Riders Report:
Bill Thweatt #230
1997 ST1100 Honda


August 28, 07:00 am    Rally started

Stuff happened

September 4, 15:00 pm            Rally ended



The morning of August 24, Norm Grills, Allen Dye and myself, Bill Thweatt

left for Columbus, Ohio. Now Norm and I have ridden together a number of

times but I had only meet Allen once before at the Waltz this year. Why? You

ask do you need to know this. Will the first thing Allen said to me at our

first stop was "If you had toll me, I would have brought my underwear for

you to ware" I rode a little further back after this statement.


Friday August 25, We arrive and get the tech/mileage completed and now it's

wait time....Ya right. Due to carefully planning and preparation, before

leaving home, I only have to go to the store nine times between Saturday and

Sunday. But Monday morning I'm ready to go. Sometime Saturday Norm asked me

about riding together, now Norm and I do ride to and from actives but never

have we rode a rally together and at no point did we talk about doing so.

Planning is everything, right?  So, being open to new things and only in it

for the FUN. I agree it could be good and that either one of us could back

out at anytime and ride our own ride.


Monday morning Norm and I start planning our route, morning traffic and all

we go east before dropping down south. Will the first thing we hit is FOG,

and then some more FOG. So much for our first plan together.  At some point

we get back on I-71 headed for the first bonus this was pretty good no

problem. We are off and running for the next, we take off from Cincinnati

headed towards Louisville and I-64 to Rome, Indiana. 100 miles before our

turn off Norm gets off the x-way and I'm thinking "restroom" Norm goes buy

the gas station and takes off down a two land????? Norm, Norm where are you

going? The GPS said to turn here, Norm my paper map say's we have 100 miles

to go before turning. Oh. So back to the x-way and off we go. Norm, that's

are exit, no GPS say's the next one, 7 miles down. No, Norm this is it and I

need gas. My paper map is correct again. Are we seeing a pattern here? We

get Rome and start for Metropolis, Super Man, then it happens Norm gets off

the x-way, no gas station, no nothing. Norm what are you doing? My G...Norm

GET BACK ON THE X-WAY NOW....... Paper wins again. (It will be interesting

to hear Norm's side of this). The rest of this leg goes as plan, well most

of it. We won't talk about missing the BIG I-55 south sign in Memphis. We

pick up our over night stop just south of Jackson and on to Hot Coffee

Mississippi in the morning, then Baton Rouge with time to spare. 


Start of leg two finds Norm and I planning the next rout when I tell Norm we

have to be in the "Resort" by 8pm. 5 minutes later we are off and running.

Base on my calculations we should make it with 15 minutes to spare... Will

that was before we hit 290 northwest of Houston. Can we say "Parking Lot"...

Just about the time we were looking to get off and find another way we see

things clearing up and off we go. Norm, myself and Doug on the 250. As we

closer to the resort things start to happen, turn left and the first tee,

right and the second tee, go 1.4 miles. Did I miss the part about DIRT road?

Norm hits the dirt and I can not see him or the road plus the ST feels like

a wild horse under me. What the hell happen to the road and where is Norm?

Does the road turn, I do not know I can not see anything. After what seemed

like a hour Norm and I get things slowed down and he looks over at me a

say's "Have we gone 1.4 miles yet?" I would like to tell you want I was

thinking but words like that can't be printed. I look up there are all these

people running out from behind a fence and start yelling to go, go, go. We

make it at 7:59pm. On the way out I lead and then I saw some the rocks we

must have hit...I better check my rims....


Norm and I have plans to go up through Dallas on our way to Tulsa, Oklahoma

with a stop at home for two hours sleep, we both live just off I-75 in north

Dallas area. By 7am we are off for Tulsa then up I-35 to I-70 over to

Denver. Let me just say Oklahoma and Kansas were HOT 105 most of the way. My

cool vest worked but we did stop in Salina, Kansas in a McDee's for over a

hour to cool down. With a overnight stop in Denver we picked up a few more

bonuses, Norm went up 40 to pick up one more bonus and headed to Salt Lake.

I had just found out that my mother was in the hospital, and could not keep

my mine on the ride. I will have to go back to ride this road and some



Leg three, looks pretty straight. Well as we are leaving from the Medicine

Blow bonus location Norms looking over his shoulders, back at the windmills

and slides down into the ditch. Me, being the good ldrider that I am, start

thinking. If the GPS and V1 make it after the fall I wonder if Norm will let

me use them for the rest of the trip.  But Norm being the rider he is saves

the bike and continues on. Better luck next time. In Lusk we find the road

to the bonus more then we are will to subject the bikes to and head for

Aladdin, Wyoming. I think we meet all 15 people in this town. Norm heads

back to Rapid City and I head to Mud Butte South Dakota. I knew this was too

easy. Getting off 85 on to 212 east the first sign say's "Mud Butte" 34

miles, the second signs say's "construction 34 miles" and the third sign

say's "Carefully dirt road". At this point I start to understand the "I hate

Eddie" statements that I hear sooooo often.  At the end of the construction,

and I mean just after the sign the said "End of Construction" the bonus

location turn off is there. Next I'm off to Bison, and all we have to do is

get a gas receipt at a "ALL NIGHT" station. Now this station is two gas

pumps, no building and NO instruction on how to use the credit card reader.

Eddie, I hate you. Next stop Fargo, long wet, cold ride. OH, did I forget to

tell you about the cows in the road to Bison, I will really enjoy my next

steak, he who laughs last.


Leg four finds me getting read to run to northern Michigan to see my mother

and hopefully make it to Columbus by Monday for the finish. I say good by to

Norm and I'm off. My sister, who was with my mother told me to call at the

point of going north or heading south and staying in the rally. This was St

Paul for me. After talking to the doctor and my sister, they both told me

that when my mother found out I was dropping out of the rally and coming to

the hospital that her blood pressure was up, and heart rate. Both my sister

and doctor ask me to continue with the ride and told me everything would be

ok. Note: as of Wednesday September 6, she will be home on Thursday and

everything is find.


So off I head, I pick up a few bonuses and head down to Des Moines, stopping

for the nigh. My down fall starts here, as I try to pick up a receipt of my

over night stay the only gas station does not have night time attendance,

you guessed NO receipt, and 1.3 gals of gas. Cost is 750 points, this cost

me 6th place, I finished in 12th. Could of, Should of, Would of. NEXT time.

Now understand when I started this rally my highest completion goal was in

the top 25 so being up set about only 12th is crazy.  My number one goal was

to have FUN......


Adam, Eddie I had FUN, Thanks for a great week.


This was my third rally, LOE 1999, Waltz 2000, and BL2 my first multi day

rally, IT WON'T be my last.


Bill Thweatt


Eddie, the package coming your way is a clock, really so don't worry about

no stinking ticking, ye that's it, it's just a clock.


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The "Ironbutt" name and logo used by permission of the Ironbutt Association.
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