Today is the day. Riders return to the Red Lion in Cheyenne. Penalties start at 11:30AM. Time barred at noon. Speaking of time barred…. Did everyone like our song? We have tried to keep reports consistent in terms of tense – as if the whole thing were written in one sitting. In reality, it’s worked on throughout each day as time allows and things worth reporting happen. Please understand this as you read today in case it seems like we’re jumping around. It seems that way because we are. Today is busier and more disjointed than previous days, so please be patient with us.
All finishers made it to the Red Lion before penalties started. James Owen, as usual, really pushed the envelope to the very end with only 50 seconds to spare, grabbing one last bonus here in Cheyenne before coming in. He called scoring to double check how penalties worked and correctly calculated that even if grabbing the MLK bonus in town made him 2 or 3 minutes late, it was well worth it. Very impressive, James.
We had some late withdrawals yesterday and today. Eric Markus who is well-known to us from The Heart of Texas had a very unfortunate incident between Lincoln and Omaha. Seems a car in left lane decided the fact that Eric was in the right lane was not sufficient reason to not zip over to try and catch the exit. Eric is okay, his bike not so much. We are heartbroken that Eric’s bike is toast, but very glad that Eric is not. He has a little road rash on his tushy, but otherwise unscathed. Maybe he’ll be a little sore tomorrow, but Eric is also a badass and will bounce right back. We sincerely hope he can make it to Cheyenne for dinner with us tonight. And that Eric will join us for future events. He’s a very welcome addition.
Rider Craig Phillips had an issue with his rear wheel and had to drop out to address it. This is a perfect example of a picture being worth 1,000 words.
We got a phone call about 6AM Saturday morning from a paramedic in Moab that Crystal Sabas was involved in a single-vehicle accident. She was taken to the hospital for evaluation; we believe she’ll make a full recovery. We hate to have anyone end their rally like that in the last hours of the event. Crystal had family here in Cheyenne to celebrate her finish. Instead of that, they’ll make their way to the hospital to be with her. It must be very disappointing for all, but the good news is that her family could get to her relatively quickly. Great riding, Crystal. We wish you a complete and speedy recovery and we see you down the road soon.
Cory Ure got caught up in a bad thunderstorm 534 miles from Cheyenne and made the smart choice of staying safe and living to ride another day. He just didn’t have time to get back to Cheyenne without being time barred. We are disappointed as well, Cory. But hope you join us for dinner and that we see you again at another event soon.
It’s nerve-racking in the scoring room. We sit here watching dots just like you do. We have a slight advantage with level of detail, but honestly, we aren’t sure if that’s better. We want everyone to finish and finish the best they can. When we see someone looking like they are close to getting into penalties, we feel for them. We root for them. We hope they don’t need gas. Remember that penalties are a little brutal here if it gets much past 10 minutes. At 10 minutes, a rider is looking at 1,024 points deducted. By 20 minutes, it’s over a million. No one is even close to having a million points, so it’d be bad.
Riders must have accumulated a minimum on 100,000 points to be a finisher in this event. That includes both legs. Every rider that arrived prior to time barring accomplished that goal. Some by a little, some by a lot. You’ll just have to wait and see who did exactly what.
More entertainment from the riders follows. It is truly joyful when riders send us fun photos. We think it’s almost as much fun for them as it is for us.
Caleigh Kerr is still gettin’ cozy with statues. Always interesting to see what she’s gotten up to next when rider 8 pops up on the list of bonuses to review. If there were an award for most fun on a rally, we know who would get it. That’ll go on the idea list to be further considered.
We are beginning to get concerned that Caleigh is going to look for payment. She’s been a prolific contributor to the photographs you see in the daily reports. She sent this beauty in this morning at about 6:30. There was an amazing rainbow here at the Red Lion last night as well. Tobie got a picture we’ll eventually share. Apologies for being a little deficient in this area, we’re busy with riders and rally stuff. As Caleigh said when she sent this picture in, “Totally radical and magical!!” Yes, rallies give the rider those indescribable moments. You had to be there to understand. When they happen, it makes all the rest of it worthwhile. We are so happy that Caleigh is having these moments now and hope she has many more in the future.
Evidently, Caleigh ran out of weird things to do with statues so decided on a cartwheel. Maybe Jon told her about Nancy’s infamous Jake Blues cartwheel entrance at Holy Rollin’ and she was trying to show Nancy up. We’re not sure. Whatever the case, we got a good chuckle out of this.
Ben Ernst has also been a substantial field photographer for us. He found John Anderson on the road and sent this beautiful shot in for us. It looks cold, doesn’t it? Maybe it was, but at least they could hold each other to stay warm. After this, the guys decided to ride together into the finish and channeled their inner Caleigh holding each other’s flags in silly ways for their submissions. Thanks for the smiles, guys.
We wish there weren’t so much attrition. It’s just a bummer to have so many great folks need to drop out. But we still have 41 finishers and we’re thrilled with that. Several of the folks who were unable to finish for whatever reason have still made their way to Cheyenne to be among their people. Lots of new stories from the road to be shared, lessons learned, bikes broken, maybe a few bones as well. But everyone is accounted for and safe. This is truly all that matters. We sure do have a great deal of fun, but there is a price. This is why we require the enhanced insurance and helmets. It is why we preach ATGATT (All The Gear All The Time). It is why we monitor their speed and penalize them when find they’ve been exceeding the posted speed limit. All that said, we greatly appreciate the riders coming out to enjoy our event. The work is meaningless if there are no riders to come enjoy it. We thank you, riders. One and all.
Did we mention that apart from bragging rights, the top 10 finishers in the 2022 LDX Rally receive a no-draw entry to the 2023 Iron Butt Rally. Are any of them already in? Maybe. Maybe not. Are any of them LD rookies? Maybe. Maybe not. IBR rookies? You’re just going to have to wait to find out. Dinner and awards start at 7PM this evening. We’ll get the standings posted at some point after the conclusion of the presentation. No promises it will be this evening.
Thank you for following along with us. You are also important because there’s no point in writing if there’s no one to read it. We hope you’ve enjoyed the reports.