August 27, 2000: Adversity
Adversity can come at any time and every form. We’ve seen this demonstrated all day by our soon to be hapless, hopeful victims. Even your rallymasters have not been spared.
Some forms of adversity are intentionally inflicted. We’re still shaking our heads over Bill Davis. It started out innocently enough, when I asked Bill to tell me the make and model of his bike. “It’s a Harley, but I can’t really tell you what model it is,” he explained. On further questioning, Bill told me how he had assembled the bike from a variety of parts of various pedigree. After much discussion, it was agreed we would list the bike as a “HD/Self Assembled/Hardtail/Panhead.” We didn’t have room to add “no fairing, windshield or other items of any kind.” Of course, neither did Bill. The model year was easy: since he just finished the bike this weekend, Bill wanted it listed at 2000.
Another would-be yoga master has abandoned his bed of nails in favor of an EX250. Doug Stout from Waterville, OH pilots the littlest Ninja. He paid only $425 for the bike, including the then built-in bird’s nest. I was concerned about Bill’s choice of mount, but my fears abated somewhat when I learned that prior to our rally, Doug ran coast to coast on his “big bike,” a CB350.
To say that both of these riders are crowd favorites would be a gross understatement. While we can debate the value of high tech gadgetry, no one can dispute the desirability of, say, a rear shock, a windshield, or more horsepower than the Ninja’s tiny gerbil-powered motor can produce. Yet through adversity comes strength. Bill and Doug have abandoned high tech in favor of heart and soul. In my mind, these riders’ efforts are already a success.
Sometimes, a little bit of cash can ease adversity. Last year, Eric Jewell rode his R11RT to the winner’s circle. This year, about a week before the rally, he rode it to the repair shop. The news was grim. The RT was not going rallying. Other riders might have packed it in. Eric picked up the phone, and rented himself a rally bike. Curiously, the rental bike is the exact same make and model as his usual ride. Just think--$120/day and ten cents per mile, and you too can hit the circuit. Just don’t forget to up the credit limit on the Visa.
Your rallymasters have also endured no small amount of adversity, all at the hands of the other rider from Paducah, Mr. L. C. “Bubba” Kolb. Bubba has been keeping us on our toes for the last few days. Between the 0400 wakeup calls, countless cuss-filled messages left on the voicemail, defacing rally property, and trading insults about possums and parentage, it has become clear that we have a new special friend. Bubba has also inspired his fellow riders, who have become quite adept at suggesting new dirty tricks for Mr. Kolb to spring on us.
Bubba does have one redeeming feature, and his name is Don Sills. A BL5K veteran, Don is the original rider from Paducah, and more resembles the courtly Southern gentleman. Don has traded in last year’s Harley for a Venture. He denies selecting the Yamaha for its ability to better put Bubba in the rear view mirrors. We’ll have to take him at his word, because this odd couple has apparently decided to tackle BL2 as a team. This is certainly a combination to reckon with, if Don can keep his partner out of jail.
The real tale of adversity begins in just a few short hours. Riders were issued rally flags and some light reading material, and all promptly retired to their respective corners to peruse the same. After a brief riders meeting, they will hit the streets at 0700, on their way to Baton Rouge. Along the way, riders will have to successfully balance their greedy, base desires to accumulate bonus points with the need to arrive at Hebert Cycles in Baton Rouge before being time barred at 1250 on Tuesday. My mission is considerably simpler: keep Bubba away from the telephone.Back to Intelligence Reports, or back to ButtLite Archive
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