loudboys (Leaping Lizard) View all posts in this topic  
Fri Aug 31, 2007 3:39 pm
Thanks for everything, guys...        

especially for understanding when I finally gave up the hunt.

I do want everyone to know that my failure had nothing to do with the bike, and everything to do with my poor judgement.

Here are the details:
As you know, on the second night of the rally I stopped for a 4 hour rest, and my tankbag and GPS were stolen off of the bike. I should have taken them in, but I've left them on the bike before with no problem. The GPS was actually locked on to the bike (the assholes had to break the mount to remove it), and the tankbag had nothing of value to anyone but me.

What the tankbag had that was of immense value to me was my fuel log and gas receipts. Losing those was an immediate 10,000 point deduction from my first leg score. Complicating things was the fact that I got sick later that night (most likely a combination of stress and fatigue) and spent 6 hours longer than I had planned at my rest stop that night. That caused me to pass up another 15,000 points in bonuses.

What this amounted to was that I had to plan a huge second leg to have any chance at accumulating enough points to be scored as a finisher. That 25,000 points I had given up was equal to about a day of riding.

The plan I put together required me to be in Seattle before dark on the second evening after the start of the leg. This shouldn't have been a problem. As it happened, it was. On Sunday morning, I was about 250 miles into my 1100 mile day when I noticed that my speedometer wasn't working. I immediately pulled over to assess the problem, and discovered that the cable had come adrift from the speedo head. Since the IBR rules require a working odometer, I had to fix it before continuing.

The repair took almost an hour, and reduced the 2 hour time cushion I had in hand by 50%.

A little while after that, as I was coming in to Ogden, UT, traffic came to a halt. They had closed the interstate for a bridge repair, and diverted all of the interstate traffic through downtown. This turned out to be about a 7 mile detour, with many traffic lights and virtual gridlock because of the amount of traffic. My last hour of cushion was gone, and I was now on schedule to get to Seattle almost exactly at sunset.

I got on down the road, knowing that I now had zero margin for error.

In the desert east of Boise, I came over a hill to see a line of stopped traffic. The highway patrol had closed the road to helicopter out a driver who had rolled a Suburban. By the time I had gotten past that mess, my ETA was after 9pm Seattle time. Too late.

I continued on to Seattle, with the intention of picking up the 2 bonuses in the area that were available after dark, and heading toward another bonus on the California coast to replace the one I couldn't reach in time. To get that one would require me to ride overnight; basically to go for about 40 hours straight. I couldn't do it. After reaching Seattle, I was simply too tired to continue that night.

After a quick reevaluation of my status, I knew that it would be impossible to get enough points for a finish. I could continue to ride my plan, knowing that at the end I'd be 2500 points short, or I could pack it in then and take a more leisurely ride to return to St Louis. I chose the latter.

Once again, thank you all. I wish that I could have given a more credible showing, but I can't go back and undo my mistakes.

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