Category: Iron Butt Rally 2009

Catfish 2009 Iron Butt Rally – Blog Post Round-up

Catfish 2009 Iron Butt Rally – Blog Post Round-up

2009 IBR: Welcome to Spokane – The Final Checkpoint

2009 IBR: Welcome to Spokane – The Final Checkpoint

Catfish 2009 Iron Butt Logo IBRWelcome to Spokane, 2009 Iron Butt Rally Riders!

I got a notice from Catfish that he was safe at the final checkpoint.

After reading some of the latest news about other participants and the unfortunate events that befell some of them, I just want to say…

Thank God, Allah, Yahweh, the guy on the Hale-Bopp Comet and whomever else I left out that Tom made it through this undertaking safely. With the countless hours put in, the sleepy eyes, the sweltering heat he made it. Rain, fog, dark of night, he’s through to the other side. No major mechanical failures, no accidents, no flats or blowouts. Amazing!

I don’t know his point status, but I don’t really give a shit.  As far as I am concerned he made it. He completed the Iron Butt Rally, rode the ride, picked up points and cruised in to the Final checkpoint.

I’ve said it 100 times already so one more for the road…  I AM SO PROUD OF HIM!

2009 IBR: The Last 12 Hours of the 2009 Rally

2009 IBR: The Last 12 Hours of the 2009 Rally

Catfish 2009 Iron Butt Logo IBRWe’re down to the wire.

It is the final 12 hours before the close of the 2009 Iron Butt Rally. This year with a personal stake in watching Catfish’s rally unfold, it has been an emotional rollercoaster. The feelings of excitement and pride in a friend’s accomplishment stayed with me throughout, though.

Now that Catfish is 400 miles from stopping the IBR checkpoint rally clock for the last time in 2009, I find myself happy that his long journey is coming to a close and yet, strangely sad at the same time. There can be so much personal value in the undertakings of others. I think I will miss being excited for him. I will miss wondering how he is doing in those quiet spells when there is nothing more than the knowledge that he is in the middle of nowhere and just how exciting and terrible that can be.

He spent last night in Jasper, Canada after having a tough go of it. The route that he was following from Montana into Canada had roadwork going on. As a truck was approaching he turned off his HID lights so as to not blind the oncoming driver. While his eyes were adjusting and while traveling at highway speed the paved road turned to dirt. He said, ’I basically jumped my FJR into the dirt at 70mph. I screamed like a little girl in my helmet. Not the first time this week, either.’ Some participants didn’t make it through their trials so easy. Catfish is one of the lucky ones. ::knocks wood::

The Final Curtain Call

At last glance around 10:30pm EST, he was on the move around Vancouver, Canada. I’m hoping that crossing back in to the States doesn’t eat a lot of time. From there,according to Google Maps he’s looking at a 400 mile ride on the slab in to Spokane. Each and every person back here at home on Long Island is sending an assortment of good will, prayers, wishes and every other thing we can muster to try to carry him along safely in the final stretch.

It’s been a long ride for him and I know that he is concerned that maybe he hasn’t acquired enough points to be a ‘finisher’. Though we’ll find out tomorrow morning just what his status is, no matter what, to us he’s really number one. What an awesome task. We’re so proud. I hope he is too.

For the last time before the final check in…Go, Catfish, Go!

Checkpoint 3 – Rally Finish

Friday September 4
Spokane Washington, 7am-9am PST
Scoring opens at 4am

[edit] As of 11:00pm, he just picked up his last bonus in Canada. He said he’s hoping to take a quick cat nap at Customs before heading for Spokane.

Around the Web:

Photos from Checkpoint 2 in Santa Ana:

Reports:

2009 IBR: Day 7 – Catfish Results from Checkpoint 2

2009 IBR: Day 7 – Catfish Results from Checkpoint 2

Catfish 2009 Iron Butt Logo IBRCatfish Results from Checkpoint 2

Catfish sounded less than excited about his ranking after scoring in yesterday. He’s currently in 85th place. I understand that maybe that isn’t where he’d like to be in the standings but you know he really is working hard. Everyone I know is still proud of him and the rally isn’t over yet. The key here is to finish and do it safely.  Win, lose or draw, everyone around these parts is still in awe.

Is second place always first loser?

Let me start by saying I don’t generally subscribe to the If you had fun you won mentality. I am totally down with being competitive. But the deeper I get in to reading what these competitors in the IBR go through; my point of view here may be altered a little.

Sure it’s great to ‘win’, to be number 1. Who wouldn’t love that? Those folks work really hard to earn that. But I also think that its important to remember that with the amount of hours on the road, each of these folks ups the odds for mishap or mechanical breakdown. Every person that makes it to the end of the rally picking up points along the way really needs to be applauded for their stamina alone. Yes, yes, yes, I understand there has to be some level of points here. I get it. Riding directly from one checkpoint to the next would absolutely not be sporting.

The guys and girls who have been at this game a few times are hardcore. But, everyone has to start as a rookie. I applaud anyone who thinks they’ve got the stones to do this. I mean, really do it – belly up to the bar and put their money where their mouth is. It’s really an impressive task.

Onward They Go

Catfish was last spotted around Vegas today. He said that it was only 110 degrees out and that it felt like winter compared to the previous day. I wonder if it’s cooler in say… Canada?

Checkpoint 3 – Rally Finish
Spokane Washington, 7am-9am PST
Scoring opens at 4am

Around the Web:

*Curtis* – Sorry, I didn’t capture your email address to respond to you~ Thanks for helping with the fuel cell! You’re a life saver

2009 IBR: The Catfish has Landed. Touchdown at Checkpoint 2 – Santa Ana, California

2009 IBR: The Catfish has Landed. Touchdown at Checkpoint 2 – Santa Ana, California

Catfish 2009 Iron Butt Logo IBRClosing in on Checkpoint 2

Checkpoint 2
Sunday, August 30, 9pm – 11pm Pacific Time
Santa Ana, California

Sunday August 30

It looked like Catfish was making good time along Route 10 from Phoenix into California. Knowing that he’s riding a conservative ride I speculated that he was very clear on and comfortable with how much time he had left to make it to the Doubletree Hotel in Santa Ana. He was making good use of his last remaining hours before 9pm at Checkpoint 2 to pick up bonuses. He was spotted stopping off around the Salton Sea. The temps around that area were showing highs over 100 degrees today, so he must have been cooking out there.

He touched down in Santa Ana at around 7:00 PST.

Spoke to Catfish from Checkpoint 2. He was his usual irreverent and cantankerous self. Considering he’d been baking in the heat across Arizona and California for the day, he was surprisingly chipper. I think he’d said he pulled into the checkpoint hotel lot, didn’t stop his clock yet and just went directly to shower. Temperatures for his final day of leg 2 steadily hovered above the 100 degree mark, topping out at around 115.

At one of his gas stops today, he bought a bag of ice. He refilled his hydration system; put some ice in his pockets and down his shirt to try to keep his body cool. At 115 degrees the moving air is like a hair dryer. During a short but poignant rant about why in God’s name anyone would actually choose to settle in this part of the country, in his characteristic Long Island accent he said, ‘If I woulda bought a steak I coulda made beef jerky in my tank bag, it was so f’n hot.

Counting our Lucky Stars

Apparently one rider named Rick struck a deer and another rider, Bill from the Ramapo MC club had a serious accident heading for one of the North Dakota bonuses.  We’re wishing Bill a speedy recovery.  I’m always thankful to see ‘Catfish’ pop up on my cell.  His gang of friends here at home are all glad he made it through his leg safely.

The third and final leg of the Rally kicks off after the 4am riders meeting tomorrow (August 31). Hopefully the riders get a good night sleep in their air conditioned rooms. The Rally train is heading for Spokane, Washington. This last leg is the longest of all at 99 hours. Riders must be at the Spokane checkpoint before 9am on Friday September 4.

Checkpoint 3 – Rally Finish
Spokane Washington, 7am-9am PST
Scoring opens at 4am
 

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