Ahmet's Ride Report
I guess it is time to seriously reflect on my ButtLite experience. I ran the ButtLite, slept comfortably 5-6 hours average in a hotel every night, never got sleepy, and enjoyed the entire ride. I took a somewhat opposite look at the rally than most of my co-participants. Due to an injury that I had on my neck and throttle arm, I decided to take this rally easy and see where it got me. My original plan was to just run checkpoint to checkpoint. However, at times, I decided not to pass up on the easy bonus points.
I started the rally at 8 am as planned, after loosing a few hours fixing my odometer cable, I checked into a hotel around Big Springs at approx. 11 PM. Big Springs is where 90 and 76 split up. So depending on how I felt next morning, I could either go north and get the Scottsbluff and Cherokee checkpoints, or just hit Denver. After watching some TV, I hit the sack by about midnight, and woke up next morning by 6 am. After a shower I was too lazy to go through Scottsbluff and Cherokee and decided to go for Denver.
In the second leg, on Tuesday, after dropping by Mother Gabrini checkpoint, I headed west and decided to take a one hour catnap somewhere in Kansas, and finally hit the sack in Salinas, Kansas, around 1 am. Getting up by 6:30, taking a shower and having the continental breakfast at the hotel, I started my 14 hour run to the Marietta Checkpoint, After taking a one hour lunch break near a beautiful lake in Southern Illinois, I arrived around in Marietta 11 PM. After collecting the Big Chicken Bonus in Marietta, I checked in into the hotel approx. 1/2 mile to the checkpoint. Around midnight, since it was not my bedtime yet, I decided to go to Applebee's and have a nice steak sirloin dinner. Hitting the sack at 1 am, I woke up by myself around 7 am, dropped by at the checkpoint to say hello to the guys and then went or the Stone Mountain Checkpoint. I forgot my towel at the hotel, so I had to do the trip through the Atlanta traffic twice, and ended up being 50 minutes late ... stupid stupid stupid .. After getting the bonus listings I went back to my hotel room and planned the third leg, which was a short one, and seemed to be more like the regular rallies I was used to.
Leaving around 1 PM, I ended up meeting with Gary and Terry, and we had an enjoyable hunt for the various bonus points. Terry and Gary decided to go directly to Springfield around midnight, and I continued to get one more bonus. Throughout this leg we felt like we were the only ones running the rally. Twice I met Richard on his Rolling Bordello, and we did the Rocky Fork State Park together. Heading back to Springfield, I arrived there around 3:15 am and checked in into the hotel. Next morning around 6:30 am I saw Richard emerging behind the dumpsters of the hotel. I would have dragged the poor guy i nto my room had I known he was sleeping there.
After checking in at Comp. Acc. and I went back to the hotel (a few hundred feet away) slept for another 1:30 hours, then got the new checkpoint info and used my layover bonus, as Tom Austin did, to figure out my new route. By 10 am the route was figured out, and I had another 3 hours to sleep. Leaving Springfield around 1 PM again, I went to the AMA in Columbus, toddled around there for the 30 minutes and then headed back on I-70 for the few bonus points I had decided to do that day. It was fortunate that Lynn was actually on the detour around the horrific jam on I-70, right after the Indiana border, so I did not get caught in that. I had plenty of time to go east on rt. 80 to collect the toll booth bonus, and met with the folks at theFamous Burrito place around 10:30. After hanging out there for nearly an hour, I was curious about the crash site, so I rode down and collected that bonus, and checked in a hotel in Ottawa, Illinois around 1:30 am.
Getting up next morning by 6 am, after taking my shower as usual :) I headed back for Minneapolis. I arrived with plenty of time left to have my head checked in the Museum of Questionable Devices, and headed for the finish in St Paul. Looking at all this it seems that it is actually possible to run a multi-day rally, being able to sleep enough every night, take a shower every morning, and not even once get sleepy or have to fight off hallucinations. Here come the mistakes that dropped me from a theoretical 11th position to 25th. Boy did they hurt
Listen carefully to all the rules, how trivial they sound: I totally spaced out at the first gas receipt of the first leg, and did not even think that a location was needed. I even remember asking around at the gas station where I was since it was not on the receipt. After loosing the 1000 points at the first leg, I learned my lesson. From there on, I was filling in my fuel log sheet directly from the receipt. If I did not see it on the receipt, I knew that something was wrong. The only things I read off the bike was the odometer reading, and then verify the time with my watch. I kept my watch at local time all the time so I could actually verify the times, and once, the time was off by one hour. 2- RTFM
After going up the 375 steps to Mother Gabrini's Shrine,
and being very careful to write down every word in the bonus point, I just simply
did not see that there were 2 questions in that one bonus. It was a very common
trick loved by rallymasters, and I had encountered that before in other rallies,
but the words fooled me: "Write down EXACTLY what it says". I was
more concerned on weather there were any spellings, letters etc on the writing
and did not even see the question where it asked who it was dedicated to. 3-
Don't get too overconfident After having slept for a good 8 hours I left most
of my stuff in the hotel in Marietta and went for the easy 588 bonus point in
Rock Mountain. Well I also had left my rally towel at the hotel. That cost me
200 points being late to the checkpoint, since I had to do the trip twice. From
then on, I basically did not unpack any of my rally stuff when I checked into
a hotel, just carried the bags inside, took out the minimum, and had everything
packed again before I went to sleep.4- Fill in the darn sheet as you collect
the bonuses. At the end of the rally, I filled in all the points I had collected,
but forgot to fill in my layover bonus. SO I lost 555 points. I should have
filled in the paperwork as I was doing the bonus, not afterwards. And this was
right after consoling airyn for having done the same for one of her bonus locations.
DOH! This one was a killer and much more painful than the others. Did I mention
the 4 Martinis :) I can say that I have definitely learned a good lesson on
what not to do in this rally, and I hope some of these will come useful to someone
out there running the big one. I also can honestly say, that if one wants to
run such a rally, without necessarily wanting to win, it is not a death march,
and is easily doable if you manage your time well. My hats off to the top placed
participants, who were able to ride much harder than me on this and got their
very well deserved trophies.
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