Sunday, June 24, 2012
(If you didn’t come here from Part 3, you might want to catch up by starting with 2012 Utah 1088, Part 1: What? Am I really doing this again?.)
Having survived my second 12-hour rally in as many years, next stop was …
The Awards Banquet
One of the first things the Rally Master did was address the Deer Crossing controversy. He proceeded to read the question out loud, at which point several people (myself included) said in unison, “Aw Shit”. You see, while the description talked a lot about the signs, the actual question was “How many deer crosswalks are there?” The right answer was 4. Deliberate misdirection? No doubt. I took a big gulp of my Uintah Cutthroat Pale Ale to toast the slipping away of my anticipated multi-way tie for 1st place. There was still a glimmer of hope, however, because the fellow at the bar the night before who had insisted it was 4 was in the couples class – maybe everybody in the single rider class missed it – a girl can dream.
Side Note: As I’m writing this a few months after the event, I feel compelled to insert a link to a hilarious and relevant video that went viral last week. Enjoy.
For the most part, the banquet followed its usual format – announce the 10th place finishers in all three rallies (12, 24 and 3-day), tell a story, announce 9th place, tell a story, etc. I was relaxed because I already knew I was a finisher (made the CP, got the minimum miles, and made it back on time) and that was my primary goal. I also knew that I was almost certain to be the “butt” (so to speak) of one of the stories because of the ‘gun in the flaming saddlebag’ experience. There was really no hope of escaping that public ridicule – the story was worthy on its own merit, but more importantly, the Rally Master is a gun enthusiast. (Do you really think there would be a shooting bonus and a gun prize if he weren’t?) But it gets worse: when Rich was researching which gun to buy for me for Christmas a few years ago, it was none other than the Rally Master who made the final recommendation (Walther PPK/S .380 ACP with crimson grips, in case you care). So you see, he had a personal interest in the specific gun that I had so carelessly abused. Yeah, there was no hope of escape – and it came up more than once.
There were some other special moments during the banquet:
- The entire room was served with gin & tonics for a group toast in honor of Ken Morton, aka Dread Pirate Kermit, who died in an accident during last year’s 3-day rally.
- The announcement of the RPM award recipients: Bill Gillespie and John Langen. This award was started many years ago by the Rally Master in honor of Ron Major, a long-distance riding legend, and is awarded at his discretion during the 1088 banquet to the person (or people) who have best exemplified support of the endurance riding community over the years.
- The astonishing reunion of Ken Meese and his missing GPS. Here’s the back story: Ken is an accomplished rallyist who crashed after hitting a coyote in the Nevada desert during a 10-day rally last summer. For the 3-day event this year, he submitted a bonus question (which all 3-day riders were invited to do), which involved going to the site of the crash and taking a photo of the elaborate memorial he had built for the coyote. In addition, he offered a cash reward for anybody who recovered his GPS from the site – he had been there several times himself to search for it and considered it hopeless. Not so much. The “finder” presented the tattered but intact GPS, and immediately turned over the reward to the Polio Plus fund, which was founded by another rally participant, Bob Mutchler. Love it.
But back to the results: as the Rally Master worked his way up the list to 5th, I was delighted NOT to have heard my name yet. He finally announced a tie for 4th place – me and Nancy L. I’m OK with that! Podium finishers were Brian R. (awarded 3rd ), and a tie for 1st Place – Larry H. and M. Johnson. Yes, the very same Larry of Kemmerer Karma fame. Nice job, my friend! Maybe now you can talk your wife Anne into entering next year on HER Ninjette.
I achieved all my goals for this year: I had a great time, I finished in the top half, I legitimately beat experienced rallyists, I represented! And I logged the 2nd highest number of miles on this year’s 12-hr rally … on a 250cc motorcycle! Some may consider that inefficient (in terms of points per mile), but it was planned and sets a personal record. Success!
And after I got home, I received further acknowledgment of my achievement in the form of a custom and personalized certificate from the Rally Master. Thanks, Steve!
I know this blog is all about me, but I do want to acknowledge the accomplishments of the riders in the 24-hour and 3-day rides. Full results will be posted at www.utah1088.com. Thanks for joining me on this adventure and I’ll see you next year for the FINAL running of the Utah 1088, sure to be a bittersweet event after 21 years.