Thursday, August 2, 2018

Butt Lite IX Recap - Finish Day

Credit: Rick Corwine

Credit: Rick Corwine
Waking at 4:00 am, I slid on some thankfully fresh clothes that Karen had brought with her, collected my scoring materials and stuff, and sauntered off to the scoring room.  Now I know that you have to get up really early in the morning to get an upfront spot in line.  It seemed like all of the early arrivals had also made their way down for scoring.  There was a breakfast area set up in the next room where some of the late arrivals were getting their scoring materials together.  I decided that the line was going to be what it is and headed over to the buffet.

My buddies, Steve and Rick, were there diligently working on their prep, both having just arrived in the wee hours.  Looking up I see Jim Owen walking in with gear, helmet on, and bags. I have to admit that I wasn't quite ready to see the obvious wear that the road had taken on him. Jim Owen having the meat-on-a-stick look?  That just doesn't compute.  A few minutes later I was in the buffet line next to Jim's lovely partner in crime, Janet, and she confessed that she had never seen him coming looking so roughed up.  I take solace in knowing that this rally took it's toll on everyone, even the biggest of the big dawgs.

A while later I get my turn and am ushered into the scoring room where I had over my camera SD card and the contents are copied off to my rally pack thumb drive.  I only have to wait a few minute before a scoring table opens up.  I sit down across a really special lady, Minna Case. Minna was the only female participant in the NotSuperman Coast to Coast ride that I did in 2016.  She piloted her "Tigger" from Coney Island, NY to the Golden Gate Bridge, CA, a distance of just over 2900 miles, in under 50 hours. Known offically as the 50CC Gold, it is also known as the 50CC The Hard Way.

After catching up for a few minutes we got down to business.  I handed over my receipts, my purchases, and my mug.  Minna started her process of reviewing my claimed bonuses.  Thankfully all my photos made it this time.  After scoring 7-8 bonuses, Minna sat back with a quizzical face and called over the Rallymaster.  Sure enough, the date set on my camera was off.  Bitten by the new camera bug again!  100 point penalty.  Thankfully that was the only issue with scoring this time around.

Leg 2 point total came up to 10793.  When combined with Leg 1 score of 7528 I ended up with an overall score of 18321.  Looking at the official standings, my placement would not have changed appreciably if I had bagged many more bonuses.  Total official mileage was 4707 which is about 1000 less than what I had expected of myself.

With all the business stuff taken care of and a few more hours of sleep, I took the opportunity to practice my UAV flying as I have recently obtained my FAA Commmercial Remote Pilots License.  Below is a sample which is a flyby of the reserved parking for all the BLIX participants.

Later that day we settled in for happy hours and the finishers banquet.  I'm pleased to hear my name called up for 54th place which was an improvement of 15 places over my Leg 1 placement.  I had set a goal of placing in the top 30.  Had I not lost the stadium combo I would have finished in the top 20.

As the scores are continuing to be announce in reverse order, my buddies Steve Gallant and Rick Armour were seated at the table with me and they still hadn't been called yet.  The carrot here is that if you place in the top 10, you are automatically invited to participate in the Iron Butt Rally the next year.  The unluckiest place is #11 and it falls to another friend, Jay Bolinger.  He graciously accepted his finishers plaque with a smile but I knew that he had to have been crushed inside.

Now we've reached the Top 10 and my buddies Rick and Steve still haven't been called.  There was also an unfamiliar face sitting at our table that hadn't been called either.  Places 10-6 are called and all three are still sitting.

Steve is called for 5th place.  He had ridden all the way up to Maine and the VT/Canadian border in the 2nd leg including ridding up Mt Washington.  For an enjoyable read, check out Steve's blog at Swerve Northeast.

Rick is called for 4th place.  Rick had ridden a similar plan to mine for the 2nd leg but in the opposite direction.  Rick and Steve were 9th and 10th respectively at the end of the first leg and both moved up with their epic rides on the second leg.

3rd place went to Eric Bray.  Eric was the first IBR finisher that I had ever met so it was great to see him do so well again.

The unfamiliar gentleman sitting at my table still hadn't been called.  He and Jim Owen were the only riders left.  When 2nd place was announced, it fell to Billy Connacher.  This meant that the victory had gone to Jim Owen.

Credit: Rick Corwine

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