A warm, sunny morning in Pittsburgh, not at all like the rain during the 2013 rally, which was the last time the IBR started in this city. Beautiful weather and no rain in sight. Such a great day to start an epic 11 day motorcycle adventure. Riders will need to not only balance their rest and riding time, but their motorcycles too.
The riders all were required to be at their bikes at 8:00am with the key in the ignition for their starting odometer recording and getting their ID card punched.
Two riders were not with their bikes at 8:00am. Unfortunately, Cory Ure and Matt Hube were not in position when the staff came around for the verification. They both found themselves moved to the last starting spots in the field. To their credit, they both took it all in stride. Jim Craig was delayed until the main group departed and Jeff filled him in on what was missed because Jim was late to the rookie rider meeting. Oh well, someone must be last.
Just doing what one is supposed to do, such as arriving on time for the starting procedure, typically does not rate a mention in the limited space of a daily report. However, dropping your bike on the starting row of the IBR and creating a domino effect that takes another rider down IS something that is certain to get some exposure. This seems to happen at every IBR start and efficient scribes have the paragraph pre-written, only needing to fill in the names.
Sjef Vanderaa did just that this morning. Sjef’s BMW GS got away from him and fell onto Morris Cox and his Triumph Tiger Explorer. Both bikes went down on the pavement. Steve Gallant stepped in to help Sjef lift both bikes off the pavement. Fortunately, no one seemed to be hurt. The bikes involved did not appear to suffer significant damage. Both riders were able to depart under their own power.
Once Dale pointed to the first rider and waved them out, the start crew was able to get 105 bikes out of the Marriott parking lot in 6 minutes and 5 seconds. Ken Andrews was waved out first, completing a parade lap through the impound area, to the cheers and honking horns of everyone. Kerri Miller was directed out, followed by Bob Lilley, followed by the rest of the riders in turn.
Bob was clearly on a mission and some of us thought he might pass Kerri on the inside of a turn before leaving the parking lot. By tradition, the last two riders to leave the parking lot with the main group were James Owen, the only two-time winner of the rally and Mike Brooke, the winner of the 2021 rally. The Moon Township and Finlay Township Police Departments provided traffic control to assist the riders in getting to I-376 without having to deal with traffic. You can click on this link to see photos of the riders as they rolled out this morning: The First Course is Served.
A casual survey of the riders before the start indicated that maybe half of the field had plans to go to the Field of Corn bonus this afternoon. It is worth 1267 points.
Troy Martin called in this evening to let Lisa know he rolled off a curb at a bingo bonus and scraped a hole in the oil pan of his Triumph. We advised him on a J.B. Weld fix and at the last word from him, it was working.
Robert Long dropped his bike on wet trolley tracks this afternoon, but at last report was continuing his rally.
Kristen and Chris (Inspector Gadget) had an issue with their GPS and his thigh gadget thingy. They got a replacement GPS and were on the road again at last report.
Screen grabs showing rider locations after two hours and thirteen hours:
Iron Butt Rally©
Photos by John Harrison and Tobie Stevens