riders with that team. As far as fines go, well it's up to individual drivers and riders to be responsible for their own actions on the road, so if anyone is caught violating any laws, that burden falls squarely on their shoulders. For example, I think it would be unreasonable for a support driver to expect their team's riders to pay for the support driver's speeding ticket.

Now if a support driver (or any rider for that matter) comes across a rider in trouble who isn't a part of their support team, they are expected to stop to make sure that person is ok. If that rider needs to be transported, the expectation is that they will reimburse the support driver to haul them and their bike. How that is reimbursed should be agreed upon in advance... cash, dinner, beer, etc. If the driver or rider can't reach an agreeable arrangement, the rider can always wait in the hopes that another support truck will pass by. If not, they can call for a tow, or rent a truck to the next town, but either of those options are not going to be cheap. Hence, the reason for organizing our own support. If someone decides to go it alone, they must understand that they are taking the risk of having to figure out how to get back home, if they or their scooter aren't able to continue on for any reason.

I hope this helps and makes sense. Any questions, just ask.
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Postby bagel » Fri Mar 12, 2010 9:47 am

Moved this to the Support forum, so we can feel free to discuss the finer points of support here...
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Postby starreem » Fri Mar 12, 2010 11:04 am

I recall reading some discussions of dissatisfaction of support truck drivers who wound up ahead of some of the scooters they were supporting. I think there is a lot of gory details that should be worked out ahead of time, not just financial details.

That said, I'm looking to share some support expenses. The support person I was working on, couldn't get all the vacation time off for the duration.
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Postby feb31st » Sun Mar 14, 2010 9:42 am

bagel wrote:Not having "official" support in 08 forced riders to be more self sufficient and better prepared mechanically


It might be beneficial to reflect briefly how support was used in 2008 not only at the hotel but on the road. Teams had support for specific riders but ultimately no one was left to die on the route 50 battle field. Being "self sufficient and better prepared mechanically" should be first and foremost.

I remember belts being the biggest issue for Moderns? What else broke down on the road that was repaired in short order and continue?

This could be a long shot idea, but would one of the scooter parts sites or dealers out there be willing in exchange for some advertising on the site here (and the hero plugs, i.e. Vespa St. Louis, on all of the blogs when they save an ass), to extend some inventory for the ride? Just the basics, but, if inventory is used, the rider is responsible for paying the dealer/site for it? This could allow support vehicles (car, truck, trailer, motorcycle) carry some basic inventory: 1-2 belts, single use nuts, exhaust studs, clutch holding tool, good calibrated torque wrench, maybe tire kit/air compressor, o-ring seals? What's not used at the end of the ride can be bought by riders or returned to the dealer/site?

If I remember, with the exception of Rob Taylor and Ed for half a day, everyone who broke down on the road, was some how able to by some fortune keep moving because a support vehicle had the part they needed?

Another thought, but, if someone is driving a support truck, mount a tire changing unit in the back... I'd throw you at least a $20 to pop on/off a tire in Kansas.

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Postby bagel » Mon Mar 15, 2010 11:35 pm

While those are interesting ideas, I don't think they're going to be feasible to manage when the rubber hits the road. There's just no practical way to keep track of inventory, of who used what, and who's paying who for it. I can see it quickly turning into one giant clusterscrew of frustration, trying to manage any type of shared parts inventory like that. I certainly would not be willing to take on that job, and I definitely don't want to listen to somebody bitch about how there aren't any spark plugs left when they need one on day 8. Besides, each rider really needs to know what they need to bring, source their own parts so that they can be self-reliant, and arrange for the transportation of their own gear, tools and spares. As far as a tire changing machine goes, if somebody really wants to mount one in their support truck and use up all that space just for that purpose, more power to them. They can charge riders $20 per tire change to offset their costs if they want, but that's still not going to pay for the cost of the machine and I don't think it would justify the space that it would require, or the extra fuel needed to lug it across the continent. Personally, I'm going to take spares that are already mounted, so there will be less for me to wrorry about or mess with on the road. Remember, it's not just about convenience or ability, time is the most crucial factor.

The parts that presented the most issues for moderns last time were belts, tires, and variators. I dealt with all three, including an exploded Polini variator, prematurely worn tires, one shredded belt, plus a rear rack that came apart, and a leaking oil pan gasket. Other people had problems with fuel injectors, shredded tires, crashes, brake issues, various parts that broke or vibrated loose, etc. The Cannonball will find the weak links on your bike that you don't, so it's very important to give it a thorough shakedown before the ride.

Hero plugs are always in order when warranted, everyone is encouraged to publicly thank those who help them out in a pinch, especially when it comes to shops or businesses who do you a favor in a pinch. Remember, what comes around goes around, so be sure to appreciate and give thanks for that good karma when you receive it.
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Postby danham » Fri Mar 26, 2010 6:25 am

mogeewogee wrote:OK here come the stupid questions....
I am a "go with the flow" type of person and
I don't want to step on anyones toes, and I realize that by the end of the "event" many of us will be fast friends. But for now, as a first timer,I have questions about the formal support relationships. ...


I can't do the event this year, but hope to meet up and ride along on my BMW F800 ST for some of Day 9 and perhaps break bread with you all in Lake Plastic that evening.

I'll try to answer your questions from the perspective of one support driver in '08, meaning how it goes in '10 is not necessarily the same. "Go with the flow" is exactly the ticket, as far as I'm concerned.

The "vibe" was very much informal -- to me the thought of written agreements is so not Cannonball. I started out knowing only that I would support my son Joel, and Mark, and as the run progressed, circumstances put us very much in Bobo's debt [g]. We also accepted donations (gas was at an all-time high and that damn truck was some thirsty trying to keep up with Vespas [g]) to carry spares, clothes and gas for some folks.

But with the event underway, and above and beyond the obvious obligation (moral and rules) to stop for someone sitting by the side of the road, when it came time to backtrack to bring someone an injector or a tire, or coordinate with other support teams, we did not keep track of it or charge or do anything but view this as one big effort, covering all competitors, with everyone pitching in.

If that's a little too touchie-feely for anyone, think of it this way: my cost for being there at the moment when someone needed support outside of the official "team" did not go up by one penny other than gas and my time behind the wheel.

Yes, in an extreme situation, like hauling somebody's scoot a long distance, it would be fair to charge, but unless the '10 list of competitors somehow attracts people really different from the great folks I met in '08, it just won't be an issue.

Have a blast and hope to see you on the tasty twisties in New York State.

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Postby mogeewogee » Fri Mar 26, 2010 10:58 am

danham wrote:
mogeewogee wrote:OK here come the stupid questions....
I am a "go with the flow" type of person and
I don't want to step on anyones toes, and I realize that by the end of the "event" many of us will be fast friends. But for now, as a first timer,I have questions about the formal support relationships. ...


I can't do the event this year, but hope to meet up and ride along on my BMW F800 ST for some of Day 9 and perhaps break bread with you all in Lake Plastic that evening.

I'll try to answer your questions from the perspective of one support driver in '08, meaning how it goes in '10 is not necessarily the same. "Go with the flow" is exactly the ticket, as far as I'm concerned.

The "vibe" was very much informal -- to me the thought of written agreements is so not Cannonball. I started out knowing only that I would support my son Joel, and Mark, and as the run progressed, circumstances put us very much in Bobo's debt [g]. We also accepted donations (gas was at an all-time high and that damn truck was some thirsty trying to keep up with Vespas [g]) to carry spares, clothes and gas for some folks.

But with the event underway, and above and beyond the obvious obligation (moral and rules) to stop for someone sitting by the side of the road, when it came time to backtrack to bring someone an injector or a tire, or coordinate with other support teams, we did not keep track of it or charge or do anything but view this as one big effort, covering all competitors, with everyone pitching in.

If that's a little too touchie-feely for anyone, think of it this way: my cost for being there at the moment when someone needed support outside of the official "team" did not go up by one penny other than gas and my time behind the wheel.

Yes, in an extreme situation, like hauling somebody's scoot a long distance, it would be fair to charge, but unless the '10 list of competitors somehow attracts people really different from the great folks I met in '08, it just won't be an issue.

Have a blast and hope to see you on the tasty twisties in New York State.

-dan


Dan, That is exactly what I was thinking, now need to let my Dad ( he said that he would drive the truck) in on this philosophy ad find out if he is up for it.
Thanks,
Murray
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