The full version with photos is available at: http://www.bradfordbenn.com/beemer/trips/ss1k.htm
After reading Ron Ayer's books, I had decided that I wanted to do a SaddleSore 1000, and that it was possible for me to do it. A SaddleSore 1000 is 1,000 miles in 24 hours on the motorcyle. I read a lot about it at the Iron Butt Association's website. I talked with friends that I done it. I decided that I was going to do it. In Guitar Craft there is something called a performance challenge. The team is given a performance deadline, at which point they are expected to perform. I took that approach and declared June 26, 2004 as my performance challenge for the SaddleSore 1000. I figured if I did not pick a time to do it, I would simply never do it. I also made sure to let people know what I was doing, nothing quite like public knowledge to keep you honest. Plus it was my birthday present to myself.
The first part was figuring out where to go and how to make it possible. So in the months leading up to the ride, I tried to come up with a route that would make sense. I decided that I wanted to do a loop route. The out and back approach of going out to a point and then turn around and come back home just seemed it would be boring. I also wanted to allow myself a few options in case of problems. I came up a route that went from home to Chicago to St. Louis to Indianapolis to Dayton to Toledo to home. The goal was that I would have a few alternate routes back to South Bend if I decided to stop. I also realized that once I got past Dayton,OH I had crossed a point of no return. Either way it would be 1,000 miles.
Luckily Jennifer was very supportive of the project. So she understood when I told her that I did not want a big birthday dinner the night before. So instead, there was the proper meal to eat before a big event, carbohydrates and lots of them. Cheese tortellini followed by a homemade cake. Jennifer also helped by packing the lunch and drink of champions, 10 peanut butter & jelly sandwiches and 3 liters of sport drink.
So the next morning I got a little later start than I had planned. Such is life, I did not worry about it. The project is against a time constraint not against a clock. As you can tell the pups were really excited to see me off. Apparently I disturbed their sleep.
So I picked up a little gas at the BP on the corner. Unfortunately the time was off by an hour, hopefully it would not become an issue. I might need the hour later, but I can hope not.
So then it was off to Joliet, Illinois, just west of Chicago, figured this would be a good place to stop. There are two reasons: 1) it was at the transition from West to South; 2) it was where Tracy and Rebecca and I first met for breakfast so I figured it would a good stopping point. It was the start of a bunch of good rides so hopefuly the karma would continue. At that stop I snapped a few pictures, one to prove where I was, one to show why I did not stop at a restaurant.
From there is was south toward St. Louis. Actually not all the way there, a turn to go east just outside of St. Louis. This leg was the first little bit of interesting stuff. I had strapped my Platy 80 ounce drinking system to the rear seat. Unfornately I placed the flap on the bag into the wind. So the Velcro?« finally let go just south of Atlanta, Illinois. While I was drinking the bag decided to leave the motorcycle while it was still moving. The Platy survived the bounce and stuff, I just was not real interested in picking it up as I had seen it meet a truck tire. Whoops so the rest of the trip when I got thirsty I would need to stop. Hopefully that would be the worst of it.
So I kept riding. The next stop was Troy, Illinois. Man was I thirsty and hungry. However knowing that I was now going to have to stop more often that I expected to drink. So it was a fillup for the RT and for me.
About an hour later I was thirsty again, time to pull over. I was trying very hard to pull over whenever I got thirsty. Yes, time was being spent to get pulled over, take off the helmet, get off the bike, and open the lunch box. However I know I needed to do it. Hydration is important. What was an interesting by product of this change in hydration system, I was not having to stop as often to dehydrate. I was enjoying the silence and the time to think. At about 450 miles I found myself singing to keep my brain going and awake. The drone was starting to set in.
At 500 miles, I decided I would change from ear plugs to earphones with music. Ah, Fatboy Slim. I was surprised at just how much it rejuvenated me. So I think that getting a better inside the helmet audio system will be a good investment. However the hydration still took place about every hour. I knew I was eating into time but based on the schedule I had, I had enough time. I had planned on 16 hours and well it was probably going to take more than that. However that left me plenty of time to acheive the goal of 1,000 miles in 24 hours.
At about 900 miles, I started to realize just what I was about to accomplish. When I got my first motorcycle, I thought it was impressive that I did 600 miles in three weeks. Now I was doing more in one day than I did in the first month of my first bike.
When I got to the exit for home, I got the final receipt. I did not realize it at the time. I went to three gas stations, they are all on the same corner, and none of them were open to get a fill up receipt. It wasn't until the next morning that I realized I could have gotten an ATM receipt, but hopefully the Toll Road receipt and the photo will be suffeceint.
I was not as drained as I expected, I was tired and had no trouble falling to sleep once I got home. However I was up and at 'em the next morning to go shopping for motorcycle camping gear. More about that later...
Overall average according to the GPS and I kept it on including stops, overall average 56.4 mph. Moving time was 14:49. Stopped was 2:59. Total time was 17:49. All the roads I rode were posted at 65MPH.
For some reason though, the GPS V would turn itself off when giving directions. Drat.