Checkpoint 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: