Higdon's Iron Butt Report - Day 5
Forwarded by Don Graling:
>Subject: Iron Butt Rally: Day 5
>August 16, 2003
>The Florida Checkpoint
> On the day after Paul Pelland learned that he had won a
> protracted, bitter, legal battle, he found himself in first place at the
> Lake City, Florida checkpoint of the Iron Butt Rally. Two years ago he
> dragged a Ural motorcycle in the Hopeless Class around the country,
> surviving disasters by brute force on an almost daily basis. He finished
> so low in the standings that it took miners to find him. This year he's
> on a BMW R1100RT and has better than a 2,100-point lead over Eric Jewell
> and Rick Sauter. Still, the scoreboard isn't quite as simple as it looks.
> The 110 riders who left the first checkpoint in Nevada split into
> two groups: 77 headed for Florida and 33 aimed for southern
> California. The latter group split again with 22 riders going to Florida
> and 11 chugging toward Canada. The pack of 22 now occupies 20 of the
> first 21 positions in the standings. Todd Witte, at 20th place and the
> highest ranked of the blue pill brigade, is 120 points ahead of Homer
> Krout, the lowest ranked of the red pills. This was almost exactly the
> scoring breakdown that Mike Kneebone and rallymaster Lisa Landry had
> predicted in Nevada.
> All this ignores, however, the 11 riders who departed southern
> California for the Great White North. We are fairly certain that they
> have all reached Bella Coola, British Columbia or Goose Bay,
> Labrador. If they arrive at the Maine checkpoint on time, they will
> immediately take over the top positions, irrespective of what any of the
> riders in Florida may accomplish on their next leg. At that point only
> the final run back to Missoula will remain.
> Virginia's Leon Begeman, 24th overall, apparently is insulted
> that his 250cc Kawasaki Ninja, the smallest machine in the rally, is
> assigned to the Hopeless Class. As usual, he is running like a man
> possessed. Tonight he stands 42 places ahead of Paul Meredith's 750cc
> Suzuki water buffalo. Sure, Meredith's two-stroke bike is ancient and
> struggles to get even 20 mpg, so maybe that's not a fair fight. But
> Begeman takes on motors with five times his displacement --- BMW K1200LTs
> and 1,800cc Gold Wings --- and chews them to pieces as well. If you put
> him on an armadillo, he might lose a few places, but he'd still be
> scratching his way down the road.
> Sparky Kesseler, the terror of the bristlecone forest, parked his
> replacement bike at the checkpoint, was awarded 2,000 points for making
> it to Florida without incinerating anything along the way, and remains
> firmly in control of 117th (and last) place with a total score of -8,000
> points. This afternoon, however, he picked up some competition. Bob
> Wooldrige's '64 BMW R69S, having had alternator replacement surgery two
> nights ago at Craig Vechorik's vintage BMW factory in Sturgis,
> Mississippi, has eaten a valve. Wooldrige grabbed a newer BMW, will take
> a 10,000-point hit in Maine, and soon should challenge Sparky to see who
> can crawl out of the negative number territory first. My bet is on
> Sparky; he'll torch Wooldrige's bike the first chance he gets.
> The ride west to Lake City was not completely uneventful. John
> Langan hit a deer but was able to continue. Jerry Harris, coming down
> from the top of Mt. Evans in Colorado, was smacked by a mud slide. For a
> moment he thought he would skip through. He didn't. The right side of
> his BMW K1100LT looks as if it was scraped by a train, but it's still
> running somehow.
> Great Britain's Steve Eversfield ran into a nightmare while
> attempting to pick up a valuable bonus in Silverton, Colorado. He was on
> U.S. 550, The Million Dollar Highway, one of the most picturesque roads
> in the West. Southbound from Ouray it rises straight up and over a
> couple of 10,000' passes. On a clear day you can almost see Argentina.
> Eversfield, however, wasn't having a clear day; he was having a
> black, fearsome night. He was reminded of the terrifying Bald Mountain
> scenes from "Fantasia," a movie that has sent two generations of children
> from playgrounds to psychiatrists. Lightning smashed into the hills all
> around his elevation, raising the hairs on the back of his neck. Unable
> to see through his rain-swept visor, he raised it. That was worse. In
> the Rocky Mountains that awful night he was practically the tallest thing
> around. He was also on top of a 700-pound block of metal. Eversfield
> was feeling peckish.
> A mud slide had wrecked Jerry Harris' day; a mud slide now saved
> Steve Eversfield's night. As he rounded a corner, he saw that the
> highway ahead had been completed washed away. He was the first vehicle
> southbound to encounter it. Disappointed was he? Not a bit of it,
> mate. He jumped off the bike, draped his identification towel on the
> rocks that covered the road, and snapped a photo. Because of an act of
> vengeful Nature, Eversfield would be able to claim the Silverton bonus
> without actually having to go there. Better still, he could turn around,
> get off that hateful mountain, and look for a quiet place to dry out and
> stop shaking.
> All's well that ends well, right? Sometimes, but not for
> Eversfield. His Silverton bonus was disallowed by the scorers when he
> arrived in Florida.
> "Excuse me?" he said in his best British accent, the kind of
> sound you hear just before a Limey begins beating your head in with a
> spanner and tyre iron. "The road was completely blocked. Other
> motorcyclists have verified it. I followed the rules exactly."
> "Sorry," the scorer said. "There was an alternative route to
> "That 'alternative route' was a 300-mile loop around half the
> state of Colorado," Eversfield protested.
> "True," the scorer replied, "but it was available."
> In the old TV series set in New York, "The Naked City," the
> closing voice-over intoned darkly each week, "There are eight million
> stories in the naked city. This has been one of them."
> And there are eight million stories in the Iron Butt Rally. Some
> of them are sad.
>The Top Ten in Florida
> 1. Paul Pelland BMW 18,517
> 2. Eric Jewell BMW 16,391
> 3. Rick Sauter Suzuki 16,348
> 4. Tom Loftus Honda 15,998
> 5. John O'Keefe BMW 15,919
> 5. Jeff Earls BMW 15,919
> 7. Jim Owen BMW 15,903
> 8. Jeff Fisher BMW 15,842
> 9. Heinz Kugler BMW 15,751
> 10. Eddie James BMW 15,010
Iron Butt o3 Maine pictures
[URL=http://win38-55.smugmug.com/Motorcycles]Hers some Pics I took this afternoon in Maine[/URL] I am not sure of names. If you see someone you know please leave a comment.
the Iron Butt Rally- Gorham checkpoint
[COLOR=green] For a full pictoral of Paul Pelland's castoff Iron Butt ensembles,
see his website and click on IBR Clothing Drive... way too funny!
Avoid the Scratch 'n Sniff section, though...[/COLOR] [URL=http://www.longhaulpaul.com]
Long Haul Paul's website[/URL]