A great write-up from Tad Scott:
Several of our Butt Lite IX riders are blogging about the experience. One is a top 10 finisher, another gives us a first-time, multi-day perspective and finally, an Australian pillion riding in her first rally. They all do a great job of detailing exactly what this is all about. Enjoy!
Rider #32, 5th place – Steve Gallant: https://swervenortheast.blogspot.com/
Rider #7, 54th place – James Epley: https://fatboyrollin.blogspot.com/
Rider #75, 59th place – Rebecca McCallum: https://pillionpiglet.wordpress.com/
It is nearly a week since the end of Butt Lite IX. I’ve spent much of this week in a fog. I may be caught up on my sleep. I plan to keep a low profile this weekend just in case a nap sneaks up on me.
Each Butt Lite is unique. Each has its own highs and lows. This one shall be known as the Goat Trail rally. Not by design – at least not the rally master’s design. But thanks to Garmin we all had to deal with much more stress than usual as rider after rider found themselves on questionable “roads”. I lost count of the number of calls we got from distressed riders with napping motorcycles that refused to be lifted.
Many learned the valuable lesson – just because the GPS says to go down that road/path/trail, it doesn’t mean you have to do it. Be the boss of the GPS, not the other way around. As Rider #55 found out –
“Reading Comprehension” has been a mantra of TeamStrange since the very beginning. We’re just so old-fashioned that way. We think many of our Butt Lite IX riders would have been thrilled if we simply gave them way-points to visit with no context whatsoever. That might make a great rally. Go to this way-point and take a photo of whatever is there. Only how will you know what you should be photographing with no description? Take a photo and bring it to scoring and then we’ll tell you if it’s right or not.
No, that isn’t how we do things at Butt Lite. We insist that you think, read, comprehend and solve problems as they arise.
We have our coffee mugs. They are a staple of Butt Lite swag. They have become collector items. Sometimes we incorporate them in bonuses. Sometimes we don’t. On Butt Lite VIII there was no coffee mug bonus and when asked by riders if they needed to bring their mug with them we answered “No”.
At the beginning of BLIX we were asked if the coffee mugs would be needed – multiple times, in rider meetings, in the hall, in the parking lot. Our answer was, “Bring everything you think you will need.” That isn’t no. It wasn’t a trick either. We can’t disclose bonus information before the rally books are handed out. So that was the best answer we could give.
So imagine our surprise as rider after rider left their mug in the storage room before leaving Lexington on leg one. There was no mug bonus on leg one. But there was on leg two.
5) Collettsville, NC MUG Daylight 357 points
Two homes and an entire fence are covered in about 25,000 coffee mugs. As far as we know there aren’t any TeamStrange mugs on the property but who could tell for sure?
Take a photo of your Butt Lite IX coffee mug at The Mug House. Your fully intact mug and flag must be visible in the photo.
Follow Old Johns River Road until pavement ends. From there continue 1 mile on the gravel road to The Mug House.
Coordinates 35.95863, -081.71101
Two riders went to the Mug House without their mugs. They didn’t read the bonus ahead of time and didn’t realize they would need the mugs, which were safely stashed away at the hotel in Lexington. I guess the bonus name wasn’t a big enough hint. They were sad.
Something the three of us found very interesting – out of 303 total bonus locations all but seven of them were visited at least once. That made us very happy. It’s hard to cull the list and throw out locations to keep things manageable. And it’s hard to find something very special and then have no one go there. One of the seven lonely bonuses was one of my personal favorites:
84) Broxton, GA BAR Daylight 301 points
Dylan Ross is a self-taught artist from Douglas, GA. His work is becoming highly collectible and valuable. This mural, on the side of a barn, may be his best piece yet.
Take a photo of Barney.
US 441, across from Broxton Church of God. There is a driveway to a home next to the mural where you can pull off. Take care, as it isn’t paved. Also be courteous to the home owners.
Coordinates 31.63756, -082.89790
In the end, everyone found their way home safely. No matter what goes wrong during the rally, that is truly the only thing that matters. With time, it all becomes a series of great stories, told over and over whenever long distance riders meet.
“Did I ever tell you about the time I went to the Mug House on Butt Lite IX but didn’t have my mug?”
“I’ll never forget that goat trail Garmin sent me on when the rally book said you could get to the bonus on paved roads.”
“Have you ever heard of Belle Gunness?”
Another Butt Lite is done. We hope you enjoyed the ride. The food. The bourbon. And the stories.
The photos of the finishers are now up in the Butt Lite IX gallery here. All the photos in the gallery are available for download for personal use. You can either right click to save or use the download button in the lower right corner when the image you’re interested in is selected. It’s always great to credit your photographer http://www.rickcorwinephoto.com and a link back to the blog is a nice idea too.
Let the festivities begin!
Buy’n swag to help Arlene.
The endless line for the bar.
Um, yeah, Aussies.
Buy’n swag to help Arlene.
Mariah Thompson, the youngest participant ever in a Butt Lite, had many riders sign her flag.
Rally HQ was dog friendly.
Lyle guarding the finisher plaques.
The top ten, minus one.
The ladies of Butt Lite IX.
A very weary Jim Owen thanks rally master Lisa Erbes.
Greg Lenentine got a special finisher award from his wife.
All the photos are, as always here.
The finisher head shots will be done in a day or so, I need to get home 😉
All riders are in or accounted for, there are some bumps and bruises but for the most part all the riders are okay.
Eric Bray in with time to spare.
Thumbs up for a fun ride.
Last rider in, well into the penalty window but still smiling.
Jim Owen arrives with 2 minutes to spare before penalties.
Lined up for scoring.
Bart checking on a question from Coleen McPhee at the scoring table.
Lots and lots of thumb drives.
Scoring in full swing.
Now we wait to see how everyone did. All the photos from this morning are here.
I need somebody
Not just anybody
You know I need someone
Some quick analysis of the top 3 riders on leg 1:
|Rider||98 Jim Owen||50 Eric Bray||10 Billy Connacher|
|Base points (excluding SEC combo)||9757||9217||9088|
|Rest bonus points||2240||2400||2400|
|Leg 1 total||14497||14017||13988|
|# of bonuses||43||45||43|
|Time In to checkpt||10:51:00 PM||5:50:00 AM||11:49:00 PM|
- Jim got more points on bonuses than Eric and Billy but fewer points on rest. How important will a little bit of extra rest be on leg 2?
- Jim and Billy got to the checkpoint on Tuesday night which meant they got the leg 2 bonuses at 6 am Wednesday morning. Eric checked in just before the checkpoint window opened so he got the leg 2 bonuses at 8 am Wednesday morning. How important is an extra two hours of routing time on leg 2? (There was no time-restricted bonus that would have required the riders to haul out of the checkpoint immediately at 8 am.)
- Eric collected the most bonuses with the fewest miles of the three.
- All three riders went for and got the 2500 point SEC combo bonus.
- Between them the three riders went to 12 of the 14 SEC stadiums (two went all the way to Texas A&M in College Station but none of the three went to Florida or South Carolina).
The three riders’ routes were similar yet built of different bonuses.
What does all this mean for the second half of the rally? We’ll know in a little over 24 hours.