Robert Long won a no-draw entry into the IBR by winning the Senior Butt Rally, paired with Lionel Ramos. Robert had a rough Leg 1. He was the rider we reported on earlier who went down on wet trolley tracks in Cincinnati. He told me the massive white Victory bounced back up after going down and spitting him off and it continued rolling down the street on its own. Note to riders: stay on the bike, even if you have to ride it like a bronc buster, no matter what happens. The bike usually knows what to do and often wants to keep going.

As if that minor get-off wasn’t enough, Robert had another incident while turning around in a parking lot near the IAAM bonus in Ames, Iowa. Something which should not generate any drama, right? Who strings a steel cable across a parking lot without putting up any signs or flagging, or anything to avoid decapitating a rider or damaging a vehicle, or both? Robert did not see the unmarked cable until it had sheared the windscreen off the bike, hit all the accessories mounted on the bars, and scraped his new Klim jacket. Fortunately, he got the bike stopped before the cable cut into him, or sheared him off the bike, or cut his head off his body. Unmarked steel cables across accessible lots! Really?

Robert recovered himself and made some temporary repairs. He rode about 1500 miles to Checkpoint 1 without a windscreen and without a few other missing bits and pieces. He had his youngest son Blake, daughter-in-law, and three of his grandsons load up one of his many spare Victory motorcycles and haul it to the checkpoint, along with the necessary tools. They pulled the damaged parts off the bike in the parking lot of the hotel, scavenged replacement parts from the spare bike, and got the Victory back into riding condition, complete with a working power windscreen and some zip-tied plastic body panels. The grandkids had set up camp in the grass in front of the hotel and were having a grand time. Robert and Blake got the bike fixed and oil changed, so Robert was good to go after getting some rest and the Leg 2 bonus pack.