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

  1. #121
    On Tour REBECCAV's Avatar
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    One more to come in yet

    Now just waiting for the Higdon report (via KBasa of course)
    C'mon Bob - don't leave us hanging.....

  2. #122
    Stronger, Faster, Tougher iRene's Avatar
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    The IRon Butt Rally

    As Bob Higdon pointed out- this year the internet message boards (including this one)
    played a key role as the most current and detailed sources of info on the event-
    THANKS AGAIN to all who posted the updates and photos for us!
    BMW MOA Ambassador
    Sled Dog Touring Team | RSMaine | MOVermont
    '08 R1200GS | '60 R60

  3. #123
    MT State of mind
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    The epilog - the banquet:

    Without taking notes and/or hopefully not giving away all the stuff Higdon will tell, I can give you the following information.

    All the woman finished. Voni was only a few places behind Paul, and Linda finished more than that ahead of her husband. Rachel didn't rack up many points for all the speed she used, and in the audience I heard murmurs that this may be a bit of concern - that a sponsored racer may pollute the waters of the IBR, since that is not what this event is all about. But I would not want to disparage any finisher. And of course, the new Gold Wing owners were two up so - another female finisher.

    Chye was given special recognition via a Fran Crane award. It was announced that outside of the FL checkpoint he unknowingly left a sidebag unlocked while taking a pit stop at a rest area and returned to find the bike was ransacked. If anyone knows someone trying to fence heated riding gear in FL, call it in to the police.

    Sparky moved so far up the ranks and had such an incredible last leg that he will get promoted to gold just because. As a joke, the rallymistress mentioned he would also be given bristlecone pine seeds that he and his ancestors must forever husband to replace the life that he took - at least, I think it was a joke.

    The Hopeless Class will need to be renamed, since Leon's 250 Ninja finished 12th. Just to prove you should never say never, and that nothing is truly impossible, two of the top ten finishers were blue pill riders. So there you go, the Iron Butt Rally finishers have challenged even The Matrix and come out the other side.
    Last edited by Montana; 08-23-2003 at 02:41 AM.

  4. #124
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
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    > Missoula, Montana
    > August 22, 2003
    > Day 11
    >
    > The Interstate at 3:30 in the Morning
    >
    > The 2003 Iron Butt Rally is officially in the bag. Although it was the
    > shortest base route in the event's history, it began picking people off on
    > Day #1 and didn't stop until about 3:30 this morning when Eddie James
    > smashed into a deer on I-90 near Billings. He is hospitalized with some
    > broken ribs, a fractured clavicle, and other injuries. Riders were on the
    > scene within minutes and have stayed with him ever since. He'll be
    > O.K. He asked the admitting doctor if he were a real physician or just
    > played one on TV. Does that sound like he's in trouble?
    > If he hadn't whacked the deer, Eddie might have encountered 30 hay bales
    > on the highway. Tom Loftus rode into them just after a truck driver lost
    > control of his rig, swerved into a ditch, and threw the bales all over the
    > highway. I can't repeat Loftus' description of how he got through that
    > lethal mess because my hands shake too much just thinking about it.
    > Tom might not have been able to see the bales in time because of the smoke
    > all over western Montana. It has turned from simple gray clouds into gray
    > clouds that drop ash and other particulate matter over everything. If
    this
    > keeps up much longer, the second largest city in this state is going to
    > start looking like the countryside around Mount St. Helens two days after
    > it blew its top.
    > Still, smacking into the bales would have been better than smacking into
    > the crane that sat on the interstate, trying to lift the truck that
    dropped
    > the bales on the highway out of the ditch that the truck eventually wound
    > up in, possible because the driver couldn't see through the smoke.
    >
    > Dropping Like Flies in a DDT Factory
    >
    > A few days ago I began losing track of the people who were going home
    > prematurely. The IBR is usually a war of attrition, but this was worse
    > than the norm. Twenty per cent of the starting field didn't finish. Nine
    > per cent had seen medics. Roughly 100% of me was jumping 94% out of my
    > skin every time a cell phone rang. But the only goal that really matters
    > was achieved: every rider who started the rally is breathing tonight.
    They
    > may not be here in Missoula, but they're somewhere and, except for Eddie,
    > they're vertical. That's all I care about.
    > Here's another 100% statistic, a much happier one: All the women who
    > started the rally finished. You go, girls.
    >
    > Checking In
    >
    > Tom Austin, chief technical advisor of the IBR, rode his bike from here to
    > Nevada to Florida to Maine to here. He left each checkpoint two hours
    > after the last rider departed, arrived at the following checkpoint at
    least
    > four hours before the riders were due, ran the scoring assembly line at
    > each checkpoint, and persistently looked in better shape than anyone else
    > involved in the process. He didn't get a finisher's certificate, but he
    > deserved one.
    > We began checking off the riders who were in, on the way, or
    > missing. It's that last class that is worrisome. No news on this rally
    is
    > bad news. Three of the missing were Paul Taylor, Leon (The Animal)
    > Begeman, and Peter Hoogeveen.
    > At 7:53 a.m., seven minutes before penalties would accrue at ten points
    > per minute, Taylor sauntered in, produced his rider's ID tag to stop the
    > ticking clock, and said, "I didn't want to peak too soon." The Boys ---
    > Leir, Outlaw, and Kiecker --- were the clubhouse leaders in the scoring
    > computer, but they hadn't gone to the Pentagon. Taylor had. It might be
    > decisive, depending upon what Hoogeveen had done on the last leg.
    > That assumed Peter would show up at all. At 8:26 he ran into the scoring
    > room, 26 minutes late. His 260-point penalty was subsequently reduced to
    > 110 because he had stopped to assist Eddie James. I asked if he'd gone to
    > the Pentagon. He shook his head.
    > The last rider to show up before 10:00 a.m. was Begeman. He was a mere 16
    > minutes from being time-barred, and for his lateness took a penalty of
    > 1,040 points. Had he had a breakdown, an accident, or a time delay to
    help
    > someone else? Nah. "I thought the penalties started at 10:00," he
    > said. Sometimes I wonder how these guys can even get out of bed in the
    > morning, and The Animal may be the smartest one in the rally. If he can't
    > read, what hope is there for the others? I sighed, not for the first
    time.
    > Eventually, we had accounted for everyone. We went into the restaurant
    > for a late breakfast. The waitress, Amber, seated us.
    > "Are you with Harold and Rick?" she asked. You don't hear this question
    > every day.
    > "You know Brooks and Williams by their first names?" I said, trying not to
    > laugh.
    > "Oh, sure," Amber nodded. "They're real nice."
    > Harold has a Virginia accent that even Mississippians can't decipher. He
    > can turn a word like "four" into "fo" and make seven syllables out of
    > it. I later congratulated him on his having finished six Iron Butts. "Is
    > there a seventh in your future?" I wondered.
    > "No," wife Jean said without a moment's hesitation.
    >
    > And the Winner Is . . .
    >
    > This was it. People ride for days from everywhere to be part of the Iron
    > Butt final banquet. It's a big deal. Michael Kneebone took the
    > microphone, told a few lies about our ride around the country in Moron,
    and
    > turned the ceremonies over to Lisa Landry, the rallymaster. She received
    a
    > standing ovation, the first of three on the night.
    > The first award was presented to Quek Cheng Chye in memory of Fran
    > Crane. It's an award for perseverance. Chye's ride was the stuff of Old
    > Testament pain and suffering. It began with his rider identification
    > number: 58. In Chinese culture the number 50 stands for luck; the number
    8
    > stands for bad. Chye was screwed before he even showed up in Missoula.
    > He failed the muffler sound test during tech inspection, which caused him
    > eventually to have to buy a new BMW muffler system for close to $900. At
    > the first checkpoint in Primm he overslept, missed the rider's meeting,
    and
    > had to call Mike at 4:00 a.m. to receive his route instructions for the
    > second leg. At a rest stop in Florida someone stole a saddlebag off his
    > bike. Fortunately, not everything he valued in life was in that bag, just
    > most of it. In deranged frustration, he lashed a kick out at a cruel and
    > vengeful world, missed the world, hit his remaining saddlebag instead, and
    > destroyed it on the spot. He lost his wallet and then was time barred in
    > Maine, sinking deeper into the swamp. He finished 92nd overall, beating
    > just two riders. Someone mockingly asked what he was going to carry the
    > plaque home in. Poor Chye tried to smile.
    > This is the kind of story that could bring tears to the eyes of
    > Cinderella's stepmother. And it would have had much of that effect on the
    > banquet crowd as well, except that by this time the entire room was
    doubled
    > over in rib-cracking laughter. Pity on your fellow human? A grain of
    > empathy? Oh, please. We're motorcyclists.
    > When Chye modestly accepted the award, you could hear the cheering in
    Idaho.
    > Jim Hickerson was called up to receive his trophy for a 54th-place finish
    > on his Buell. A heckler in the crowd made rude remarks to the effect that
    > the machine should have been placed in the Hopeless Class. Hickerson
    > didn't blink. "How many BMWs failed and how many Buells failed?" he asked
    > rhetorically.
    > Most riders, realizing that they have no hope of a Top Ten finish, will
    > content themselves to strive for a gold, silver, or bronze medal. I, for
    > example, was awarded the bronze for my masterful ride in 2001, a tour in
    > which I finished something like 65th, rode fewer miles than almost
    everyone
    > else, and expended so much energy in the process that I came under the
    care
    > of a psychiatrist for the eight months following the rally's
    > conclusion. Silver medals are harder to get, and don't even think about
    > the gold things.

    [continued - next post]
    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

  5. #125
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
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    [continued]


    > Now consider Sparky Kesseler's final leg. He burned up the highways from
    > Maine to Montana, raking in an astonishing 58,826 points, a score that was
    > enough to take home a gold medal on that leg alone. I can't even imagine
    > such fiery determination. He finished 49th, with half of his points taken
    > away because of the bike swap. In my opinion, that ride deserves
    something
    > in addition to a gob of metal. Sparky deserves to have his name back: I
    > salute you, Dennis. I knew you were good; I didn't know you were that
    good.
    > When Lisa called out the name of the 12th-place rider, the whole room
    > stood for the second time. The plaque went to Leon Begeman on the 250cc
    > Ninja, who rode 11,186 miles in 11 days. It is the kind of effort that
    > will live in the annals of endurance riding forever. I have rarely seen
    > anything to compare to it. Confident to the end, Leon told me, "Now that
    > I've seen what kind of rally Kneebone puts on, I can build a bike to beat
    > it." I've known The Animal for more than ten years and I've learned this:
    > Don't bet him anything you can't afford to lose.
    > Just two riders from the blue pill route, who shouldn't have been anywhere
    > near the Top Ten, were Brent Ames (10th) and Todd Witte (8th). Paul
    > Pelland had started a red pill route but in California reconsidered and
    > took off for Florida. He finished 9th. John O'Keefe and Eric Jewell had
    > done the same thing as Pelland but had stronger finishes (6th and 7th).
    > That left five, and in the end, it came down to the Pentagon bonus. Paul
    > Taylor drove the punishing miles south to Washington to earn it. His
    > competitors didn't. That was it. Peter Hoogeveen finished fifth, his
    > fourth Top Ten finish. No one in Iron Butt records has more podium
    > finishes or a higher finishing average than does he. He'll be back.
    > The Boys stuck together almost until the end. Will Outlaw took fourth,
    > Marty Leir was third, and the youngest rider in the field, 26-year-old
    Mark
    > Kiecker, was second. The entire State of Minnesota must be standing on
    its
    > head tonight. For once even Eddie James wasn't talking about
    > himself. These were his guys, and a prouder father he could not have
    > been. You'll be seeing their names in the game of long-distance
    > motorcycling for the next 20 years.
    > But the Commonwealth of Virginia must be the proudest of all for its
    > favorite son, the unstoppable Paul Taylor. When his name was called last,
    > the crowd rose for the third time. I've watched him from his first
    > rallies, back-to-back wins in the Capitol 1000. In 1999 he was called up
    > to the Big Leagues for the Iron Butt. He was a rookie, made some
    > incredibly bad route choices, and still finished 8th. In 2001 he ran a
    > much better route but finished fourth behind Bob Hall, Shane Smith, and
    > Peter Hoogeveen. That, by the way, isn't bad company with which to be
    > associated.
    > This year Paul's route planning was perfect. He needed one big bonus to
    > pull himself away from the pack. The Pentagon was it. The difference
    > between his winning score and that of Mark Kiecker was the 2,359 points at
    > the Pentagon plus 272 miscellaneous points.
    > On Day 2 I wrote: "A rider with an excellent efficiency is smart; a rider
    > with big points is an animal; a rider with both is the guy to beat in the
    > Iron Butt." Among the top five riders, Taylor rode the fewest miles. He
    > knew how to take down the big points. He can ride through anything. And
    > ultimately he was the guy to beat in the Iron Butt Rally.
    > "The Robo is ready to rumble," he had said in Maine.
    > Was it ever.
    >
    > Bob Higdon
    > www.ironbutt.com
    >
    >
    >
    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

  6. #126
    Jim Bud
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    Thanks for keeping us "on the ride"

    Dave, thanks for your efforts that kept us "on the ride" with all of the IBR riders......I bet with a more timely availabiity of the rally schedule...and the future spread of the MOA web site...it will be possible to have members posting pictures of the event stops and bonus points...almost real time...

    Thanks again for the effort
    Jim Bud...

  7. #127
    Pushing the Bike itchybro's Avatar
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    I echo Jim Bud's sentiments.

    Higdon ROCKS.

    I think it's time to start thinking about some short rally riding (baby steps baby steps...)
    "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

  8. #128
    DDHR1150RT DDHR1150RT's Avatar
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    Talking YAHOO!!! MARSHA HALL MADE IT!!!!!!!!

    Originally posted by bikerfish1100
    Pity that Speedvision was not there to record this finish./ No frozen brakes this time, and no flying truck tires either. Just a shredded alternator belt (hmm, sound familiar?) and toasted battery.
    I am so glad to hear that Marsha finally finished the Iron Butt!!!And the first on a R1100S to boot! Way to go Marsha!


    But, do I detect an ongoing problem with BMW motorcycles (90% of mechanical failures in the Iron Butt). "Another shredded alternator belt and a toasted battery". . . hmm. . . most peculiar! (see my post in oilheads under electrical problems)

    Well, I guess that I can pinpoint the root of this epedemic in the Iron Butt 03. It seems that I should have never let Marsha park her bike near mine since an obvious motorcycle virus (strange that it only affected BMW's?) has attacked the alternator belts of many riders in the Iron Butt. Look out others! It also attacks batteries and varying electrical components!

    To Marsha and the other BMW riders bitten by this virus. I am sorry that I failed to quarantine my motorcycle as this virus has obviously spread and affected many. My bike infected Marsha's who in turn infected others throughout the Iron Butt. I DEEPLY appologize to all!! Will it end or will it continue? We can only hope that a cure will be found! Are you listening BMW?

    To all the BMW riders of the Iron Butt and beyond. Pay close attention to your alternator belts, your batteries and any other electrical gremlins that you may or may not notice right away. Despite what BMW may think, there is a problem with their recent durability as can be seen in the stats of the Iron Butt 03.

    Now, what will I have to worry about next? The rearend? Jeeze, maybe I should just buy a different brand. The FJR1300 is starting to become appealing.

  9. #129
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
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    Re: Thanks for keeping us "on the ride"

    Originally posted by j-budimlya
    Dave, thanks for your efforts that kept us "on the ride" with all of the IBR riders......I bet with a more timely availabiity of the rally schedule...and the future spread of the MOA web site...it will be possible to have members posting pictures of the event stops and bonus points...almost real time...

    Thanks again for the effort
    My pleasure. I'm hoping we'll start to see more of that type of stuff on here: pictures of places people went and the things they did.

    After all, isn't that what motorcycles are for? To go places and do things?
    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

  10. #130
    K12RS "Dancer"
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    Unhappy Eddie James

    My rally master, Eddie James, is in the hospital. Some really big dogs
    of the Iron Butt rally have come by to see him. He is respected with
    disrespect on many occasions by all of us and we love him.

    I, for one, can't imagine him trapped in a bed, but that is where he is.
    A broken shoulder, crack neck vertebra, broken pelvis. Bamby the
    culprit, just 300 miles from the finish of the 2003 Iron Butt. He had
    no more bonuses to get, just a leisurely ride into the check point in
    Missoula. A BIG deer jumps in front of a car and decides this is not
    good and dashes to the empty safe lane. NOT! That was Eddie's lane.
    BAM! Going the speed limit in Montana which is sane and prudent I think.

    Melody is on her way to pick up her honey. Huh? Do we know Eddie as a
    honey? I don't think so. Just ask Mark Keicker, Bubba Kolb, anyone who
    has run a ButtLite. He is a demon to us all as a Rally Master.

    I know the "honey" though. I got to spend a week with him and Mel
    before the AMA Vintage days. He was so affectionate about Mel as she
    cut the grass on their four wheel drive lawn mower. He actually said
    some of the sweetest things a man can say about a woman, and she rides
    her own bike. Eddie is telling me that she is wasting mileage by
    cutting the grass in strips, "if she would just go in circles she would
    cut off valuable mileage". Next night when Mel comes home from work he
    is out there cutting the other side of the huge yard they live in in
    circles. What a guy.

    We are all so sad for Eddie's untimely hunting episode, but wish him
    painless times and a quick recovery. Do you think I am suggesting a
    speedy recovery? No mention of speed here. Quick recovery is what I said.

    Thank you to the Iron Butt Gods that Eddie is in with us and all that
    met with something different than a closing banquet in Missoula, Montana.

    SKERT
    SKERT
    IBR finnisher
    Picks up her own bike

  11. #131
    X-Mileage tabulator R1100rtp's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Montana
    The epilog - the banquet:

    >>All the woman finished. Voni was only a few places behind Paul, and Linda finished more than that ahead of her husband. Rachel didn't rack up many points for all the speed she used, and in the audience I heard murmurs that this may be a bit of concern - that a sponsored racer may pollute the waters of the IBR, since that is not what this event is all about. But I would not want to disparage any finisher. And of course, the new Gold Wing owners were two up so - another female finisher.<<

    Let's not forget Vicki Johnston riding an R1100RT!! Vicki quietly finished in 23rd place and as 1st place woman rider. Quite a feat! Don't know if she had any mechanical problems, but if she did, she certainly overcame them.
    Wish I could have been at the finish to congratulate everyone!


    Karol
    3 IB Finishes
    Ride Hard, go far, and keep smilin...

    Karol Patzer, Ambassador, 2014 BMW MOA Rally Chair
    Visit St. Paul July 24-27, 2014

  12. #132
    Ritalin Poster Boy rob nye's Avatar
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    Greetings,

    Safe at home (at work now) after what was the ride of a life-time.

    I had a ball climbing the steepest learning curve imaginable, from a crash in Colorado to the rookie mistake of heading for Key West, it was all good *almost* all the time.

    My goals for the IBR was to finish, have fun and put down a ride I could be proud of. I had run a few other rallies and while generally had good results my last Mason Dixon was not a ride I was happy with. Secondary goal was a top 20 finish.

    I met most of my goals and I am verry happy to have moved from 61st in Maine to 24th at the finish, however at the end of the day nobody really cares about the score, finishing makes everyone a winner, especially this year with the high rate of attrition.

    My hat is off to Mike Kneebone, Lisa Landry and all the volunteers who worked so hard to put on a great event. I believe that the IBR is one of the last great amateur competitions left and it amazes me how well the game is organized. While some of my friends teased me about being beaten by a girl (Vikki Johnston finished just ahead of me) I think it is pretty cool that this game can be played equally well by men and women and my hat is off to Vikki. While I was making my move on the last leg I kept seeing her (usually leaving a bonus as I was arriving). I thought I was having a good leg and figured she was also going to have a strong finish.

    I will be composing a trip report over the next few days. In the mean time here is a photo of my five star accomodations in the Iron Butt Motel. This was in South Dakota (town unknown) where I *assumed* I would find a room in one of the eight hotels. Unfortunately I did not know of the rodeo / round up also going on. Rather than go from town to town looking for a bed I built my own. I actually had a nice five hours of sleep here.

    More to follow.

    Attached Images Attached Images
    Rob Nye
    06 R1200GSADV 06 R1200RTP
    IBA 250 My Iron Butt Rally Blog
    Bristol, Rhode Island USA
    Proud to move oil

  13. #133
    Pushing the Bike itchybro's Avatar
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    Huh?!

    Pics have been posted on the IronButt site of the finish.

    I'm looking at a photo of Dick Fish. I'm wondering how he "broke" the frame on his GS? Yikes!
    "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

  14. #134
    Rally Rat colt03's Avatar
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    go to the ironbutt site, and look at the pictures Ira Agins took of the finish. Ira took about three or four pictures showing the frame re welded just under the seat. both sides.

    HTH

    Craig Cleasby
    South Windsor, CT

  15. #135
    Registered User rottenbiker's Avatar
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    HOME,......finally, left here the 28th of July and rode and rode and am still trying to figure out what time zone I am in!! I too, like Rob want to thank Mike, Lisa and all the staff and volunteers who put in so much time on this rally, they did GREAT!!! This was truly a different rally with all the internet support and following. The experiences were neverending, and both pleasing and exasperating. My bike died in Illinois but thanks to my dealer's service dept contacting Kegel BMW/HD I only ended up losing a few hours while my altenator belt and battery was replaced. They were fantastic!!!!

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