Welcome to the
TAKE IT EASY RIDE
One year ago many were considering doing a 1,000 mile ride in 24-hours. Through curiosity, planning, preparation and hard work more than 20 riders from Bakersfield HOG succeeded in accomplishing their goal. Originally the plan was to go to Phoenix and back, but that was changed. Some riders went to Ely, Nevada; some went to Weed, California. All Iron Butters, (sounds like a candy bar) were successful in their efforts. I am proud of those who made the effort. Unless one has completed this goal, they have no idea of the fullness and satisfaction that comes from a full day in the saddle. Coming home dirty, sore, worn out from riding their iron horse, yet inspired by their accomplishment, is rewarding. If you talk to any of the riders from last year about their ride, you will notice an immediate smile. To see what Bob Parsons at Go Daddy has to say visit:
The tentative plan this year is to go to Winslow, Arizona. It will be around 544 miles with elevations ranging from 348’ to 7,328’. Plan on bringing a warm coat as temperatures will range from 45 to 110. It ought to be a pleasant trip with the temperature hitting around 90 as we roll into Needles and then cooling down as we gain elevation. The route will be Bakersfield to Barstow then catching I-40 through Needles, Kingman and Flagstaff with the turnaround in Winslow, Arizona. It will be a little warmer in Needles as we return, but again will cool down as we head west and gain elevation. We will be going right by Mother Road Harley-Davidson in Kingman and Grand Canyon Harley-Davidson in Bellemont, Arizona. Some may want to make it a two-day trip with a stop at the Grand Canyon. Based on the weather this destination could change. Please check the Bakersfield HOG website for any updates.
Contemplating traveling 1,000 miles in 24 hours on a motorcycle causes the reader to have one of two reactions. How would I do that? Or, NO WAY!!! One has no trouble grasping the idea of climbing into a cylindrical object, much like a roll of toilet paper, sitting down and being hurled through the atmosphere to travel 1,000 miles, but the idea of going outside to your driveway, sitting down on a magical chair and spending the day observing the sunrise, smells, sights and experiences that will be remembered the rest of one’s life is foreign to most.
As with all great things, the trigger that causes success in any endeavor is curiosity. I salute you for reading this far because once you become curious the wheels start turning and the question gnaws in your mind until the answer unfolds. Last year curiosity caused one rider to complete 1,500 miles in less than 36 hours and another to complete 1,536 miles in less than 24 hours.
Also required in the success of any mission is planning. Hopefully this article will arouse your curiosity and provide a blueprint for your magic carpet ride. Thorough planning for this ride will leave one with a joyous expectation of the ride with successful results. Poor planning will yield frustration, anger, and quite possibly death. Now that we have covered the disclaimers, let’s get on with eating the elephant.
Let’s break down the ride a little; the first part is going 544 miles. The second part is coming back. Let’s look at the first half. Assuming one’s tank has a range of at least 182 miles, one starts with a full tank and burns that off. They stop, fuel, and burn that tank off. Then they fuel again and burn that tank off. Presto you have just completed your five hundred 44 miles! So the question is can you ride 182 Miles? Can you do it three times? If your tank has a range of 130 miles you would fill it three times after you start.
There will never be any external pressure from anyone else to make you succeed. So travel the first tank, see how you feel, fill it up and burn off the second tank. If you are feeling good, fill it up and continue on. With victory in sight, this decision to continue after filling here will be the critical one. Knowing that you will succeed after burning off the third tank is gratifying. Some may say; but what about the other 544 miles? Well, you made it here didn’t you? This is the Iron Butt, not the Delano taco run. Quit your belly-aching and go home.
That is the entire psychology of eating this elephant. Leave with a full tank, fill up twice more, and then go home. That is all there is to it. Can you do that? Sounds simple doesn’t it? But there are a few other things we need to consider. The first is time. Let’s look at how time affects the ride. Assuming one was to average 65 mph one would have seat time of 16.73 hours. (1,088 / 65 mph = 16.73 hours) If one averages 75 mph one will have seat time of 14.50 hours. If one averages 80 mph they will have seat time of 13.6 hours. We will be leaving at 5:00 A.M. add your choice of the above times and that theoretically will be the time you get home. This does not include any time for fueling, eating, or potty breaks. It is better to travel constantly at your comfortable speed and minimize the time spent on stops rather than go like the devil and have poor stop management. This increases fuel usage which causes one to stop more often, wasting more time. One has to balance the needs of the bike with the needs of the rider. Ideally it would be most efficient to fuel, intake nourishment and liquids while relieving themselves, all at the same time. Hopefully your planning will not demand such desperation.
Since we know the bike will need to stop at certain intervals, it will be most efficient if the rider can time their needs to correspond with the needs of the bike. The primary way to do this is through fluid intake management. Unless you have a catheter installed, you will need to stay hydrated while yet being able to wait until the next fuel stop to relieve yourself. Remember every second that is not spent moving is a second longer it will take to get home. Careless attention to stop management will destroy your ride.
Sometimes our mind will confuse dehydration, fatigue and hunger. The first sign of dehydration is fatigue. The effects of dehydration include fatigue, thirst, irritability, general discomfort, headache, weakness, dizziness, vomiting, head or neck heat sensations, nausea, chills, cramping, extremely dry mouth, lips and/or throat, high heart rate, clammy skin or dry skin crusted with dried sweat and a decrease in performance. When one’s brain suffers from poor hydration, mental fogginess, poor short term memory, dizziness, severe headaches and poor balance results. The lack of fluids in your system can also be very detrimental to decision making. When you become dehydrated, your body loses more water than it takes in. Even mild dehydration can cause weakness, dizziness and fatigue. Far more serious is hypovolemic shock, a life-threatening complication of dehydration. It occurs when low blood volume causes a sudden drop in blood pressure and a reduction in the amount of oxygen reaching your tissues. If untreated, severe hypovolemic shock can cause death within a few minutes or hours. Communicate and watch out for symptoms of dehydration and fatigue in other riders. It is better to stop and take a little longer to rest and hydrate now rather than have to wait for an ambulance or attend a funeral. Early in the ride is the greatest opportunity to make time. While in no way advocating one break the speed limit, early in the morning is an opportune time to eat up the miles. There probably will be a slight tailwind heading east and a headwind on the return run. The head wind will cause additional fatigue as well as decrease your mileage. Expect it and adjust accordingly. Expect it to take longer on the return. As you travel east note fuel stations that are not your designated stops. You may need them on your return run. Remember the sun will be in your face both ways and it is brutal combined with the wind from punching a hole through 1,000 miles of air. Travel at your comfortable cruising speed. Although we will be leaving at the same time it is imperative that we do not have 40 bikes traveling and stopping together. If we were all to stop for gas at the same time and location it would take an hour for all of us to fuel and use the restroom. Because of tank and bladder differences, we may have 40 riders traveling the same direction but we will each have our own ride plan. As the day progresses there will be times when we pass each other and perhaps there will be times when we are traveling alone. Enjoy the freedom of being able to choose how you execute your plan. Some riders will spend an hour for lunch. Join them if that is in your plan as well. Some may be planning on making it a two-day trip. You do not want to be riding with them if you are planning to do this in one day. Some may be trying to do 1,500 miles in 24 hours. Do not be intimidated or influenced by the behavior of others. Remember the tortoise and the hare. Stick to your plan. If you are planning on having your ride certified by the IRON BUTT ASSOCIATION please go to http://www.ironbutt.com/ridecerts/getdocument.cfm?DocID=1. Here you will find the rules and requirements to qualify for the Saddle Sore 1,000. The gas receipt showing the time, date and address of your first gas purchase is the official starting time and address from which your ride will be measured. The official starting point address for those certifying their ride is the Shell station east of BHD at 35238 7th Standard Rd, Bakersfield, California. The tentative plan this year is to go to Winslow, Arizona. The 544.8-mile turnaround point will be at the Chevron station, 2001 N. Park Drive, Winslow, Arizona. For more information on the IRON BUTT ASSOCIATION please go to http://www.ironbutt.com/about/default.cfm The most important thing you can do to insure this will be an enjoyable adventure is to develop a plan, in writing, that allows for contingencies. Start by determining what the range of the tank on your bike is and go from there. In your plan include a realistic time schedule for the entire day including stops. This will help keep you on track. If you see you are falling behind schedule relax and adjust your schedule. This trip is not worth your life. Go to the Harley Davidson ride planner website to develop your plan.
Once you are at the map hit the fuel symbol at the top of the page and the Shell stations will be displayed on the map. To find Chevron station locations go to http://www.chevron.com/products/ourStations/stationfinder/
Expect your plan to change as the day wears on and prepare for contingencies such as a flat, mechanical trouble and a motel should you decide to call it a day. DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS TRIP UNLESS YOU HAVE SOME TYPE OF ROAD SERVICE PLAN. Have emergency contact numbers with you and carry a cell phone. Take at least a gallon of water. Eat a hearty dinner on Thursday and eat a light dinner on Friday. For additional tips go to http://www.ironbutt.com/tech/aowprintout.cfm
On Saturday, June 19, 2010, at 5:00 AM, riders will sign in with Ben Patten at the Shell station east of BHD. Please hand Ben any required releases as well as the name, phone number and address of the person you would like to have notified in case of an emergency. When you check in Ben will provide you with his cell phone number and record your odometer reading, cell phone number and the time you leave. Call Ben when you reach your turnaround point, where ever that may be, and provide your odometer reading. Call Ben again when you arrive home with your odometer reading.
June 19, 2010 will come and go. You will spend those 24 hours doing something. Why not invest that time creating memories that will boost your confidence and bring a smile to your face every time you think about them?
I am anxiously counting the days and looking forward to this adventure. This is so addictive you will want to do it over and over and over again! Break those imaginary shackles, feel alive like never before, come ride with us. This is going to be fun!!!
Ride far. Ride fast.