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.



  1. I cannot put into words how deep that was. I am sure you are doing him proud and he would approve of what you guys have put together. Bring 'em home.....

  2. From my experience Lisa you will be happy and sad.

    You'll give in to the logic, reasoning, and self doubt for justifiable reason and then just as quickly whimsically latch back on to the passing locomotive with vigor.

    "It is life."