Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Death Valley 1,000 Insanity

Warning - This is not an ordinary SaddleSore 1,000 
The Death Valley 1,000 is a 1,000 mile motorcycle ride in under 24 hours all inside the boundaries of  Death Valley National Park.  The 'Insanity' version is done between July 1 and September 15 where daytime temperatures exceed 100 degrees F .  My start/finish will be from the Furnace Creek Chevron service station.  Planned start time is 3:00 am PDT, Sunday, July 30, 2017.

Reports on Iron Butt Motorcycle Riders - Facebook 
SpotWalla Track Map (< click here)  

DV1K 213 Mile Circuit 
SaddleSore 1,000 -  I have plotted a 212 mile course in Garmin BaseCamp which I will ride 5 times to complete the 1,000+ mile requirements for IBA certification.  In addition to dated business receipts (DBR) at the start, every refuel and finish, I will make log entries and send Spot OK markers at each of the corner points as well as fuel stops at Furnace Creek.  These markers and the track will be submitted through the IBA Premier Member certification team as supplemental information.
1 Mile east of Panamint Springs
Speed limits in the park range from 65 MPH on most of CA-190 to 55 MPH along Badwater and Scotty's Castle roads.  Speeds decrease to 35 MPH in the populated areas.  Google puts the moving average speed for the 213 mile circuit at about 55 MPH.  See Google Map

I booked a room for 2 nights at a motel in Beatty, NV, some 40 miles northeast of the my official start point at Furnace Creek.   I will obtain signatures for the IBA witness form in Furnace Creek on Saturday afternoon then head back to the hotel in Beatty.  Sunday morning at 2 am PDT (4 am CDT) I will depart Beatty for the Furnace Creek gas station, obtain the start DBR and complete 5 circuits ending the ride sometime close to midnight PDT.  When the ride is completed late Sunday night I will return to Beaty, NV for the finish witness.   (See IBA Witness and Log)

Leg:  Furnace Creek - Panamint Springs - Grapevine Ranger Station - Badwater Pull-out - Furnace Creek 
212 miles, 3:45 X 5 circuits = 1,060 miles in about 20 hours.
  • Leg 1:  0300 - 0645, 1g drinking water, 1qt wetdown 
  • Leg 2:  0700 - 1045, 1g drinking water, 2qts wetdown
  • Leg 3:  1100 - 1445, 1.25g drinking water, 2qts wetdown
  • Leg 4:  1500 - 1915, 1.5g drinking water, 3qts wetdown
  • Leg 5:  1915 - 2300, 1g drinking water, 2qts wetdown
I have built into the ride plan 5 min breaks at the Panamint Springs, Grapevine and Badwater corners and a 15 min break at the Furnace Creek refuel points.  Leg 4 will be during the hottest part of the day and pose the greatest physical challenge.  During leg 4, I will take a dinner 30-45 min dinner break inside the Furnace Creek General Store.

Declaration:  The Death Valley 1,000 'Insanity' is an extreme physical challenge.  I am prepared and committed to stopping the attempt at any point for health or safety reasons.

Preparation - Even though I have lots of hot weather riding experience living here in the Texas Hill Country, I have been training for this event for some time.  I want to demonstrate the effectiveness of a good ride plan, top quality riding gear and application of sound Ridecraft techniques. Putting many hours in the saddle, riding in 100F plus conditions, are good preparations for this 'xTreme!" Iron Butt challenge ride.

Hydration - I use a disciplined hydration technique when riding for extended periods in temperatures above 90f.  Base on the excellent information contained in the Tom Austin's article, (see Knowledge Base below)

Long-Distance Riding in Hot Weather

Sip Rate - I prepared a sip rate pegged to the outside air temperature to ensure I consume adequate amounts of water at regular intervals.  The chart below was developed to meet my water requirements using my hydration system.  After establishing the amount of water drawn by one 'sip' from my Camelbak system I came up with the rate and tested it under field conditions.  So, every 15 minutes, I draw the sips listed for the outside air temperature.  After one hour, I have consumed the Per/Hr ounces of water listed.  By doing this I consume an adequate amount of water at regular intervals.

Unlike many LD riders, I do not 'ice' down my drinking supply.  Nor, do I carry ice in the pockets of my riding gear in extreme heat.  I do not depend on having ice during rides, even one this extreme.  I do drink cold beverages, mostly water at pit stops as a 'refreshment'.  I realize the benefits of adding cold fluids while riding but I want to rely on the gear for cooling and the water for hydration.  My hydration system is insulated from the heat and the water in it stays lower than my body temperature.  It's a personal choice to enhance the effectiveness of hot weather physical conditioning.  I got used to not using ice during my experiences in the army and being a long-distance runner.

Riding 'Cool' - The LDComfort garments are designed to transfer water away from the skin and hold it in the outer layer.  This means wetting down the sleeves and parts of the body can create a cooling effect when air passes over it and avoid the moisture damage to the skin.  I will be carrying extra water for this purpose and re-wet as necessary.  (Moto Mouth Moshe K. Levy YouTube video)

Using the LDComfort cooling technique, above 95f degrees I found it best close up all vents to protect the interior core of my jacket from the hot air.  I restrict the flow of air entering jacket to through the sleeve ends only.  As the hot air flows along the wet sleeves of the LDComfort shirt it cools due to evaporation.  The cooler air is pushed into the sealed interior of the jacket further cooling body of the shirt.  With all vents closed, the cooler air circulates around the body core, before exiting top at the slight opening at the front of the neck.  This circulation of cool air works just like a swamp cooler and can result in a temperature difference of as much as 30 degrees.

I found that when I 'shrug' my shoulders slightly, move them forward and backwards, the cooled air circulates freely adding to the cooling effect.  It really works well.  Keeping my body core cool this way helps preserve body water due to less sweating.  The bottom line is I feel more 'comfortable' riding in extreme heat using the LDComfort techniques.

Data Capture - I will be tracking and recording several data items to demonstrate the effectiveness of the hot weather riding techniques and equipment.  I will have all the data, as well as a summary graphs, after the ride in a full page posting.

Temperature - I will be carrying a Track-It Data Logger to capture the air temperature from inside my riding gear, (center chest).  It samples the temperature every 2 minutes and logs the average at 10 minute intervals. Outside temperatures will logged at each stop and throughout the ride using the motorcycle external temperature monitor. As we all know, riding over the hot asphalt can be hotter than the ambient air temperature.  So, I will use a Fluke 62 Max IR temperature gun to get regular readings of the road surface. When the ride is completed I will gather the official hourly weather reports by the Park Service for comparison. (Source -  NOAA:Obs Data:Hourly Temperatures)

Heart Rate - I will be monitoring and recording my heart rate during the DV1K by means of the Samsung Gear S3 Frontier smartwatch.  This data will show how my body's internal cooling mechanism reacts to the temperature.  As outside temperatures rise a small increase in heart rate will demonstrate the effectiveness of the channeled airflow and evaporation cooling provided by the LDComfort garments.  Rapid rise in heart rate indicates over-heating.

Riding Gear and Equipment:  All The Gear All The Time!
  • Base layer - LDComfort helmet liner cap, long sleeve shirt and riding shorts.  Compression socks
  • Outer layer - Schuberth C3 Pro helmet with SRC Pro communications collar, Klim Badlands jacket and Dakar gloves,  Aerostich AD1 riding pants, TCX X-Desert Gore-Tex riding boots, ess Mil Spec ballistic day/night eye wear, Gerbing heated jacket, but I doubt I will use it.
  • Hydration system - Mil Spec Camelbak 100 oz hydration pack with updated "Antidote" bladder/hose system.  Carrying extra water in panniers.  Replenish stores at Furnace Creek fuel stops.
  • Satellite Tracking - SPOT Gen3 feed to SpotWalla location and tracking maps (Above)
  • Communications - Samsung Note S5, bluetoothed to SRC Pro communications collar.  
  • FLIR Thermal Imaging - Forward looking infrared camera and display for duck till dawn critter avoidance
  • 2016 BMW R1200GS Adventure with fresh 48K service and new F/R Anakee III tires in the high temperature rated "V" compound
See Farkle Data Sheet for complete listing of gear and equipment

Knowledge Base
Death Valley National Park - Current Weather Conditions
911 - Emergency in Park
888-233-6518 - Report someone in park need assistance (They call FICC)
909-383-5654 - Emergency dispatch center (Federal Interagency Communications Center - FICC 

Fuel is available in the park only at Furnace Creek Ranch, Stovepipe Wells Village, and Panamint Springs

General Store - Limited groceries may be purchased in the park at the Furnace Creek Ranch General Store. Panamint Springs Resort and Stovepipe Wells have convenience stores.

Towing services available but check with your service provider.

Long-Distance Riding in Hot Weather 
by Tom Austin, IBA Chief Technical Advisor
Summer 2010, Iron Butt Magazine

Long-Distance Riding - "Archive of Wisdom"
Protocols used by the members of the Iron Butt Association to go the extra mile

Fatigue and Motorcycle Touring
by Dr. Don Arthur, MD, 2006

Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stoke
American Red Cross First Aid

Heat and Heart Rate
Understanding the risks

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Iron Butt Rally - Volunteer Duty

The World's Toughest Motorcycle Rally is taking place between Monday, June 28 and July 7, 2017.  The Iron Butt Rally, 11,000 miles in 11 days, is a competitive motorcycle rally that affords the top long-distance riders from around the world an opportunity to test their Ridecraft.   The theme of this year's IBR is captured in the rally graphic.  Rider are on a Safari Adventure, seeking the very large replicas of animals, real and fanciful. 

Safari Adventure
Air - Land - Water - Prehistoric - Mythical
"Shoot them creatures and bag that bonus"

Epilog:  After competing three IBRs I found volunteering to help with the 2017 IBR just as rewarding as I imagined it would be.  I logged over 7,000 miles between the start, checkpoints and finish, with a side trip or two.  It was more relaxed kind of riding than those enduring "The World's Toughest Motorcycle Rally" though.  Still, to see huge filed of riders of the 2017 Iron Butt Rally from the volunteer side of things was very enjoyable.  This was a history making IBR on many fronts.

Thank you, Lisa Landry, Jeff Earls and John Harrison for an epic IBR experience!.

Fri, 7/7:  The Rally Staff will be available for early check-in starting at 5 am.  Same procedure as the two
Podium Finishers
Finisher Trophies and Plaques
prior checkpoints.  Except, scoring will take slightly longer owing to riders collecting more bonuses during the 5 day long Leg 3.  Riders also will take more time preparing for scoring.  Many will want to double and triple check their "Claimed Bonuses" form for completeness, accuracy and sequencing of the entries.  "Strings" that make a 'Full House', 3 of one category and 2 of another, will earn 4 times the value of the last bonus in the string.  But, all 5 bonuses in that string must be without error or the quadruple multiplier does not apply.

With the way the checkpoint process has worked at CP1 and CP2, I expect every rider who made it back in time will be complete checked in and scored by noon.  And so it was, all riders are accounted for and completed scoring before 11 am!
The core staff, Lisa, Jeff and John are compiling the finishers scores, auditing the results and preparing the presentation at this evening's finishing banquet. 

Thu, 7/6:  Head to the Barn!  The IBR Staff is returning to where it all began some 10 days before.  Back at the Minnetonka start hotel the core staff are busy monitoring the riders as they make their way to the finish.  Penalty points begin at 8:00:01 Friday morning.  Riders who do not make it back by 10:00:001 are Time Bared and earn the DNF distinction.  By the looks of the IBR Public SpotWalla group location page, almost all riders still in the game will make it back.

Sun, 7/2:  The 4 am riders meeting starts the clock for Leg 3 of the IBR.  This final leg is 126 hours long.  That's 5 days and change for riders to be on 'safari' hunting bonuses.  This is the big miles big points leg.  The top 10, announced at the riders meeting will be looking to maximize their points and finish standing.  The rally staff is packing up to make Rally Central mobile for the move back to IBR finish checkpoint in Minnetonka, MN.

I am heading to west Texas for hot weather training.  I'm riding to Big Bend National Park to ride at park speeds in the Texas heat.  I'm testing out some new equipment and riding gear in preparation for the Death Valley 1,000 Insanity ride the end of July.or first week in August.

Sat, 7/1:  Leg 2 ends at 8 pm back at the Allen TX checkpoint.  Riders start rolling in before 5 pm, with the bulk arriving after 6pm. The army of IBR volunteer staff stands ready to speed riders trough the arrival process. 
  1. Arrival - Odo check
  2. Check in - Stop the clock with the offical time keeper.  Riders have one hour after stopping the clock to report for scoring
  3. Scoring Prep - Riders organize their "Claimed Bonus" form for scoring.  A large room with a meal is provided for this activity. 
  4. Scoring - The photo media check and official scoring takes about 20-30 minutes total. 
Once scoring is complete the rider is free to tend to their needs; bike and equipment maintenance, planning prep and get some needed rest.

Rally Central
Fri, 6/30:  Monitoring the riders progress is done in Rally Central at the Allen checkpoint.  Rider who experience an issue while on the leg call Rally Master Lisa to get help.  She then posts on social media that a rider need assistance.  It is amazing how quickly and efficiently the Long-Distance riding community mobilizes when a IBR rider needs help.  See IBR Daily Reports Satellite tracking is the a most valuable tool both for the rider and rally control.  Rally Central has access to every rider's traking history, in near real time.  If a rider's track stops moving, this alerts Rally Central about a potential issue.  Phone calls usually ensue.  Sometimes, it's a rider who has decided to withdrawl from the rally.  When they call the Rally Master, she usually knows already.

Thu, 6/29:  The day begins shorly after 3am with staff preparations for the 4am mandatory Rider Meeting.  During his meeting Mike Kneebone conveys words of wisdom, Rally Master Lisa Landry reminds all of getting to the checkpoint, on time and in one piece, on Saturday and Route Master Jeff Earls gifts all riders with an epic Leg 2 selection of bonuses.  Jeff also announced the top 10 standings. 

Routing fun with "Strings"

While the riders are out for Leg 2 the IBR staff is busy monitoring the tracking maps, auditing the scoring for Leg 1 and preparing for the arrival of riders on Saturday, Jul 1.

Wed, 6/28:  Riders have until 8:00:01 pm to arrive within the no-penalty window.  Riders who check in between 8 pm and 10 pm will be charged a point penalty for every minute after 8 pm.  Any rider checking in after 10:00:01 pm will be declared "DNF", did not finish. 
The focus of the IBR Staff is moving all 106 riders through the scoring process as accurately and quickly as possible.  Scoring opens at 5 pm.  Several step are necessary to ensure each rider's score is captured:
  • Arrival - Riders park in the reserved spaces next to the front entrance to the hotel.
  • Odometer - Riders get their MC odometer reading recorded on checkpoint arrival sheet
  • Clock In - Riders present themselves to the IBR time keeper to stop their leg clock.  On time check in triggers the "Arrival Bonus"
  • Tracking Verification - Riders present themselves to the satellite tracking monitor to verify they have a good track to qualify for the tracking bonus.  A good track triggers the "Tracking Bonus"
  • Call-In Verification:  A well formatted and on time Call-In triggers the "Call-In Bonus"
  • Scoring Preparation - Riders prepare their "Claimed Bonuses" sheet to insure bonuses are listed in chronological order and are correct/complete.  Riders are charged an administrative penalty ranging from a 10% deduction for a minor clerical errors to denial of the entire value of the bonus.  A meal is provided for riders in the scoring preparation room for the riders.  Once a rider presents themselves to the Scoring supervisor they must remain within ear-shot to wait until called.
  • Scoring -   IBR veterans, trained in the scoring process, capture the riders bonus photos and transfer them to the scoring thumb drive.  Riders then sit with a the scorer for official recording of all the rider's claimed bonuses.  Once they sit with the IBR scorer they must be ready and are not allowed to stop the scoring process to make correction.
"Is that a C or a L?"

Once their scoring is complete, riders are free to leave the area.  Most will go to their rooms to prepare for the next leg.  Some will return to their motorcycle and fix any mechanical issues developed during Leg 1.

Leg 2 bonus listing is distributed at the 4 am rider's meeting on Thursday, 6/29.  Electronic distribution occurs after this meeting for all those who attend.

Tuesday evening staff meeting?
Tue, 6/27:  With the riders scattered to the four corners of North America, the IBR staff is re-positioning to the Allen Texas checkpoint.  Some arrive today, still others are arriving tomorrow.  The focus of the staff is to get the checkpoint stations prepared for the arrival of the riders starting after noon on Wednesday, 6/28.

Mon, 6/26:  STAND TO!  Riders to their mounts for final inspection.  At 7:30 am riders are to be assembled in the parking lot for final staging.  At last night's dinner each rider was given a unique IBR ID tag.  At 8:00 am IBR Staff will troop the line to do final check before the 10:00 am start.  Riders must be standing next to their motorcycle, ready to turn on the key so Staff can document their official starting odometer reading and punch the rider ID tag.  Riders who are not "Standing To" when the Odo Team arrives at their motorcycle are passed by and penalized for their lack of focus.  They will be held back until after all other riders have left.  Only two riders fit this category on the 2017 IBR. 

"Odo" Check Team

ID Tag Punch
List Consolidation

This speaks, VOLUMES!

Sun, 6/25:  All Checked In - Over 115 riders and pillions have successfully completed the IBR check in process.  All, between 8:00 am and 2:00 pm.  Not in the history of the IBR check in process has over 100 riders been processed in such a short time. 

This essential activity was executed with precision by a cadre of dedicated volunteers, led by Lisa Landry, Rally Master.   
  • Registration:   Donna Fousek, Karen Van Santen, and Bill Thweat. 
  • Tech Inspection Station: Dale Wilson, Ande Bergmann, Brian Roberts, Derek Dickson, Jeremy Lovall, Adam Wolkoff, Brant Moteelall, and Rich Reid.
  • Odometer Check Station: Marty Leir, Carol Patzer, and Paula Behm.
  • Camera Card Formatting Station: Dave McQueeney, Ira Agins, David E.B. Smith, Eric Vallencourt
  • Video/Media Station: Dennis Bitner, John Ferber, Roger Van Santen, Greg Blewett, Pat Blewett, Verne Hauck, Bonnie Hauck, Dan Stephans
  • Insurance/Waivers/Medjet Station: Ed Otto, Kathy Engholm
  • Spotwalla Tracking Station: Tim Masterson
  • Emergency Contact Info Station: Jim Fousek 
  • Final Check In: Jeff Earls, Route Master
On the schedule today is the mandatory meetings for the "Rookies" and veteran riders. The day is capped off with the traditional "Start Banquette" where the Rally Books and Leg 1 bonus listing are handed out to each rider.
Rally "Safari" Master

Pre Safari banquet for the largest concentration of "The World's Toughest Motorcycle Rally Riders!"

IBR Rider Meeting - "Are there any questions?"

All Checked In - "Ready to Ride?"

Sat, 6/24:  Game On!  The posting of the IBR Rally poster is a time honored tradition to graphically announce the theme of the rally.  Veteran IBR riders gleam lots of intel about the Route Master's strategy for the rally.  Rookies marval at the artwork and wonder..."what could it mean" ...just kidding.  But alas, the real strategy and complexity of the rally will not be apparent until the distribution of the Rally Book at the Sunday evening start banquette.

Today, riders will be moving through the check in process designed to make sure each participant meets the strict requirements of the IBR.
  • Technical Inspection - Each motorcycle must pass the inspection for overall motorcycle safety, auxiliary fuel tank, and even muffler decibel level. 
  • Odometer Check -  Each rider follows a know distance course to determine their motorcycle's mechanical odometer variance 
  • Camera & SD Card -  Rider must submit three SD memory cards used by their digital camera.  Their picture is imprinted on each SD card for later validation.
  • Document Verification and Video - Risk acceptance documentation and video taping of each rider acknowledgment of the risk.
  • Final Check In - SpotWalla satellite tracking check, emergency contact info, MedJet verification and the all important entry into the official scoring computer.
I am working the SpotWalla satellite tracking check station.  Each rider in the IBR is required to have an active satellite tracking device that feeds the IBR SpotWalla portfolio. IBR SpotWalla Public Map

All Que'd Up
Camera SD card check
Risk Video Taping


Final Check In

Fri, 6/23:  And the fun begins!  First up this morning, stuffing the IBR Swag bags.  Each rally rider receives a bag stuffed with all manner of goodies..."Swag" in the promotional vernacular.  Mike Hutsal is a double Swag bagger! 

Swag Production Line
Swag Control
10 Shirts!?
Capt Ande'...Tech Inspector
  • Rally Name tag
  • Rally T-Shirts
  • Rally Hat
  • Rally stickers
  • Rally pens
  • Rally compact toothbrush
  • Wyman Waypoint sticker 
  • Instruction flyer
Later in the morning Dale Wilson lead the cadre of volunteer Technical Inspectors through the IBR rider parking lot.  Many riders took advantage of this orientation seminar for the Tech Inspectors to have their aux tanks given a quick look before formal technical inspections on Saturday and Sunday.  The tool bags were flying out of every nook and cranny.

Thur, 6/22:  Had a good ride to the IBR Start/Finish hotel.  Weather was hot in Texas and Oklahoma, got cooler in Kansas but not by much.  After spending the night in Topeka I stopped off in Boone Iowa to drop off a Wyman Memorial plaque place holder for the Boone/Scenic Valley Railroad Museum.  The Museum is the hosting authority for the Wyman wapoint sign and memorial plaque.

Started to rain off and on as I entered Minnesota.  By the time I got to Minneapolis it was the beginning of rush hour.  Traffic was snarled all over.  The highway selected by my GPS was closed so I had a detour that took me west, north then back south.  It took me an hour to go the last 10 miles to get to the La Quinta, where I am staying for the start festivities.  All the IBR riders are at the Marriott next door.  Had dinner with a couple of comrades and we talked about all manner of things motorcycle.

About the Iron Butt Rally

The Iron Butt Rally (IBR) is the world's premier long-distance motorcycle event.  The IBR is divided into three 'legs' of varying duration (see the schedule below) and riders must arrive at the Checkpoints before the arrival window closes.  Riders from around the world participate in the 11 day event to score points by visiting 'bonus' locations, take a picture to prove they were there, make a log entry and ride to the next bonus location.  So, it's a timed event where route planning, ridecraft, and resources management are keys to success. After three legs the riders are ranked by their claimed and awarded bonus points.  The top 10 'Podium' finishers are recognized at the awards banquette.  Just finishing the IBR is recognized the world over as evidence of one's superior long-distance motorcycling skills.

The IBR Overall Schedule

  • Thu-Fri, Jun 21-23:  Gathering of the riders, IBR staff and volunteers in Minnetanka, MN
  • Sat-Sun, Jun 24-25:  Rider check-in, technical inspections, registration
  • Sun Evening, Jun 25:  Start Banquette - Rally Books and Leg 1 bonus listing distributed
  • LEG 1:  10 am 6/26 to 8 pm 6/28 (58 hours)
  • LEG 2:  4 am 6/29 to 8 pm 7/1 (64 hours)
  • LEG 3:  4 am 7/2 to 10 am 7/7 (126 hours)
  • Fri Evening, Jul 7:  Awards Banquette and celebration!

Friday, April 28, 2017

Running of the RAT Riders

The running of the 2017 Ride Around Texas Insanity, "Tropical Adventure" is underway!  Riders from around the world are rendezvousing at the La Copa Inn & Resort, South Padre Island, for the start of the RAT Insanity on Monday, May 1.  Follow them as they ride 3,100+ miles around the perimeter of The Great State of Texas.
RAT 17 SpotWalla Map     RAT 17 List of Riders

RAT Start/Finish:  All riders will start between 5:00 and 6:00 am, Monday May 1.
  • RAT Insanity Gold return window:  70 hrs after start DBR, between 3:00 - 4:00 am, Thur, May 4th
  • RAT Insanity return window:  85 hrs after start DBR, between 6:00 - 7:00 pm, Thur, May 4th
RAT Insanity Riders Personal SpotWalla Tracks
Follow their progress as the RAT riders scurry to the mandatory checkpoints, collecting dated business receipts and sometimes a picture, proving they did the ride.  Click on a ID - RAT Rider Name below to see their personal RAT17 SpotWalla track.  Note:  Not all riders volunteered their SpotWalla link/ID. See: RAT 17 List of Riders,

Mounts of the 3 Amigos
This year's running of the RAT Insanity is an "International" event.  Three members of IBA Mexico are joining in on the "Insanity".  They are; Carlos Loaiza riding a 2014 BMW 1200 Adventure, Ioram Abolnik on a 2017 BMW 1200 GS and Javier Duran sporting a 2016 BMW 1200 Adventure.  ¡Buena suerte y motocicleta segura, amigos!  

RAT Insanity Finishers:  
Rider, finish time date, distance 
Ioram Abolnik, 14:57 5/3, 5,040km GOLD
Danny Dossman, 16:14 5/3, 3,160 GOLD
Rich Rulau, 16:27 5/3, 3,101 GOLD
Christopher Ross, 16:49 5/3, 3,097 GOLD
Alan Wiederanders, 16:43 5/3, 3,130 GOLD
Javier Duran, 18:35 5/3, 4,936km GOLD
Carlos Loaiza, 18:35 5/3, 4,943km GOLD
Matt Hube, 21:16 5/3, 3,115 GOLD
Paul Meyer, 21:25 5/3, 3,076 GOLD
Kevin Sawatsky, 23:12, 3,092 GOLD
Matt Wise, 23:15 5/3, 3,085 GOLD
Gerry Arel, 22:34 5/3, 3,111 GOLD
John & Nadine Huval, 01:01 5/4, 3,158 GOLD
Owen Quarles, 01:18 5/4, 3,185 GOLD
David Hathaway, 01:19 5/4, 3,189 GOLD
Matt Watkins, 01:28 5/4, 3,114 GOLD
David Uhl, 02:30 5/4, 3,296 GOLD
Morris Cox, 13:55 5/4, 3,152
Cynthia Cox, 13:56 5/4, 3,152
Bill Cumbie, 14:52 5/4, 3,072

Arthur Collins, DNF
Kerry Maning, DNF
Spencer Bennett, DNF
Jimmie Hammack, DNF
Lance Corley, DNF

RAT Insanity Certify Central:
La Copa Inn Business Center
With onsite IBA certification RAT riders show up at the business center of the La Copa Inn with all their documents ready for verification:  Completed IBA witness form. log of mandatory checkpoints and pictures of their motorcycle at the required locations.  Those with SpotWalla tracks get express certification.  Upon verification of all documents and pictures riders are RAT Insanity certified and presented RAT Insanity pins and stickers.  They retain all documents for their records.  Certificates to follow.

What's Happening

The Last RAT

Thursday, 5/4:
Bill Cumbie rolled in to the RAT's nest right on his revised ride plan schedule.  During the fierce thunderstorms of east Texas, Bill got it into his head to be the last of the RAT Insanity riders. According to Bill's thinking, "Somebody has to be last!"  And, this was his time to enjoy that very special recognition. Hail, he earned it the hard way!

So, by the authority vested in me as the RAT Insanity Master, I proclaim Bill Cumbie the "Distinguished RAT Insanity Rider - Last among RATs"

Morris and Cynthia Cox arrived back at SPI early afternoon.  Bill Cumbie is expected to arrive later, well before the 6pm closing window for the 85 RAT Insanity.

Adios, Three Amigos!
Ioram, Carlos and Javier are on their way back south of the border.  These guys are some harding riding motorcyclists.  They garnered the respect of all their fellow RAT Insanity riders and were a welcome addition to this hard riding adventure.

Morning Update:  The last of the RAT Insanity GOLD riders rolled in either side of midnight.  Clockwise riders Bill Cumbie, Morris & Cynthia Cox are taking a leisurely tour in after being held up by the vicious storms along I-10 around Beaumont last evening.  Spencer Bennet is out due to mechanical problems.  He's arranged the recovery trailer to come pick him up near Marshall, just south of Texarkana.

Lance Corley sends his "Congratulations, RAT Insanity Riders!" from his hospital bed.  He's in the trauma center in Odessa for at least another week with reconstructive surgery again tomorrow.  He wanted to pass along to everyone,  "I truly believe ATGATT saved my life!!!"  We wish Lance a speedy recovery and look for him to get back on the road.

On-site IBA certification starting at 7:00 am.  Riders who have successfully completed the RAT Insanity will be certified upon presentation and verification of all required documentation.  Ride Around Texas Insanity certificates to follow in a few days after review and approval by Mike Kneebone, President of the IBA.

Wednesday, 5/3: First back to SPI was Ioram Abolinik of the Three Amigos, who rode anti-clockwise. He woke up about 1:30 am this morning feeling great and decided to depart from his teammates.  Paseo excellente, Amigo!  And, from the looks of the SpotWalla tracks Danny Dossman will be the first of the clockwise pack to arrive back at SPI.  Excellent ride, Comrade!

Evening Update: Several of the clockwise riders are waylaid by severe thunderstorms and tornado warnings in a line running along I-10.  It's moving pretty fast but still a significant weather event.  The anti-clockwise riders are enjoying the cool evening temperatures along the Rio Grand with clear riding all the way in.  All of the Three Amigos are at SPI celebrating their excelling riding with cervesa fries.  Looks like the rest of the rider are on pace to meet their RAT Insanity goals.

Morning Update:  Home stretch for RAT Gold!  Day three of the RAT Insanity is going well with rider on track to meet their RAT goals. Danny Dossman and Christopher Ross were slowed down by an isolated thunder storm as they approached Beaumont along I-10.  Both Danny and Christopher are riding in the 2017 Iron Butt Rally and they are at rally pace.  Alan Wiederanders and the "Three Amigos" are out of Big Bend NP country heading south along the Rio Grand on pace to finish back in  South Padre Island before sunset.  Rich Rulau has a great ride pace and is expected to arrive at SPI ahead of the anti-clockwise pack.

Bill Cumbie, Morris & Cynthia Cox spent last night in the Panhandle amid typical Panhandle there.  They are back on the RAT trail this morning, but their pictures tell the tale of a hard riding adventures.
Oh, Hail!

Bill Combie's GSA

Arthur Collins is out of the RAT.  He got as far as Anthony on his clockwise run before calling it a day.  See you again soon, Arthur...have a safe ride to your next destination.

Tuesday, 5/2:  Day one in is the bag as the RAT Riders continue on their hard riding adventure around the perimeter of Texas.  As you can see by the SpotWalla location page above the clockwise and anti-clockwise groups are about to meet in the Panhandle.  The riding weather today is good.

Danny Dossman was leading the clockwise pack till he over shot the hotel availability by departing Anthony.  Got to Kermit and discovered there wasn't a hotel he'd care to stay so he drove south to Marathon for better lodgings.   Hmmm, wonder if he checked hotel availability heading north, say, like in Muleshoe?  Alan Wiederanders is near Texline at this writing with the rest of the anti-clockwise pack close behind.  The Three Amigos are looking strong on there way to Texline.

Jimmie Hammack is DNF due to the rectifier going out on his motorcycle just south of Van Horn.  Got toed to Van Horn, contacted family to bring a truck to pack the bike home.  Kerry Manning is DNF dues to work demands.

Lance Coreley took a detour to the Odessa hospital, via helicopter.  I've spoken to Lance and he is recovering from emergency surgery for shattered leg.  He's given me permission to share his ATGATT success with everyone.  This morning about 5am he was heading northwest on US90 just southeast of Valentine with he hit a concrete highway divider at about 60mph.  The bike went down and he was thrown off into the weeds on the side of the road.  He lay there for about a half hour waving his flashlight to get someone to stop and help.  A motorist finally stopped to help and contacted emergency services.  He was taken by air ambulance via Alpine direct to Odessa hospital for emergency surgery.  His family had been contacted and his HD Road Glide is in storage.  He's already been contacted by his insurance company about the bike.  Lance wanted to everyone to know he doesn't have a scratch on him due to all of his excellent riding gear,  He is now a believer in the LD uniform of ATGATT.

Get well soon Lance and we'll look for you on the road!

Ioram Abolnik, one of the "Three Amigos" left his ID tag and chain at the Red Roof Inn, Childress.  I called Danny Dossman to see if he would stop by to pick it up for Ioram.  It just so happened at the moment I called Danny he was pulling into the Valero in Childress.  He said he would be happy to stop by the hotel and pick it up.  Danny is such a Texas Gentleman!

David Url's HD
David Url had a tip-over trying to get a picture of the Guadalupe Mountains NP sign at 4:44 am.   It's unfortunate for David to have picked that stop to take a picture of his motorcycle with the Guadalupe Mountains NP sign that was on the side of the road instead of the sign at the entrance to the park Visitor's Center, like is in the RAT rider information page and in the GPX file.  That location has a nice wide pull off for just that sort of picture taking, instead on the side of the road.  To quote David's email...."Oops!"

Monday, 5/1:  Riders depart between 5:00 and 6:00 am after securing a starting dated business receipt (DBR).  The La Copa WAS to provide a continental breakfast on the 4th floor between 5:00 and 5:45 am.  But, despite the clause in the contract and my best efforts to confirm it three times before hand, no breakfast. Everyone seems to be taking it in stride by departing a few minutes earlier and grabbing a cup of coffee along with the DBR at the start gas station.

Well, it always seems to happen at the worst of times.  Lance Corley's HD Road Glide quit on him in San Bonito, which just so happens to be the home of Mad Boar HD.  Lance tried to trouble shoot the electrical problem but to no avail.  Mad Boar opened at 9am, came and got Lance's in-op HD and put it into emergency intensive care.  Lance is running the numbers through his head to calculate his chances of completing the 70 hour RAT Intensity Gold.

Jimmie Hammack is out for rectifier problems near Van Horn.  Has a trailer on the way to get him back home.

Sunday, 4/30:  Rider check in will be conducted in the parking lot between 3pm and 4pm.  IBA
Witness forms signed off, waivers collected and rider information for IBA certification verified.  At 4pm there will be a mandatory rider safety briefing with
RAT Riders at Johnny Rocket
question and answer period.  No host dinner and camaraderie to follow.

If you don't like the weather here in Texas, just wait a day.  Yesterday it was hazy hot and humid here in SPI.  Great beach weather.  It was showing at the top of the Texas Panhandle near Texline, one of the mandatory checkpoints on the RAT.  Hopefully, by the RATriders reach the top of Texas all that nasty weather will have moved out.  Today, the weather is peachy!

Several of the RAT Insanity riders are participating in the 2017 Iron Butt Rally, "World's Toughest Motorcycle Rally" which starts near Minneapolis MN June 26.  The IBR is the premier long-distance motorcycle rally covering all of the US and Canada.   Very few of the world's top long-distance riders ever get to participate in the IBR and fewer complete the 11,000 miles in 11 days.   The RAT Insanity will provide a valuable shake out opportunity those riders to work on their 'Ride Craft"

La Copa Inn (Red roof)
Saturday, 4/29:  Gathering of the RAT Riders.  Many of the participants are taking advantage of the beautiful sub-tropical weather of South Padre Island to enjoy some vaca time.  The La Copa Inn & Resort is a prime location, not only for beach access, but is virtually at the end of the Queen Isabella Bridge.  That, and the proximity of the 24/7 Stripes gas station make it an ideal starting/finishing point for the RAT Insanity.

As with all long distance riding events, several riders never make it to the starting line.  Dispite the best of intention, extensive preperations and determination to make the ride, stuff happens.  Take for instance Captain Robert Rehkopf.  After departing his Memphis TN home he reaches the outskirts of Houston only to have the clutch mechanism on his BMW R1200RT malfunction in bumper to bumper rush hour traffice.  Unabale to see his way through the issues he had to cancel out.  Doni Evens had similiar problems just prior to leaving home and had to cancal out.  Several registered riders had to postpone the RAT due to work or family conflicts.  All the riders who registered for the RAT Insanity can do the ride on their own whenever their schedules allow.

About the RAT Insanity
The RAT Insanity "Tropical Adventure" starts and finishes in South Padre Island, May 1 - 4, 2017.  Riders from around the country can enjoy a tropical mini-vaca on each end of an exciting, exclusive and challenging IBA certified ride.  See an example of a clockwise running of the RAT Insanity Gold

RAT Insanity
  • 3,100+ Miles around the perimeter of Texas
  • 70 Hours RAT Insanity Gold
  • 85 Hours RAT Insanity
  • 18 Mandatory checkpoints, including SPI start/finish
  • Riders choose Clockwise or Anti-Clockwise route
Mandatory Checkpoints and verification requirements
IBA start/finish witness is required.  Make a date/time log entry at each mandatory checkpoint and secure either the required dated business receipt (DBR) or photo with your motorcycle (MC) in the picture. All DBRs must be computer generated business receipts showing the date, time, city and state (IBA standard).  The long standing rules and protocols for the ride are on the official IBA and Motorcycle Tourer's Forum RAT Insanity sites and apply to this event, (see modifications below.)

Clockwise Route Example
  1. South Padre Island:  IBA witness and start DBR
  2. Del Rio:  DBR
  3. Big Bend NP, Panther Junc:  DBR or photo of Panther Junc sign with MC
    Clockwise Route
  4. Lajitas General Store:  DBR or Photo of store front with MC
  5. Presidio:  DBR
  6. Anthony:  DBR
  7. Guadalupe Mtns NP:  Photo of park entrance sign with MC
  8. Kermit:  DBR
  9. Texline:  DBR
  10. Follett:  DBR
  11. Childress:  DBR
  12. Paris:  DBR
  13. Texarkana:  DBR
  14. Port Arthur:  DBR
  15. Port Bolivar:  Photo of MC on the ferry while underway
  16. Galveston:  DBR
  17. Victoria:  DBR
  18. South Padre Island:  Finish DBR and IBA witness

Monday, March 13, 2017

2107 IBA Daytona Party

It's that time of year again!  Time to head to the Iron Butt Association Daytona Party to kick off the spring riding season.  Held in Jacksonville, FL at the end of Daytona Bike Week this annual event is host to one of the largest gatherings of long distance riders anywhere in the world.  Always a treat to mingle with LD comrades.
SpotWalla Map

Thu, 3/16:  Got drafted to help pass out the flags to the rides participating in the Zaddle-Zore 1,000 and 1,500 Bun Burner Gold rides.   Was fun to see all the riders bundled up in their cold weather gearas the morning temperatures were in the low 30s this morning.  Many riders who live in the north got hit by bad weather.  Some decided to wait it out and still other cancelled all together.  But, there still was over 75 riders departing out from the hotel at about 7am for the ride.  They won't be trickling back in till late this evening for the 1,000 riders and well after midnight for the 1,500 riders.

Wed, 3/15:  It's an easy 300 mile to Jacksonville and I left the hotel about 7:30am.  The sun was rising in the clear and cold skies as I headed east along I-10.  It was 37f chilly but again I was warm and comfortable in my most excellent riding gear.  Stopped for gas and a cup of coffee on the other side of Tallahassee.  The last 110 miles to Jax went well and I arrived about 13:30.

Tue, 3/14:  I'm departing at sunrise along I-10.  I'm going to take it easy because I have lots of time to get to Jacksonville.   Plan on arriving mid day on Wednesday.  Weather is supposed to be just great between Texas and Florida.

The weather was great.  Bright and sunny with temperatures in the mid 50s.  I was plugged into the bike and toasty warm with my heated gear.  Stopped for a late lunch eary dinner at Burger King before riding on to Crestview FL for the night.

The IBA Daytona Party - There are always lots of things to do at this gathering to keep busy.  The Iron Butt Rally is happening this year and many of the veteran and rookie riders of this years IBR will be attending the JAX party.  For the rookie IBR riders it's a great way to pick up a few tips on riding "The World's Toughest Motorcycle Rally."

Many LD riders, about 30, are doing IBA challenge rides on the way to Jacksonville. And, it that wasn't enough, on Thursday, March 16, close to 90 riders will be participating in the JAX 1,000 or BBG (1,000 or 1,500 miles in less than 24 hours)

JAX 1,000
JAX 1,500
Mike Kneebone, IBA President, will be hosting the special presentation ceremony to all successful participants in the JAX 1,000/1,500 on Friday afternoon.  The evening in then topped off with lots of presentations at the Friday night banquet dinner.