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Thread: The Iron Butt Rally (11,000 miles/11 days)

  1. #91
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
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    Higdon Report - Day 6

    Hartford, Connecticut
    August 18, 2003
    Day 7

    M*A*S*H, Iron Butt Style

    After a telephone call from Peter Icaza last night, I decided to
    administer mental status tests to some of the suspect riders. Icaza was
    reporting that he would miss the Maine checkpoint by several hours. It
    turned out that he was fewer than 200 miles from his goal and had almost 24
    hours to get there. He's not the first rider to be off target by a day.
    So now I look at them carefully when they check in. If they crawl up to
    the table on all fours, I ask them what day of the week it is and the name
    of the vice-president of Botswana. If they fall asleep before answering,
    we drag them off into a corner and hit them with the fire hose. If they
    get cute with me, I threaten to disqualify them. Naturally, I have no
    power to do that, but they don't know it.
    If I did encounter a truly questionable case, I would refer the matter to
    my medical officer, Don Arthur, a two-star admiral and the commandant of
    the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. He worked the
    intake scoring table today and on Saturday night he put up most of Moron's
    crew for the night at his home in suburban Washington, D.C. We like to
    have multi-talented individuals volunteering to help this rolling
    circus. Arthur, who racked up more than 100,000 miles last year on a BMW
    K1200LT and won both endurance rallies he entered, certainly fits that bill.
    On the days when I don't think I'm Ernie Pyle, I like to think I'm a
    doctor, like Dr. Zeuss. I sure hope no one decides to start testing
    me. They might find the cat in my hat.

    Canterbury Tales

    By early afternoon the riders began filtering into the Reynolds
    Motorsports dealership in Buxton, Maine, a checkpoint on every Iron Butt
    Rally since the first one in 1984. With them, strange and twisted stories
    from their travels arrived too. It was sort of a "Canterbury Tales" as
    told not by Chaucer but by Vlad the Impaler.
    Example: Stephan Bolduc, Quebec's Iron Butt entrant, is more comfortable
    speaking French than English. When he was checking in with Mike Kneebone,
    the first step in the scoring process, I asked him diplomatically in my
    best French how he was doing. "Ca va bien?"
    "Non," he said. "I try to sleep in zee park, but zee bear he will not let
    me."
    "The bear? You mean the police?"
    "Non, non," he said, waving his arms. "Zee BEAR!"
    I can't remember the French word for "bear," but I could understand
    Stephan perfectly.
    Example: Voni Glaves, who has undoubtedly logged more motorcycle miles
    than any woman in recorded history, pointed at her BMW's odometer with
    disgust. "It stopped working," she said. I looked at the traitorous
    instrument. It was just 4,900 miles short of 300,000. Voni has never
    learned to frown, but she wasn't quite smiling either.
    Example: Jim Frens' wallet flew out of his tank bag on the New Jersey
    Turnpike. Bad luck. He yanked his bike over to the breakdown lane,
    stopped, jumped off the bike, and began running back down the highway. The
    odds of finding the wallet, given that 20,000 cars and trucks per second
    were flying up that highway, are too small to be measured. Yet Frens did
    find the wallet and its cash (good), but the credit cards were long gone
    (bad). At the checkpoint he told his Canterbury Tale and one of the
    volunteer scorers, Howard Chain, lent Jim a credit card to finish the rally
    (good). But this is the Iron Butt Rally, where no good deed goes
    unpunished. My guess is that the first time Frens tries to use Chain's
    card, he'll be arrested for theft, fraud, and forgery (bad).
    But there is the rare Canterbury Tale where good triumphs over evil. It
    happened today to Joe DeRyke. He came into Reynolds' parking lot with one
    thread of his BMW R1100RT's twisted steel throttle cable still intact. The
    first time DeRyke applied the slightest pressure to the throttle, the final
    strand would snap faster than a heart string. The closest BMW dealer
    didn't have the cable in stock, but a shop in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, 60
    miles south, did.
    Joe Mandeville, DeRyke's riding partner, asked me if the rules would
    permit him to ride down to Portsmouth and buy the cable. No problem, I
    said. Mandeville, a judge in Los Angeles, suited up and was ready to leave
    when David Smith, a lawyer from Chicago, said that he was carrying an extra
    throttle cable on his R1150RT. Would it fit DeRyke's bike? Well, we'll
    ask Bob Wooldridge, who owns a BMW shop. He says it's no problem. But
    does anyone really know how to do the replacement? Ah, there's Paul
    Glaves, the tech guru of the BMW Motorcycle Owners of America, already on
    his knees at the side of DeRyke's bike. He has the machine in pieces in
    the parking lot, with the help of Chris Ratay, who with his wife Erin has
    spent the last four years riding around the world on their BMWs. They
    showed up just to be part of the crowd and now Chris had grease up to his
    elbows, busily repairing the bike of a guy he had known for all of four
    minutes.
    An hour later DeRyke was headed for the open road. He saw me. "You can't
    write about this," he said. "My wife would kill me if she thought there
    was anything wrong with the bike."
    "Your secret's safe with me, Joe" I said.
    Sure it is, like I'm going to sit on this story, the quintessential
    example of True Iron Butt. We tell them over and over: If you're not
    sleeping, riding, eating, filling the tank, or sitting on the pot, you're
    wasting time. Yet here were a dozen contestants helping a rival for no
    other reason than he needed help. They might be in his shoes one day. I
    shook my head and smiled. How were we ever so fortunate as to meet such
    people as these?

    Wine for My Men; We Ride at Dawn

    Eleven riders had gone to Canada. One had crashed, one had blown up, one
    had pulled up short with no bonuses, and one, 2001 IBR winner Bob Hall,
    called from his home in Ohio this morning to announce his retirement
    because of a failing motorcycle. The curse of the Iron Butt had struck
    again. No one has ever won two Iron Butt Rallies outright. They keep
    trying. The curse keeps cursing.
    The Canadian 11 were now The Canadian 7. All made it to Maine, though
    Mike Hutsal was more than one hour late. His penalty was voided because he
    had spent time helping his downed partner, Lee Myrah, a few days
    earlier. Of these seven only Hutsal wasn't completely rested. Paul Taylor
    was. "The Robo is ready to rumble," he said, referring to his license
    plate, "RoboBike."
    Eric Jewell, in eighth place and more than 14,000 points behind the
    seventh place rider, had been one of the original 33 red pill riders, but
    had opted not to go to Canada. He hoped that he would be able to score
    enough in the Florida and Maine legs to come close to those who had gone
    north. That didn't happen. He hoped that they would come in bushed while
    he was fresh. Fresh he was, but so were they. He is a great endurance
    rider, but he had given away too much. You can't give even an inch to the
    seven men who lead the IBR tonight. They won't give it back.
    At 6:00 p.m. EDT tonight the run back to Missoula began. It is a
    difficult ride that will require planning, precision, and luck. Only seven
    men have a realistic chance to win.
    Ninety hours remain.

    The Top Ten (complete standings are on the www.ironbutt.com web site):

    1. Leonard Roy Honda 39,273
    2. Marty Leir BMW 39,222
    3. Will Outlaw BMW 39,187
    4. Mike Hutsal BMW 39,009
    5. Mark Kiecker Honda 38,908
    6. Paul Taylor BMW 38,888
    7. Peter Hoogeveen Yamaha 38,830
    8. Eric Jewell BMW 24,433
    9. Eddie James BMW 24,421
    10. Paul Pelland BMW 24,169

    Bob Higdon
    www.ironbutt.com
    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

  2. #92
    Jim Bud
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    How tired must these guys be!!

    I know how quiet it gets in the later stages of just about all sporting events...when you get near the end...but I can't imagine how tired these guys must be getting.

    Maybe it is like just holding on untiil the end??

    Hang in their guys....

    JIm
    Jim Bud...

  3. #93
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
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    I talked with Rob a couple times today.

    He actually slept in his own bed last night, which is probably the best night's sleep in a while. He was planning on taking the ferry from RI to Long Island to go bonus point collecting. He met up with another rider, whose name escapes me right now, and they've been riding as a team all day.

    They've been to Fire Island, Manhattan (WTC, I believe), a Harley dealer in New Jersey and down to Washington DC to pick up another bonus. They had two guys riding with them, but got seperated at some point. They then made it to the 9/11 memorial in Shanksville, PA by dark. Quite a day, considering they left RI on the 6am ferry.

    Weather headed west looks good and they're anticipating a straight shot into Missoula.

    He can't say how much better he feels after a good night's sleep, a chance to see his wife and some laundry.

    "I feel like a million bucks."

    Indeed!
    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

  4. #94
    Pushing the Bike itchybro's Avatar
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    Tired or Wired?

    i've been trying to keep up on about four different sites. Glad to hear Rob got some much needed rest.

    Gonna be interesting to see how the "Quick Lube" fiasco plays out. Hopefully he's gonna get enough bread to make things OK.

    The Team Strange guys are lookin strong going into the last leg but, as you mentioned, the quiet is deafening. Sending up prayers for everyone especially the Ladies.

    Higdon's kept me grinning since the beginning.

    I don't think "tired" is going be be strong enough of a word for their condition.
    "Some may say that slow is good and they may be right on some days but I am here to tell you that fast is better... It will always be better to be shot out of a cannon than squeezed out of a tube, and that's why God made fast motorcycles, Bubba."

    Hunter S. Thompson

  5. #95
    Rally Rat colt03's Avatar
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    Glad the site is back up. What did I miss ?
    oh yea I took this picture at the Maine Checkpoint.

    I figured it was Kind of Kbasa like.

    It should be over soon. Wonder how the Teamstrange boys ended up.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  6. #96
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
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    From Bob Higdon:

    Chicago, Illinois
    August 18, 2003
    Day 8

    The Riders' Meeting

    Ninety-nine riders stood in the Reynolds Motorsports parking lot in
    Buxton, Maine at 6:00 p.m. yesterday, awaiting the distribution of bonus
    packets. After a week of separation, the red and blue pill entrants had
    rejoined for the run back to Missoula. Lisa Landry called for quiet.
    "On this final leg," she began, "you may be visiting some airline disaster
    sites that will demand your respectful attention. Families of passengers
    lost on these downed flights visit the memorials to this good day. You
    will do nothing to disturb their thoughts. Nothing. Is that understood?"
    Ninety-nine heads nodded.
    "Those of you who went to the bonus in Palouse Falls, Washington on the
    first leg may have seen a bird watcher near the falls," Lisa
    continued. "You may also have noticed that he trained his binoculars more
    often on your license plates than he did on the fang-beaked mud warbler."
    "It was pretty obvious," Paul Pelland said.
    "It was meant to be," Landry replied. "We wanted you to believe us when
    we tell you now that we have volunteers stationed at every one of these
    tragic sites. They may identify themselves to you. They may not. You
    will be watched, that I promise. And if our observers report to us that
    your behavior has brought the slightest discredit to yourself or to this
    rally, rest assured that at that moment your participation in this event
    has just been terminated. Are we clear on that as well?"
    Ninety-nine heads nodded.
    "Good," she said. "Now in the battle for dead-last-but-still-running,
    Sparky Kesseler with -1,946 points has overtaken Bob Wooldrige with
    -2,101." A huge cheer went up for the arsonist, particularly from Sparky's
    wife and daughter. Elizabeth had shown up earlier in the day wearing a
    fireman's turnout coat and a red, plastic helmet that read "Ride 'Em,
    Sparky." There's nothing like support from the home front to keep your
    overall score closing in on zero.

    Memorial Stones

    The sites that Landry mentioned hold terrible memories. They are five of
    the worst airline disasters in recent memory: the SAS crash near Peggy's
    Cove, Nova Scotia; the downed TWA flight in Long Island Sound; the Twin
    Towers memorial in lower Manhattan; the west wall of the Pentagon where the
    hijacked plane struck on September 11, 2001; and the field near
    Shanksville, Pennsylvania where the last plane came down on that awful day.
    These locations are clearly not typical IBR nonsense stops like touring
    the Museum of Questionable Medical Devices or paying a call on Clay Henry,
    the beer-swilling goat. They are serious, somber places, difficult to get
    to and more difficult yet to absorb once there. Riders may one day forget
    taking a photo of the world's largest ball of twine, but they're not likely
    to forget visits to places that have scorched the pages of American history.
    Jack Savage, a senior editor at Whitehorse Press, came into the SAS
    memorial park this morning and met John McKibbin, our observer. Jack
    thanked him for providing such spectacular weather. John replied that they
    have about ten days like that on the south coast of Nova Scotia every
    year. When Savage left the park, he called Mike Kneebone.
    "Thank you for sending me here," Jack said. "It's a beautiful park and a
    beautiful day. If I don't finish the rally after this, it'll be O.K."
    McKibbin reported that while he was there (from 5:45 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.
    ADT) the following riders showed up: Jim Frens, Eric Jewell, Leon Begeman,
    John O'Keefe, Jeff Earls, Brent Ames, Todd Witte, Sean Gallagher, Will
    Outlaw, Marty Leir, and Mark Kiecker.
    "You've got some big bikes there," John told Mike, "but what really
    impressed me was that fellow on the 250cc Ninja."
    "Leon Begeman. We call him 'The Animal.'"
    "I'll say," John said. "Do you know that he's about to complete ten
    straight 1,000-mile days?"
    We do. In fact, while at first blush it looks as if Leon lost two places
    (from 24th to 26th) in the leg from Florida to Maine, when you factor in
    those riders from Canada who reappeared in the standings and took over the
    top seven positions, The Animal actually gained five spots on his competition.
    Hopeless Class indeed.

    The Gladiator

    John Hart, one of the original 33 red pill riders, had gone to California,
    declined to join the 11 pills heading for Canada, and showed up at Ira
    Agins' house in Santa Fe on the way to Florida. There Hart was offered an
    additional bonus: go to Andy Goldfine's Very Boring Rally in Duluth. There
    he should track down the person who had won the I'm Wearing the Ugliest
    Aerostich Suit on Earth Contest and take a photo of the winner. If
    successful, he could bypass the Florida checkpoint.
    The problem was that no one had a clue when the contest would be
    over. Hart might be sitting around, bored to tears at the Very Boring
    Rally, for longer than riders would ever have had to wait for a barricaded
    road to open in Bella Coola. No one in his right mind would accept a
    challenge with so many uncontrolled variables.
    Why not, thought John. He set his GPS coordinates for Minnesota, called
    to say he was skipping the Florida checkpoint, and disappeared from the
    Iron Butt radar for the next four days.
    Hart could hardly have expected what would follow when he arrived in
    Duluth. Andy Goldfine, Aerostich's founder, hauled Hart onto the stage and
    introduced him as an Iron Butt rider who was then and there bravely
    fighting his way through snow, rain, heat, and gloom of night toward the
    swift completion of his appointed bonuses. The crowd applauded happily.
    "It was unbelievable," Hart said. "They treated me like a gladiator." He
    was surrounded and assaulted with questions about his heroic deeds. The
    2005 IBR unwittingly may have recruited 15 new riders that evening. Hart
    got his photo, climbed onto his chariot, and charged out into the gloom of
    night, feeling possibly just a little like Spartacus.

    The Moving Finger, Having Writ, Moves On

    On Sunday morning Marc Lewis was forced to withdraw because of family
    problems. He had been running 31st at the Florida checkpoint.
    In Maine yesterday Mike Grosche's endless struggles with his Hopeless
    Class Suzuki GS750 came to an end. In Missoula he began re-routing the
    fuel cell hose minutes before the start of the rally. He was the last
    rider out of the Holiday Inn's parking lot. Two flat tires slowed his ride
    east, but a blown head gasket was worse, causing him to miss the Florida
    checkpoint altogether and dropping him down to 108th place. The gasket was
    fixed, but as he plodded north to Maine, his clutch headed south to
    Hell. He came into the Reynolds' parking lot 45 minutes too late. With a
    second missed checkpoint, his rally is history.

    Bob Higdon
    www.ironbutt.com
    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

  7. #97
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
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    From Bob Higdon:

    Gillette, Wyoming
    August 20, 2003
    Day 9

    Moron Sails West

    I know a lot of motorcyclists who can't abide the midwest. I
    love it. The Great Plains is an inland sea with waves of corn and grain
    elevators for navigation buoys. Interstate 80 is one of the principal
    shipping lanes. This is the very heart and soul of America; everything
    else just hangs on to it for one reason or another.
    We have been on The Eighty since New York, for two days, for
    forever. It isn't my kind of road with its sameness, its remorseless
    stamp of federal approval, its turbulence, and its incessant noise. Give
    me anything that parallels it, even a goat track. But Moron doesn't
    care. It plows on.
    The heat is searing, but Moron doesn't care about that
    either. The oil light may have come on for a while this morning; we'll
    check it if we ever stop, unless we forget. Moron keeps rolling,
    uncaring. Now and then the whine of the tires on the concrete and the
    buzz of the wind is interrupted by the sound of Mike ripping another
    magazine in half. He can't put it down or away or aside. When he
    finishes one, he has to rip it across, creating top and bottom half
    magazines. We had about 35 magazines a week ago; now we have 70, and
    they're harder to read.
    I take his atavistic response to finishing a magazine as an angry
    sign, usually manifesting itself on the ninth day of the event, that
    there is no way on Earth there will ever be another Iron Butt
    Rally. That feeling will continue to grow until next June when he will
    run across a plaster cast of the world's largest wart at the Museum of
    Disgusting Things somewhere in North Dakota. "If I were doing that
    stupid rally again, this would have been a good bonus," he'll think. A
    week later he'll forget the fingerprints that the 2003 IBR left on his
    soul. Two weeks after that he'll be sending out the preliminary
    invitations and mapping the base route.
    Until then, the blistering heat pops corn on the stalk in the
    fields along I-80, another magazine is ripped in half, and Moron rolls up
    and down the gentle hills of western Iowa.

    And the Beaten Go On

    Paul Meredith's hopeless, triple-cylinder, two-stroke Suzuki, a
    motor that creates its own smog system as it limps down the highway and
    struggles to achieve a worthless 20 mpg, yesterday finally dropped off
    the Environmental Protection Agency's hit list when a broken piston skirt
    drove a dagger through the machine's oil-fouled heart. Its days of
    contemptuous sin are finished.
    Paul's are not. A friend posted news of the breakdown on the
    K1200LT owner's list. Thirty minutes later a Samaritan responded,
    brought his own bike on a trailer, rolled it off and turned it over to
    Meredith, and hauled the dead Suzuki off to the nearest toxic waste dump.
    This illustrates what I think is the major difference between all
    previous Iron Butt rallies and this one. It isn't advanced GPS receivers
    or sophisticated mapping programs or other high-zoot gizmos. It's the
    availability of internet e-mail lists, brand specific or otherwise, that
    can produce salvation literally at a moment's notice. I have lost count
    of how many riders have been rescued by them so far.
    There are reports that Marsha Hall's BMW R1100 alternator belt
    went to alternator belt heaven this afternoon, where it will join Paul
    Taylor's, Dick Fish's and many, many more. It is not for nothing that
    BMW calls its machines "The Legendary Motorcycles of Germany." Marsha
    was looking for a tow; BMW was looking for an engineer who knew something
    about alternator belts.
    In a mechanical failure this afternoon that is as scary as it
    gets, Rick Sauter broke a chain on his Suzuki V-Strom and cracked open
    the crankcase, not his leg. He was 11th overall in Maine. We put out an
    emergency bulletin on the moto lists but have heard nothing further.
    Eric Jewell, who may be in the midst of a monster final leg, had
    the rug temporarily pulled out from him near Shanksville,
    Pennsylvania. Today's quiz: Eric's BMW R1100RT quit running because: a)
    It was tired; b) Eric has already won enough rallies; or c) An alternator
    belt failed. Marty Leir, having heard stories of belt failures for the
    past week, had the presence of mind to buy a few spares on the way from
    Bella Coola. As prescient fate would have it, he gave one to Eric at the
    Maine checkpoint.

    The Leaders Head into the Home Stretch

    If you were in the top seven positions in Maine, took a rest
    bonus today, and picked up the bonuses in Nova Scotia, Long Island,
    Manhattan, and Shanksville, Pennsylvania, you have gained the combination
    bonus and will have a chance to win the rally. If you didn't do that,
    you won't win. Your finishing position also depends on what those other
    six guys are doing.
    At 7:20 CDT this morning, Marty Leir, Will Outlaw, and Mark
    Kiecker --- the second, third, and fourth overall riders in Maine ---
    called from New York. They had picked up the largest bonuses from Maine
    to Manhattan and wanted Lisa Landry to tell them if they were ahead or
    behind.
    "Yes," she said and hung up.
    We call them "The Boys." They're young, smart, and incredibly
    tough. They're from Minnesota and are affiliated with Team Strange,
    which means that, especially in Kiecker's case, they have utterly no
    respect for authority. In most cases numbers on the identification
    towels were assigned randomly, but Lisa saved the highest numbers for
    those who had given her endless trouble in the months leading up to the
    rally's start. Of the 117 towels issued, Kiecker's is #115.
    They've been joined at the hips for days. At some point they
    will have to break apart from each other or they'll end up in Missoula as
    they were in Maine, with Leir 35 points ahead of Outlaw and 314 points in
    front of Kiecker. Maybe they've agreed to that finishing order, but we
    don't think so. We know that they did the combination bonus, so the bar
    has been set.
    Leonard Roy, who led Leir by 51 points when the final leg began,
    has as usual disappeared into deep space. He never calls; he never
    writes. We don't have a clue what he's done since yesterday and we miss
    him. Still, we think he'll show up in Missoula. He'd better. My bike
    is locked in his trailer.
    We can give a time allowance to Mike Hutsal for his help to Lee
    Myrah but we can't give back his lost energy. He earned some tough
    bonuses in the last 24 hours but he didn't take down the combination. It
    looks as if his long effort will fall short.
    Peter Hoogeveen, along with The Boys, checked in this morning for
    a bonus at a Harley dealer who is on a direct line from lower Manhattan
    to Shanksville. It's reasonable to believe that Peter has nailed down
    the combination bonus, but we don't know.
    Paul Taylor also showed up at the Harley bonus. More ominously
    for his competition, he was also able to secure the Pentagon bonus, one
    of the largest on the leg. There he ran into Todd Witte and Brent
    Ames. If other riders have made it to Washington, we aren't aware of it.
    As you can tell, we are wandering in the dark here, but we do
    know this: just 34 hours are left.

    Bob Higdon
    www.ironbutt.com
    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

  8. #98
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
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    Catching up.....

    > Missoula, Montana
    > August 21, 2003
    > Day 10
    >
    > Fire
    >
    > More than one hundred miles east of Missoula the cars coming at you have
    > turned on their headlights. It's the middle of the afternoon. The
    > visibility is under one-half mile, and the tops of some of the mountains
    > that line both sides of I-90 have disappeared in dense smoke. On the
    worst
    > day it ever had, Los Angeles could never have looked like this.
    > Forest fires have ringed Missoula to the extent that parts of the town
    > have been evacuated. When we left here a week ago Monday, smoke was
    > drifting through the motel's parking lot. It's much worse now. You never
    > know from hour to hour what highways will be open. So widespread are the
    > fires and so resistant to eradication are they that they may not be fully
    > extinguished until the snows fall next month.
    > A lot of motorcyclists are riding through the night toward this city. If
    > they're not in by 8:00 a.m., the penalty clock starts running at 10 points
    > per minute. At 10:00 a.m., they're time barred. Every second is counting
    > now. The last thing you want to see on a motorcycle at night is the glow
    > of a fire and a wall of smoke. God only knows what could be hiding behind
    it.
    >
    > We Know What We're Doing, More or Less
    >
    > A question was raised on the Long Distance Riders list about the
    > 10,000-point penalties assessed against Sparky Kesseler and Bob Wooldridge
    > for changing bikes in mid-rally. The rule states that the rider's final
    > score shall be reduced by one-half. Which is correct?
    > The fixed penalty worked well until the point inflation that appeared in
    > the 2001 IBR. Bob Hall picked up one million points for making the
    Prudhoe
    > Bay bonus on the final leg. Had his bike fallen apart on the way to the
    > finish, he could have changed machines 42 times and still have won the
    rally.
    > Last year we amended the rule to eliminate that absurdity, but the scoring
    > program was not similarly revised. We think the 10,000-point spanking
    > roughly approximates in a rider's running score what his final total will
    > look like, but we don't really know and we don't really care. It'll get
    > taken care of in the end, anyone who swaps isn't competitive anyway, and
    we
    > think it's lots of fun to watch guys scrambling randomly around, trying to
    > pull their scores up to nothing.
    >
    > Will the Last BMW Running Please Turn out the Lights?
    >
    > BMW motorcycles constituted about 50% of the starting field. Tonight they
    > constitute more than 90% of the mechanical breakdowns. Jeff Earls'
    K1200LT
    > ground to a halt late today in Dickenson, North Dakota with a rear wheel
    > bearing failure. Earls, riding the entire distance with John O'Keefe, was
    > having a magnificent ride, grabbing every bonus that meant anything on the
    > final leg. With any luck he and O'Keefe would have been close to a Top
    Ten
    > finish. Now he's just another DNF.
    > Had enough of BMW rear end collapses, have you? Not quite. Don't forget
    > to count the rear end of Jim and Donna Phillips' K1200LT. It dropped dead
    > earlier today as they were going up Pikes Peak in Colorado, the largest
    > individual bonus on the entire leg. Had they made it to the top, they
    > would have guaranteed themselves a Top Twenty finish. Instead they nursed
    > the bike back down the mountain, caught a ride into Colorado Springs, and
    > bought an 1800cc Gold Wing.
    > It gets even uglier. Yesterday Jim Owen, who stood 8th in Maine, took a
    > photograph of Eric Jewell and Brent Ames in the process of replacing the
    > alternator belt on Eric's BMW R1150RT at the Shanksville, Pennsylvania
    > bonus stop. A few hours later the belt on Owen's R1150RT failed. He had
    > no replacement, couldn't find one, and will be lucky at this point to
    > finish the rally at all.
    > Mike Kneebone and I sat in the hotel room tonight and reflected on the
    > string of BMWs that have bitten the dust in the last ten days. We shook
    > our heads. Between us we have around 800,000 miles on these bikes.
    > "If you're looking for something to write about in an epilog," he said,
    > "this is it."
    > He's right. BMWs could easily finish 1-2-3 in this rally, a tribute that
    > will be due far more to the talented singers than to the ugly song. In
    the
    > 2003 IBR BMW's song has been the shriek of alternator belts coming apart
    > and the wail of ear ends seizing. Don't play it again, Sam.
    >
    > And Then There Were Five
    >
    > Seven riders in Maine had a chance to win. Leonard Roy was first. He
    > says that this will be his last Iron Butt, and he wanted to go out with a
    > finish he could be proud of. He has done that in his customary quiet,
    > outstanding fashion. He knew that he hadn't gotten enough rest at the
    > start of the run back to Missoula, so he picked bonuses that should
    > guarantee him the highest finish he has ever had. Tonight he is safely in
    > Missoula, catching up on a week's worth of lost sleep.
    > Mike Hutsal was roughly in the same boat. He arrived at the Maine
    > checkpoint after it closed, but was granted a time delay allowance for
    > having stopped to help his partner after an accident. The revised
    > checkpoint score put Mike in fourth place. That was as high as he would
    > fly. Without rest, the last leg was impossible. He will finish, but he
    > will take a heavy hit in the standings.
    > That left The Boys --- Marty Leir, Will Outlaw, and Mark Kiecker --- who
    > stood 2nd, 3rd, and 5th in Maine. We're confident that they managed to
    > earn the large combination bonus and pick up other big points in Chicago
    > and Sauk Center, Minnesota before pointing to the finish. It might be
    > enough to take home all the marbles.
    > Paul Taylor was 6th in Maine. We are under the impression that he has
    > picked up the same bonuses that The Boys did. But Taylor also dropped
    > south to pull in the Pentagon bonus. It's worth 2,359 points. If The
    Boys
    > didn't do that, Paul could vault ahead of them. We don't know. Taylor
    was
    > in western North Dakota tonight, aiming for the barn door and hoping his
    > alternator belt would last a few more hours.
    > And then there is Peter Hoogeveen, who has more second-place finishes in
    > rallies than most riders have rallies. He stood 7th in Maine, 50 points
    > behind Taylor. We know little about Peter's route in the final leg. He
    > was seen at the TWA crash site on Long Island early Wednesday morning. He
    > signed in at a bonus in eastern Pennsylvania later that morning. Since
    > then he has disappeared. Is it reasonable to assume that he did the
    > combination bonus? Clearly. But he didn't show up at the large Minnesota
    > bonus, unlike The Boys and Paul Taylor. So where has he been for the last
    > 36 hours?
    > Scenario #1: he broke down. If so, why haven't we heard? Scenario #2: he
    > couldn't go any farther. That doesn't sound like Peter
    > Hoogeveen. Scenario #3: he saw where the other riders would naturally
    head
    > --- Pennsylvania, Chicago, and Minnesota --- and realized he had to do
    > something dramatic to beat them. Did he then run south from Pennsylvania
    > to the Pentagon and turn due west for Pikes Peak? Depending upon how many
    > other smaller bonuses he and the others either earned or skipped, such a
    > run could be the winner.
    > It's almost 1:00 a.m. in Missoula. In ten hours we can stop guessing.
    >
    > Bob Higdon
    > www.ironbutt.com
    >
    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

  9. #99
    Pushing the Bike itchybro's Avatar
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    I WANNA KNOW!!

    Who was the cruel IS geek that decided that during the Iron Butt rally was a GREAT time to swap the forum servers eh?
    auuuugh!

    Torture anyone?
    "Some may say that slow is good and they may be right on some days but I am here to tell you that fast is better... It will always be better to be shot out of a cannon than squeezed out of a tube, and that's why God made fast motorcycles, Bubba."

    Hunter S. Thompson

  10. #100
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
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    Re: I WANNA KNOW!!

    Originally posted by itchybro
    Who was the cruel IS geek that decided that during the Iron Butt rally was a GREAT time to swap the forum servers eh?
    auuuugh!

    Torture anyone?
    It was us. The bandwidth we were consuming was just killing us financially, so we really, really needed to swap servers.

    The strange thing is that I've been talking with Rob over the last couple days and wanted to relay the stuff he said, but didn't have an appropriate, ahem, forum to do so.

    I'll put some stuff up later, but suffice to say for now that Rob's in Missoula. He landed last night at about 10pm. Just outside Missoula, he ran over a deer carcass. Woke him right up to full alert, Ritalin necessary status.
    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

  11. #101
    Pushing the Bike itchybro's Avatar
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    BAM BAMBI?

    Would that have been the one that Eddie James apparently creamed? (300 miles from the finish this morning @ 6?)
    "Some may say that slow is good and they may be right on some days but I am here to tell you that fast is better... It will always be better to be shot out of a cannon than squeezed out of a tube, and that's why God made fast motorcycles, Bubba."

    Hunter S. Thompson

  12. #102
    Pushing the Bike itchybro's Avatar
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    Oh yeh...

    Did he mention anything about visibility due to the fires in the area? (Particulate matter uh..matters in that situations).

    Any other finishers mentioned? (The Canadian SEVEN?)

    DISH honey DISH!!!
    "Some may say that slow is good and they may be right on some days but I am here to tell you that fast is better... It will always be better to be shot out of a cannon than squeezed out of a tube, and that's why God made fast motorcycles, Bubba."

    Hunter S. Thompson

  13. #103
    K12RS "Dancer"
    Join Date
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    Unhappy Deer

    I heard Eddie James bagged a deer in Billings this morning. Should be released from the hospital later today.
    Bob Wooldridge who started out on an R69 made it in on a GS last night.
    Hoping Paulie gets the big one this time.
    SKERT
    IBR finnisher
    Picks up her own bike

  14. #104
    Pushing the Bike itchybro's Avatar
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    Glad to hear that Bob finished. (How many days did he compleat with ol'Black? 8, 10?) Not too shabby.
    "Some may say that slow is good and they may be right on some days but I am here to tell you that fast is better... It will always be better to be shot out of a cannon than squeezed out of a tube, and that's why God made fast motorcycles, Bubba."

    Hunter S. Thompson

  15. #105
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
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    Re: BAM BAMBI?

    Originally posted by itchybro
    Would that have been the one that Eddie James apparently creamed? (300 miles from the finish this morning @ 6?)
    No, this was last night at about 9pm.

    Rob went by a rest area at the junction of 212 and 90 and there were a whole bunch of guys in the rest area sleeping while it was still light. Rob pushed on to get to Missoula and a nice bed. When I talked to him last, it was about 10pm and he was just beat. He'd had a beer and was sitting in his hotel room anticipating a nice nap. His plan was to get up at 6, get his paperwork ready to go and then get down to the checkpoint to get scored.

    He took the Cooke City, MT gas reciept bonus, though he doesn't have a lot of other information about what else went on. I'm certain I'll talk with him later today and get a better and more complete report.

    Rob did hit the Chicago bonus, the Shanksville, PA bonus, the Pentagon bonus, the Manhattan bonus, the HD dealer bonus and on at the Buffalo Bill Museum. I think he hit as many of the large ones as he could, with the exception of the Pikes Peak bonus.

    Paul Pelland has had a rough go. On one hand, he learned that he has finally obtained primary and full custody of his children. On the other hand, he stopped to help a rider that crashed in New England and broke his ribs. I'm unsure of the rider's name, but I'm sure I can find it. Yesterday afternoon, Paul was 1500 miles from Missoula and was pushing hard to get to the checkpoint. I don't know if he made it.

    Where's Montana with the pictures when we need him?

    dave
    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

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