Wednesday, December 21, 2011

2011 Iron Butt Rally Part 5

The Vulcan was comfy and performed flawlessly. I left Vega in the dark and made it to Albuquerque where I stopped for about an hour to figure out how I was going to finish this thing. I took my Zumo 550 GPS with me, but I didn’t have a power source for it so I only had enough juice for a few hours. I planned to turn it on only when I needed it. I planned to stick to the interstate. The biggest thing I had to do was hit the four corners to get CO and UT. I got a couple hours west of Albuquerque and rested for a few hours before pulling off I40 to head north to the four corners. It was daylight at this point and the ride to the corners was about as windy as it gets. I made a mistake as I approached the four corners. According to the rules, I only needed to take a picture of the four corners monument to get CO, UT, AZ, and NM. I wasn’t thinking straight and thought I needed to get receipts in each state so I did an extra 100 miles scrambling around the area to get receipts. I passed the monument twice and never stopped. Whatever.

Once I finished in this area I made my way through Arizona to get to that southern tip of Nevada to get a receipt. It was about 10:00 at night on day 10 when I got to Nevada. As soon as I crossed into Nevada it was party party party. Casinos and people all over the place. I pulled up to a gas station and got the strangest looks from people. I guess I can’t blame them for staring. I looked like I got run over by an oil tanker. I had dirt and grease all over my Aerostich and my face was looking pretty grimey too. From there it was back on I40 and the ride west to Ontario. Around 1:00 am and 100 miles east of Ontario I started to feel the need to rest so I pulled into the Iron Butt Motel for a couple hours. It was a popular spot because there were two other IBR riders there already and when I woke up at 3:00 there were two more bikes. The rest of the ride was simple. I took it easy because I knew I had plenty of time and pulled into the hotel around 5:00 am. Voni Glaves was the first to congratulate me and gave me a hug. A few others were standing around. I parked, got into my room and slept for a few hours before scoring.

I was happy with the ride, but really bummed about everything falling apart on me in Vega. The penalty for changing bikes in the rally is half your points. I knew I wasn’t going to be competitive, but at least I was allowed to be a finisher. I finished in 72nd place out of 76 finishers and rode 10,044 miles. If I had been able to complete my route on my own bike, I would have placed 11th. My friend Dan Roth finished 11th and I would have bumped him down to 12th had I finished on my own bike. I think I did alright. In hindsight, I would have hit it harder on leg one. That’s about the only thing I would have done differently. I have so many people to thank for helping with this adventure. I have thanked them all individually so will not list them here, but if you are reading this…Thank you all for the help and support during this adventure. I couldn’t have done it without you.

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