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

  1. #16
    Rally Rat MarkF's Avatar
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    Mar 2003

    Marsha Hall

    If someone gets a pic of Connecticut's own Marsha Hall please post it. I wonder if she riding that R1100S without a fuel cell.


  2. #17
    Ha ha ha - that was pretty funny! A few of these riders think they have it all figured out.

    Official start time 10:00 am.

    On the dot of 9:00 am they start lining up, two columns. About 40 bikes are ready to go this way, the others are still sitting off to the sides, riders are putting on sunscreen, strapping gear, visiting with the crowd, etc.

    9:40 am final rider meeting. It is announced that the start is at the other end - they're all pointing the wrong way! Chaos ensues in the parking lot.

    First checkpoint is Primm, but they got the packet of extra point locations, and this leg includes Orofino and Oregon.

    I'll post pictures later tonight.

  3. #18
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Marin By God County, California
    From Bob Higdon:

    Missoula, Montana
    August 10, 2003
    Day -1

    Who's Who

    The final rider count is 117 bikes. One team is two-up. A
    breakdown and a family emergency today will keep John Ferber and Gary
    Johnson, both Iron Butt veterans, out of this year's running. They aren't
    the only experienced hot shoes missing from the 2003 lineup. Gary Eagan,
    the winner in 1995, is at home. The 1997 champion, Rick Morrison, after
    having set almost every motorcycle endurance record imaginable, claims to
    be in retirement. George Barnes is out this year. He won in 1999, setting
    an IBR record of about two billion miles in the process. Only Bob Hall,
    the top dog two years ago, is here, trying for a second IBR crown. The
    bookmakers in Las Vegas are not looking kindly upon his chances. Since
    Mike Kneebone raised the Iron Butt Rally from the ashes in 1991, no rider
    has ever won twice. Shane Smith, with three top ten finishes in three
    tries (including a second overall in 2001), couldn't make the start, nor
    could the profoundly cherubic Morris Kreumcke. Other perennial hot shoes
    absent this year are Chuck Pickett, Asa Hutchinson, Bill Kramer, Bob Ray,
    and Germany's Martin Hildebrand. These are all colorful people; their
    absence makes the rally seem just a little paler this year.
    The veterans who have showed up are tanned, rested, and ready to
    roll. They are a Who's Who of the long-distance motorcycle world with
    hundreds of huge rides in their collective wake: Five-time finisher Harold
    Brooks; Joe Mandeville, a member of the exclusive 100,000-mile-year club;
    Paul Taylor; Eric Jewell; Eddie James; Tom Loegering; prosecutor Manny
    Sameiro; ISDE qualifier Dick Fish; Rallye Tunisia finisher Steve Eversfield
    (via Great Britain); Dennis Kesseler; and Tom Loftus. You'll probably be
    seeing their names toward the top of the rankings for the remainder of the
    And then there's Peter Hoogeveen, who has more podium finishes on
    this event than anyone else. What he lacks is a win. His string of
    second-place finishes in rallies all over North America is the stuff of
    legend. Still, no one in his right mind would bet against this tireless
    There are 67 rookies in the pack. Most of them have no chance for
    distinction. But some will do amazingly well and cause no trouble. Other
    riders won't do well at all but will cause metric tons of trouble. Take,
    for example, Leonard Aron, an attorney who looks as if he might have been a
    defendant in the Chicago Seven trial. He isn't a rookie, but he often acts
    like one. He introduced himself to one of the check-in workers yesterday
    with this: "I'm Leonard. It isn't easy being Leonard. But I make it look
    easy because I'm so good at it." His singular claim to IBR fame was that
    in 2001, after a bunch of miserable DNFs, he shoved a '46 Indian completely
    around the country. It was the oldest bike ever to complete the
    IBR. After that, Leonard has nothing to prove in endurance riding forever.
    At the drivers' meeting in the afternoon, rules and procedures
    were reviewed a final time. For example, it is critical that you must call
    the rallymaster if you are going to be more than two hours late to a
    checkpoint. A hand was raised: Suppose I am allowed only one phone
    call? You get the idea.
    Mark Kiecker, who came in 10th two years ago, wondered whether he
    would be considered a finisher if his bike broke down in Texas and he
    trailered it to the next checkpoint. Kiecker is known to the IBR
    administration as a relentless provocateur, a younger, slimmer version of
    Eddie James. Mike Kneebone's usually calm demeanor went stratospheric in a
    matter of milliseconds. He threatened to have the next person who asked
    such a question doused with acid and set afire. The meeting moved along
    more briskly after that.
    At the opening banquet, Lisa Landry, a finisher on the 2001 IBR
    and this year's rallymaster, took over the meeting to pass out name tags
    and rally identification towels to the riders. Bob Hall received towel #1
    in recognition of his status as defending champion. In 2001 when I was the
    holder of towel #1, they told me the number represented my percentage
    chance of reaching the first checkpoint in something other than an
    ambulance. I thought it represented the rider's anticipated finishing
    position. When Hoogeveen was handed towel #116, he sighed, "Of
    course. Second to last. I can't even be last."
    The riders and guests then filed out into the Holiday Inn's lobby
    atrium. A moment later Michael Kneebone appeared on a second-floor balcony
    decked out in a white robe and mitre, looking every bit the twin of Pope
    Silver Wing the First. He gave a brief blessing to his children, wished
    them a safe journey, and commanded them not to speed in school zones. The
    audience over, the crowd disappeared --- some to plot routes to the first
    checkpoint, some to hoist a glass in the bar, and some to scribble
    furiously by candlelight in a cold, dark garret.
    When I mentioned some of those missing in action above, I
    neglected two because their stories are significantly different. One, Dan
    Lowery, isn't here tonight because he is on his way back to Cody, Wyoming
    to pick up his bike. It is recuperating from a blown whozit or a fractured
    whatzit. We never use the word "race" in endurance rally circles, but at
    this moment Lowery is in a legitimate race to retrieve his bike, chase back
    up here to Missoula, obtain a timed receipt, and then head off to the first
    checkpoint in Nevada. He will be hours behind the field; he will have no
    chance to win the rally; he probably won't get a single bonus on the first
    leg; but he will be on the road and running. That's all that matters to
    him. Any one of these 117 riders can appreciate that.
    Another MIA is Airyn Darling. She has never run an Iron Butt, but
    she has worked on the last couple as a volunteer. Missoula isn't far from
    her home in Seattle, and she had confidently expected to be
    here. Unfortunately, conflicts with her work schedule at a wolf shelter
    kept her from being here. She sent a despondent e-mail to me a few weeks ago.
    I tried to console her. "You have to choose between the animals
    that you can help and the animals that no one can help." Tonight the
    animals that no one can help are but one restless night's sleep away from
    the ride of their lives.
    And with that I blow out my candle.

    Bob Higdon
    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

  4. #19
    Rally Rat colt03's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    South Windsor, CT

    Thanks for the post, I checked the IB website, Team Strange and the YB's but no one had the info you just posted.

    Next time we meet I'll buy the first !

    Craig Cleasby
    South Windsor, CT

  5. #20
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Marin By God County, California
    I'm cross posting it from the IBMWR list. I'll keep sending them over as I see them.

    I sent Rob an email and told him to send pictures. He's probably somewhere in Nevada right about now, Monday night.
    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

  6. #21
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Marin By God County, California
    Passed along:

    Salt Lake City, Utah
    August 11, 2003
    Day 0

    The Visitor

    Just before the banquet began last evening, the Typhoid Mary of
    motorcycling, Michael Charles Gasper, rode into the Holiday Inn parking
    lot. You may know him by one of his aliases: Speedracer, Gary Gonefar,
    Biff, Bob Ransbottom (an identity theft of a 1995 IBR finisher), The 2K
    Kid, Psycho Mikey, Brad Beckley, Ray Poisson (a combination of "Rey"
    [Spanish for "king"] and "Poisson" [French for "fish"], hence "Kingfish"),
    Chuck LaDeux, and most recently Charles Ladue. No matter what name he's
    using, this is one dude you don't want to meet.
    Gasper's history of lies and sociopathic behavior is so well known
    in the long-distance motorcycling community that it would actually be
    comical were it not for the occasional assault with a deadly weapon or
    child molestation conviction. In recent years, however, because of his
    multiple threats against other riders he has been turned away from every
    endurance rally of any consequence in North America and permanently banned
    from participation on the Long Distance Riders e-mail list. Unhappily, and
    ironically, for Psycho Mikey, riding a bike for endless miles under
    difficult conditions is one thing that he can actually do with some
    skill. Now the boys and girls won't play with him anymore.
    The drums had banged out the news of Gasper's arrival before he
    was even off his bike. The police were called because at least three
    riders at the dinner have keep-away orders against him. He muttered a few
    epithets and rode off but, like the Energizer Bunny, he'll keep coming
    back. If he shows up at any of the rally's checkpoints, however, he'll
    find the state police waiting for him.
    It took Mike Kneebone a few minutes to arrange for security guards
    to patrol the parking lot last night, an unexpected expense that the riders
    Gasper so desperately wants to associate with will ultimately bear through
    their entry fees. But soon the drama subsided, rallymaster Lisa Landry
    strode into the banquet room wearing the executioner's robe that Mike
    Kneebone had first used in 2001, and the riders quickly resumed their
    positions of whipped-dog submissiveness.

    Bill Shaw's Surprise

    Landry was wearing the same ominous shroud when she appeared in
    the parking lot at 9:40 this morning. Eager motorcyclists immediately
    clotted around her like white blood cells attacking an infection. They had
    been told at the riders' meeting the day before that they would be exiting
    through the south end of the lot. The rallymaster slowly lifted her nose
    skyward, took in the scent of smoke from forest fires to the west of the
    city, and concluded upon further reflection that it would be better for
    riders to use the north exit.
    I glanced at rookie Bill Shaw. He has been writing a series of
    articles for "Motorcycle Consumer News" about preparing both a motorcycle
    and one's soul for the IBR. A look of uncomprehending pain was creasing
    his face. His bike was positioned 6" from the sawhorse at the south
    entrance. One minute earlier he would have been the first bike out of the
    lot; now the entire field would be lined up ahead of him. I smiled cruelly
    and thought, "Welcome to the Butt, Bill. Let the mind games begin."
    Shaw's loss was Paul and Voni Glaves' gain. In a motorcycle
    popularity contest these two would receive about 112% of the vote. Voni
    won a BMW Motorcycle Owners of America club mileage contest a few years ago
    with 73,000 miles in six months. Paul is a former president of the same
    club. Their bikes were parked at the north end of the lot. As a reward
    for their quiet willingness to be last out of the gate, they became the first.
    Rick Rohlf's BMW was third in line. Five minutes before the 10:00
    a.m. start, I walked over to him. "You know what they do with jets that
    stall on the carrier's flight deck?" I asked.
    "They throw them over the side," he answered correctly.
    As the Glaves began to roll toward the exit moments later, Rohlf
    punched his starter button. Nothing happened. We threw him over the
    side. Twenty minutes later all but one of the machines had disappeared
    into the hazy smoke that still swirled through the city.

    The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse

    The plan in 1997 was for Mike Kneebone and me to rent a Lincoln
    and follow the rally around the country, checkpoint to checkpoint, from
    Chicago back to Chicago. We weren't out of the city limits on the first
    leg of the event before we realized we had made a monumental mistake. A
    big road trip on a bike is an adventure; a big road trip in a car is
    idiocy. I vowed never to be associated with such foolishness again.
    It is 3:55 p.m. MDT as I type these words. Somewhere in
    northeastern Idaho I sit in a van, a Pontiac Montana --- the Spanish word
    for "moron" --- that sways rhythmically from side to side. In another
    304,000 oscillations I will be green enough to hang my head out the window
    and leave lunch on the highway that winds through this beautiful
    landscape. But there are no windows where I sit in the back of the
    Moron. That means we will have to stop. No one wants that. Bringing this
    unwieldy pig to a halt and discharging its passengers could take up to a week.
    Why a van? That's what I wonder. Sure, we have doubled the space
    of the old Lincoln, but we have also doubled the crew: Lisa (rallymaster)
    and Warren Harhay (rally cinematographer) are now with Mike and me. We
    have doubled the bladders that need draining, tripled the luggage, and
    quadrupled the angst. I was told a few days ago that a pool was taking
    bets on when my fellow travelers would either throw me out of the Moron or
    strap me onto the luggage rack on its roof.
    I don't want to think about that. Instead I try to remember who
    these horsemen were. Death, disease, famine, and Oprah? I can't do
    it. Whoever they were, we have channeled them in a Pontiac Moron. I'm
    seeing shades of green. Just 22,000 more oscillations and . . . well, I
    don't want to think about that either.

    Casualty Report

    Two of the five bikes in the Hopeless Class --- motorcycles
    challenged by age, power, ugly paint, or a combination of the above ---
    have chalk outlines around them tonight.
    At 2:55 this afternoon we received a call that Ken Morton's '82
    Honda Silver Wing was having electrical problems north of Idaho
    Falls. Exactly 90 minutes later we passed him. The roadside temperature
    was over 100F. We would have stopped but we didn't want to let the cold
    air out of the Moron. Besides, the tow truck was there.
    At 4:39 we learned that Jim Winterer's '81 Yamaha 500cc single, a
    motor that completed the last IBR, had rolled to a stop at a farm access
    road near Riggins, Idaho. Diagnosis: Transmission failure. Prognosis: Toe
    tag. The owner of the property is a BMW MOA member. He knows MOA board
    member and Iron Butt vet Karol Patzer. Winterer knows Karol, and tonight
    he has a place to sleep.
    Within seven hours of the start two bikes bit the dust. Two
    hundred fifty-seven hours remain.

    Bob Higdon
    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

  7. #22
    Sorry to be so late posting the remainder from Monday. We couldn't dial out last night. I think the fires are limiting our communication services.

    As mentioned, at the riders' meeting they learned that the empty aisle in the right of the photo is actually where they should start lining up, not the upper left beyond the meeting group, where there is already some congestion from waiting bikes.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  8. #23
    Chye was at the end of the parking lot that was actually the starting point, so he was one of the first riders to get on the road. He honked at me as I was walking back to my office and I waved good luck. At least, I hope he knew that was my wish for him.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  9. #24
    Tough biker babes! I had the pleasure of meeting Ardys Kellerman and Phyllis Lang during the registration days, and when Phyllis mentioned a small crisis at work made her think she needed to return home, I offered to help however I could.

    I have learned that Ardys and Phyllis were the only solo women to ride the IBR in 1993 and Ardys is the third woman on record to finish. Ardys has finished four times and Phyllis has finished three. Voni Glaves is entered this year, her first attempt. She has supported Paul‘«÷s efforts in past years and even met up with him on the road in the past.

    Phyllis has parked her HD (pretty purple) in my garage - there is no way I would let her leave it in a motel lot for a week. I took her to the airport this morning. I think I've convinced her to try to be back by Wed, Aug 20. The Harley Davidson Ride Home will stop overnight here in Missoula - we are expecting 20,000 riders.

    Ardys brought her laundry over while we were putting away the bike and riding gear, and we left it to run while we went to dinner, so I know she is good to go for at least a few days. She left around 8:00 am this morning. She started out from home in Texas and rode her R1150RT to Maryland, where she housesat for a friend, then, if I've got it all straight, she rode to Pennsylvania to meet up with Phyllis. They rode to the start in Missoula. I won't mention where she is going now because it is a surprise for someone and I don't know if this forum is read by that person. Let's just say it's far from MT. From there she will head to the Maine checkpoint for the IBR. She'll be back in Missoula for the finish.

    We had a chatty dinner and traded some great stories. Although I've been riding 36 years I've never considered attempting a long distance event and it was interesting to hear from those who have done so, and more than once. I probably still won't try one, though. I can't think of anything I want to do for 11 days straight.

    We ran into Harold Brooks‘«÷ son at the restaurant. He said although he‘«÷s been hearing about and living with his father‘«÷s involvement since the late 1980s this is the first rally he‘«÷s actually come to see.

    We took a quick photo when we parked Phyllis' bike, so I am including that picture. The sun was low and there is a forest fire burning on the mountain across the river from my house, so it is all smoky and glary - sorry, this digital stuff is new to me. But, you can see everybody is happy!
    Attached Images Attached Images

  10. #25
    Loading the Bike
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    Aug 2003
    Tieton, WA

    Marsha Hall

    Marsha Hall talking shop with Tobie Stevens and Al Holtsberry the day before the start of the rally.
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    Last edited by 108449; 08-13-2003 at 04:15 AM.

  11. #26
    Loading the Bike
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    Aug 2003
    Tieton, WA

    Starting Line Up

    Marsha waiting to exit the gate
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  12. #27
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    Aug 2003
    Tieton, WA

    The Waiting Game

    The Waiting Continues: Marsha Hall and Russell Stephan
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  13. #28
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Marin By God County, California
    Just got off the phone with Rob. He's got a cell phone setup on his bike to go with all the other crap he's carrying, so I've been talking with him while he's riding down the road. Pretty intense.

    He came across the desert today through Nevada. Death Valley was one of the bonus legs, but Rob wound up taking a pass on it. He's got, in addition to the nuclear reactor and stuff, a thermometer that gives him the outside temp and the temp behind the fairing. He saw temps of 110 on the outside and 124 behind the fairing. With the forecasted high in Death Valley today of 116, it was just too hot to ride to.

    The bike was running poorly, but seems to be fine now. He's chalking it up to high temps, oxygenated fuel and altitude. He got 4.5 hours of sleep last night and headed out at 4am. Temps were 38F and he had his Gerbings on when he left. Quite a contrast from the temps he'd see later.

    One of the bonus legs involved using your GPS to find a geocache. Joe Denton was at a spot and had a specific cache for each rider. Rob pulled in, got his coordinates from Joe and then started searching the desert for his location and "prize". He was walking in circles in the desert, red headed Ritalin poster boy activity in full effect. He couldn't find the spot and, in his words, was "starting to get a little pissy." Then he realized he'd managed to pretty much park his bike on top of the spot he was looking for.

    He was, when I talked to him, about 27 miles outside the checkpoint in Primm, so he's almost done for today. He's going to call later and I'll drop a report when I know more.
    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

  14. #29
    On the Road moterbiker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    BOAF Caves
    Got a couple of calls from Paul Pelland who isn't riding a Ural this year, he also can call from the helmet, he said he was doing well and was having fun, he also added he wants to be very competitive this time. it will probably be the last time he can attempt it for quite a few years.
    Anyway he sounds great and isn't tired, I don't understand people that can go without sleep for that long

  15. #30
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Marin By God County, California
    OK. Here's the Rob Report. I got off the phone with him about 15 minutes ago and he's pretty amped up. I've got a bunch of stuff here, so this is going to be kind of long. I don't know if it breaks my trip report rule, but it's not my trip, so I suppose not.

    They left yesterday at 11am and started heading south. Rob headed south with a couple guys on GoldWing 1800s, running at pretty respectable speed, I'm assuming on 93 or whatever it is that runs south there out of Missoula. They rode together for a while until one of the Wing guys decided he'd had enough and just rode off into the distance.

    Short, but important strategic alliances seem to be the order of the day, at least at this point in the ride. Rob and a guy he sort of knows, rode together through some deer infested canyons last night. Later, he shared a room and part of today with a District Attorney from Joisey.

    He got hung up at a construction site today for a bit, but got a fairly lucky bit of local info and saved 40 miles.

    Rob: "Hey! How long are going to be here?" If it's been more than a couple minutes, Rob's probably already riding in little circles in the road, sometimes standing up and sometimes sitting down.

    Flag guy: "Twenty minutes! You riding to Tonopah with the rest of those guys?"

    Rob: "Yeah, sure am. How much longer?"

    Flag guy: "I make everyone wait twenty minutes."

    Rob starts doing little circles in the road again, while he fiddles with his tablet PC, calls Julie and sends an email to some of the folks in his company's Swedish office.

    Flag guy is start to get cheesed because now they're going to have to grade the berm Rob's making smooth before they can go home.

    "Hey, busy boy!"

    Rob flicks the tail on the KLT out slides up next to the guy while he hangs up the phone and sends the email. Sending the fax is going to have to wait a minute.

    "Yeah! How much longer?"

    "How do you feel about dirt?"

    "I'm cool with it. Why?"

    "Good. You can save 40 miles if you go back and take Powerline Road. We just graded it last week."

    "Cool! Let's ride bikes!" He leaves a perfect roost as he launches out and over the berm he's made. The flag guy smiles and starts kicking the berm flat.

    So anyway, Rob tells me that when the K11LT starts doing the big wobble in the dirt, in the really deep stuff, gassing it will not help. He's somewhat surprised he didn't crash out there.

    He's also hit a couple birds today. One of them hit the base of his windshield and split itself in half. Part of the bird went over the top of the shield, but the other one wound up inside on the back of his GPS units. It must look great with all the dust and stuff he picked up by riding 70 miles of dirt. Yikes.

    Coming out of a gas station somewhere in Nye County, NV. (Yes, it's true), Robs getting his go brain on again. He's got the face shield up, he's spooling up the K bike after a fresh set of control rods and he's eating M&Ms. He looks up and sees two giant signs that say Speed Limit 25. He rolls it off and instantly, his Valentine One lights up, full lock. So he pulls into a parking lot, parked on a pretty sharp slope to the left of the bike. He's sitting on the bike and the cop walks up.

    "Going a little fast, eh?"

    "Yeah, I was riding along, I've been out in the desert, I'm from Rhode Island and we don't have desert and then I looked up and there were these two giant signs and ya know, I'm kind of flipped out by seeing my name all over the place". He has to pause and take a big breath. At this point on the phone, Rob's telling me all the things he saw, Nye County Sherriff, Nye County Courthouse. You name it. The time is Nye.

    The cop asks Rob for his license.

    "Ya know, if I put the sidestand out, my bike's going to fall over. Do you mind if I just turn it around here?"


    Rob buzzes around in a little full lock circle and parks the bike, just a few feet from where he was and digs his license out. Cop sees his name is Nye, he's motorcycle endorsed and then sees the Chuck Clapham Hollister Volunteer Sticker on the back of his license.

    "You a fireman?"

    "Yep. I'm a volunteer!"

    The cop hands him back his license.

    "I'm going to give you my first and probably only Warning this month."

    "THANKS SO MUCH!" *under his breath* "How much longer?"

    The cop is now looking at the collection of antennae on the back of the bike. He's looking a little puzzled.

    "How'd you get this thing so dirty?"

    "I rode it down Powerline Road. The Flag Man told me it was a nice shortcut."

    The cop's eyes bug out a little and he suppresses the urge to let his mouth flop open.

    "You rode *this* down Power Line Road??!!"

    The organizers have also split the rally in two. They've circulated envelopes to all the participants with either a blue or red dot. The red folks are going to Lakeland, FL, in a traditional IBR. The blue folks get something different. Everyone is cheesed. They're going to explain more fully at 11PM PST tonight when they hand out the route sheets.

    Also, the location that is furthest NE in North America is supposedly on the route sheet as this years equivalent to the Alaska bonus they offered last time around.

    More when I hear.

    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

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