Monday, August 20, 2012


Lurleen bags the last bonus of the rally
Butt Lite 6IX is over.  As noted in a previous blog, I am happy and sad all at the same time.  After a year of preparation, a week of non-stop activity and travel, a surprising ending and now I have returned to Atlanta and some level of normalcy.

We accomplished our goal - to put on a successful rally that challenged the riders.  One they would be happy they entered.  Safety and fun are the two top goals and for the most part, that was accomplished.  While there were a couple of minor tumbles, our thoughts are with Derek and a speedy recovery.  The man seems to have nine lives.  We are so glad he is home with his family and recuperating.

Wildlife seemed to have gotten the memo and stayed out of the rider's way.  Rex and his Harley managed to separate a raccoon from his tail.  He also had a magic coyote encounter.  But other than that, no animals were harmed in the production of this rally.

As the Rally Masters laid out this two-legged ride, it was obvious that there was no obvious winning route.  That made us happy.  The last thing we wanted was something predictable and boring.  A leg one route that included 140 bonuses stretching from Georgia to Maine to Ontario to Missouri and finally ended in Minnesota challenged every single rider and created a very nice, level playing field.  The challenges continued on Leg 2 with a large clump of bonuses in Detroit and a trail of them to Oregon, New Mexico and everywhere in between

We had no idea what would happen.  Until the phone started ringing.  No matter how much planning you put into the rally, the bonuses, the coordinates, the instructions - stuff happens that you can never predict.

One of the first bonuses was Eddie's bench in Crestlawn Cemetary in Atlanta.  The riders had to write down what is engraved on the top of the bench.  So imagine our surprise when a rider called to report that a rally flag had been left at the bench. Since no photo was required, the flag wasn't needed.  Hmmmm....  Mr. Winterer - Butt Lite and Iron Butt Rally veteran was able to retrieve his flag and with that always present smile on his face, continued his ride.

Next up, just a few miles away is The Surrender of Atlanta historical marker at one of the busiest intersections in the city -  Northside Drive and Marietta Street.  It is a big marker and sits inches from the curb facing Marietta Street.  Our rider couldn't find it.  He was at the intersection.  The marker was in it's usual position.  After a lengthy discussion to ensure he was where he was supposed to be, I told him to look for the M Street apartment building which is directly behind the marker.  Oh....

It soon became apparent to Rally Staff that we had some reading comprehension issues.  Actually, it was worse than that.  Technology is used heavily to route the riders to the correct location but many weren't reading the rally books that explained what it was they were looking for.  This continued throughout the rally by newbies and veterans alike.

When we got the call from Ken Meese that he had misplaced his rally book we were stunned.  Ken is one of the best riders in the country and not known to make this type of error.  But I guess it just goes to show that it can happen to anyone.  He managed to still finish leg one in 5th place.  That is an achievement and I, for one, was impressed.

Try traveling 3,000+ miles in a mini-van with four other people (or three, depending on the day) and trust me,  you will be starved for entertainment.  So, whenever the phone rang we would all hold our breath.  First we wanted to make sure the rider calling was safe.  Once that was determined, then we could hardly wait for the entertainment value of the call.

Marvel, AR gave us some amusement.  And then there was Annie the Railroad Dog.

Connie Gabrick HATES dog graves.  It all started with Floyd, The Town Dog in the Iron Butt 5000 and continued on BL6IX with Annie, The Railroad Dog.  Too bad Connie didn't try for Sideways' grave on the Georgia Tech campus.  She might have found it just as elusive.  Unlike Floyd, she was able to eventually find Annie, but she wasn't happy about it.

Connie also gave us a good laugh after her GPS took her up a goat path in Rocky Mountain National Park up to Milner Pass.  Once there she asked David Smith, "How did all these Harley's get up here?"  Important tip - the GPS does not know all.  Listen to the voice in your head.

Speaking of dogs - leg 2 was built around twelve bonuses that related to Lewis & Clark's New Foundland dog, Seaman.  Seaman was the only animal to survive the trip.  I had never heard of Seaman before this rally but now I am fascinated with the story of this dog.  The comparisons between a dog who explored North America in the early 1800's from coast to coast and today's long distance riders is something I plan on studying further.

Of course, with so many bonuses related to Seaman, you would have thought it would be clearer to the riders that they were looking for a DOG.  But no.  One rider went all the way to Seaside, OR in search of a Seaman statue only to get there and still wasn't completely sure of what he was looking for.  After several calls to the rally van, he finally realized Seaman was right in front of him the whole time.

There are so many stories to tell about this rally - there is no way to write them all here.  And that is exactly what makes it so much fun.  I love the stories.  I never tire of hearing them.

Major congratulations to our winner Alex Schmitt - now a two-time winner of Butt Lite.  He overcame an accident and some damage to his bike (thankfully not to him) to finish over 1,500 points ahead of second place finisher Ken Meese.  Our very own "Top Gun", Josh Mountain, stealthily came in 3rd.  Watch this man - he is good.  Congrats to the rest of the top ten and everyone who finished.  You deserve to be extremely proud of your accomplishment.

More thanks than I can come up with to Bart Bakker, Rick Miller, John Pedrow & David E.B. Smith.  Well done.  And we didn't kill each other!!

I'd love for the riders of Butt Lite 6IX to share their stories here.  It is simple - write it in an email and send it to .  It will post automatically.

And for all of you who asked us if there would be a Butt Lite 7.  Here is the deal - Never ask a woman who has just given birth when she is going to have another baby.

And Eddie - my dear, sweet man.  We did it.  I love you forever.

Semi-Final Thoughts & Observations

Frankly, i didn't know exactly what to expect when i got voluntold to help Lisa with the Buttlite.  I've been part of the Buttlite since number III- the one at the Live Oak Resort.  Being cooped up in a van with 4 other people for long periods of time was not on my personal bucket list.
I suspected our four personalities would clash sometimes [they did], and we'd be as happy as clams [we were]; we'd eat well, have some pie and good laughs at our own misfortunes.  in the end, it all came together- riders were happy [as opposed to David's "and you will be sad" speech], everyone is safe and accounted for, and there is already chatter about a Buttlite IIIIIII. 
As for the riders- i expected a lot of them;I always do.  Riders are only competing against themselves and success is measured by the width of their smile, the grip of a handshake and not some hunk of crystal.  I tried to be witty and pithy sometimes; didn't work always but there is one rider who I must apologize to for my "three reasons" repartee.  I am sorry; it was meant to be witty and in retrospect it was stupid.  I never like "wrong answers" and this one was rather egregious.  I vow never to repeat that mistake.  So please accept my apology.
But my hat goes off to John Pedrow- i wish every rally I had a part in  had a John Pedrow on staff.  Tireless and efficient, without ever asking for a "thanks".   So "thanks John"- you made the whole experience smoother than you could have ever imagined.
To the rest of ya, thanks for the laughs and the new memories; I enjoyed nearly every minute of it.
Rick, former back seat Rallymaster.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

More Photo Fun

The Cool Kids Table

The Troublemakers Table

Rick trying to break in line.

Rick still trying to break in line.

I think Rex was glad it was over.

Photo Finish

It was great to see Strangers Ron & Carrie Hanson at the finish in Denver.  Carrie acted as our "unofficial" photographer.  As usual, I forgot something - like getting a group photo of the top 10.  Oh well.

Please click on the link to view the whole album:

Friday, August 17, 2012

ButtLite6IX route sheets and data files

For those who want to rally at home, the route sheets and data files for
Butt Lite 6IX can be found at

David E.B. Smith

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Butt Lite 6IX Results!

RANK Rider # Points Miles

1 Schmitt, Alex 21 26639 6785
2 Meese, Ken 48 25103 6666
3 Mountain, Josh 63 24305 7108
4 McCaa, Steve 7 24135 6156
5 Coons, John 66 24019 6511
6 Cowen, Tonie 3 23959 6516
7 Bray, Eric 2 23925 6242
8 Frick, John 30 23610 5580
9 Phillips, Jim & Donna 53 & 54 23544 6891
10 Thornton, Scott 12 23378 5901
11 Abbott, Jim 52 22506 6121
12 Heitkamp, Mike 51 22407 5817
13 Gebben, Nels 25 21831 5856
14 Wilson, Jeff 15 21522 5857
15 Reid, Rich 28 21410 5768
16 Walters, Brian 49 21212 6100
17 Smart, Kevin 10 20949 5309
18 LeGalley, Rex 35 20899 5288
19 Stamps, John 57 20854 5081
20 Memmen-Krueger, Gerhard 23 20846 4944
21 Roth, Daniel 29 20241 5946
22 Miller, Jeff 41 19124 5195
23 Winterer, Jim 24 19056 5515
24 Tubb, John 13 18891 5910
25 Lawson, Mike 64 18728 5161
26 Lawson, Paul 65 18728 5114
27 Gabrick, Connie 27 18084 4991
28 Bennett, Steve 37 18058 5185
29 Pawlowski, Tim 18 18025 7692
30 Dixit, Sanjay 14 17014 4247
31 Southern, Russell 36 16787 5880
32 Bourdeaux, Dave 1 16655 4510
33 Meeker, Larry 45 16565 4853
34 Parker, Jeff 46 16452 4557
35 Scudella, Bruce 31 16205 4225
36 Lenentine, Gregg 59 16054 5013
37 Scudella, Adrian 9 15677 4337
38 Reitsma, Arthur 8 15446 7007
39 Riley, Mike 60 15426 4872
40 Hogan, Peter 55 15404 4313
41 Legnosky, Dave 20 15180 4342
42 Bourdeaux, Don 26 14786 4510
43 Atkins, Rusty 67 14619 5156
44 Ward, Neil 33 14129 8092
45 Behm, Peter 16 13734 -147144
46 Jones, Scott 47 13733 4921
47 Doughty, George 19 11899 3726
48 Stadtler, Don 11 11425 3983
49 Tessendorf, Doug 43 9427 4744
50 McPhee, Ian 56 8562 5138
51 Sloan, Nahum 42 8561 5494
52 Hatcher, Allen 5 5322 3749
DNF Dickson, Derek 4

DNF McDermott, Jon 40

DNF Byrd, Jerome 17

DNF Kerkhof, Michiel 6

DNF Hundley, Larry 34

DNS Gordon, David 22

DNS Jackman, Mike 32

DNS Crane, Mark 38

DNS Hart, Rodney 39

DNS Mays, Joe 44

DNS Brooks, Craig 50

DNS Hudson, Tony 58

DNS Jaime, Rob 61

Quote of the Day

It's always much bigger when you rotate it sideways.-  Jim Owen.

Russell Southern Gothic

David E.B. Smith

Leg 1 BL6IX Bonus Listing

If this works, here is the leg 1 bonus listing. If it doesn't work,
y'all will have to wait until tonight.

David E.B. Smith

Nahum Sloan is the first finisher of Butt Lite 6IX

more results to follow

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Leg 1: Lubec, Maine, Peter Behm

The Light at the End of the Tunnel May be a Motorcycle Coming at you Head-On

In about 12 hours the checkpoint window will open for the finish of Butt
Lite 6IX, and 12 hours after that the beautiful, heavy, fragile trophies
will be in the hands of the 10 top long-distance riders of 2012, who
will be trying to figure out (a) how the hell to get this thing home in
one piece and (b) what the hell have I got myself into in next year's
Iron Butt Rally?

In the meantime, the riders have a hard 12 hours ahead. For some, it
will be the hardest 12 hours of their riding careers. The big finish
that nobody believes can be done is a Butt Lite tradition, going all the
way back to 1999 when Eric Jewell rode past Minneapolis to Fargo and
back to win Butt Lite I. We know there are potential monster finishing
rides out there in this rally. We know at least one rider has been to
both coasts of the U.S. We've been informed of riders roaming the
Canadian north woods, the mountains of New Mexico, and the urban
wastelands of Detroit.

Anyway, leg 2 is *much* easier than leg 1 - the riders only had 138
bonuses to choose from on this leg, down from the 140 of leg 1. And some
of the bonuses on this leg are really easy, such as:

4) Anywhere, CN 24 hours CANA 5 points

Get a gas receipt from Canada. Must be imprinted with the city and

Canada is the large country mostly to the north of the United States.
GPS: 53.51975, -113.60843

Can't miss it.

Rally HQ is established in Denver

The Cristal is on ice and the caviar and oysters are on their way.

From behind the bar at the Flying Dutchmen MC checkpoint

David E.B. Smith

Wildlife Report from Montana

Rider HD called the Staff Van to let us know he ran over the tail of a raccoon in Montana. We will update with further details and live video as it becomes available.
David E.B. Smith

Road Wisdom

I always forget how much of Colorado happens before Colorado starts. - the philosophy of John Pedrow somewhere on I-76 heading west in Colorado

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More Road Wisdom

It's all about the hypoteneuse. - the philosophy of John Pedrow.

Sent from Yahoo! Mail on Android

Road Wisdom

For things to go smoothly, we need David's Big Blue Sausage to go in first. The Philosophy of John Pedrow

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Return to Nebraska

Posted by Lisa:

Traveling in a mini-van from Blairsville, Atlanta, St. Paul, Lakeville, New Ulm, The Cities - again, Marshall, now Grand Island and tomorrow, finally, to Denver with 3 - sometimes 4, men - none of whom I'm intimate with, has been an interesting adventure, to say the least.

View from the way back
We have laughed, bickered, pontificated, slept, ate, drank and ignored each other for a week now.

Yes.  A week.  How has it gone by so quickly?  It seems like a few days ago I was picking Rick Miller up in a bar at the Marriott Northwest next door to my office and heading up I-75 to Blairsville.

Now I sit in a Motel 6 in my first private room in several nights pondering all the events of the last seven days and contemplating the next 48 hours.  In that short span of time all of this will be over.

I don't know if that will make me happy or sad.

Putting on a cross country, multi-day, long distance motorcycle rally is not for the faint of heart.  A lot of things can go wrong - and they do.  So you hope that first, everyone returns to the finish safely and if they can't make the finish they return home safely.  Then you hope that all the work of scouting bonuses, documenting them, proofreading the rally books and calling certain places ahead of time to confirm they are still where you think they are and open when they say they are will pay off.  Logistics of hotels, food, volunteers must all come together.  And through it all, I can only hope beyond hope that the riders are happy that they have entrusted us with their adventure.

I've had a few moments of sheer panic, nervousness and elation.  I've gotten a little cranky and impatient.  And I have asked myself a hundred times, "Why did you do this?"

And then yesterday, the rally van raced to Minneapolis to Bob's Java Hut so we could be there to see the riders get their Official Butt Lite 6IX Coffee Mug signed by Adam Wolkoff.  Scoring had taken much longer than we had thought and we were all a little frustrated. We made it to Bob's with about 15 minutes left for the bonus window.  And there sat Adam, at a table out front looking all judge-like in a nice shirt, tie and slacks.

I'm sure the majority of the riders had no idea who this man was.  We call them Super Secret Celebrities.  Mostly because Eddie coined the phrase and loved surprising the riders with people or animals - dead or alive - that in his mind should be celebrated.

Adam and Eddie started Butt Lite together.  They rode in the rally vehicle together.  They planned routes and figured out all kinds of diabolical ways to torment riders.

They were a team.  And a very good one.  Good cop, bad cop.  And while everyone assumed that the quieter, affable attorney was the bad cop while the gregarious, larger-than-life joke-ster was the good cop, they would be wrong.

They played their roles perfectly and always had each others back.  They made Butt Lite something that people couldn't wait to ride in.

As I sat with Adam for a while yesterday afternoon, I was barely able to keep my emotions in check.

This was supposed to be his and Eddie's rally.

But things change.  People leave us unexpectedly.  There are children to raise, jobs to tend to.  And others step up to take the reins.

It is life.

I suppose we could have left Butt Lite in the past.  But as I sat at Bob's with the co-founder of the event and felt Eddie's absence stronger than ever on a street and in a coffee house that he knew intimately - I knew it was ok.

Ok to take this event to the next chapter.  Ok to introduce new people and new processes.

Finally, it was time to go.  We had work to do and many miles to travel.  As I waved good bye to Adam, I struggled to hold back the tears.

This isn't the same Butt Lite.  There is no way it could be.  All I want is the riders to think it was worth it.  To have fun.  To see things they would not have seen otherwise.  To laugh at the ridiculous situations they will find themselves in.  And to know they are doing something very few people ever get to do.

I want them to celebrate what Eddie and Adam started and what Bart, Rick, David and I have worked so hard to continue.

Safe travels to you all.  See you in Denver.


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Rest Bonus Blues

now  it's rest bonus receipts. early on, let's call him Rider HD, called in shortly after 3 am to ask what are his options for a rest bonus receipt that said it was 2:52 when it was really 3:01!
honest, Rider HD seemed quite upset about this.  "what should I do about this; should I get the clerk to initial the correct time?
really?  didnt we cover this ad naseum i thought

oh it's gonna be a long night

"what do you think you should do?
"get a receipt from someplace else with the correct time?
"or just wait another 5 minutes" I thought to myself.

fast forward about 90 minutes
"hi, this is rider ##, and I'm in Podunk, MI [his words] on my way to  Detroit.  my starting rest bonus receipt was at (insert some specific time and date here.  hey it was 5 am don't judge).  my ending receipt was at (insert another time and date) and the credit card transaction was approved at (a different time) and I'm concerned about using a motel receipt for the rest bonus since the IBR discourages motel use. 
(for the record, the IBR does not discourage motel use. I think the rider was confusing the briefing at the IBR where there is a discussion on most motel receipts are crap).  any way, I asked if he had two receipts from the same town at least the length of the rest bonus and he replied yes. 
 you're good then     
i went to the hotel lobby looking for coffee- i was already awake anyway

Rick back seat rally master

Quote of the day

Each person seems to get confused in their own special way. - the wisdom of John Pedrow.

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Staff van collecting bonuses

From previous Butt Lites.
David E.B. Smith

Bet the riders wish we had a bonus at Lange's Cafe

David E.B. Smith

Monday, August 13, 2012

Southwestern Minnesota

John Pedrow tells us this is normal around here. We're not convinced.

Analyzing Leg 1

The Staff Van is sitting in southwestern Minnesota, poised to make a
leap to the top of the standings on Tuesday. Through a haze of weak WiFi
and strong Fat Tire, we have some observations on Leg 1.

Peter Behm, Josh Mountain, Tim Pawlowski, and Russell Southern all rode
from Georgia to the northeast corner of the U.S. in Eastport, Maine, to
pick up a jar of mustard, before heading for New Ulm. For their massivec
effort, they are sitting in 2nd, 10th, 27th, and 41st, respectively,
but in this rally, all within striking distance.

Alex Schmidt, Derek Dickson, Steve McCaa, Ken Meese, Jim Abbott, and
John Coons rode back and forth across the south, from Virginia to
Arkansas, to pick up a bevy of smaller bonuses that added up to similar
scores as the big rides to Maine were worth.

Dickson sits third by 182 points but finished leg 1 hours ahead of the
other riders and is well-rested, ready to ride a big leg.

Meese would be leading the rally but took a big hit when Touchdown Jesus
at Notre Dame made his route sheet disappear, resulting in a 500 point
penalty for losing paperwork plus several disallowed bonuses for which
he had to try to record the answers from memory. We're wondering if Ken
is a USC alum - that's the only explanation for such Golden Dome wrath.

Coons - ah, John, John, John. The single biggest bonus of the rally was
1975 points for getting your rally mug signed by Butt Lite co-founder
and rallymaster-emeritus Adam Wolkoff at Bob's Java Hut in Minneapolis,
perennial TeamStrange bonus location. Every rider made it from New Ulm
to Bob's except one. Coons pulled up 91 seconds late for the bonus. To
really rub it in, when he was told he was late, he rode off, skipping
the easy 125 point all-day bonus for a purchase and receipt from Bob's
that we put in for those riders who might have lost or dropped their
rally mugs (or for any other rider who bothered to read the entire rally
book). The loss of 2100 points will hurt, but with the small point
spread from leg 1, John is not out of the running.

And with the phone calls we're getting tonight about mechanical
problems, maybe nobody is out of the running.

FYI, for those looking for a vacation destination, our Butt Lite riders
would probably rank East Chicago, Indiana, and the south side of Chicago
very low on the motorcycle-friendliness scale.

More tomorrow.

Call-in bonus

Rider # 58, Ian McPhee from Australia, just made his call-in bonus. Unfortunately, we don't have a call-in bonus on this rally. More to follow.
David E.B. Smith

Preliminary rider scores for leg 1

# Rider Points
21 Schmitt, Alex 10794
16 Behm, Peter 10693
4 Dickson, Derek 10612
7 McCaa, Steve 10581
48 Meese, Ken 10372
52 Abbott, Jim 10352
66 Coons, John 10296
29 Roth, Daniel 10260
15 Wilson, Jeff 10198
63 Mountain, Josh 9928
30 Frick, John 9913
3 Cowen, Tonie 9908
53 & 54 Phillips, Jim & Donna 9746
23 Memmen-Krueger, Gerhard 9720
2 Bray, Eric 9520
65 Lawson, Paul 9487
64 Lawson, Mike 9487
57 Stamps, John 9252
28 Reid, Rich 9247
25 Gebben, Nels 9188
12 Thornton, Scott 9014
27 Gabrick, Connie 8984
49 Walters, Brian 8639
51 Heitkamp, Mike 8616
1 Bourdeaux, Dave 8607
24 Winterer, Jim 8449
18 Pawlowski, Tim 8352
67 Atkins, Rusty 8326
35 LeGalley, Rex 8231
31 Scudella, Bruce 8217
9 Scudella, Adrian 8194
13 Tubb, John 8060
14 Dixit, Sanjay 8021
10 Smart, Kevin 8020
47 Jones, Scott 7960
45 Meeker, Larry 7514
59 Lenentine, Gregg 7384
60 Riley, Mike 7279
8 Reitsma, Arthur 7237
41 Miller, Jeff 7214
36 Southern, Russell 7157
26 Bourdeaux, Don 7104
46 Parker, Jeff 6906
11 Stadtler, Don 6665
37 Bennett, Steve 6600
20 Legnosky, Dave 6497
56 McPhee, Ian 6386
40 McDermott, Jon 6173
33 Ward, Neil 6099
55 Hogan, Peter 5842
17 Byrd, Jerome 4910
19 Doughty, George 4852
42 Sloan, Nahum 4626
43 Tessendorf, Doug 3223
666 Staff van incomplete
62 Jewell, Eric DNS
61 Jaime, Rob DNS
58 Hudson, Tony DNS
50 Brooks, Craig DNS
44 Mays, Joe DNS
39 Hart, Rodney DNS
38 Crane, Mark DNS
34 Hundley, Larry 0
32 Jackman, Mike DNS
22 Gordon, David DNS
6 Kerkhof, Michiel 0
5 Hatcher, Allen 0

David E.B. Smith

The Flying Dutchmen

The Flying Dutchmen Motorcycle Club in New Ulm, Minnesota was established in 1947.  Their headquarters is about 6 miles outside of town, about a 1/4 mile down a gravel road in the lovely farm country of southern Minnesota.

A long time member, Howie Steuber, has ridden in every Butt Lite except this one.  So, he and the members of FDMC have been kind enough to host the checkpoint of Butt Lite 6IX.

This location is the perfect place for a checkpoint.  At least the perfect place for a TeamStrange event. 

An old, converted barn with a bar downstairs and a large party area upstairs.  By 4:00am CDT this morning we have riders lining the bar but they aren't interested in drinking.  They are busy completing their paperwork. 

Others are sound asleep up in the loft of barn.  Occasionally, one or two will wander down the stairs with that dazed look of people who have ridden many miles over the last few days and aren't quite sure how they wound up in a historic barn in the middle of corn fields in rural Minnesota.

Scoring has been started.  The next few hours should be very interesting.  We'll let you know how it turns out.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Magic numbers

For those into numerology and other such things:

- High mileage starting bike: Alex Schmidt, 319533.

- Low mileage starting bike: Gerhard Memmen-Krueger, 864.

16 bikes starting with over 100,000 miles.
David E.B. Smith

Update: Sunday, August 12

While the riders are out riding around, we're somewhat limited in what
we write about bonuses. We don't want to hand out competitive
intelligence about where other riders might be, and we don't want to
repeat the Dollywood incident of years ago when rally followers showed
up at a bonus, attracted the attention of security, and a couple of
riders' rally flags got held hostage.

But here's what we can tell you:

- 58 riders started Friday morning.

- Thursday night they got a rally pack listing 140 bonuses on leg 1. The
silence in the room told all.

- Of the 140 bonuses, 135 are individual locations and 5 are combo
bonuses - bonuses for getting combinations of other bonuses. We had to
explain to several riders why the combo bonuses didn't have their own
latitude and longitude in the GPS files. The geographically-challenged
may be very sad over the next several days.

- If you want to guess where the riders are going, draw a line
encircling southwest Louisiana to southeast Georgia to northeast Maine
to northeast South Dakota and back to Louisiana. Not kidding.

- The two biggest bonuses on this leg were time limited bonuses that
have happened:

- Friday there was a 1000 point bonus for riding from Blairsville to
Decatur, GA, within a 2-hour window, visiting the museum at the original
Waffle House location, getting your official commemorative (and fragile)
rally mug signed by celebrity long-distance rider John Ryan, and
delivering said mug intact to the checkpoint.

- Saturday there was a 1404 point bonus for, within a 3 hour window,
getting your photo taken with the Park Superintendent of Fort Monroe
National Monument in Virginia. For those who don't know, the Park
Superintendent is Kirsten Talken-Spaulding, sixth-place finisher in the
2011 Iron Butt Rally and IBA #404. As an added thrill, one of the two
bridges leading to Fort Monroe was closed, funneling all the traffic
over the other bridge, the traffic over the bridge being augmented by
30,000 spectators going to Fort Monroe to watch the Hampton Cup Regatta
powerboat races and by a Mitt Romney campaign appearance announcing Paul
Ryan as his VP pick. For any intrepid riders who managed to get there,
Kirsten and Jennifer put out a wonderful spread of food and refreshments
and made the Superintendent's house a welcoming home away from home.
Thanks so much to Kirsten and Jennifer for helping us out!

From the intelligence we've gathered from private SPOT tracks and phone
calls to the Staff Van, riders are going north, south, east and west.
And sometimes all of the above. Reading comprehension is already an
issue; the Staff Van has had multiple calls from riders whose questions
were answered by (a) looking around where they were or (b) reading the
rally pack.

Riders are about 48 hours into their ride and some are learning that
multi-day rallies are very different from 24-hour rallies and from
certificate rides. Over the next 24 hours, before they get to the
checkpoint, that lesson will be reinforced.

David E.B. Smith

Saturday, August 11, 2012

The Marvel of Marvell

The small town of Marvell, AR, the home of the late Levon Helm, seems to be causing some riders a bit of frustration.

The bonus asks the rider to take a picture of the Welcome To Marvell sign that mentions Mr. Helm.  Some riders seem to be having a hard time locating said sign.  But it really is there.  You just have to get off your bike and use your eyesight to find it.

National Quilt Museum, Paducah, KY
The Superintendent of Fort Monroe National Monument,  VA welcomed about 14 riders this morning.  It is a lovely day for a regatta, weekend road construction and a visit from the Republican Presidential Candidate, all of which should add to the enjoyment of our participants.

Meanwhile the rally van continues to rack up points as we make our way north. 

One missing rally flag but hopefully its owner figured it out and perhaps was able to retrieve it.

More to come....

Friday, August 10, 2012

And They're Off

Posted by Rick

Butt Lite 6IX Start

Tech inspection fun

Why is it the issues with tech inspection get more complicated the
closer we get to the start of the rally?

1/3 of the riders went through tech on Wednesday with only one issue:
one rider didn't have the insurance coverage required for the rally but
by 6 pm had obtained a new declarations page showing the required limits.

On Thursday, it seemed like every other rider had issues. One rider had
no VIN to be found on his motorcycle. Three riders had insurance
paperwork issues, and of course, they were foreign riders, increasing
the level of complexity. (One rider had wisely obtained his insurance
through IBA insurance maven Ed Otto, a phone call was made, and the
proper paperwork was emailed to rally staff even before the inspection
of the bike was finished). One of the foreigners also had a homemade
main tank and a homemade aux tank, with claimed volumes recorded in
liters. After measuring the aux tank with a U.S. tape measure, and after
converting between cubic inches and liters and gallons several times, it
was determined that the aux tank was twice as big as the rider thought
it was. After many more measurements and calculations and conversions,
rally staff determined the capacity of the system to be 11.4 gallons,
just barely legal.

But the winner at tech inspection was the rider, a rally veteran, who
showed up 3 hours before the close of registration without any paperwork
showing the limits on his motorcycle policy, without proof of active
medical evacuation coverage, and with a fuel system holding a nominal 12
gallons of fuel. The rider explained that the 5 gallon fuel cell had
been modified to hold less than 4.5 gallons, and that the modification
had been approved by Tom Austin. As Team Strange staff often points out,
this is Butt Lite, not the Minnesota 1000, not the 10n10, and not the
Iron Butt Rally. The fuel cell was drained, the modifications were
inspected and determined to be sufficiently permanent, and the capacity
of the fuel cell was measured with assistance and input from rally
volunteer and professional measurer Greg Roberts. It came out to 4.483
gallons, giving a total capacity of 11.4483 gallons, the closest to the
limit we can recall in any Butt Lite.

Eventually all the riders who showed up were able to complete tech. When
they saw the contents of their rally packs three hours later, some
probably wished they had failed.

David E.B. Smith

The Waffle House Museum

 134) Decatur,  GA  Friday 10:30am to 12:30pm  WAFM  1000 points

The Waffle House Museum is the site of the original Waffle House.  they're opening up specially for you.

Get your official Butt Lite 6IX coffee mug signed by the Super Secret Celebrity at the museum.  To collect this bonus, you must bring your Official Butt Lite 6IX rally mug to the scoring table intact and bearing the Super Secret Celebrity signature.
No.  None of these men are a celebrity.

But the man signing the mug, perhaps.

A slight misunderstanding with the museum curator caused about 34 riders to have to stand in the street to get their mug signed.  But our crack volunteer, Mr. Weaver, managed to get things underway.

And, thankfully, no mugs appeared to get broken during the 2 hour window.

From here many were headed to Macon to find some other famous riders.

Forest Rat going to warn her friends

The brains behind the organization doing the odo check

"No, really.  It's only this big."

Butt Lite 6IX Starters

Yeah, Jim.  That's gonna hold up over the next 6 days.

Backseat Rallymaster - Day 1 interim report

ah riders, you have to love them.  breaking Rule 5 and suffering the consequences.

the rally van has a public spot tracker, unlike the riders

lurleen wil be making some posts here shortly.  and all i can say is, put the Copperhead Lodge into your plans for visiting northern georgia.

I Believe in Magic Coyotes

"Enjoy every sandwich"- Warren Zevon
Co-bastard of Beast In The East-
Mason Dixon 20-20 Rally
IBA 342
Rally Master David doing tech inspection on one of 2 Harleys.  Wes is napping.

Bart and the Wonder Boy

Our crack staff handling rider check in

Wednesday mid day

They found the bar immediately

Author Lynda Lahman doing a "book" signing

Rally 101 for those who wanted some tips

Rally Master Rick enthralling the crowd with his infinite wisdom

The moment of truth - where the hell is the checkpoint?

You mean we AREN'T going to Steven's Point, Wisconsin?