I know, I teased you all with a mention of this, but truly, I’ve been too busy to do it justice, despite how excited for him and proud of him I am. :-)
As most of you probably know, Ken’s hobby is motorcycle rallies. These are essentially scavenger hunts on the motorcycle, ranging anywhere from 6 hours to 24 hours to multi-day things. The longest he’s done so far was a 7-day rally last year, which he would’ve won had the bike not broken down a few hours from the finish.
The last four rallies he ran, he’s won. This is unprecedented; nobody else has pulled that off before.
The Olympics of the sport, if you will, is called the Iron Butt Rally, or IBR. (Many of these are under the auspices of the Iron Butt Association. Yeah, I know, goofy name. Just work with me here, okay?) The IBR is run every two years, and it’s done by lottery—about 1000 riders sign up for the 100 available slots.
Did I mention it’s essentially 11,000 miles in 11 days? And that more people have gone into space than have run this rally (as of 2007)?
Anyway, Ken didn’t get picked for the 2009 rally. Then, at the end of last month, he won his fourth rally in a row, in Utah, and on his way to Oregon after that, he got a phone call.
He’s been invited to run this year’s IBR.
We waited until he got home from working in Oregon to discuss it fully; to contemplate at finances and schedules and all the other little issues and questions surrounding the decision. Still, I knew how badly he wanted to do it, and that the timing, despite being essentially last-minute, is pretty good: He doesn’t have a full-time job to juggle, and the bike’s pretty much set up in rally mode already. Financially, it’s not the wisest course of action at this moment in time, but you know what? Sometimes that can’t be the overriding factor.
My beloved’s running the IBR! Yay! *\o/*
I’ve got to check the exact dates, but it ends on Labor Day weekend in Spokane, WA, and it lasts 11 days, so that gives you a time frame. One of the checkpoints is in Santa Ana, so I’ll get to see him partway through! :-) And I’m definitely flying up for the awards banquet at the end. (Now we’re just trying to decide if it makes sense for us to finally do my Northwest Motorcycle Adventure birthday trip that was cruelly aborted three years ago when I ended up in the ER on my 40th birthday).
Anyway, he’s spent the time I’ve been away prepping for that, as well as finishing up some house stuff, updating his résumé (since the Oregon work is slowing down), and helping Brian and Morgana move Morgana’s mom into a new apartment, and…
I’ll no doubt be babbling about the IBR over the next month and a half (including updates while he’s on the rally), but if anyone has any questions about it, feel free to ask. Also, please send your congratulations and well wishes to him at ken.meese AT mac.com!