Tag: Iron Butt Rally

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

2009 IBR: Day 5 – Catfish and Hobos and Buddy Christ, Oh My!

2009 IBR: Day 5 – Catfish and Hobos and Buddy Christ, Oh My!

Catfish 2009 Iron Butt Rally Logo - IBRWe got a check in call from the Fish Cat this morning. He was happy to report that his battery was steadily charging and was handling its load fine. Apparently riding these farkled out bikes must be murder on a battery. He gave another rally rider a jump in Wisconsin at one of the bonus stops on Thursday.

Friday, August 28 had Catfish moving across the plains and ultimately in to Colorado where he stopped to sleep in a real bed and eat a real meal. Apparently Catfish is a bit of a night owl. He is finding himself most tired during the day and feeling his best at night once the sun starts to set. It seems that he spent a little time sawing logs on a bench near the Hobo museum sometime during the day. 

When we spoke, I said something to the effect of – ‘Wow, for the boy who hasn’t been anywhere, you’ve been all over now!’ In his very nonchalant way, he basically said everything looks like upstate New York just in varying sizes. I chuckled to myself thinking of how Ewan McGregor harkened everything to Scotland as he traveled the world in Long Way Round.

Yesterday Catfish’s Buddy Christ that rides shotgun on the FJR sacrificed himself to an off ramp. Catfish pulled off and ran back to look for him. What he found was a headless and armless Buddy C.  He’s a bit worse for wear but he’s still along for the ride. Depending on your religious leanings you might find this pretty fitting. Good ole Christ, taking one for the team

1 More Day until Checkpoint 2 – Santa Ana, California!

The plot thickens, the drama continues. I’m excited to see how Catfish’s next 24 hours unfold.

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

From around the web:

If you spot any pic of videos of Catfish around the web, please let me know!

2009 IBR: The Plot Thickens Leaving St. Charles, Illinois

2009 IBR: The Plot Thickens Leaving St. Charles, Illinois

Catfish 2009 Iron Butt Rally Logo - IBROn August 27 the leg 2 bonus listing was distributed to the riders, dark and early at 4am. This 3 1/2 day leg puts riders to the task of accumulating 27,000 points to be considered a finisher. After the riders meeting, everyone was clear for takeoff. Unfortunately, for Catfish, he did not get an early start.

When I heard from him on Thursday morning it was short and sweet. ‘Bike is dead, swapping the battery.‘ My heart sank. I expected to hear that he was already underway with a couple hundred miles under his belt. Alas, it wasn’t to be. Thirty minutes later, I got the news. Not only was his battery dead, but if you can believe this cruel twist of fate, so was the replacement.

Day 4 was a tough one for Catfish.

I am unsure now if he got a jump on the second battery or if a 3rd battery was in play. But I do know that he didn’t get rolling until after lunch time. I didn’t hear from him again for the rest of the day. I can only imagine that every minute that ticked by must have felt like an eternity as he fiddled with his bike. Frustrating probably doesn’t begin to cover the way that morning played out.

It did my heart good to finally confirm that he was on the move. I know that on Thursday he was moving through Wisconsin, specifically around Spring Green. Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin is there. This has to be a bonus location. It was the scene of a horrific crime that resulted in the death of his companion Mamah Borthwick Cheney and her 2 children amongst several others. Kenny and I passed through in 2005. Upon hearing the town name, what else but Frank Lloyd Wright and this crime can you think of? Well, except House on the Rock, which we visited that May. That too is a crime; against good taste.

You just never know what will happen from one day to the next. The Iron Butt Rally is like a soap opera for motorcycle riders. There is intrigue and adventure, excitement and plot twists. I can’t get enough!

Onward toward Santa Ana, California!

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

2009 IBR: Catfish Makes his way to Checkpoint 1 in St. Charles, Il.

2009 IBR: Catfish Makes his way to Checkpoint 1 in St. Charles, Il.

catfish 2009 Iron Butt Rally Logo - IBR 09Checkpoint 1 has come and gone.

I got a chance to speak with Catfish on Wednesday night (August 26) after he checked in at St. Charles, Illinois and finished scoring. He arrived in the rain at about 4:30 central time. He was very chatty and sounded like he was in good spirits.He was looking forward to a shower and sleeping. The whole process sounds like it is a beautiful mix of terrible and wonderful all wrapped up into one. I’m certain that as time passes, the experience will provide him with long lasting memories.

He’d mainly worked on picking up bonuses around Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan and Tennessee. When he first answered my 10 questions about the rally about a year ago, he noted that he’s never really done any traveling. He echoed that sentiment again but peppered it with a clear interest in the traveling aspect of this undertaking.

Catfish had been plagued with a problem with his fuel cell right out of the gate at Spartanburg. The first two and a half days of the rally he’d been riding with his regular fuel tank only. With the weight he’s lugging around, he said he was turning about a 180 mile range or so. That makes for a few gas stops, huh? Luckily, he was able to fix is ailing fuel cell at the St. Charles. It turned out to be an issue with the filter. At the risk of sounding extra stupid I will leave my technical assessment at that.

At the close of night two before settling in for a few hours sleep in a Home Improvement store parking lot, he realized he’d left his rally flag about 4 miles back. So, in the wee hours, he had to pack himself back up, ride back to retrieve his flag and re-settle in for 40 winks.

Arm Chair Rally

With the first leg of the rally now a thing of the past, the Iron Butt Association has posted a listing of the leg 1 bonuses. Now you too can get a glimpse of what it is required to string a route together. Some other folks around the web have taken the time to put the bonus listings in to excel and csv files with you can find on the web to monkey around with. I particularly like this Google Maps version.

For your armchair rally-ing pleasure:

2009 IBR: No News is Good News?

2009 IBR: No News is Good News?

catfish Iron Butt LogoWe can happily say that there was no official news coming out of the Iron Butt Org on any of their assorted posting spots referencing Catfish. We’re going to go on the assumption that no news is good news!  To us, that means he’s still in there fighting the good fight.

I hope he’s safe and getting some sleep along the way. Less than 24 hour before Checkpoint 1 officially closes in St. Charles, Illinois.

What do we know?

  • Today was the first Call In bonus
    This is when riders call in to rally staffers and leave their name, their rally number, where they currently are, the last bonus that they picked up and the next bonus that they will be shooting for.

    Did Catfish make the call in? We don’t know, but we sure hope so! This seems like a easy bonus to get, but then again I cannot imagine what its like to be out there competing. I am sure it’s pretty easy for things to slip your mind.

    Apparently rider locations will be released some time tomorrow (August 26) based on the call in, so we’ll be able to see where the ‘Fish is. Where ever that may be, I hope it’s with a fist full of bonus points.

  • Catfish shows up in video and pictures
    There are some photos and video floating around the web from Spartanburg, which happen to catch Catfish or his bike in them.

    • A nice YouTube video of the riders leaving rally headquarters.
      Look for the hi-viz yellow jacket shortly after the 1:40 mark. That’s our guy!
    • The FJR Forum has a picture of Catfish’s “Farkle” FJR.
    • In Monday’s official Iron Butt dispatch pdf, Catfish can be seen in the staircase group shot, peeking over the rally sign on the lower left corner.

If you spot any Catfish pictures or video from Spartanburg on the web, please let us know!

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