Skerts Pink Ribbon Rides
Butt Lite II
I pulled into the parking lot of the Lenox Inn. This was what I
had been anticipating for a year now. I was riding on that great
big GS. The vision I had a year ago had finally come true. I had
a message to women and men, You can do it. Could I though? Could
I actually ride consecutive thousand mile days? Could I keep from
falling asleep? Will my feet really reach the ground when I stop
in front of all these guys? People turned to watch me every time
I pulled in or drove out of the parking lot. I know they were shaking
heads finding it hard to believe this 5'3" little old lady was riding
the tall GS1150. I know this because once they got to know me, they
told me. They eventually treated me like one of the guys. I passed
the feet on the ground test. I had one of the spectators actually
tell me seeing me on that GS was obscene. I can't imagine that thought.
I was at home on that bike by the time I rode it back from New York
a mere 3 weeks before.
My first chore I had to attend to was get my Motolights on my bike.
Mike Sachs had them wired up, but we had not mounted them because
of the proper band to hold them on. The first band Rob sent would
have fit except I had the big Piia's on and the Motolights and Piia's
collided. Mike told me to check with Ahmet because he had a GS also.
We ended up using duct tape to make the fork big enough to hold
the Motolights straps down low. A bit wobbly, but they worked. I
firmly believe the single most important alteration I have done
to my bikes in the name of safety is using Motolights at all times.
Ahmet soon became a great source of comfort to me. He was friendly,
happy to help out a friend of Mike's and a fellow rider on the GS.
I was scared. I was still scared my feet suddenly would not reach
the ground when really necessary.
The next person I met was Pauline. She introduced herself as the
"other" woman. We were the only two ladies entered in the ButtLiteII.
We became fast friends and decided to go shopping at the Walmart
together. We hook up with one the Terry's and all walked over to
shop for those last minute batteries, shower caps, and film. Pauline
and I congratulated each other on our advancing ages and the fact
that we would soon get our AARP cards. I was actually envious of
Pauline because she already had hers and had gotten a discount at
one of the campgrounds. We went our separate ways in the store and
miraculously met at the check out lines and walked back to the motel
together. It was bonding that I needed.
I only knew one other person, Eddie James, and he was not available
for pep talks on this ride, he was one of the Rally Masters. Not
only that, he teased me unmercifully, just like he did every one
else, except Bubba, who he verbally abused in retaliation to Bubba's
abuse toward him. They actually had us all in stitches on numerous
occasions. We became quite fond of those two guys antics.
On Saturday evening Eddie, Adam, and Kevin were inviting us all
to ride out to Eddie's favorite BBQ place. I guess it was one bonus
too many because he didn't have it on any of his bonus sheets. He
had all his other favorite eating joints all over the country for
us to bring him back food and goodies. I jumped in the back of the
truck with Kevin and from then on reminded him that I had spent
the evening in bed with him. The riders that followed made an incredible
parade of lights behind us. Mark being the first one and hot-rodding
his VFR constantly. It was like a magic ride for me. Kevin even
commented on the motorcycle light show trailing behind the pick-up.
Mark reminded me of the fellows I ride with in the North Georgia
Mountains. Lots of spunk. Little did I know of his spunk and stamina.
The BBQ was awesome, the company entertaining. It was a great way
to become one of the group.
Sunday, my 49th birthday was uneventful. I called my kids wished
myself happy birthday. Called my S/O, Donnie. I didn't feel 49.
I didn't feel old. I did feel scared. We had several meetings that
day, the last being dinner and the first of three route sheets to
be handed out. I took my bonus pack up to my room, pulled out my
maps and looked stunned at them. Oh my God!! They are all going
to find out I didn't have a clue how to map anything. I had never
even read a map 8 years ago. I had never driven anywhere by myself
until 8 years ago. Suddenly I have to not only read these maps,
but I had to find this little hole in the road by someone else's
directions that a lot of times where wrong.
Thank goodness I didn't know that at the time.
I found all of the places on the map, then routed out what I thought
was doable or what I thought was interesting, the hell with points.
I wanted to go to Hot Coffee, Mississippi no matter what. I called
Donnie and distressed him with my depression. I don't have much
confidence in my mapping ability although I have ridden over 120,000
miles on my bike and never gotten hopelessly lost, ever. I finally
put away my maps, got the bike ready. I had nothing else to do but
sleep. The phone rings and it is my buddy from Canada, Nose. Wow,
what a surprise and what a boost to my failing confidence. Nose
is always so supportive of my endurance riding. Thank you Nose.
He said he would see me in Fargo.
The next morning I went for my last breakfast and barely made it
to the 6:55 meeting. I got another 2 sets of bonus points. Oh my,
now I have to do this all over again and it took me 2 hours last
night. I only have 5 minutes before we need to leave. Thank goodness
I checked out last night. I sat in my totally clean room and read
through the new bonuses. The EAST coast is really where I wanted
to go. I knew the roads, I knew where to go without a map, I was
more confident with this route even though I had mapped out the
other last night carefully.
Off I go the opposite way of the rush hour traffic. I head East
and South and immediately get into the fog and cold. I stopped on
the side of the road, the first of many side of the road stops,
to put on my Gerbings. I fumbled to plug in the cords in the dark
and quickly fried the Controller by plugging in the two cords coming
from it together. I was panicked. What am I going to do when it
really gets cold. I couldn't worry about it now;I had to go.
The first bonus was looming ahead, I was going to bypass it. I
really didn't understand what to do, even though Eddie explained
it at the rider meeting in depth. Suddenly 3 riders are passing
me, I wave, there is the exit for the bonus, they get off and I
follow. I said to myself, Self? You follow them and see how they
do it. Don't hold them up, but learn, if they don't mind. When we
got to the part where you had to write down your miles and time
I did what they did. Then off we went for the ride of my life, and
theirs too. Highway 555. One of Eddie's favorite and now mine. I
can follow the guys and I did. I made a name for myself on that
ride. When we got to the end they all looked at me and said such
sweet words, "You can ride with us anytime". You have to understand
I hadn't a clue who my ridding friends where. It turned out to be
the bad boy, Bubba Kolb, Eddie's arch enemy. If you had told me
before the rally that I would ride with that tobacco chewing, smoke
stack, Kentucky boy I would have been appalled. We rode like we
had known each other for years. Suddenly nothing else mattered.
We were brother and sister riding partners immediately. I knew I
could only ride to the next gas stop. I would never hold anyone
else up because of my limited gas capacity. I wouldn't even suggest
it. I did ride with them until I needed gas. I blew them all a kiss
and headed for fuel.
I called Donnie while I was pumping gas, told him about the fried
controller and asked him to call Gerbing. He was in surgery at the
time as I read off the 800 number from the sticker I had on my bike.
I hadn't a clue what could be done.
When it was just about time to stop for gas again, I was plagued
by a normal size gas tank and miserable, 5.2 usable gallons, I saw
ahead some bikes on the side of the road. Low and behold it was
my twisty ridding friends with a flat. That tire caused Don Sills
many hours of anxiety and time. I quickly got gas and met them on
the expressway. We rode to Mt. Airy, NC got a hair cut and a good
bonus. Bubba and I stopped for gas, a stop everyone needed, not
just me and immediately lost sight of Donald. We waited, rode a
ways and waited some more, never to see him until Baton Rouge.
Bubba and I honed our team riding skills through Charlotte, NC
and on down to Savannah, GA. The trip out to Tybee Island was long,
dark and maybe a mistake. It took us an hour longer than we thought.
We were still looking for Donald. We got our bonus and second guessed
ourselves as to the true meaning of Eddies' directions. Finally
we were on our way to Jacksonville, Fla. and a right turn toward
We met up with Howie at the gas station in Jacksonville. How does
that happen? I was glad to see him. I felt I knew him better than
most because of the BBQ dinner several nights before. I was glad
to see a friend.
Off we go again with the thought that when we get to Tallahassee
we will stop for a sleep bonus. When we finally did stop I had a
bit of worry that we would not make Baton Rouge before we were time
barred. I fell asleep despite those worries. The phone woke us with
no problems. Off we go again.
29 August: Baton Rouge, LA 1100-1300 Hebert Cycles.
As soon as we took off for Baton Rouge I began to have visions
of disappointing people that were expecting me be in LA on time.
I was sure we would be time barred. I still didn't know how to use
my GPS for anything more than my speedometer. I remembered that
Mike Sachs had shown me how to judge distances to cities as the
crow flies. I figured I had nothing else to do but try. I put Baton
Rouge on the GPS and could finally calculate the miles to there
and how long it would take. We would be close. Real close. Maybe
we could pull it off. That is if I didn't need to stop for gas.
We are riding hard and suddenly we get behind a State Patrol going
55, period. For about an eternity we ride behind this guy. It is
rush hour traffic in some little city, NOT Atlanta. He has in complete
control of us. Bubba can't stand it so pulls off. I get gas, but
wonder why he stopped. I could still go another 70 miles. Now it
meant another stop and possibly being late. Howie had been keeping
up with us, but went on. I felt frustrated, but probably no more
than Bubba every time I had to stop and he still could go for 100
We rode some incredible miles from that point on and into Baton
Rouge. I knew this road well. I had ridden it many times to my friend
and 1st riding partner, Cindy's house in Lafayette for dancing and
eating. We pulled into the first check point with 2 minutes to spare.
We MADE it. I made it in time. I am euphoric. I jumped off my bike,
feet reaching the ground :-) Kevin is hustling me in to let Eddie
and Adam know I am there. Oh my god! What is my number? Oh yeah,
265. SKERT, SKERT I am here. So is Bubba. I walk out to my bike
and I know all those people around my bike, Cindy and Jerry, Lyle
Grimms, Shane Smith, Mary Cumbus, people I know well but can't remember
their names even now. They were there to wish me well. I put them
all to work.
Jerry, I gave my flashlights to. None of them worked in Savannah,
even though I checked them before I left. Cindy brought us food
and drink while Bubba and I did paper work. I didn't know what to
do, but followed his directions to the Tee. While all this is going
on, Lyle Grimms and another fellow I know were fixing my controller
for my Gerbing. After my call to Donnie, while he is putting someone
to sleep, he calls Gerbing and had them send another controller
overnight to Hebert's Cycles in Baton Rouge. It is there. They guys
kindly take my was record breaking temperatures in Baton Rouge and
Texas and these guys were making sure my heat suit was going to
work. Later on I was thanking them in my helmet for their efforts.
Mary Cumbas, was there also. Mary was Miia's cousin and grew up
with her in LA. For those of you who don't know or recall, this
endurance ride was dedicated in memory of Miia Trahan who died from
breast cancer at the age of 35. Mary was not a motorcyclist. She
was there to meet one more person who had been touched by Miia's
incredible happiness and exuberant personality.
Soon the standings were up. Donald Sills was in first, Bubba 10th
and I was 11th. Wow! Wow! I couldn't believe it, but could I keep
on doing that?
I asked Bubba and Donald if I could be a part of their planning.
I still felt little confidence in my ability to pick a sensible
route. I would not hold them up by begging them to let me go with
them. We all gassed up together so I got to ride with them through
Houston. I blew them a kiss, once again, and got off for gas.
Now I am riding solo. I have to really make some decisions about
where I was going and what bonuses I was going after. Donald and
Bubba's route was good. I try it. While looking over the bonuses
though I finally had time to read through the directions. The first
bonus was one I really wanted to go to. The eu natural resort. Did
those guys know that they were leaving Skert behind and heading
there without the one single woman on this rally? It was 7:30 pm.
I had to have been there by 8:00pm. I was disappointed. I headed
This was the first time in the rally that I started craving sleep.
I had planned to ride through Dallas and up to Oklahoma City that
night. Not! My body needed sleep. I was doing my first sleep bonus
by myself. I stopped at 4 different exits and there were no vacancies.
I tried to sleep on the side of the road, but was too scared. I
just plodded along until I was 40 miles South of Dallas and at last
found a room. I asked for a 4:30am wake up call. Sweet sleep at
I shall be arriving in Dallas around 6:00am. That should be about
right for the rush hour traffic. I missed my turn, then circled
around downtown a bit, all the while traffic volume building. I
miraculously find the right expressway, but lo and behold the exit
is across 5 lanes of heavy traffic. I miss it again. I had enough.
I see a familiar sign. Waffle House. I decided to eat my bonus.
I had a most pleasant meal with young people who had just been hired.
They were college kids fresh out of sororities and fraternities.
What a difference from the usual waitresses and waiters at Waffle
House. The cook was the only veteran and he keep helping them learn
how to call orders. I had a very pleasant meal and rest. I didn't
care at all that I missed that bonus. Unfortunately I missed the
next one too. I then had to assess my true feelings about hunting
for bonuses. I just didn't care anymore. It wasn't fun to be trying
to find obscure places by myself. I didn't have enough confidence
in my ability to read these directions. It was more fun to be riding
straight and quickly for definite destinations.
I did pick up the Cadillac ranch bonus. It wasn't where Eddie said
it would be, but I owed my daughter a picture of them from our trip
out West 5 years ago. I must have stopped and asked 4 different
Finally one guy told me they moved them. Now I needed to find someone
to take my picture. I begged a couple with kids, luckily I didn't
frighten them and they agreed. While he is taking my picture a dust
storm blows up all around us. My coat was blown off my bike, it
looked like I was in the middle of a tornado of dust. Spooky. Where
I am headed for Santa Fe and Ira Agins. I was focused on getting
there and talking Iron Butt, happiness with my ride, and bonus hunting.
I needed a veteran Iron Butt rider's pep talk. I wasn't having fun
riding by myself.
Driving into Santa Fe was beautiful. I remembered riding into there
5 years ago with my daughter, Maggie, two up on the K-75. My friend
Theresa LaVallo was leading us. I had no clue how she knew where
to go. I didn't know how she read those maps so well. Riding into
that town by myself, full of confidence in my own ability now to
find my way around a map filled me with such joy and happiness at
my growth in just a few days, and years. I was treated to a double
rainbow just before turning off to go to Ira's.
I was the second rider to make it to veteran Iron Butt rider Ira
Agins. The fellow ahead of me had been riding by himself the whole
time and his whole being didn't seem very happy. I could relate,
but I decided I would try to find happiness in Eddie James favorite
I looked over the bonuses and talked out loud to Ira about what
I thought I would do. Suddenly I realized that even if I went to
these cool roads in Colorado I wouldn't be able to collect any points
because of time constraints. I figured this out by myself. I was
proud of myself. Ira just looked on.
Two more riders rode up, one I knew, Dick Fish. Dick had offered
to help me when I finally get a fuel cell. Very meticulous and disciplined
man and I enjoyed his outlook on life.
Next came two very familiar riders, Bubba and Donald. I was happy
to see them again. We had become close while riding West on I-10.
One of the worst interstate roads I have ever been on. To make matters
worse it was all torn up and the trucks were still driving 70 mph
with no thoughts to small motorcycles. We were a team slicing and
dicing between small windows of massive 18 wheelers.
Bubba and Donald asked me where I was going next. I pointed out
my quest for twisty roads and no bonus points. They then excitedly
encouraged me to go with them to the 4 corners, the Little Grand
Canyon and to Salt Lake City. I reminded them of the size of my
gas tank and that I just couldn't stand to ride away from them again.
They assured me that Donald ways stopping as much as me to put air
in his tire and not to worry. We checked our route and drew Ira
into the excitement. He listened with envy and told us he wished
he was riding with us too.
I immediately put on my electric's and goretex liner so I would
be ready for night riding. I would not take the chance of holding
them up for anything except gas. A quick nap and off we go into
the night. We were waved through a sobriety check, the elite in
the eyes of the police. If those people can hold up those big bikes,
they must be sober. Or maybe they were brothers.
31 August: Salt Lake City, UT 1900-2100 Perry Motorsports
We rode through the Santa Fe National Forest on an incredible twisty
road in the pitch black. I am sure the views were beautiful, but
we couldn't see it. We did see some very large deer in the road
and along side it. This was open range and we scared ourselves with
black cows occasionally. Other than that we couldn't see much. What
I was thrilled with was the look of our bikes slicing through the
darkness, cutting it with our lights. A team of riders in the night.
We were ethereal.
The guys stopped on the side of the road. They asked me if I was
cold, no, I have my electric's and going full blast. They needed
to pull out their vest and figure out where their plugs were. I
felt quite smug, warm in my suit. Thank you Gerbing, Donnie and
Lyle. Not holding anyone up.
Every once in a while I would turn on all of my lights. Motolights,
Piia's and high beams. I lite up the night like a freight train.
I would light up the bike whenever no one was close by and show
the way. Another memory that will always be in my mind. Probably
burned into Bubba's' eyes through his rear view mirror.
Soon I noticed Bubba slowing up. Then he misjudged a curve. Sleepy.
I knew the signs well. We all pulled off onto a little piece of
pavement that led up to a dirt road. Let's just lay down and sleep.
We had only one hour to sleep, we needed to be at the 4 corners
at 7 am sharp.
At first I lay on my bike with my electric's on, when that became
so uncomfortable, I didn't care about the cold, I wanted to lay
down. When I awoke I was shaking from head to foot. I immediately
got out my Gerbing gloves, plugged every thing in and just sat there
while the guys figured out their electric's better. I light up our
little camp area with all my lights on and the heater full blast.
Later we all talked about how dumb we were not to huddle together
like a pack of puppies with our bikes for heat around us. Protocol
was stronger than warmth in our minds. I would have been in the
middle of that pack too. I know that would have been warm.;-)
We made it to the 4 corners just before they opened the gate. A
quick picture and off we went for Moab Utah and the Canyon land
Donald was still plagued with tire problems. He couldn't make it
into the Canyon lands so he shooed us on, he was going to limp into
Salt Lake City and get a new tire.
Bubba and I twisted in and out and all the way to the Grand View.
Breath taking, but we were running out of time again. We hightailed
it down the canyon road, a quick stop for gas and suddenly, Bubba
is pulling off to the side of the road. His speedometer cable broke.
He could no longer collect any points. I lost all desire for points
and wanted to be at Salt Lake City.
We had an awesome ride, but one laced with disaster because of
the broken cable. We rolled into Salt Lake City with several hours
to spare. I made a mistake of not taking a couple hours of sleep
right then and there.
I had my oil changed. Touring Sport in Greenville, SC had sent
oil and filter ahead. The mechanic very nicely shaved off a bit
of my handle bar so my Throttle Meister would work again. He also
fixed my turn signals. The bulbs had vibrated out of their sockets.
Typical of an R bike with Run N Lites. I felt pampered.
Paul and Trisha Taylor showed up out of the blue. It was so nice
to see them so far from home, even though Paul pointed out he wasn't
there to see me because he didn't even know I was there or that
the ButtLite was going on. Paul is the person responsible for my
first look at Iron Butt.com I tried to resist the pull from the
endurance riding community, but I caught the fever and it has never
gone away. Thanks Paul Taylor.
Airyn Darling was there to help with the scoring. She gave me a
big hug and made me feel right at home. We had only conversed over
the internet, I finally had a face for the women with words that
said it like it is. She has long been one of my Hero Women Riders.
The standings were posted and the rally packs about to be handed
out. Eddie James made a comment like "You never know what will happen
anytime on a rally", and proceeded to tell us that Pauline Ralston
had been involved in a fatal hit and run accident. I will never
forget how stunned I felt, the sight of the crowd, like when JFK
was killed. All I wanted to do was ride and feel my sorrow. I still
had to plan my next leg of the route. Bubba and I had the wind knocked
out of our sails. He was just as shook up as I was about Pauline
and the fact that he lost so many points with his broken speedometer
cable made him loose his drive to win. I am speculating. All I wanted
to do was finish.
Pauline and I were kindred spirits for all kinds of reasons. One,
we were the only ladies entered in the BLII. We both were quite
short on some big ass bikes and we were both about to get our AARP
cards. Pauline was 50, I am 49. We talked about our children. We
were sisters. I miss her terribly. We weren't in competition, we
were together in our quest to ride consecutive 1K mile days and
to finish. I was in tears when I heard the news in Salt Lake City.
I was tired, and all I wanted to do was to ride and think about
the tragedy of Pauline and her family. I wanted to feel my feelings
of deep sadness and loss, obviously nothing compared to those closest
to her. I miss this person I hardly knew.
I have told my children and shown her picture to them. My son held
me for a long time. He understands the loss more than I can ever
Two days before the rally started, Pauline and I walked over to
the Walmart to pick up those last minute batteries and discussed
our excitement of becoming older ladies doing wild and adventurous
things. It was a neat bonding experience and we wished each other
well. Every time I saw Pauline she had a hug and encouragement for
I hope to imitate her attitude and love for anyone I come in contact
She is missed...
We went to the first bonus, Hires Big H. Lo and behold here comes
Eddie and Adam. They wanted to look at us frantic folks not enjoying
those awesome hamburgers and sauce. Don't forget your sauce boys.
I ran out to the parking lot with Ahmets because he had left his
on the table. To some of us that sauce came back to haunt us, Mark?
We took off with Donald, but it became apparent to me that I was
not and did not want to ride the pace Donald was riding. I was not
going to impose myself on either him or Bubba. When I almost ran
out of gas on a secluded road a half mile behind them, I knew I
needed to strike off on my own, no matter where my route would take
me. I owed it to Eddie, Adam, Kevin, and all the folks entered in
this rally, those that volunteered in it, and not to mention Michael
Kneebone and Bob Higdon that I must finish this race in one piece.
Donald realized that he was in contention for top honors. At this
time he chose to plot a course for victory. Bubba and I being in
the middle of the standings chose to ride at a pace that we felt
would ensure our completion of the competition.
It soon became apparent that I was in desperate need of sleep.
Bubba and I stopped at a gas station and discussed the need. He
asked me if I thought I could go another 40 or 50 miles. I thought
I could. I was wrong. I soon missed a few miles. I have no clue
how many. All I knew was that I woke up and I was heading off the
road. I immediately stopped, with thoughts of Pauline, Fran, and
my best friend Cindy, pulled to the side of the road. Bubba pulls
off with me and I lay my head down on my tank bag, not able to move
another inch. He says I'll give you 10 minutes. I sleep and he proceeds
to take pictures of me asleep on the the side of I-15 heading North.
We finally get to a motel and I sleep the sleep of angels. This
was one of the spots that I dropped that GS. Bubba knew the sound
and came back to help SKERT pick up her bike. I am sure I could
do it by myself, but why? I hurt my right hand and knee, after the
fall. The hand to plague me still.
We were both in need a good breakfast. It is amazing what a good
food and rest will do for you. The day was brighter, and I felt
totally refreshed. I felt like I could ride forever. Little did
I know that's what it would feel like by the next day.
We were heading for the Snake River and Evil Knevils great jump.
We missed a turn and had to back track about 10 miles. This is when
I saw one of my favorite sites. We passed a paddock full of cows
with their heads stuck out of the fences eating some great looking
green hay. It took me a few seconds before I realized they were
manufacturing manure. In the next field over was a bull dozier happily
scooping up the 100% pure cow manure and loading it into waiting
trucks. They just move the fences, cows and start scooping. The
place was called something like Black Magic. I can't believe that
wasn't one of our bonuses. Right down Eddie's ally.
Next we were off to the Idaho hills and Craters of the Moon. Hwy.
93, 26 and 20. This is where I had a nice cry for Pauline and maybe
I was so impressed with this countryside. Thank you Eddie and
Adam. You are like parents who tell us we have to eat that which
we have never tried.. We don't want too, but we do because you told
use we should. Thank you. What an awesome feast to our eyes. We
rode all day, into what I thought was snow, but turned out to be
hail, we heard at the next gas stop. We took a nap on the the side
of the road for an hour just before dusk and soon headed for Billings,
Montana and another gas receipt. Bubba made a great show of buying
10 cents worth of gas.
Finally I had been getting better gas mileage. When my light came
on I figured I could push it to 25 miles more. NOT! I ran out of
gas with 5 miles more to go. Bubba got gas from his fuel cell and
I admitted to Eddie and Adam that I transported it in a illegal
container from his bike to mine. They said not to worry, in that
situation, survival of the smartest.
I was thinking I was about ready to take another hour nap. When
I pulled into a rest area, Bubba pulls up beside me with his bike
whining in a high pitch, telling me he had to get to a gas station.
All of his idiot lights where lit on his dash. He looked like an
18 wheeler. It soon became apparent we wouldn't make it to the next
stop. We pulled over to the side of the road. I tried to help him
jump start the bike. We waved on another ButtLite rider and pondered
his dilemma. Up comes a policeman wanting to be helpful. While Bubba
is explaining to him what happened the cop pointed to my license
tag that said Iron Butt on it and proceeded to tell us he was going
for his SS1K next weekend. I grinned at Bubba and said, Baby, sounds
like you're in good hands, I'm outa here". I shook hands with the
cop and took off for a quick nap.
At the next gas stop I met up with the same fellow, James from
Savannah, who had slowed down to see if we needed help. He and I
decided to head for the next rest area to sleep. I felt safer with
another rider there and slept for exactly one hour. The wind was
whipping around and the table was hard, but I slept well.
The ride into Fargo was wet, cold and foggy. My Piia's were put
to great use. I never could have had too much light. What a lonely
ride that was. Bubba has been a great riding partner. We rode in
such complete unison, it was like we had been riding together forever.
I missed him the most on the lonely foggy road to Fargo.
About a 100 miles from Fargo, suddenly four of us in the ButtLite
rally were riding together. One minute we feel like you are the
only people still riding in and suddenly it is a party. The one
other person I was sure of his identity was Howie, on the Buell.
We commented about our feelings of being out there by ourselves.
It was nice to know we weren't really alone.
About this time I started really regretting that hour nap. The
0800 time was getting close, I needed gas and there didn't seem
to be any gas stations open. I had visions of sitting at a gas station
waiting for it to open at 0800. Or worse, pushing my bike on the
side of the road as the time slipped past me. Miraculously it all
worked out. I found a gas station off the beaten path. I went in
to pay and walked into the ladies living room. Quaint.
2 September: Fargo, ND 0800-1000 Ma's Cycles
I rode into Fargo with my heart pounding in my ears. The ever
helpful and friendly Keith was waiting to help me off my bike and
get me into tell Eddie and Adam I was there. I remembered my number
well this time. I have to mention Keith again. He was a strength
for me when ever I saw him. He always had an encouraging word, praise
or concern for me. Thanks Keith.
Voni and Paul Glaves were at Fargo and wished me well. I reminded
Voni of the time in Colorado when she tried to talk me out of riding
for a second BBG on my way home. She was so convincing I figured
she must know something I didn't know about long distance riding,
even though I had just completed my first BBG on the way out there.
The next thing I see she is high miler for the MOA club and Paul
is in the Iron Butt Rally. She finally let me know that a fellow
at the rally expressed his concern, and she had acted on his fear.
It's funny how we let people alter our movements because of our
own lack of confidence. She is certainly on of my hero's and so
is Paul. I'll always listen to their advice though.
A lady I met through the internet, Charlotte a Family Practitioner
who rode a Harley, was there to meet me. She knew me from a fellow
in my club in GA, he had given her my email address because we were
both women riders. She had fresh fruit for us and even did a bit
of Doctoring on the side. It was very nice to have someone there
so excited and who still had energy.
The one thing that was disturbing in Fargo was a visitor, an Iron
Butt Finisher, who made a comment to Charlotte and me. We were talking
about going out in the middle of the night on "call" for an emergency
to the hospital. I told her riding these long distances wasn't anything
like that tired feeling you have when the phone first rings in the
middle of the night. This Veteran IB person, rudely broke in and
said, "Well this (meaning the ButtLite) is just a little ride".
I was stunned. I had just ridden 5K miles in 5 days. That is no
little ride even to Iron Butt finishers, and even if it was I couldn't
believe this person would say something so discouraging to a fellow
Iron Butt member. I chose to ignore that person from then on. People
that come to check points should only be encouraging and helpful.
If not, don't show up. I don't think that comment will ever be erased.
The next surprise was a friend I had met in Daytona. Nose. He
lives in Canada and is an IBA member. I met him when one of my girl
friends and I rode to Daytona together. We had all of Bulow talking
and loved every minute of it. I was honored to have Nose come to
see me ride in. He also is a friend of Asa McFadden. Thus giving
me a chance to get to know Asa better through Nose. What a pleasant
check point that became.
The big problem here was my need for sleep now. I was exhausted,
my riding partner was gone and all I wanted to do was get back to
Ohio where Donnie was waiting with the truck to haul my Iron Butt
back home. I spoke to Steve Smith from NC about riding together
for a bit. I didn't last longer than a tank of gas. I checked into
a Motel 6, my favorite, and slept for 5 hours. I sat looking at
bonuses and didn't care about points anymore. I had 1K miles to
ride and that is all I wanted to do. I then noticed a bunch of points
for attending the Buckeye Beemers club meeting just outside of Reynoldsburg.
That is what I was going to ride for. I finally had a plan.
It soon became apparent that 5 hours was not enough sleep. I was
not going to nod one time on anymore rides. If I was tired I would
stop immediately. I had to drive 4 miles to the little motel only
to find it had no vacancies. I didn't care. I pulled under a tree
in the parking lot and laid my head on my bike cover. Thank you
Peter from EZ Touring covers. That was my pillow more than it was
my bike cover. I soon wanted to lay down. I had a pillow and it
wasn't cold. Laying down in the grass was one of the best sleeps
I had in days. Unfortunately the storm that had pushed me since
leaving Fargo finally caught up with me. I awoke to splatters of
rain. I don't think I had been asleep more than an hour ortwo.
On the road again still needing sleep.
I decided it was time to stop again when I almost drove right
past a cop who was zapping people with instant on radar as he traveled
in the same direction as me. I dropped way back, sufficiently awake
now to make it to the next stop. Who should be stopping at the same
place as I, but the cop I almost passed? The check in for the Inn
was in the gasstation. Here's the dialog. "What's your tag number?
Uhhh...I don'thave a tag, new bike". Clerk..." I don't think I would
have said that" "You asked me first" The cop looks up and said,
"Somethingtells me this lady riding on that big Beemer has all her
papers in order". " Oh I do, I do" Ooooh yeah!!! Off to sleep for
another 5 hours. I pulled my bike next to another ButtLite rider.
I wasn't sure of his name, but talked to him when I woke up.
I managed to ride into Ohio and not needing anymore sleep, and
I ran out of gas once more, but was close enough to push the bike
into a gas station. I will have a fuel cell the next time I do such
an event. I arrived at the Lenox Inn at 9:30 pm. Just 10 and a half
hours late for the meeting and I didn't care. All I wanted to do
was be in Donnie's arms and off that bike.
I had ridden 6K miles in 6 days. I was feeling pretty good. Did
my butt feel sore? Not really. When you have to ride for those many
hours you figure out ways move around your bike. At one point I
even got my foot under me like I do in my favorite reading chair
at home. I looked like a one legged biker.
Eddie and Adam tried to shame me into going for more bonus points
the next morning. I had eight hours left, but when the morning dawned
rainy and cold, you couldn't drag me away from Donnie's warm body.
Wasn't even interested.
I had ridden well. I had achieved a goal of a life time. I didn't
need to prove anything else, this year that is.