“The Mason Dixon 20-20 Lite.  What’s in a name?  Sometimes looks can be deceiving.”  

 These are the words I started writing much earlier today, December 7, 2009.  The plan was to get some text out there and generate chatter on the various lists and boards on the upcoming Mason Dixon 20-20.  Lisa Landry is pushing her flock of IB5k riders to get as much experience as possible before their big ride; Eddie and Adam will be running that show.  This year’s 20-20 was to include several bonus locations just to acclimate IB5k riders to a typical Eddie James bonus; I knew he would be proud.

 Then right around 9am, the other shoe dropped; my good friend, Rev Eddie James is dead.  What a gut check for the first thing on a Monday.  There are no words to describe the loss- none. 

In the fall of 2000, Eddie told me “a rider will do anything if you make it worth enough points.  ‘Stand on my head for 3 hours to get 100,000 points? No problem.’ “.  He also confided to me that the reason that several boni in the Buttlite 5 had specific values was to make me laugh; it worked, and I did.

Eddie taught me:


There is no such thing as a town is too small to have nothing of value


Sometimes the ‘hardest’ bonus locations are the simplest


Riders WILL DO anything if it’s worth enough points


The highest compliment a rider can give you is cursing loudly in total darkness somewhere near the middle of nowhere


Better still, same thing, IN the middle of nowhere


Words are important; using them is an art


Anytime you read “Name any church in ‘some town’”; there was only one church


Gravel is indeed pavement


Dr Pepper and Red Bull is one nasty mix no matter how thirsty you might be


Just because you have a 1 million candle flashlight, doesn’t mean you need it, unless you do


Some of the best BBQ can come from the biggest shitholes

He gave us Niobrara, Cairo, Sister Cabrini and Mother Featherlegs

He was a rallymaster who “got it”; he knew how riders thought and then used that to exploit them. He relished in our anguish for being so 'stupid' or gullible. It was never out of spite or loathing.  He challenged every rider to be their best; to see things differently, clearly and that sometimes the obvious is the obvious.   He was the brother I never had; teasing me in new and exciting ways at each turn, yet without malice.  I loved him for it.

And he always, always made you feel welcome


David E.B. Smith posted on 12/07/09:

“There's a million Eddie stories, about 500,000 of which can be told in public, and I hope we hear all of them. Eddie was a giant, in stature and in personality. He could be funny, and he could be sensitive, and he could be serious, and he could be angry, and he could antagonize people, and he didn't go half way on any of those. I had the immense good fortune to spend a couple of weeks of my life driving between checkpoints in small vehicles with Eddie, and it's hard to imagine any similar period that had a higher experience-per-minute ratio than being around Eddie. 

The world is a grayer, colder, and much less interesting place without Eddie. My heart goes out to Lisa, to Eddie's family, and to Eddie's friends. And those who never knew Eddie, my heart goes out to them for never having had that life-changing experience. “



Godspeed Eddie James.