Before I get into reliving the details of my Iron Butt Rally ride, I need to get my “thank you’s” out to all the people who helped me put together this ride. Without the support of my friends and family, this ride would not have been possible. Riding around for 11 days with only myself to talk to in my helmet makes that even more apparent than it might have been before the ride.
First, I need to thank my whole extended family: Mom, Dad, Brian and Christy of course, as well as Cass, Chuck, and Eli. You all sacrified if only by worrying about me while out on the road, but realistically the past 18 months have meant no trips to visit in Memphis, lost holidays that could have been spent with family that were instead spent in the garage tinkering with the bike (July 4th and the missed trip to the lake comes to mind quickest), and my general lack of attention to anything not IBR related or focused on the bike for the past 18 months. Brian … we just never got to the right city at the right time. Sorry I missed you in Spartanburg, and after that you were always one city, one day ahead of me. Christy … thanks for all the dinner invites even though I had to pass them up in order to save money for the ride. Cass … I know by now you’re tired of hearing about the bike, the vacations that didn’t happen, the money that went into the bike, and the three weeks of me gone on the road with hardly a word. When I needed to escape to the garage, you always understood. Chuck … I didn’t get to make near as many lunch runs up to Memphis to see you, Linda, and the kids. While it may not seem like much, those trips to mean a lot to me, and that’ll be rectified now that the IBR is behind me. Eli … you might think of it as being my second mom, I prefer to think of it as being the big sister I didn’t have. Thanks for keeping the eagle eye on my spot tracks, bugging me when I needed to stop for sleep, and offering to have the pit crew and fan club on standby if needed. Oh, and thanks for the coffee to break this anti-caffeine streak!
For my friends, and this ride showed I have many more than I would have thought, thanks for all the comments and words of encouragement. I’m sure I’m missing a few names which is not intentional, but: Tracy and Ed, thanks for being the sounding board when it came to my rally plans and for keeping me honest. Tracy, thanks in particular for riding all the way up to Spokane to make sure I got back home ok. 4000 miles round trip just for hotel food in WA state … most people would think that was a bit crazy. Ed, I know you wanted to be there as well, but that pesky work thing got in the way. Curt and Jody, my ST brothers, thanks for the text msgs, the phone calls, and all the encouragement. Curt, the phone call and encouragement from Missoula was much appreciated. Beau, Jon, Jeff, JJ, Femi, David … all my Cisco co-workers, thanks for putting up with me taking 3 weeks just as school was getting started to go and wonder around the countryside … and for the Babe’s Chicken when I got back home! Allen Dye, thanks for the encouragement leading up to the rally, the motivation during the rally (you don’t know how stressed I was in Santa Ana, but I’d trade sleep for that hallway discussion anytime), oh … and for getting me hooked on this rally thing to begin with when you and Greg put on the Texas Two Step. It’s all your fault! Claye, for humoring me with pictures at the start and various checkpoints along the way.
Andrea, Barb, Brad, Brian Taylor, Bryan, Don, Geoff, Greg, Jackie, Jerry, Jim, Justin, Kris, Mark, Matt, Mike, Pedro, Rob (Spruell and Rapport), Russ, Terry, Tim, Todd, Vince … we may have had a Facebook blackout which kept me from posting up during the rally, but all your comments and words of encouragement were received and much appreciated during the rally.
Terrence … meeting up with Tracy and myself for lunch in Wichita, and riding with us part way as we left town, definitely brought back some memories. We’ve got to get together again soon man.
My thanks to the other riders who participated along side me.
Many thanks to the organizers and volunteers who made the IBR possible. In no particular order: Mike Kneebone, Lisa Landry, Bob Higdon, Tom Austin, Dale Wilson, Bill Watt, Steve Hobart, all the scorers and checkpoint workers. The organization was incredible, and your professionalism was amazing.
I’m sure I’m missing others, unintentionally, so I might make additional edits as I remember names. My ride wouldn’t have been possible without each and every one of you.