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2007 Iron Butt Rally, Day 7
Do You Know the Way to San Jose?
Apparently Rob Nye and Jim Frens don't, or at least they don't care.
Early today, I received a report of their whereabouts. Saskatoon,
Saskatchewan, is not on the way to San Jose; it's on the way to Homer,
Alaska. Tomorrow, we should learn who else thinks they can average
1,300 miles per day over less than optimum roads for 6 days.
Everything has to go perfectly to get to Homer and back in six days.
You can tolerate little or nothing in the way of bad weather, road
construction zones, traffic congestion, bike problems, and encounters
with animals on the road. Under the best of conditions, you aren't
going to get much sleep. It will take a really tough rider with really
I had just finished writing the above paragraph at 2:30 p.m. Central
Time when my cell phone rang. It was IBR veteran Paul Meredith, who is
getting periodic updates on Rob Nye's progress. Rob is in Edmonton,
Alberta. That's 1800 miles from Chesterfield, MO, and the bonus
listings were handed out only 34 hours ago. Rob has been keeping a pace
that is sufficient to make it to Homer and back.
Unfortunately, Rob's chances of scoring the Homer, Alaska, bonus have
just vaporized. His BMW R1200RT, the one with the all-new, never needs
maintenance final drive, is puking rear end lubricant all over Public
Highway 16. Dammit! It's bad enough that Rob's valiant effort has to
end this way; what's worse is that I am going to have to listen to that
cackling witch of a rallymaster reminding me of our side bet on the
percentage of BMWs that would finish without mechanical failures. She
will laugh about it later, but it's not funny right now. We truly feel
sorry for Rob because we know he was giving it his all.
Rob is clearly out of contention for a top ten finish, but he isn't
necessarily out of the rally. We should know tomorrow whether he is
going to get the Beemer fixed and back on the road. If anyone can do
it, Rob can.
There are a couple of reports today of other BMW riders having less
serious problems than Rob Nye. Yesterday, when Eric Jewell returned to
the parking lot of Rally Central to do additional route planning, IBR
staffer Greg Roberts noticed that Eric's rear tire was going flat.
Spectator and former IBR winner Rick Morrison found a nail in the tire.
The hole was plugged before Eric got back on the road, but the plug blew
out as Eric was traveling west on I-70. He was able to replug the hole,
but he really needed a new tire.
The nearest BMW dealer in Eric's direction of travel was Engle Motors in
Kansas City. He called from the side of the road at 3:10 p.m. to learn
that their service department closes at 3 on Saturday. When Eric told
them his situation, one of the technicians who had not yet left agreed
to wait for him. Eric called back later as he was motoring down the
road on a new ME880. He asked me to pass this along: "Engle Motors
Bob Collin called in today from Colorado. He pulled off of the road to
take a nap and left his 4-way flashers on. When he awoke his battery
was dead. It took over two hours for the service vehicle to arrive and
give him a jump. As the truck pulled away, Bob got back on the R1200RT
and promptly stalled it. It wouldn't restart. By the time he got his
second jump start, he had been sidelined for 5 hours.
Approaching midnight on Sunday, Tom and Rosie Sperry are sidelined in
Kellogg, Idaho after the "tail dragger" auxiliary fuel cell on their
K1200LT broke loose and fell against the rear tire. The rear tire is in
shreds. They will try to get if fixed tomorrow morning and stay in the
rally if at all possible.
Two more riders have dropped out as of today: Norm Grills on a BMW
K1100LT and Dave Hinks on an FJR1300. Norm was too exhausted to
continue after spending time trying to fix problems with his CB and XM
radio that he should have spent sleeping. David lost all chances of
being listed as a finisher when he lost his bonus listing. It blew out
of his top case, which apparently hadn't been closed properly.
Most of the 87 riders remaining in the rally are undoubtedly headed for
Lick Observatory at the top of Mount Hamilton, near San Jose,
California. Because of the width of the time window, it won't be quite
the mob scene it was at Gateway Arch, but there will be dozens of riders
there at the same time. The key to placing well will be figuring out
what other bonuses can be included in a route that contains the 24,057
point bonus at the Observatory.
Since tomorrow is the first call-in bonus for Leg 2, I will be posting a
lot of information on where everyone is and where they are headed. I'm
guessing that there are at least two other riders besides Nye and Frens
that are on their way to Alaska.
During the break in the action at Rally Central, I want to acknowledge
the efforts of volunteers who got everyone through the scoring process
at the end of Leg 1. Ira Agin's team of scorers included Steve Hobart,
Paul Glaves, John Harrison, Dennis Bitner, Roger Van Santen, Jim Fousek,
Greg Roberts, Dave McQueeney, Don Moses, Jerry Harris, and Helen Austin.
Bill Shaw served as the custodian of the envelopes into which all of the
bonus listings and documentation were filed. He also served as the
maitre d'. About an hour before the opening of the checkpoint window, a
queue of riders was forming for the scoring tables. Bill kept a list of
riders waiting to be scored, which built up to about 20 at the busiest
point. It was a very smoothly run operation.
Bob Higdon assisted Michael Kneebone with the final review and data
entry process. Donna Fousek and Karen Van Santen also provided
assistance to Kneebone and Rallymaster Landry throughout the evening.
In addition to their involvement in the scoring process, many of these
same volunteers have put in an enormous amount of time scouting bonuses
and doing other behind-the-scenes work necessary to make the 2007 Iron
Butt Rally possible.
Sunday, August 26, 2007
August 26, 2007
Copyright (c) 2007 Iron Butt Rally, Inc., Chicago, IL