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Apr '15

2015 Cape Fear Rally, with a BBG appetizer and a SS1.2K dessert

I’m heading to Albany, NY for training for my new job, and as luck would have it, it ends the same day as the Cape Fear Rally starts. I will probably be a couple of hours late to start, but at least I’ll get some training in and get to compete. I don’t expect to be competitive this time because of the delay, but I’ll do what I can.

I’m heading up to Syracuse to visit my friend Eric Edelman first, and ride a BBG along the way. I’ll take my time Sunday riding to Albany, if I don’t make the trip via Maine and Rhode Island. On the way home from Wilmington, NC after the Cape Fear, I’ll do a SS1k (actually 1200 miles but whose counting) on Sunday so I can be back at work on Monday without missing a single day. WOO HOO!.

Here’s the track though I expect I’ll have the SPOT off from Monday until Friday when the rally starts. From the 17th to the 19th it’ll be on pretty constantly.

Mar '15

2015 Jax Party and Full Court BBG

It’s been a while since I’ve posted. I’ve been working on putting together a rally with my friend Paul Tong, Getting ready for the IBR, and getting into my new job. Since it’s march, the annual Iron Butt association Jacksonville Pizza Party (without pizza) will be taking place the last weekend of Spring break and Daytona Bike week in Jacksonville, Florida, which happens to be my old High School Stomping ground. This weekend will consist of a 1,064 mile ride in, a 1,511 mile in 24 hour ride around Florida, and another 1,000-1,500 mile ride home. The ride home will depend on whether I come straight home or decide to ride around with one of my riding partners. Anyway, the track below should go live on Wednesday morning and keep tracking until I return home Saturday or Sunday.

Enjoy the Ride!

Oct '14

2014 Big Tex Rally – 80 hour

The 2013 36 hour Big Tex Rally was the first real rally I competed in. I finished 14th out of 61 finishers, and since then I have finished 7th in the Heart of Texas Rally (12 hours), 5th in the Poison Rally (32 hours), and 2nd only to Josh Mountain in the Butt Lite 7 Rally (6 days). I have consistently been getting better, so we will see how well I do this time. I consider this as a true test of how much I have improved, since this is the the only one I have a baseline for.

The Rally starts on Wednesday morning, but the tracker will start on Monday when I head out to the Albuquerque, NM Start.

Jul '14

Butt Lite 7 RE-Deploy (Coming Home)

Well the 2014 BL7 is over and the results are in. It was a grueling 6 days of collecting bonuses all over the US, but I’m glad I did it. I’ll post more information about how I did and maybe a trip report once I get home.

For now, here’s my GPS track as I make my way home from Minnesota.

Jul '14

Deploy to Butt Lite 7

On Thursday morning July 3, I will be meeting up with another LD riding friend named Paul Slaton and we will be riding together, sharing a room, and riding home from the Butt Lite 7 rally out of Minnetonka, Minnesota. This is the biggest and longest rally I will have ever competed in, being 6 days long, but it should be great practice for next years Iron Butt Rally of 11 days. I’ll be sharing a room for much of the IBR time with Paul as well. For that one though we felt we should get our own rooms for the night before the start and the checkpoint. That way we won’t be interfering with each other while we try to rest of prepare.

The GPS tracking during the rally is restricted and cannot be made public, but I have provided private tracking to family and will display deployment and re-deployment rides here. If you’re family or close friends and want access to the private tracking site, text me and I’ll see what I can do.

Jul '14

2014 Cognescente Poison Rally

Independance PassThe trip to Nevada for the Poison Rally was longer than I had originally thought it would be, but that’s what I get for trusting my brain instead of Google Maps or S&T. I rode with Chris Rooney, a Harley guy (but not THAT kind of Harley guy) who I’ve ridden with for several years. As we were the entire Texas contingent, it made sense for us to ride together. We had a
great ride, not too rushed, we took our time and decided to ride over Independence pass on 82 in Colorado. It was 35F and raining, and there was still a lot of snow on the ground when we got to the top, but it was a great road.desolation




Once we got into Nevada on the morning of the second day (we stopped in Salina, UT for the night) the roads were pretty desolate. Long and vacant of much other traffic. but Burying the boneit was kind of nice to be able to see your next stop even though it’s still 20 miles away.



Preparation for the rally included the typical odometer check (ask Chris what this means) but during this odo check there was some extra activities to perform, such as shooting holes in your rally shirt and burying a dog bone that you brought with you. Of course this had to be accomplished while carrying your survival knife. I chose to carry mine like a pirate for this part. Note the dog biscuit also in my mouth. Those things were not very crunchy. Bleech. (Thanks to Tobie Stevens for the pic and the one of the riders meeting).




The next day the rally started with the riders meeting at 4:15am. Then starting at 5am we were released by Dale “Warchild” Wilson in 30 second intervals, and I was released to start collecting bonuses at 5:15 am. WE had 32 hours to get as many points as possible and get back the the scoring table. There were 8 different “Poisons” you could choose your bonuses from, and trying to get them all to work together was a daunting task. I was up until 2am the night before working on my route, so I only got 1 1/2 hours of sleep going into the rally. Some of the interesting places we were sent to included a gallows in a ghost town, the Little Ale’inn in Rachel, and several brothels including the famous Bunny ranch and Mustang Ranch, but my favorite was Inez’s dancing and diddling. Only in Nevada could you call a place that and not even get a second look. Try that in Texas and there’ll be a mob at your door.

Rider Brief















Podium-JeffEarls EricBray MattWatkins

Finally, the rally was over and the scores were tallied. I finished 5th out of 29 finishers, which considering the guys who beat me, I’m totally ecstatic about. The top five finishers were (photo by Tobie Stevens)

5. Me

4. Erik Lipps

3. Matt Watkins

2. Eric Bray (who consequently scored me for the 2013 Big Tex Rally)

1. Jeff Earls.






Jun '14

20414 Poison Rally

This is the tracker for the Deployment to Ely, NV, via Aspen, CO; the 2014 Poison Rally; and the Redeployment home from Ely via the Four Corners monument. At Least, that’s the plan at the moment.

The Poison Rally is only open the 45 competitors and the group who puts it on is known for their……unique….bonuses. For example: we were told to practice shooting a 9mm pistol, shooting an AR-15, knife throwing, and 3 different card games. We also have to bring with us, a bone…a BIG bone, a cigar, a condom, white socks and sandals, and a survival knife, which we may be asked to produce at any point after registration….

this should be interesting.

Jun '14

Happy Father’s Day

AS Father’s day approaches, I think about how my father impacted my life and who I am today. There were always pros and cons to the approach my father took to parenting, but he said something to me once that helped my understand that, and I’ve never forgotten it. He said “We do the best we can with the tools we are given”. The reason that struck home I think is because I know he was basically given NO tools at all; he wasn’t taught how to be a man, or how to raise children, or provide for his family. So he did the best he could, and it turned out ok. My sister and I are both relatively successful in what we do and always had a roof over our heads and food to eat. Not always a lot of food or the kind we wanted, but we always ate.

Yellowstone NP-August 2010

Larry, Me, and Dad at Yellowstone 8-2010.

My dad was in the Navy and spent a lot of time at sea away from home, but when he was home he always tried to take us to great places during the summer, like amusement parks and such. He did his best to spend time with us when he could.

When I was a small child (like kindergarten) my Dad had a BSA and used to give us rides while we sat on the tank, perhaps that’s why I have an affinity for Triumph motorcycles today. When I grew up I had a couple of bikes, but my first street bike was an ’82 Honda Silverwing, which I rode for about a year and a half in the mid ’90s. Life interfered and neither of us rode for a long time until I started riding again in 2007 and my dad began riding again shortly after that.

In 2010 I made what was at the time (for me) and epic road trip with my Dad and brother in-law. We were all on old bikes, an ’83 GL1100A (me), an ’84 GL1200I (bil), and a ’95 Virago 750 (dad). We rode from Lacy, Wa, where we gave the truck and trailer to my then 17 year old daughter, over Mount Rainier, through Yellowstone, stopped off in Sturgis for 3 days during the rally, and then home to Texas. While I hated that my dad was up at 5:30am every morning and forced everyone else to be up by 6am, it was a great adventure.

This ride is what got me into LD riding. I realized i loved it and I’ve always loved travelling and seeing new things and parts of the country. I also realized that I could probably ride longer than the 400 miles a day we did. When I returned home I started looking into motorcycle travel and eventually found out about the Iron Butt Rally (IBR), and by extension the Iron Butt Association (IBA). The IBR immediately went on my bucket list, but I knew I couldn’t be ready by 2013, so I targeted the 2015 IBR. By the end of the year I had decided on what bike I wanted, and picked it up on April 1st of 2011. On May 21st, 2011, with less than 4K miles on the odo I did my first Saddle Sore 1,000 (1,000 miles in 24 hours or less) and earned my IBA membership number. Since then I’ve done numerous rides, a few rallies, and I’m on the starting grid for the Poison Rally (Very complex 32 hour rally in Nevada), the Butt Lite 7 Rally (6 day rally starting and finishing in Minnesota), and the 2015 IBR (11 days and 11,000 miles starting and finishing in New Mexico). I’ve learned alot, and still have lots to learn, but I love this sport and, at least partially credit my dad for that. His health is fading and he is about to sell his bike and never ride again, but I cherish that I was fortunate enough to have had the chance to take that simple, epic ride across the country with him.

Happy Father’s day Dad, I love you.

May '14

2014 Hoagy’s Heroes SS2K Gold

This will be the first long ride of the season that isn’t part of a rally. It was originally supposed to be a shakedown for a Guinness World Record attempt on the 31st, but we had to push that back to the fall in order to get on the sponsors marketing budget. I still plan on treating it as the ride I had intended, which is to cover the 2,000 miles in as close to 24 hours as possible. If we weren’t doing this in Texas, it would be difficult to even get close to that time frame. I really don’t think I’ll be done in 24 hours due to it being on public roads, but I’m hoping to get as close as possible. Anyway, here is the tracker.

The route is:
Weatherford to New Braunfels to Pecos to Weatherford to Pecos to New Braunfels to Weatherford. or 2 laps around Texas.

Apr '14

2014 Heart of Texas Rally

The first rally of theseason is the 12 hour Heart of Texas Rally. Starting anywhere in Texas and ending in Georgetown 12 hours later, this will be a good warm up. Last weekend I did the UB/AoN challenge (See previous post) and earned points for completing it. Now I just have to figure out how to get more before the rally ends.