What Would Jeff Earls Do?

June 26, 2017 Posted by Ken Meese

Ken left me a message this morning to pass on to you all, with the above title.

It’s a good day for a ride, good day for a rally, lots of good people.

All weekend everyone has been asking me who is my competition. My competition is ME. How can I do at routing the plan, executing that plan, and getting back to the checkpoints and the finish on time? That’s my goal for the next 11 days.

Also, someone pointed out yesterday that really, all of our competition is Jeff Earls. One hundred and seventeen riders and passengers, trying to outhink and outmaneuver and outwit Jeff, and he outweighs us by a lot. This is gonna be fun.

(Jeff Earls, for those of you who aren’t up on all this IBR stuff, is this year’s rally master and an IBR veteran; he’s finished the rally five times, and has placed fourth, third, and second. He’s a super-nice guy. When Ken found out Jeff was designing this year’s rally, he was thrilled, because he knew Jeff would put together a fun, albeit somewhat devious, challenge.)

2017 Iron Butt Rally theme

June 25, 2017 Posted by Ken Meese

The theme for the 2017 Iron Butt Rally is…Animals! Or Safari, I’m given to understand. Five categories: Land, Air, Sea, Prehistoric, and Mythical.

I have a few more details, but I’m not sure if I’m allowed to share them yet. There are a number of updates at the official IBR page already, so keep an eye there, too.

This year has 8 women riders, which is a record (boo-yah!), as well as the first-ever two-up male team. (There are 8 two-up teams, also a record.) And there’s also the first-ever three-up team, a family, with the teenage daughter riding in a sidecar. (People often ask me if I’d run the IBR with Ken. Answer: if I had a sidecar with heat, a/c, and wireless, then…maybe. 😉  )

So now Ken is in his hotel room, planning the first leg of his ride. Everyone takes off tomorrow, I believe at 10 am local (Minneapolis) time. Think good thoughts!

xo Dayle

Checked in…

June 25, 2017 Posted by Ken Meese

Ken is checked in and raring to go. Sunday’s a day to relax, for the most part, with a rider meeting in the afternoon. The rally starts Monday morning. Send good energy and wish him luck!


Aaaand he’s off (again!)

June 22, 2017 Posted by Ken Meese

Ken left early this morning for the 2017 Iron Butt Rally start in Minnesota. The official start is Monday.

Here he is looking all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed:

You can read daily reports from the official IBR here. I will do my best to post here every day. As usual, I won’t be able to post about where Ken’s going, just what he’s done, and I can’t really give specifics until after each leg is done.

The finish is in Minneapolis on Friday, July 7, and I’ll be there to cheer him in.

If you post comments, I’ll relay them to Ken; he won’t have the chance to look at the website during the rally.

Let the miles begin!


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.