Tonight we would be gathered for the Butt Lite X finisher’s banquet. Goodbye speeches would be given. Rally stories would be told. And ultimately, the final scores would be read and the top ten riders announced. And finally, we would know who won the last Butt Lite.
Our roster was made up of a vast array of riding skills. And no one could argue that we had one of the most impressive lineups of the top long-distance riders in the world included in this rally. Who would have landed on top? We’ll never know.
Over the last week we have been looking over all of the leg one and leg two routes sent to us by riders, volunteers and even people with no ties to the rally. We could have attempted to list all the pretend scores here but it is obvious to us that pretend rallying just isn’t the same as the real thing.
We can all come up with a good route when we aren’t on the clock, when we’re well rested and when we can take a break to go eat dinner or take the dog for a walk.
What we can’t do is replicate all of the tiny bits of chaos that awaits us along the route. The traffic, the road construction, the deer on the side of the road, the fatigue, the stress of trying to make a daylight only bonus with mere minutes of daylight left. We don’t know if our camera will go missing or our flag. Will the GPS go haywire? Will Garmin send us down a non-existent road through a pasture? Is the bonus closed or has it burned down? What about wildfires, snow, and that damn virus? Crap, now I’m coughing. Is it the smoke or did Covid finally catch me? Not to mention tires, final drives, bad fuel and all of the other ways our rally can be affected.
You get the idea. We’re glad you had a chance to practice your routing with the actual route sheets. We encourage everyone to use that data as they wish for as long as you wish. Practice, practice, practice.
Rick Corwine, our very talented photographer, has been working for months compiling a video montage of Butt Lite history. It is so vast that it took four separate “episodes” to tell the whole story. You would be watching these videos tonight if you were in Overland Park with us. Instead, you can watch them from your own chair. Just like most everything else during this truly weird time. We recommend you watch them in order. You will see a lot of familiar faces and many who are no longer with us. Rick did an outstanding job of capturing everything that makes TeamStrange and Butt Lite what it was and what it continues to be. The videos can be found here: https://rickcorwine.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Butt-Lite-X/n-s5GSnq/
We’ve managed to drag this ending out as long as possible. But there really is nothing left to do. There are no boxes to pack. No hugs to be shared. No more tears and no more laughs.
As I type this, overwhelmed with emotion, I feel Eddie standing just over my shoulder – where he always is. Quietly urging all of us to keep riding and when we can longer do that, to keep exploring. Keep taking the road you’ve never been on just to see where it goes. And push the boundaries of what the rest of the world thinks is possible.
Good night and stay safe,