Well friends, we knew it would start to happen at some point. When you play the odds, you’ll come up somewhere you wish you weren’t sooner or later. We are no different. We are just grateful that everyone is, or will be, okay.
Bruce Scudella got word from home that there was a situation that couldn’t wait for him to complete the rally and get back home. He headed back to address the situation. We will miss him in State College and back in Cheyenne, but very sincerely hope everything works out for all involved as favorably as possible. Hoping to see him again at future events.
The Handleys had a deer encounter of the variety we all fear. The first message received advised of the deer strike, but said they were both completely fine and so was the bike. Handleys 1, Bambi 0. Yeah, well, things got tied up soon after when they tried to use the brakes and realized something was definitely wrong. The forest rat simply refused to go down without a fight and bent their rotor on the way out. They are in a hotel now next to a dealer who is closed today but will seek assistance tomorrow. They won’t be able to make the checkpoint but do plan to join the merriment at the finish. We are grateful they are okay and in good spirits.
We are unable to make jokes about Tim Allen. He was involved in an accident in IL and broke several bones in his foot. Neither bike nor rider will be able to proceed. He is in the process of arranging transportation back to the Seattle area to see his local physicians. We wish him the best and sincerely hope to see him again at future events. He will always be a welcome addition with his friendly smile and great attitude.
Now for the riders still in it. All seem to be having a great time and are in good spirits. The communication with scoring is mostly fun banter and we like that. A lot.
Some fun pictures from the road:
Many in the community know, or know of, Jon Kerr. The doctor who broke his leg during the 2017 Iron Butt Rally. Quit? Oh heck no. Sourced a new ride and just strapped the crutches on while riding. In other words, he’s a bad ass. We’ve had him at the Heart of Texas and always enjoy having him. This time, he brought his 21-year-old daughter along and we’re enjoying her presence very much as well. Sacajawea Kerr is always welcome at our events.
Ben Ernst apparently has been hiding his pillion in his top box. Either that or he’s been working on his best, “Hey little girl, want to hold my rally flag?”
For those who have been around the Heart of Texas, you probably already know that there is always a theme and it is followed fairly extensively. In 2021, there was a Blues Brothers theme for Holy Rollin’. Paul and Nancy dressed as Elwood and Jake Blues down to the knuckle tattoos and made quite the entrance into the rider meeting by recreating Elwood and Jake’s entrance at Palace Hotel Ballroom show. Well, Ben Ernst actually made a U-Turn to go back and get a picture of this for us. Thank you, Ben. Great memories.
Otherwise, riders are doing what riders do. Overthinking, underthinking, making mistakes, realizing they made mistakes and trying to fix them, and so forth.
The RV crew made it to State College and got settled in. We’re all set up in the scoring area and working away. The weather appears to be mostly pleasant for most riders so far. There is a bit of a heat wave in Texas impacting some riders. This can be very unpleasant and impact a rider’s ability to think and reason. Bill Karitis, affectionately known as Special K 1 in these parts, fell victim yesterday and got a little more frustrated than he normally would trying to find a bonus. He has since cooled down and is fine. It’s a good lesson, hopefully one he will remember during the 2023 Iron Butt Rally.
Rider Jeff Johnson is one smart cookie. At least in this regard 😊. He was in Milwaukee bonus collecting and about to get on the ferry across Lake Michigan. He reached out to his scorer to ask if he could take a meal break on the ferry. Friend, your side stand will be down, if you can get a good receipt for food, sure, you can do that. The ride on the Lake Express is about 2.5 hours, that’s more than 45 minutes. Good thinking, Jeff.
Dave Gillihan seems to be surviving okay without his better half. Heather has been a very welcome addition to our events, and we hope she gets her priorities straight next time and chooses rally over new job. Seriously, Heather.
The always smiling John Anderson once again maintained his sunny disposition through adversity. John was lunching at the Michelin Star Sapp Brothers in Hendersonville, MO and left his flag. Everyone knows that can be quite tragic. In this event, he would lose half his points. John was 144 miles from the restaurant when he realized this and so he went back. There was a joyous, jubilant celebration with tears, smiles, hugs and adoration. In other words, John got his flag back and is riding 144 miles back to the bonus where he realized his egregious error. Seriously, talking to John through this, he was just happy to have found the flag. He wasn’t too upset about having to modify (reduce) his plan, this is why John will always be welcome at our events. He can adjust and continue without letting past events that impacted him impact what happens going forward. Fix it and move on. Good job, John.
In other exciting news, the host hotel in State College had a little bit of a disaster and several rooms hotel rooms are not rentable. Oops. Fortunately, there’s another hotel nearby that several riders have been moved to. Riders were advised of this at the start meeting. We are trying to move as many back over as we can. But it appears that several will be at the hotel a couple doors down. It’s disappointing, but it’s just a small thing that folks need to accept as life. They have a room; it’s just located in a nearby building. Not ideal, but as John Anderson would do, smile, shake it off, and move on.
Everyone is still accounted for. Some a little worse for the wear, but nothing a little TLC and maybe a little surgery won’t fix. We look forward to the riders arriving on Tuesday afternoon!
One of the things we enjoy as part of an LD community is how far people will go to help each other out. So many people have reached out, and I am grateful.
I'll share details when the time is right. The bottom line is that the only real damage to me is my right foot - 5 fractures and likely surgery on the horizon. My gear did its job and kept me protected. Getting home is the challenge at this point. My bike did not fair as well - it is likely a total loss.
Bikes can be replaced, my foot will heal. The support of wonderful people will get me through this!