Aug 24, 2009

Iron Butt Rally Starts In The Morning

At 10AM Monday morning, I depart on the 2009 Iron Butt Rally.

Due to rally regulations, I will not be permitted to post to this site during the rally. Nor will my SPOT tracker be active in this public forum to protect the integrity of the bonus locations.

I am looking forward to the rally, and to writing about it afterwards.

To follow the rally, you can read daily updates on the Iron Butt Rally website.

Aug 21, 2009

Arrived In Spartanburg

I am here in Spartanburg, South Carolina. It is Friday, August the 21st. The rally starts on Monday.

No official functions on the roster today. Just doing a few little things to make sure I am ready. I will likely do some mapping work to prepare myself for plotting bonuses for the rally. Also a nap is in order for this afternoon. It was a long day yesterday riding down here from London, Ontario.

The bike suffered a fuel starvation issue during a long hot slog through a clogged interstate highway. Neil Ward's KLR650 also was acting up during the ride down. His temperature gauge is faulty.

Sal Terranova from Buffalo rode with us on his ST1100. All three of us are in the rally. His bike was the only one that did not act up. I must say thanks to Sal for providing me with a few camera memory cards and a Camelbak drinking system for my use during the rally. I will also take this time to thank Inglis Cycle Centre in London Ontario, who have been generous in my preparations leading up to the rally.

Due to the wishes of the rally organizers, this event will maintain its amateur non-commercial nature this year. This means that I must cover up or remove any companies decal that may be on the bike. Another duty I will be performing over the next few days.

The 1300 km I rode yesterday to get here is the longest ride I have taken all year and I feel it. Oh boy...

Aug 20, 2009

coolant problems on neil's bike near pittsburgh
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Aug 2, 2009

It's Getting Closer

It's August 2nd. In just a little over two weeks, I will be heading to Spartanburg, South Carolina to join 99 other crazy individuals participating in the Iron Butt Rally. It is getting more real and more menacing in my mind. I have ridden this rally twice before and yet that is not enough to quell the nervousness.

A tremendous personal challenge. Not just of one's riding skills. Riding it is almost the easy part. No, the real challenge is in choosing where to ride. From the massive list of "bonuses" or destinations, one must decide which ones to ride to. Of course some are worth more than others, and some are "sucker" bonuses, designed to trick the rider into making a bad decision.

Go for the big ones. Sounds easy, but sometimes, a string of medium ones add up to the same. Tricky. Very tricky. I'd like to think I am good at it, but in 2005, 24 other people were better at it than me.

Am I ready? Well I will likely do some mapping work beforehand to prepare. Alas, the latest version of Garmin maps is backordered at dealers and unavailable. The bike is pretty much ready. A few little things need to be done, but it is in good condition. No nagging problems with the machine to distract or worry.

I am the holdup. Not having done many long rides this year, I am concerned I will be able to keep up. Log in here and and at to follow along.