Fri Aug 15, 2003 8:29 pm
IBR Update: Mamou, LA        

Leon called Duke at about 5:00 pm from Mamou, Louisianna; Duke called me from the next check point in Northern Florida to keep us up to date.

Mamou is one of the bonus locations which Leon could get; it opens at 6:00 pm. Since Leon got there at five, he's doing good, he is where he needs to be. Leon said about 15 other riders were waiting there as well. Riders from both groups, the "blue pill" group and the "red pill" group were sent to that check point.

He saw Harold Brooks there; you will remember Harold from one of Duke's previous -- he's "Uber LD Rider" that Leon saw coming down Mount Evans. If seeing him at Mount Evans gave him a boost, it must be reassuring to see him again.

Leon sounds pretty tired, but he has enough time to get a good rest tonight -- he said he'll be fine. He's wetting down a T-shirt to stay cool, but it isn't working well because it's so hot and humid in the southern states today. Leon's also mentioned that if he calls somebody, it refreshes him and gives an extra boost to keep going. He's been talking to his wife, his daughter, Eric Rousch, and of course Duke.

The bike is holding up, but his carburetor has a mid-range problem, Duke says he needs to raise the needles. Duke is planning on doing this for Leon while he rests in Florida. Good thing Leon has pod filters and not a the stock airbox. ;)

So, Leon is en route to Northern Florida via New Orleans; he needs to be in Florida by 9am. When he gets to the checkpoint, he will attend a riders' meeting and receive another rally packet, detailing the next set of bonus locations on the way to Maine. Then he will have the option to plan, ride, or rest. At this point it looks like he will choose to rest.

As I said before, Duke's already at the checkpoint, and he has a hotel room rented for Leon to use. When he arrived at the checkpoint, he found that there were already lots of people and 15-20 bikes present -- rumour has it that Mike Kneebone himself is there. I guess Leon isn't the only one with a support crew, but I like to think he has the *best* crew. The crowd wanted to know if Duke was bringing Leon a new bike... yeah right.. like Leon would take a 10000-point deduction! I'm confident the littlest Ninja will make the trip and help Leon achieve his 10/10ths goal.

And remember -- the IBR isn't your typical rally. Merely finishing is an incredible feat. I know I couldn't do it!

Wes reporting, with intel from Field Operative Duke.

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