Well, here we are again. The ninth Butt Lite. The fourth put together by the team of Bakker, Erbes & Smith. I suppose sounding a bit like a law firm is apropos.
Just like the others before it, the planning for this rally began immediately following the last. And just like the others we have exchanged thousands of emails, traveled thousands of miles and written thousands of words to get us to this.
An event like few others. For our participants it is six days spent traversing parts unknown via a motorcycle for no other reason than to do it. For the winner there may be a bit of glory but only from the very few who follow such things. That person will be guaranteed a spot in the 2019 Iron Butt Rally. And there IS a nice trophy for the top 10 finishers. But we don’t do this for any of that. We do it because we are Strange People in a Strange Land.
There is nothing else quite like riding a motorcycle for about 20 hours a day in every type of weather, on every type of road, in large cities and forgotten, empty small towns. This isn’t a race. It is an exercise in strategy, planning and managing your skills and expectations. Not too many people think this is fun.
But we do. It’s fun riding in it and it’s fun planning it. That’s why we keep doing it.
Because it’s strange and many of our friends and family simply don’t get it. And that makes us like it even more.
As of this writing we have 104 riders. Attrition has been slow in coming but recent weeks have seen an uptick. Life happens and sometimes walking away from it for seven or eight full days of total immersion in the task at hand is a luxury we can’t always afford.
Each of the four Butt Lites that we’ve been rally masters have been very bitter-sweet. And this one will be too. The three of us are always, always aware of the big shoes we attempt to fill. Every bonus, every tweak of a rule, every detail, carries with it the memory of the man who brought us together. And he is always with us. Guiding us to places that some won’t understand. Weaving humor, anger, and awe into every page of the rally book. We hope, as we always do, that this effort would make him proud.
So, if you will be watching us from your computer, make sure you follow this blog closely. All the good stuff will be here.
Thanks for joining us on our strange journey.