ButtLite 5000 Intelligence Reports

News and Views from Rallymaster Adam Wolkoff

July 8, 1999

 Today many riders learned a seemingly obvious yet singularly critical lesson: the ButtLite 5000 is not a 24-hour event.  Many of the riders who did very well on leg one of the rally lost points needlessly for failing to recognize this simple, brutal truth.

Some riders worked so hard on leg one, and the first half of leg two, that they left big points on the table.  Not 50 miles from Zen Moto sits Stone Mountain, Georgia, worth a hefty 555 points.  Rider after rider forgot, ignored or simply refused this bonus, in favor of lesser destinations requiring more work for less points.  Anyone who went to, say, Booger Hollow learned this lesson the hard way.  I can put it even more simply: rider after rider failed to claim the giant chicken in Marietta, less than one half mile from the checkpoint, because they allowed time and energy to drain away on less efficient routes. On the other hand, riders who remembered the nature of this event showed the rest of the field some stunning results.

Take, for example, one Richard Bernecker, known by his friends as :"Dick-head #1", our new first place rider.  Mr. Head had piloted his "Rolling Bordello" to third place on leg one, and maintained an Ironbutt style pace to lock up the leader's position.  Using similar tactics, Gary Parece rode his Kawasaki Concours into second place, two points behind Bernecker.  Allen Dye, the genial Texan, stormed his way from twenty-first to third place, by executing a well planned, gutsy run.  And Bill Newton(remember I told you to keep your eye on Newton?) continued to quietly pace himself for the long haul, and moved up fifteen places to fifth overall.  All of these riders have one thing in common: they understand that the ButtLite will not be won or lost in twenty four hours, or even on one leg.

How to explain the meteoric fall in points exhibited by other riders?  The only answer we have for Nels Gebben is divine retribution.  You'll recall Gebben as the rider who cursed in front of God and blue haired old ladies at the Mother Cabrini Shrine the day before.  At that time, he held a solid fourth place and was set up for greater good and glory on the remainder of the leg.  After taking the Lord's name in vain numerous times in that sacred and holy place, he fell like a rock to 18th overall.  Coincidence?  We think not.

Mark Kiecker continues to teach the field about overcoming adversity.  Every time he is confronted with a challenge, this young rider simply puts his head down and overcomes.  Mark did collect his gas receipts, allowing him to score at least a modicum of points on his abortive run from Denver.  When he showed up at Zen Moto, he uttered not one discouraging word.  Instead, he quickly set to work finding a fix for his odometer problem.  When he learned that the dealership didn't have the part he needed, he said. "Then point me to a machine shop, I'll make one myself."  He was utterly serious.

Fortunately, it did not come to that.  Mike Sachs and his Dekalb Technical students were on the scene.  After confirming the diagnosis, they located another Seca for sale at a local dealership.  With a bit of salesmanship, that dealer was persuaded to sell the required part off the used bike.  Soon Kiecker had an odometer, and he was on the floor, getting some sleep in preparation for leg three.

My favorite bonus on this leg required riders to stop at Precious Moments in Carthage, Missouri, to purchase a cute little figurine.  What the riders did not know was that they were visiting this bonus during International Precious Moments Week.  The other thing the riders did not know was that they would get to carry their new friend with them for the rest of the rally.  Presenting a little Timmy figurine in Marietta would earn the rider 333 points.  Another 333 points would be paid for Timmy's intact presence in Springfield and St. Paul.

Most riders thought this was pretty funny too, until I took Timmy's box and bubble wrap away.  "You fucking sadist", Airyn Darling observed.  Bob Corio was more succinct. "You asshole", he muttered.  I love being a Rallymaster, and now you know why.

We had another humorous encounter with Mr. Corio on our way out of town.  We spotted him in the right lane about a quarter mile ahead of us on I-75.  As Ed crept the Buick closer, I rolled down the window, and started cursing and pointing at Bob.  He nervously tried to ignore us, until he finally realized it was his wacky Rallymasters.  He then smiled wanly as Eddie wound up the supercharger, giving Bob a view of the rapidly receding Ultra.

It is less than 600 miles from Marietta to Springfield.  The riders have approximately 19 hours to make the run.  Spectators in Marietta told us this was the easiest leg of any rally they had ever seen.  We shall see about that.


1 Bernecker 6611
2 Parece 6601
3 Dye 6386 (advance from 21st place)
4 Anderson, K 6338
5 Newton 6257 (Advance from 20th place)
6 Holmes 6075 (On the move)
7 Phelps 5927
8 Bakker 5904 (Pushed too hard last leg?)
9 Jewell 5894 (Don't count him out)
10 Kesseler 5693
11 Snyder 5653
12 Stephans 5569 (Running steady and smart)
13 Austin 5412 (K12LT motoring right along)
14 Sills 5364
15 Ohnemus 5363
16 Grills 5344
17 Fisher 5327
18 Gebben 5262 (has stopped swearing)
19  Darling 5259 (What happened?)
20 Ulrich 5164
21 Zulaski 5148
22 Steuber 5023 (Hardly out of the running)
23 Oswald 5021 (Nice recovery from 1st leg error)
24 Ralston 4843
25 Smith, Richard 4843
26 Edewaard 4806 (clearly enjoying himself)
27 Tor 4751 (Glad he decided to run)
28 Corio 4751
29 Church 4658
30 Mulcahy 4560
31 Snyder 4541
32 Ray 4507
33 Pasquarello 5375
34 Strickstein 4292 (Hanging tough)
35 Dean 3868 (Got the chicken)
36 Kiecker 3819
37 Smith, David 3611
38 Buharali 3150 (and not giving up)
39 Boyce 2942
42 Stephans II 2157 (DNF)
43  Berggren 1344 (WITHDRAWN FROM RALLY)


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