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.