Out of the hospital

July 13, 2013 Posted by Dayle Dermatis

Ken broke out of the hospital today with the assistance of my niece and her husband. He checked out the bike and got the items he needed off of it (phone, computer…), and other friends helped get it to my niece’s for the time being.

I know he was busy today dealing with things, but I’m sure he’s getting caught up on your comments, emails, texts, etc., as he can. He is truly grateful for everyone’s support.

A brief update

July 12, 2013 Posted by Dayle Dermatis

First, here’s Ken’s “official statement” as of this morning, written by Ernie Azevedo with Ken’s input:

“Ken is going to be fine with only a broken right collar bone to show for a low-side crash and tumble on I-95 south of Fredericksburg, VA early this morning. His recollection is that the storm passed through ahead of him and the pavement was excessively wet. He remembers cruising at highway speed with the intention of returning to rally HQ with all of his bonii collected for the leg. He had plenty of time and had stopped for an hour rest at a rest area before the accident, and had time for more stops when needed (I talked to him on the phone when he woke up in the rest area and he sounded good and ready to finish his ride). He said, “the back end of the bike started to come around from a loss of traction”. He does not know what caused the loss of traction, but he and the bike came to rest on the highway. Good people gave him and his bike assistance and he was transported to a local hospital for treatment. Ken is in good spirits and obviously disappointed with the outcome of his rally ride. He is thankful for all of the support he is getting and wants to thank the rally staff and volunteers for making this event so much fun to participate in.”

I’ve talked to him several times today and he’s fine. He’s bored, though! He doesn’t need surgery on his collarbone, and we’re guessing he’ll be released tomorrow.

I want to add my thanks to his: Everyone who helped him prep for the rally, everyone who’s followed along during his crazy ride, everyone who’s called or texted or emailed or left messages, everyone who’s offered support and assistance. THANK YOU. Imagine that in a million point font, flashing, with sparkles. (Okay, no sparkles. I hate sparkles.)

Also, I want to send out a major congratulations to Derek Dickson, the 2013 Iron Butt Rally winner. Well played, sir! And to all the riders, I raise my glass of wine to you. You all had a hell of a ride.

I will also be posting personal updates at my own blog, but I’ll try to remember to pop in here with updates until Ken’s home and he can do it himself.


July 12, 2013 Posted by Dayle Dermatis

Well, Ken is out of the rally. He’s in the hospital but the worst of his injuries seems to be a broken collarbone – much less worse than last time! I’ve spoken with him several times and he’s coherent and lucid, albeit really annoyed, and the doctors have done lots and lots of tests to make sure there’s nothing more than the collarbone and some cracked ribs to heal from.

He was conscious for the crash and says the back end went squirrelly. He had enough time to thinkg “Oh, crap” and try to adjust before it slid out.

I’ve had only about five hours’ sleep—two before this happened and maybe three since, but those three have been punctuated by multiple phone calls—so I’m going to try and grab some more before I answer everyone’s emails, etc.

Thank you all for your amazing support.

xo Dayle

Home stretch…

July 11, 2013 Posted by Dayle Dermatis

Well, it looks as though yesterday’s update was gobbled up by the Internet gremlins. Oh well. Sadly, I can’t remember what I rambled about.

Wait, I remember one thing: Ken hit the worst weather of his life. Which is saying something, given that during last year’s 10-in-10 rally he rode through a hurricane. He said it was like being inside of a dishwasher (one assumes without soap). He even considered pulling over…and lying down, away from the bike in case it fell over. He was able to press on, but yowza.

(Anyone who asks why I don’t do this with him can refer back to that paragraph.  😉  )

Anyway. The rally ends tomorrow morning, no later than 8 am Eastern time (after that, there are penalties). Earlier this evening Ken bagged the big bonus he was shooting for, and then stopped for a much-needed nap. He’ll press on once he’s slept for a bit.

We won’t know the winner until tomorrow night’s banquet. I will possibly have gnawed off all of my fingernails by then.

More photos

July 9, 2013 Posted by Dayle Dermatis

Just found the Leg 2 Checkpoint photos and some of Ken!

Photo 1

Photo 2

What I love about all the photos is how everyone’s smiling. This is a crazy, gruelling event, and riders are tired, but they’re all having a hell of a good time.  🙂

Leg 2 standings!

July 9, 2013 Posted by Dayle Dermatis

Some riders shifted up a few places, some riders shifted down, but Ken stayed solidly in 6th place. Wooh!

The last couple of updates at the official site have been interesting. Two riders did both the Pony Express route and Pike’s Peak, which was a hell of a feat. My heart goes out to Eric Jewell, who was in first place as of the end of Leg 2 but then injured his ankle. It was his 8th Iron Butt Rally and if I weren’t rooting for Ken…. Actually, there are a lot of great riders and really neat people who are competing, and I’m rooting for all of them to do well, be safe, have fun, and come in second.  😉

We’re in the final stretch! End point is back in Pittsburgh on Friday morning. We’ll know the results Friday night during the banquet…. And I’ve got at least one good Leg 3 story to share once it’s over.

Leg 2 complete!

July 7, 2013 Posted by Dayle Dermatis

Once again, not a lot of news just yet, but I’m thrilled that Ken made it to the Leg 2 checkpoint just fine this evening. He texted me when he was prepping to be scored; I haven’t heard anything since, which I interpret to mean he got scored, got something to eat, and went to sleep so that he’ll be alert for the Leg 3 bonus pack.

Leg 2 apparently had three possible routes (discussed in the official IBR reports, so I think I can paraphrase here):

  • getting a bunch of bonuses along the Pony Express Trail (each one had points, and then if you got all of them, you got even more points)
  • going up Pike’s Peak and getting a picture of the train
  • going pretty much straight to Sacramento, which would give enough points to finish, but not to win

Ken chose the Pike’s Peak option, although he picked up some of the Pony Express bonuses along the way. I have to admit I don’t really have any stories from this leg, because it mostly consisted of riding across the country in a very focused line. I can say he didn’t visit any family members, though.  😉

I just wish I knew when they’re going to post the Leg 2 scores! I will of course update here when they do.


A few stories from Leg 1

July 6, 2013 Posted by Dayle Dermatis

Now that Leg 1 is over, I can finally talk about it a little bit!

I spoke to Ken several times today, and got to hear his perpective on the first leg of the rally. He was really happy with the route planning he did, and acknowledges that he made a few mistakes that cost him points. He’s not the type to kick himself for mistakes, though, and hey, it’s only the first leg. (In 2009, he was much farther down the list at this point, and still ended up coming in 9th!)

I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned, but the theme of this year’s rally is Planes, Trains, and Automobiles (and, apparently, steamboats and funiculars). I’m not quite clear on why he ended up in a cemetery, but it was a big one, and a helpful staff member in the office gave him a map and showed him where the grave he was looking for was located. Ken said another rider was arriving at the same time so he flagged that rider to follow him. This is one of the things I really appreciate and respect about the rallies: It’s a competition and the top riders are focused, but they all still help each other out.

Ken also told me to thank our trainer, because at one point he had to run from one end of a museum to the other.  🙂

The first day of the rally, his auxiliary fuel tank stopped working. He figured out the problem and it wasn’t a difficult fix, but he was looking at pulling into a motel and fixing it in the parking lot before catching some sleep. The middle-of-the-night parking lot.

He was in central Michigan at this point, and he pulled onto a highway…that started to look familiar. “Hold on,” he said, and did a quick check.

Yup. His uncle lived on that very highway!

So he called his uncle and aunt, and was able to fix the fuel cell in their (better lit than a parking lot) garage, eat a sandwich provided by his aunt, and catch a nap before heading back out.

He also rode reasonably close to my mom’s house, but on the wrong side of Lake Champlain. So he couldn’t use her condo as a motel.  😉

The next checkpoint is in Sacramento, and I think I’m allowed to say that he’s already headed west…as is every other rider. He’s still in great spirits, focused but also having fun.

Here are some pictures from the Pittsburgh checkpoint: picture one, picture two. I’ve told him that he’s not allowed to cut his hair again for two years.  ;-P

IBR 2013 Leg 1 Results

July 5, 2013 Posted by Dayle Dermatis

Ken just texted me that he’s in 6th place, and that the top 10 were all very close.   *\o/*

Here are the official results.

Day 3, IBR 2013

July 3, 2013 Posted by Dayle Dermatis

I’m sure it’s as frustrating to those of you reading this as it is to me that I can’t say much about Ken’s ride. I can’t talk about where he is, where he’s been, or where he’s going…at least, not until the first leg is done, at which point I can talk about where he went, at least! So today Ken made a point of telling me a little funny story so I have something to share with ya’ll.

Initially, he turned off all Avoidances on his GPS. In other words, he told it not to factor in things like left turns, etc., which can sometimes cause a more circuitous and lengthy route. But in doing so, one of the Avoidances he turned off was “no dirt roads.” He’s had problems with dirt roads (and mountain tracks only goat should be on) in the past… In this case, the GPS twice sent him down a shortcut that turned out to be a dirt country road.

Thankfully, neither ended up being so mule-track-like that they caused any problems. But just in case, he turned on “avoid dirt roads.”

Just in time to arrive in a city, where there wouldn’t be dirt roads anyway.

Except…he promptly hit road construction. Construction so major they’d removed all pavement…in essence, to a dirt road. For five miles.

Since it wasn’t a shortcut, he had to take it anyway, and it didn’t affect his overall plans. But he laughed at the irony of it.

The first checkpoint is back in Pittsburgh tomorrow, so I’m sure I’ll have something interesting to say then!

Also, the Day 3 official report has been posted to the IBR site. Enjoy.