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2007 Iron Butt Rally, Day 9
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
The Parade to Mt. Hamilton
Today was the motorcycle parade to the top of Mt. Hamilton, where the
riders had to sign in with Dean Tanji at the Lick Observatory in order
to get the 24,057 point bonus. The point total was set so that it would
attract every rider who didn't go to Alaska. During the 9:00 a.m. to
3:00 p.m. bonus window, a total of only 54 motorcycles showed up.
Accounting for the 14 riders who we know to be out of the rally and the
9 riders who headed for Alaska (Barnes, Frens, Kulwicki, Nye, Fish,
Droegemueller, DeRyke, Watt, and Allison), there were 20 other
motorcycles that we expected to try for the observatory. We know that
David Derrick and Glenn Pancoast were sipping Kool-Aid in BMW
dealerships waiting for their motorcycles to be put back in running
order. Mark Collins was stranded at a Harley dealership.
The other 17 motorcycles that were no-shows are being ridden by Maura
Gatensby, Bill Thweatt, Bob and Silvie Torter, Jim Mulcahy, Peter
Murray, Bob Mueller, Rick Neeley, Joel Rappoport, Mike Senty, Jim
Simonet, Jim Winterer, Steve Branner, Kevin Healey, Jim Bain, David
Bordeaux, Richard Buber, and Don Catterton. The are either running
behind schedule or on a sub-optimal route.
Fourteen motorcycles were waiting at the observatory when the checkpoint
opened. Their riders were Mike Hutsal, Reiner and Lisa Kappenberger,
Tom Melchild, Jack Shoalmire, Chris Cimino, Vance Keeney, Bob Collin,
Terry and Lynda Lahman, Ken Morton, Rick Martin, Richard Keegan, Chris
McGaffin, Jeff Earls, and Greg Marbach.
At the back end of the parade, the rider in 3rd place at the end of Leg
1, Gregg Burger, came within 20 seconds of missing the checkpoint
window. Doug Bailey was much more conservative, leaving himself a whole
minute. Alex Schmitt had 8 minutes to spare.
The other riders that made it to the observatory, in the order they
signed in, were Mike Langford, Marty Leir, Peter Leap, John Tomasovitch,
Brett Donahue, Rick Miller, Brian Roberts, Kendall Anderson, Alan
Barbic, Tobie Stevens, Lisa Stevens, Chris Sakala, Paul Peloquin, Vicki
Johnston, Matt Watkins, Rebecca Vaughn, Gerard Memmen-Kruger, Tom and
Rosie Sperry, Tom Skemp, Art Garvin, Mike Getzendanner, Michael Boge,
Carl Stark, Karol Patzer, Curt Gran, Tony DeLorenzo, Andy Mills, Jim
Owen, John Langan, Kevin Healey, Jim Bain, Don Jones, Dick Peek, Mike
Evans, Jim and Donna Phillips, Stephan Bolduc, and Eric Jewell.
Dean Tanji reports that everything ran very smoothly at the checkpoint.
It took less than a minute per rider for check in. There was, however,
a minor mishap on the twisty 2-lane road leading to the observatory.
Doug Bailey and Dick Peek bumped together on a tight turn and both bikes
went down. There was no major damage and both riders are continuing on.
IBR veteran Dave Biasotti also gave me a report from the observatory.
Dave talked to Jim Owen, who told Dave that he had already been to
Vancouver, Mt. Saint Helens, Gerlach, and all of the San Francisco
bonuses. Jim said that he was headed for the Sierras (no surprise). He
covered 3,000 miles in 48 hours before getting 6 hours of sleep last
night. Dave said that Jim looked well rested and his bike has been
running great, but he is having one problem: he is running low on
Polaroid film because he has taken over 120 pictures!
Service Bay Action
Leg 1 leader David Derrick broke down a second time. The same problem
that BMW of Las Vegas was supposed to have fixed cropped up again in
Yosemite. Arrangements were made to get the bike towed for a second
time to a dealer in Modesto, 90 miles away.
Glenn Pancoast spent most of the day in Salt Lake City waiting for a new
final drive to be installed in his R1200GS.
Mark Collins' problem was a broken rim on the rear wheel on his 1972
Harley. Luckily he was able to obtain a new rim in Missoula, Montana.
He's back on the road today, but his chances of making the West Coast on
time were shot.
Rick Neeley was at BMW of Las Vegas tonight to get a failed odometer
replaced on his R1200GS.
Calls From the Road
Rebecca Vaughn may have set a new Iron Butt Rally record with her hotel
stay last night. Yesterday, while scoring her call-in bonus, she said
that she was on her way to Big Sur where she would try to find a place
to stay for the night. As soon as Lisa Landry heard the recording, she
said, "She won't find anything."
Sure enough, Rebecca called in this morning to report that she couldn't
find a place to stay in Big Sur. She ended up going to Carmel, which is
not exactly known for economical accommodations. She found a room for
$400. But, hey, the rest bonus was 7,723 points. 19 points per dollar
is a bargain on this rally, especially for the many riders visiting BMW
service departments throughout North America.
1999 IBR winner George Barnes called in from Homer, Alaska. He's there
with rally newbie Don Kulwicki. They have a 4,000 mile ride to get back
home and, at the time of the call, they had only 65 hours left before
the final checkpoint opens. That requires just shy of a Bun Burner Gold
pace for almost three full days.
Rob Nye called in today to report that his first bonus after the repair
of his failed final drive was Custer's Last Stand. This rally has given
Rob an appreciation for how Custer must have felt at the bitter end.
There was no call today from Jim Frens. That's probably a very good
sign. Jim is probably way ahead of George Barnes and Don Kulwicki and
on schedule to make it back from Homer in time. If Jim stays on
schedule, he will be going to the scoring table with a huge point total.
But will it be enough? As best we can follow Jim Owen via Star Traxx,
he seems to be snagging an amazing number of high point bonuses all over
the Western U.S. Several other riders also have the potential to score
more in the West than is available on the way to Homer and back.
We may know a bit more tomorrow when we start getting information from
the second call-in bonus on this leg, but it's likely to be late Friday
morning before we know who is going to win the 2007 Iron Butt Rally.
August 28, 2007
Copyright (c) 2007 Iron Butt Rally, Inc., Chicago, IL