ButtLite 5000 Intelligence Reports

News and Views from Rallymaster Adam Wolkoff

July 3, 1999


Some random thoughts and observations, in no particular order, from a sleepy, hot and sweaty Rallymaster.

1. I seem to have developed a bit of a reputation. I've always thought of myself as an easygoing, friendly sort. A "live and let live" kind of guy. Apparently, I'm going to have to reconsider my personal image. One rider, after completing tech, said to me, "You're not half as mean as I thought you'd be." I gather that is a Good Thing.

I suppose it all started at this year's MN1K, My desire to see an end to the creeping cheating on the rally led me to get, er, Real Damn Serious about pesky little things like the rally rules. My act must have been successful, since I seem to have left my happier reputation behind. Even Eddie weighed in: "You haven't been the same since you saw the movie Patton," he observed. I thanked him profusely.

Now that I find myself in this curious position, I suppose I will have to start growing into my reputation. Anyone that tries to sneak one by THIS Rallymaster will get it with both barrels.

That is, after the group hug.

2. When all else fails, read the instructions. BL5K riders, relax. I won't mention any names. But as long as I have your attention, hear this little bit of rally wisdom. On the list of successful rallying skills, motorcycling ability is not number one. Or two. Or three. What is the #1 required skill?

(A digression. Those who have had the dubious pleasure of a legal education are intimately familiar with that pedagogical torture, the Socratic Method. A professor employing the Method doesn't lecture. Rather, she attempts to lead the class discussion with a series of probing, sometimes pointed questions. The question at the end of the preceding paragraph could be considered an illustration of the Method.)

No idea? OK, what are you doing, right now? You just read the foregoing sentence, right? You wouldn't dream of reading this sentence without reading the one before it first, right? Got it yet?

OK, I'll end the suspense. A long distance motorcycle rally is about reading comprehension, first and foremost. If you can't read and follow the bonus instructions to the letter, you will never do well on an endurance rally. A few riders learned this the hard way during tech today. Required items--itemized in the December 1998 mailing, and on the web page--were actually required.

Luckily, every potential problem was averted, and every errant rider eventually cleared tech. These poor sods learned a cheap lesson: if you don't read the instructions, you won't pass the test. The old carpenter's rule, "measure twice and cut once" controls here.

(Hmmm, I guess I really DO need to lay off that Patton video for a while.)

3. Unexpected Rallymaster Bonus. Tonight, about 30 of us had a nice, quiet meal at Buca. This palace to pasta, which used to house a supper club when I was a kid, is located in an odd corner of St. Paul that even fools the natives. Since I live in St. Paul, I was elected to lead the group from Rally HQ to the feeding trough. So off we went.

Since I sold my K-Bike to some guy my wife has allowed me the use of her 1979 R65. Imagine my pleasure putting down the highway at a stately--but prudent--speed, while behind me stretched about a half million dollars worth of purpose built rally bikes. What a great feeling, to see all these riders, who had all put some much effort into this wacky pursuit we have chosen as our sport. What an even better feeling to realize that these folks had ridden thousands of miles to ride in the first ButtLite 5000.

My short tenure as a Rallymaster has increased the respect I have for people like Mike Kneebone and Peter Heesch, who really got this whole ball rolling. The amount of work required to put on a rally of any kind is absolutely phenomenal. Ed and I have worked long and hard to make this rally an enjoyable experience. Seeing the 30 or so BL5K riders at Buca, hanging out, laughing and shooting the shit, was an incredible high.

I will go to sleep tonight knowing that we have an incredible field of riders, who are preparing to tackle the most challenging endurance rally this side of the Ironbutt. I for one, can't wait to see how this thing will turn out. Less than 33 hours from now, the rubber meets the road. Stay tuned, its going to get interesting.

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