Friday, April 28, 2017

Running of the RAT Riders

The running of the 2017 Ride Around Texas Insanity, "Tropical Adventure" is underway!  Riders from around the world are rendezvousing at the La Copa Inn & Resort, South Padre Island, for the start of the RAT Insanity on Monday, May 1.  Follow them as they ride 3,100+ miles around the perimeter of The Great State of Texas.
RAT 17 SpotWalla Map     RAT 17 List of Riders

RAT Start/Finish:  All riders will start between 5:00 and 6:00 am, Monday May 1.
  • RAT Insanity Gold return window:  70 hrs after start DBR, between 3:00 - 4:00 am, Thur, May 4th
  • RAT Insanity return window:  85 hrs after start DBR, between 6:00 - 7:00 pm, Thur, May 4th
RAT Insanity Riders Personal SpotWalla Tracks
Follow their progress as the RAT riders scurry to the mandatory checkpoints, collecting dated business receipts and sometimes a picture, proving they did the ride.  Click on a ID - RAT Rider Name below to see their personal RAT17 SpotWalla track.  Note:  Not all riders volunteered their SpotWalla link/ID. See: RAT 17 List of Riders,

Mounts of the 3 Amigos
This year's running of the RAT Insanity is an "International" event.  Three members of IBA Mexico are joining in on the "Insanity".  They are; Carlos Loaiza riding a 2014 BMW 1200 Adventure, Ioram Abolnik on a 2017 BMW 1200 GS and Javier Duran sporting a 2016 BMW 1200 Adventure.  ¡Buena suerte y motocicleta segura, amigos!  

RAT Insanity Finishers:  
Rider, finish time date, distance 
Ioram Abolnik, 14:57 5/3, 5,040km GOLD
Danny Dossman, 16:14 5/3, 3,160 GOLD
Rich Rulau, 16:27 5/3, 3,101 GOLD
Christopher Ross, 16:49 5/3, 3,097 GOLD
Alan Wiederanders, 16:43 5/3, 3,130 GOLD
Javier Duran, 18:35 5/3, 4,936km GOLD
Carlos Loaiza, 18:35 5/3, 4,943km GOLD
Matt Hube, 21:16 5/3, 3,115 GOLD
Paul Meyer, 21:25 5/3, 3,076 GOLD
Kevin Sawatsky, 23:12, 3,092 GOLD
Matt Wise, 23:15 5/3, 3,085 GOLD
Gerry Arel, 22:34 5/3, 3,111 GOLD
John & Nadine Huval, 01:01 5/4, 3,158 GOLD
Owen Quarles, 01:18 5/4, 3,185 GOLD
David Hathaway, 01:19 5/4, 3,189 GOLD
Matt Watkins, 01:28 5/4, 3,114 GOLD
David Uhl, 02:30 5/4, 3,296 GOLD
Morris Cox, 13:55 5/4, 3,152
Cynthia Cox, 13:56 5/4, 3,152
Bill Cumbie, 14:52 5/4, 3,072

Arthur Collins, DNF
Kerry Maning, DNF
Spencer Bennett, DNF
Jimmie Hammack, DNF
Lance Corley, DNF

RAT Insanity Certify Central:
La Copa Inn Business Center
With onsite IBA certification RAT riders show up at the business center of the La Copa Inn with all their documents ready for verification:  Completed IBA witness form. log of mandatory checkpoints and pictures of their motorcycle at the required locations.  Those with SpotWalla tracks get express certification.  Upon verification of all documents and pictures riders are RAT Insanity certified and presented RAT Insanity pins and stickers.  They retain all documents for their records.  Certificates to follow.

What's Happening

The Last RAT

Thursday, 5/4:
Bill Cumbie rolled in to the RAT's nest right on his revised ride plan schedule.  During the fierce thunderstorms of east Texas, Bill got it into his head to be the last of the RAT Insanity riders. According to Bill's thinking, "Somebody has to be last!"  And, this was his time to enjoy that very special recognition. Hail, he earned it the hard way!

So, by the authority vested in me as the RAT Insanity Master, I proclaim Bill Cumbie the "Distinguished RAT Insanity Rider - Last among RATs"

Morris and Cynthia Cox arrived back at SPI early afternoon.  Bill Cumbie is expected to arrive later, well before the 6pm closing window for the 85 RAT Insanity.

Adios, Three Amigos!
Ioram, Carlos and Javier are on their way back south of the border.  These guys are some harding riding motorcyclists.  They garnered the respect of all their fellow RAT Insanity riders and were a welcome addition to this hard riding adventure.

Morning Update:  The last of the RAT Insanity GOLD riders rolled in either side of midnight.  Clockwise riders Bill Cumbie, Morris & Cynthia Cox are taking a leisurely tour in after being held up by the vicious storms along I-10 around Beaumont last evening.  Spencer Bennet is out due to mechanical problems.  He's arranged the recovery trailer to come pick him up near Marshall, just south of Texarkana.

Lance Corley sends his "Congratulations, RAT Insanity Riders!" from his hospital bed.  He's in the trauma center in Odessa for at least another week with reconstructive surgery again tomorrow.  He wanted to pass along to everyone,  "I truly believe ATGATT saved my life!!!"  We wish Lance a speedy recovery and look for him to get back on the road.

On-site IBA certification starting at 7:00 am.  Riders who have successfully completed the RAT Insanity will be certified upon presentation and verification of all required documentation.  Ride Around Texas Insanity certificates to follow in a few days after review and approval by Mike Kneebone, President of the IBA.

Wednesday, 5/3: First back to SPI was Ioram Abolinik of the Three Amigos, who rode anti-clockwise. He woke up about 1:30 am this morning feeling great and decided to depart from his teammates.  Paseo excellente, Amigo!  And, from the looks of the SpotWalla tracks Danny Dossman will be the first of the clockwise pack to arrive back at SPI.  Excellent ride, Comrade!

Evening Update: Several of the clockwise riders are waylaid by severe thunderstorms and tornado warnings in a line running along I-10.  It's moving pretty fast but still a significant weather event.  The anti-clockwise riders are enjoying the cool evening temperatures along the Rio Grand with clear riding all the way in.  All of the Three Amigos are at SPI celebrating their excelling riding with cervesa fries.  Looks like the rest of the rider are on pace to meet their RAT Insanity goals.

Morning Update:  Home stretch for RAT Gold!  Day three of the RAT Insanity is going well with rider on track to meet their RAT goals. Danny Dossman and Christopher Ross were slowed down by an isolated thunder storm as they approached Beaumont along I-10.  Both Danny and Christopher are riding in the 2017 Iron Butt Rally and they are at rally pace.  Alan Wiederanders and the "Three Amigos" are out of Big Bend NP country heading south along the Rio Grand on pace to finish back in  South Padre Island before sunset.  Rich Rulau has a great ride pace and is expected to arrive at SPI ahead of the anti-clockwise pack.

Bill Cumbie, Morris & Cynthia Cox spent last night in the Panhandle amid typical Panhandle there.  They are back on the RAT trail this morning, but their pictures tell the tale of a hard riding adventures.
Oh, Hail!

Bill Combie's GSA

Arthur Collins is out of the RAT.  He got as far as Anthony on his clockwise run before calling it a day.  See you again soon, Arthur...have a safe ride to your next destination.

Tuesday, 5/2:  Day one in is the bag as the RAT Riders continue on their hard riding adventure around the perimeter of Texas.  As you can see by the SpotWalla location page above the clockwise and anti-clockwise groups are about to meet in the Panhandle.  The riding weather today is good.

Danny Dossman was leading the clockwise pack till he over shot the hotel availability by departing Anthony.  Got to Kermit and discovered there wasn't a hotel he'd care to stay so he drove south to Marathon for better lodgings.   Hmmm, wonder if he checked hotel availability heading north, say, like in Muleshoe?  Alan Wiederanders is near Texline at this writing with the rest of the anti-clockwise pack close behind.  The Three Amigos are looking strong on there way to Texline.

Jimmie Hammack is DNF due to the rectifier going out on his motorcycle just south of Van Horn.  Got toed to Van Horn, contacted family to bring a truck to pack the bike home.  Kerry Manning is DNF dues to work demands.

Lance Coreley took a detour to the Odessa hospital, via helicopter.  I've spoken to Lance and he is recovering from emergency surgery for shattered leg.  He's given me permission to share his ATGATT success with everyone.  This morning about 5am he was heading northwest on US90 just southeast of Valentine with he hit a concrete highway divider at about 60mph.  The bike went down and he was thrown off into the weeds on the side of the road.  He lay there for about a half hour waving his flashlight to get someone to stop and help.  A motorist finally stopped to help and contacted emergency services.  He was taken by air ambulance via Alpine direct to Odessa hospital for emergency surgery.  His family had been contacted and his HD Road Glide is in storage.  He's already been contacted by his insurance company about the bike.  Lance wanted to everyone to know he doesn't have a scratch on him due to all of his excellent riding gear,  He is now a believer in the LD uniform of ATGATT.

Get well soon Lance and we'll look for you on the road!

Ioram Abolnik, one of the "Three Amigos" left his ID tag and chain at the Red Roof Inn, Childress.  I called Danny Dossman to see if he would stop by to pick it up for Ioram.  It just so happened at the moment I called Danny he was pulling into the Valero in Childress.  He said he would be happy to stop by the hotel and pick it up.  Danny is such a Texas Gentleman!

David Url's HD
David Url had a tip-over trying to get a picture of the Guadalupe Mountains NP sign at 4:44 am.   It's unfortunate for David to have picked that stop to take a picture of his motorcycle with the Guadalupe Mountains NP sign that was on the side of the road instead of the sign at the entrance to the park Visitor's Center, like is in the RAT rider information page and in the GPX file.  That location has a nice wide pull off for just that sort of picture taking, instead on the side of the road.  To quote David's email...."Oops!"

Monday, 5/1:  Riders depart between 5:00 and 6:00 am after securing a starting dated business receipt (DBR).  The La Copa WAS to provide a continental breakfast on the 4th floor between 5:00 and 5:45 am.  But, despite the clause in the contract and my best efforts to confirm it three times before hand, no breakfast. Everyone seems to be taking it in stride by departing a few minutes earlier and grabbing a cup of coffee along with the DBR at the start gas station.

Well, it always seems to happen at the worst of times.  Lance Corley's HD Road Glide quit on him in San Bonito, which just so happens to be the home of Mad Boar HD.  Lance tried to trouble shoot the electrical problem but to no avail.  Mad Boar opened at 9am, came and got Lance's in-op HD and put it into emergency intensive care.  Lance is running the numbers through his head to calculate his chances of completing the 70 hour RAT Intensity Gold.

Jimmie Hammack is out for rectifier problems near Van Horn.  Has a trailer on the way to get him back home.

Sunday, 4/30:  Rider check in will be conducted in the parking lot between 3pm and 4pm.  IBA
Witness forms signed off, waivers collected and rider information for IBA certification verified.  At 4pm there will be a mandatory rider safety briefing with
RAT Riders at Johnny Rocket
question and answer period.  No host dinner and camaraderie to follow.

If you don't like the weather here in Texas, just wait a day.  Yesterday it was hazy hot and humid here in SPI.  Great beach weather.  It was showing at the top of the Texas Panhandle near Texline, one of the mandatory checkpoints on the RAT.  Hopefully, by the RATriders reach the top of Texas all that nasty weather will have moved out.  Today, the weather is peachy!

Several of the RAT Insanity riders are participating in the 2017 Iron Butt Rally, "World's Toughest Motorcycle Rally" which starts near Minneapolis MN June 26.  The IBR is the premier long-distance motorcycle rally covering all of the US and Canada.   Very few of the world's top long-distance riders ever get to participate in the IBR and fewer complete the 11,000 miles in 11 days.   The RAT Insanity will provide a valuable shake out opportunity those riders to work on their 'Ride Craft"

La Copa Inn (Red roof)
Saturday, 4/29:  Gathering of the RAT Riders.  Many of the participants are taking advantage of the beautiful sub-tropical weather of South Padre Island to enjoy some vaca time.  The La Copa Inn & Resort is a prime location, not only for beach access, but is virtually at the end of the Queen Isabella Bridge.  That, and the proximity of the 24/7 Stripes gas station make it an ideal starting/finishing point for the RAT Insanity.

As with all long distance riding events, several riders never make it to the starting line.  Dispite the best of intention, extensive preperations and determination to make the ride, stuff happens.  Take for instance Captain Robert Rehkopf.  After departing his Memphis TN home he reaches the outskirts of Houston only to have the clutch mechanism on his BMW R1200RT malfunction in bumper to bumper rush hour traffice.  Unabale to see his way through the issues he had to cancel out.  Doni Evens had similiar problems just prior to leaving home and had to cancal out.  Several registered riders had to postpone the RAT due to work or family conflicts.  All the riders who registered for the RAT Insanity can do the ride on their own whenever their schedules allow.

About the RAT Insanity
The RAT Insanity "Tropical Adventure" starts and finishes in South Padre Island, May 1 - 4, 2017.  Riders from around the country can enjoy a tropical mini-vaca on each end of an exciting, exclusive and challenging IBA certified ride.  See an example of a clockwise running of the RAT Insanity Gold

RAT Insanity
  • 3,100+ Miles around the perimeter of Texas
  • 70 Hours RAT Insanity Gold
  • 85 Hours RAT Insanity
  • 18 Mandatory checkpoints, including SPI start/finish
  • Riders choose Clockwise or Anti-Clockwise route
Mandatory Checkpoints and verification requirements
IBA start/finish witness is required.  Make a date/time log entry at each mandatory checkpoint and secure either the required dated business receipt (DBR) or photo with your motorcycle (MC) in the picture. All DBRs must be computer generated business receipts showing the date, time, city and state (IBA standard).  The long standing rules and protocols for the ride are on the official IBA and Motorcycle Tourer's Forum RAT Insanity sites and apply to this event, (see modifications below.)

Clockwise Route Example
  1. South Padre Island:  IBA witness and start DBR
  2. Del Rio:  DBR
  3. Big Bend NP, Panther Junc:  DBR or photo of Panther Junc sign with MC
    Clockwise Route
  4. Lajitas General Store:  DBR or Photo of store front with MC
  5. Presidio:  DBR
  6. Anthony:  DBR
  7. Guadalupe Mtns NP:  Photo of park entrance sign with MC
  8. Kermit:  DBR
  9. Texline:  DBR
  10. Follett:  DBR
  11. Childress:  DBR
  12. Paris:  DBR
  13. Texarkana:  DBR
  14. Port Arthur:  DBR
  15. Port Bolivar:  Photo of MC on the ferry while underway
  16. Galveston:  DBR
  17. Victoria:  DBR
  18. South Padre Island:  Finish DBR and IBA witness