Epilogue

It's Sunday afternoon, thirteen minutes into penalty points. All riders are accounted for, except for Cletha. Checking the SPoT tracking, I tell Eric V. that I'm pretty sure Cletha has been stopped by the Oklahoma Highway Patrol on the Muskogee Turnpike. Both us intently watch the clock count down, as the SPoT once again shows movement NW towards Broken Arrow. Cletha appears to be exiting the 75mph turnpike just as the 15:30:00 DNF window closes. Three miles, and seven minutes later, the 2011 IBR Shake-Down rally officially ends with the last rider being accounted for.


Despite the disappointment of a DNF, Cletha's smile tells the tale of a rider who's had a good time on the road.

Early April 2011, I called up Lisa Landry one day to pose an idea for the 2011 Iron Butt Rally (IBR) entrants. I offered to host a 'Shake-Down' rally for the entrants, so that they could make last month adjustments to their cycles, routing, etc. Lisa spoke with Mike, and quickly got back to me that they thought it would be a good option for entrants who could spare the time to come to Oklahoma. Lisa and I worked out the details of the rally format, working out a two leg format, with a mandatory stop between legs. Over the next month, I furiously worked on bonus locations, even cannibalizing many from my future fall Autumnal Equinox rally.

Early May 2011, The IBR Shake-Down rally was in place with eleven riders. The riders talked back and forth through emails right up to the start. The rally format was to be similar to the IBR start and first leg, though condensed into a thirty hour period. For those who weren't a previous IBR or IB5000 finisher, leg two would be new experience of routing on the clock.

Eric Vaillancourt, Mark Smith. and Steve Bracken offered to assist me with the rally. I truly appreciate the assistance they provided. Their help allowed all the bases to be covered, and for the event to move forward seamlessly.

Rider Results

Leg One files:
Streets & Trips 2005
.GDB
.GPX
.TXT
Rally Pack (PDF)

Leg Two files:
Streets & Trips 2005
.GDB
.GPX
.TXT
Rally Pack (PDF)

Friday, May 13 - 1400
Riders begin to arrive in Broken Arrow, OK. The check-in time is 1400-1800. The RM hosted a cookout for the riders, which would proceed the release of the rally packs and digital files. The ten riders, Ken Meese had to drop out at the last minute, trickled in one by one. Paperwork was handled quickly, allowing the riders to commiserate with one another.


Dennis is all smiles!


Bobby Fox, Steve Aikens, Michael Boge, Dennis Powell, Cletha Walstrand, Eric Vaillancourt (volunteer), John Stamps, Mark Smith (volunteer)

I fired up the grill around 1730, getting the meats on the grill. Slightly after 1830, everyone was feasting. Steve Aikens did his best to imitate Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest, downing dogs and brats left and right! Luckily, I was prepared for the hearty appetites of LD riders.

After dinner, I announced to the riders that the rider's meeting was about to begin. The loud, jovial talk and laughter eerily came to a screeching halt. Riders' game faces appeared as I began to explain the rally, rules, etc. I then passed out the seventeen page rally packet to each rider. Riders began to count their pages and read through the next day of their lives ,as I provided electronic bonus files one by one to the rider. One rider simply handed me his GPS unit, asking if I could load the way points directly to his Garmin GPS. I chuckled, as I handed the GPS back to the riders, sans any files loaded to it. Bobby Fox was kind enough to load the files for the rider later in the night.

Almost immediately, riders began asking questions about the bonus listings. At this point, riders were free to leave if they wanted to. Most stayed for another 30-45 minutes, so that they could read through the entire rally packet and ask questions. One by one, the riders peeled off to hole up and work on various routes. By 2030, the RM and his bird dogs curled up on the couch to watch the OKC Thunder second half vs. the Memphis Grizzlies. Riders were encouraged to contact the RM anytime, and my phone continued to ring well past dark 'o thirty. While answering questions, the RM realized a major error on his part. HES (Hickman Elementary School) was assigned 6660 points (the same as Hell, MI) rather than the intended 556 points. So, my intended agonizing four route options turned into one glaring route; head to Texas!

The four routes anchors were:
North - Hell, MI
East - Dorena, MO / Hickman, KY
South - University Park, TX
West - Kenton, OK

As the riders emailed me their routes throughout the night, it became clear that most riders, nine out of ten, were headed to TX.

At 0500, I got up as the once an hour calls from overnight began to come in with more regularity. By 0700, the riders began to return for the mandatory 0830 rider's meeting.


Steve is relaxed and ready to go.


Mark Smith enjoys his morning coffee.


Bobby Fox & Cletha Walstrand arrive, while Steve Bracken inspects the cycles.


Bobby Fox has his game face on!


Greg Guillermo prepares for the odometer check.


Michael Mehaffey is all smiles, too.


Dennis Powell backs up his GL1800.


Michael Boge lines up his ST3100


Avery, the real Rallymaster, holds center court.


Thirty-seven minutes until the start.


Steve Aikens & Betsy Young discuss ways to get even with the Rallymaster.

At 0830, the mandatory rider's meeting was held. Riders were given last minute instructions, including reminders about important times. The checkpoint would open at 2200 until 2300. Penalty points would accrue until DNF at 23:30:00. Finally, riders were asked to produce their driver's license, along with either their registration or insurance card. The RM then took said documents and sealed them in envelops. Riders were advised that there would be no points for returning with a sealed envelope, though there would be a 2500 point deduction for opened envelopes. Various expletives and other comments about being burned at the stake were murmured under the breaths of riders. At 0855, the RM announced five minutes to start.


At 0900, Betsy Young (far right) was the first rider to leave.

Riders were then released in 10-15 second intervals until all were on the road.


Howard Entman


Cletha Walstrand


John Stamps


Greg Guillermo


Bobby Fox


Steve Aikens


Michael Mehaffey


Dennis Powell


Michael Boge

Once the last rider left, Eric, Steve and I jumped into a car and drove to the likely first bonus (BAFM) for some riders; the Broken Arrow Farmer's Market on Main St. This was a potential sucker bonus, as Broken Arrow was hosting it's eightieth annual Rooster Days Festival on Main St. Riders would have to navigate heavy traffic and barricades, as the Rooster Day Run had just ended and the Parade was about to begin.

Steve Smith left early to stage at the first bonus, to see if anyone showed up with the expected 'whisky tango foxtrot' expression to the cluster of a bonus. It turns out that two riders did get the bonus just before the Broken Arrow Police Department shut down Main Street in front of the Farmer's Market.


Michael Boge & Steve Aikens are able to get the required picture of the Centennial clock in the background.

I would learn later that three other riders headed to the bonus, but turned around after encountering barricades everywhere. Mark, Eric, Steve and I remained around for the next forty-fives minutes to see if any other riders decided to show up - none did. Many riders decided to capture this bonus towards the end of leg one. The clock face illuminates on all four faces, so it's an easy night picture.

Riders were offered 400 points to provide the RM with their intended route by 0830 Saturday morning. These routes made it clear that most riders were headed to the bonus rich Dallas TX area.

Riders were headed in three directions on the way to Texas; Pawhuska OK, Arcadia OK and McAlester OK. Dennis Powell, Betsy Young and Howard Entman arrived at the plank bridge in Pawhuska within minutes of each other.


Betsy poses for her picture on the middle of the plank bridge.

Dennis then headed NE towards Noel, MO while Betsy and Howard remained together, more or less, for the rest of the rally leg.

Michael Boge, Bobby Fox and John Stamps headed straight to Arcadia OK once they left Broken Arrow. Their destination was Pops Soda Ranch on historic Route 66.


Michael Boge bags the Pops bonus, before heading towards TX.

Steve Aikens, Guillermo, Michael Mehaffey and Cletha Walstrand headed SE towards McAlester to visit the OK Prison Historical Museum.


Michael Mehaffey's bonus picture at OPHM.

Riders then began heading South toward the Dallas TX area. Nine riders were headed to Hickman Elementary School in Garland, while seven of the nine were also headed to Southern Methodist University.

HES was the big points anchor heading South. Several riders Saturday morning were inquiring as to what the 'issue' would be getting the points. This bonus was straightforward and easy to get.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

HES                                                     6660 points                                         Available anytime

 

Hickman Elementary School

32.95782         -96.67696

3114 Pinewood Dr

Garland TX  75044

 

Take a picture of the main entrance that says Hickman Elementary School.

 

Code: HES                                                                                                      Approved: _______

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


Bobby Fox stops by HES after going to SMU.

SMU was also a large bonus, only fifteen minutes away from HES. The caveat with SMU was that it was graduation weekend at SMU, so the normally awful traffic was a bit worse. The upside was the potential opportunity to get to meet Lisa L. while in rally mode. Getting a picture with Lisa would double one's points.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

SMU                                                    2630 points                                         Available 1500-1600

 

Dallas Hall, Southern Methodist University

32.84513         -96.78485

3300 University Blvd

Dallas TX  75205

 

Designed after the library rotunda at the University of Virginia, Dallas Hall opened its doors in 1915 and housed the entire University as well as a bank and a barbershop. On the South side of Dallas Hall, purchase a graduation t-shirt from an outdoor vendor. Note on the back of the t-shirt, the graduate name 'Laura Colleen Landry'. Laura's mother, a well known IBA RM, is on campus for Laura's graduation. The University seal is on the floor under the Rotunda of Dallas Hall. Take a picture of the University Seal & your t-shirt, while wearing the t-shirt. Double points if said RM is in the picture with you (you may not contact said RM via cell phone or e-mail, etc.), only if you find said RM via conventional search methods, (i.e., running into the RM on campus). Obtain a receipt from Highland Park, University Park or Dallas within 15 minutes to document your time, OR snap a legible picture that shows the time & GPS coordinates.

 

Code: SMU                                                                                                      Approved: _______

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


Michael's zero points visit to University Park, TX.

Riders began calling the RM from SMU when there was no one selling shirts on the South side of Dallas Hall. I advised riders to take a picture from the South, showing no outdoor vendors present. One rider, Michael Mehaffey arrived around 1500 and stayed up until 1600 looking for Lisa. Michael made a critical error getting his 15 minute window receipt. The receipt Michael presented at scoring was dated 4:15:01. So, Michael lost 2630 points for a one second late receipt.

No riders located Lisa, though Lisa did pass through by the fountain just South of Dallas hall. Timing is everything for big points!

While most riders were busy looking for Lisa, Dennis Powell was flower sniffing in MO and AR. After the plank bridge, Dennis headed to Noel, MO.


Dennis bags the Benjamin Franklin store bonus in Noel, MO.


Dennis visits the Rich Mountain Lookout Tower along the Talimena Scenic drive.

After leaving the Dallas Area, the other nine riders fanned out in various directions to pick up as many points as they could before the 2300 leg one end.


Michael Boge visits the Eiffel Tower in Paris, TX.


Steve Aikens visits the plank bridge as the sun sets.


John Stamps visits WEER.


Cletha Walstrand visits the Broken Arrow Farmers Market on the way back to the checkpoints.


Howard Entman also visits the Broken Arrow Farmers Market, but doesn't get the double points for a clear picture of his cycle in the picture, along with the rally flag.

Riders then headed back to the Leg One checkpoint. They trickled in until all riders were accounted for by 2230.


William, Greta & Avery welcome back the first rider, Bobby Fox.


Cletha is glad to be done with Leg One!


Eric checks in John Stamps.


Dennis is all grins after returning back from the Talimena Scenic drive.

Scoring took approximately ten minutes per rider. Greg Guillermo took only a couple minutes to scores, as he lost his camera during the rally and had no pictures to be scored for Leg One.

After being scored, each rider was allowed to go sleep until the Leg Two checkpoint at 0400. Riders were advised to arrive on time for the 0345 riders' meeting.


Bobby, Betsy and Steve catch up with one another before the start of Leg Two.

At 0345, the Leg Two rally pack was handed out. The RM then quickly distributed the electronic files, while the riders looked over the rally pack.


John Stamps reviews his Leg Two rally pack.


Michael Mehaffey and John Stamps prepare to leave.

Most riders were gone by 0400. Only Greg Guillermo hung around to do his route  planning. Greg finally headed out about 0500.


Greg works on routing scenarios.

While most riders had headed back to their hotel rooms, the RM headed to the kitchen to prepare banquet food for the soon to be hungry riders. There were two laptops set up in the kitchen with screens pulled up for the riders utilizing SPoT. It was interesting to see that most riders didn't begin riding until between 0630-0700.

Most riders headed towards historic Route 66 for bonus locations in Stroud OK and Arcadia OK. The first two riders to take a picture were Bobby Fox and Greg Guillermo in Stroud, OK.


Bobby Fox at the Rock Cafe 0658.


Greg Guillermo at the Rock Cafe 0701.

John Stamps headed to Cushing, OK to take a picture of the Pipeline Crossroads of the World sign.


John Stamps in Cushing at 0708.

Riders had a call-in bonus this leg. To successfully claim the points, each rider would need to call after their third bonus of the morning.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

CALL                                                     3000 points                                         Available anytime

At your third bonus of the day, text or call the RM with the following information:

Rider name

Rider number
City

Name of Bonus

Where you are headed next

 

Earn an extra 1,000 points for texting the RM a picture of the third bonus, with your rally flag visible.

 

Code: HES                                                                                                      Approved: _______

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Nine out of the ten riders completed this bonus, with a few also submitting an instant picture for an additional 1,000 points.

Michael Boge decided to ride once again towards Texas, to the town of Autry, OK. Michael's destination was the Gene Autry Oklahoma Museum.


Gene Autry Oklahoma Museum.

One rider struggled with the Fort Arbuckle monument, which was in a field just off the road of the GPS coordinates. Two other riders had no trouble locating the meter high monument.


Steve Aikens at FAM 1123.


Michael Boge at FAM 1122.


The intersection near the GPS coordinates. Zero points for this rider.

Several riders traveled to the Oklahoma City National Memorial in downtown OKC. It's locations like this that cause most riders to wish they could spend more time at the bonus location.


Betsy Young at 0845.


Howard Entman at 1025.

Riders continued traversing Oklahoma, picking up points for each bonus successfully scored. Meanwhile, the RM was preparing casseroles and making sure the meats were getting properly marinated and tenderized.

The Leg Two checkpoint was to be officially open from 1400-1500. At 1307, Dennis Powell rolled in from his last bonus location. Dennis let me know that he was flower sniffing the rally and chose locations that interested Dennis. Dennis finished the rally less stressed than most riders!


Dennis is all smiles after finishing Leg Two.

I invited Dennis inside, while I finished prepping the food. Dennis was so considerate bringing my ankle-biters back some candy! The kids say thanks!

Next to arrive was Howard Entman at 1324. Howard was glad to be back and ready to relax. I then received a phone call from rider Michael Mehaffey. Michael had decided to withdraw from the rally and head back to MO. Withdrawing is never an easy decision to come to.

Greg Guillermo was the third rider to arrive at 1420. Greg didn't let earning only 900 points on Leg One deter him from running hard during Leg Two.


Avery welcomes Greg back, while Eric checks Greg in.

The rest of the riders began arriving on a more regular basis. Eric and I worked (yes, I did work in between all the pictures I took!) to check each rider in as they arrived.


Bobby Fox and Betsy Young arrive.


How often do riders have a chance to play lawn darts ten minutes after finishing a rally?
Avery talks Bobby into a quick game before he heads to the scoring table.

I had a lot of fun scoring Betsy Young. One bonus was to bring back a six pack of your favorite cold beverage. Also, the receipt had to be from Broken Arrow, OK. So, before we started scoring I got to watch Betsy furiously try to piece back together her sopping wet and torn beverage receipt.


Betsy works to piece her receipt back together.


Note to self: don't store receipts that you need to turn in a bag with a cold beverage!


I point out that the receipt appears to be from Tulsa, not Broken Arrow.


Betsy is almost speechless...if a picture is worth a thousand words...


Betsy tells me that I'm number 1 after reviewing the COLD bonus!

With only ten minutes until penalty points begin, I remind Betsy that she has ten minutes left as scoring didn't officially begin for her. John Stamps, too, realizes he made the same mistake. Both riders gear back up and take off to go get a proper receipt.

While Betsy and John are taking off, Michael Boge arrives at 1455. At 1459 Steve Aikens arrives and John Stamps re-arrives. I begin timing penalty points at 1500. Betsy makes it back at 1501. Betsy took 10 penalty points to gain a 1600 point bonus. That was a good use of the penalty time window!

It's now 1501 and one rider, Cletha, is still out. I reference Cletha's SPoT and it appears that she's stopped on the Muskogee turnpike. SPoT eventually begins tracking once again. I calculate distance/times to figure out her ETA. It appears that she'll be exiting the turnpike as the 30 minute window closes. At 1337 the distinct whine of a BMW twin approaches. Seconds later, Cletha arrives to the checkpoint.


Cletha arrives at 1537.


Avery performs a post-ride tech inspection while Eric welcomes Cletha back.


That's not a good sign. The broken fire truck sticker is a -2500 point penalty!

Michael Boge was fun to score. When we got the Cameron Sander's Slaughter bonus, Michael had this mischievous grin on his face as I viewed the picture on my laptop. Michael then said "Those postcards are my cows in the picture, did I get the additional points?"

The bonus stated 'Double points for photographing a cow in the picture, too.'


Michael's CSS bonus, with a cow in the picture.


Michael grins after being told that he did receive the double points for his ingenious way to conform to the rally pack.


The riders, along with Michael Boge's wife, pose for a post-rally picture.

The riders then spent the next two hours or so enjoying one another's company, while the food was cooked and grilled. The banquet began shortly after 1900, with a plethora of food to fill the hungry masses.


Riders enjoy unusually cool 70° Oklahoma weather.


Greta, our four month old German short haired pointer, patiently waits for anything that might be accidentally dropped.


As the food dwindled, the riders continued to share stories.

Michael Boge was congratulated with winning the IBR Shake-Down rally. It was great that Michael was able to share this experience with his wife and daughter, who also attended the rally. Bobby Fox was announced as the most efficient rider, earning 27.5307 points per mile.

I would like to thank Eric Vaillancourt, Mark Smith and Steve Bracken for volunteering to assist with this rally!

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Last modified: May 23, 2011 15:15:00 / -0600 GMT