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Iron Butt 2006

 

September 2006

 

 

I have been interested in long distance riding for a long time.  I would go to IBA website, and read about the rallies and the riders, and dream of doing it myself.  I am not up to doing an IBA rally for sure (eleven 1000 mile days), but the smaller rides are well within my ability.

 

I have wanted to do this ride for a long time, and over the years have mapped out more than one route, but it always seemed that time got in the way or there was someplace else I wanted to ride. 

 

The distance doesnít bother me, as I have ridden the distance back in 2004 when I went to Denver Colorado.  I rode 1085 miles the first day, and only stopped then because I wanted to get some sleep so that I could get to Denver the next day.

 

The time on the bike doesnít bother me, as I have ridden that amount of time at least twice, once going to Denver and another when I went to New River Bridge.  I left Pigeon Forge Tennessee at 5:00am and arrived back at Hendersonville North Carolina at 10:00pm for a total of 17 hours.

 

The planning started in earnest about two weeks before I left.  I had plans to go to Asheville North Carolina to WOTS (Wings over The Smokies), visit the vendors and spend the weekend riding in the mountains.  I had found a motel and started planning my daily rides, when I got to thinking that there wasnít really any challenge to going to the same places all the time.  I have ridden most of the roads in that area more than once and I just could not seem to get excited about the trip.

 

I looked around for someplace else new to go, and Arkansas came to mind.  I had wanted to visit there in the spring 2006, but could not find the time for that trip.  With only three days this go around, it wouldnít leave me much time to ride around Arkansas once I got there.  Scratch Arkansas.

 

AhÖ I have wanted to go back to New River Bridge so I could spend more time exploring the area around the bridge.  That is a long way, and when I got to figuring the mileage, I found myself thinking why not do an IBA ride and end up at New River.

 

From there I finally got around to just doing an IBA Ride.  I went to their website (www.ironbutt.com) in order to get an idea of what I would have to do to complete a ride.  I discovered that in order to do any of what they consider extreme rides; I would have to complete a Saddlesore 1000 or a Bun Burner 1500.

 

A Saddlesore 1000 is riding a total of 1000 miles in a 24 hour period.  You must document your route and stops to prove that you did the mileage.  A Bun Burner 1500 is riding a total of 1500 miles in a 36 hour period.  This gives you time to spend the night and get some rest and then complete the final 500 miles.

 

I decided to do both of these rides in one trip, and sat down to start planning the trip.  Where would I go?  Some of the routes I thought about were: North on I-75 for 800 miles and the turn around and go back south, but I thought that sounded a little boring.  I considered going west, but the route to I-10 or I-20 meant either traveling some back roads or going what seemed like out of the way.

 

Earlier, I had planned a trip around Florida that would take me 1000 miles, but I wanted to do something that would include 1500 miles and besides that, it is love bug season right now. 

 

I finally sat down at a map and started looking and ended up thinking how much I loved the country through Virginia and West Virginia on I-77.  The last time I went through this area, it was in the early morning darkness on the way to Buffalo and I missed the great scenery.  So now I had at least one leg of my trip.  Of course getting to I-77 meant going through Atlanta and out I-85 to Charlotte North Carolina.  Now I had two legs of the trip.  I kept using my GPS mapping program to find a route that would net me 1500 or more miles and still end up back in Albany.

 

I had to keep moving my turn farther north until I got to I-70 where I turned west and headed for I-75 in Cincinnati Ohio.  I got to looking and found a little town in Kentucky called Richmond.  I settled on this town because they had a Hampton Inn where I could use some of my points to get a free room.  Also Richmond would give me 1099 miles, which would qualify me for the Saddlesore 1000, and still leave me enough miles to get the Bun Burner 1500.

 

I was hesitant about making my reservation at the Hampton, until I had a confirmation that the weather would be good enough for the trip.  About 4 days before the trip, I went to www.weather.com and put in all of the major towns on my route and the only thing they showed was a slight 20% chance of thunderstorms on Saturday, so I committed to the room and started my final planning.

 

One of the largest parts of getting ready and committing to this ride was to start telling people I was going to do it.  The more people I told, the more committed I became (you donít want to look bad after making boasts).  I started out planning on leaving at 3:00am so that I had plenty of time to arrive early at Richmond in order to be able to get plenty of sleep.  After realizing I had made a mistake in figuring my arrival time, I found that if I left at 4:00am I would be in Richmond between 8 and 9pm.

 

I am not sure if the anticipation or the worry kept me from sleeping good, but one or the other did.  I finally got home around 8:00pm Thursday night after an afternoon of meetings.  I packed the final things, loaded the cooler with drinks, fruit, and ice, and checked everything on the bike to be sure all of the lights were working and etc.  Now I am ready, so it is off to bed and try to get some sleep.  I have set the alarm on my phone and it is on the table next to the bed.  I have checked the phone alarm a couple of times today to be sure it would work, but I am still worried it wonít go off.

 

No need to worry, I was up at 10 minutes before 3:00am on my own.  The phone went off just as planned at 3:00am even though I was already up and moving.  I ate some toast and had a glass of coke, and now it is time to leave.

 

 

 

 

DAY ONE

 

The bike is ready, so I roll it out of the garage and close the garage door.  It is rather cool this morning so I put on my snowmobile pants and my Goldwing Millennium jacket.  It seems a little heavy, but it feels good as I head out to my starting point.  I am planning on starting and starting at the BP Station on Highway 300 at Clark Avenue.

 

 The week before I did a trial run and found that I could leave from here and make it back after going 280 miles and still hold an average speed of 71 MPH with two gas stops and a bathroom break at a rest stop.  The biggest problem is that there are two small towns between me and I-75 that could kill my average, but at this time in the morning I planned on blowing through them and praying no-one was awake.

 

I fill up my tank with gas and out pops my receipt.  Now this isnít just any old receipt, it is the key to the whole trip.  It contains the date, and more important, the time.  The time was 3:44am which means I have to be in Richmond Kentucky before 3:44am which would be easy, and that I had to get back to the BP station by 3:44pm the next day.  I thought that this would be easy as well, but it was going to prove to be harder than I thought.  I will tell you more on that later.

 

Quickly I set the GPS to zero and pulled out.  I disregarded the speed limit and immediately push the bike to 70 mph.  As soon as I get out of town, I push the bike to 74 mph.  I am planning on pushing the speed limit to the max.  Most policemen will not stop you if you are less than 10 mph over the speed limit.  I am going to set my speed at 9.5 mph over the limit.  As I roll through Oakfield, I donít back off the speed at all.  There is no other traffic on the road, except an occasional truck.

 

Now, what am I going to do about Warwick Georgia, a known speed trap?  As I come around the curve into town, I see no traffic and no cars on the side of the road.  I back off to 65 mph and breeze on through.  The last half mile of Warwick, I am back at 74.5 mph.

 

I make the turn onto I-75 and bring the bike to 79.5 mph by the GPS.  I donít back off that speed until I make the first gas stop in Jackson Georgia.  Boy was this stop a mistake.  I am sitting on the off the ramp behind three semi trucks waiting for seems to be an eternally long red light.  Of course they take their time making the turn and I am losing time.  By the time I fill up and get going, my average is down to 68 mph.  I am going to have to hustle to make this stop up.

 

I take I-675 to I-285 which will take me around Atlanta and up to I-85.  My first leg will stop at I-85 @ Highway 441 near Commerce Georgia.  I make my second gas stop here, where I fill up and empty me out. As I am walking back to the bike I make my first call to my daughter and tell her I am okay, where I am, and to call her mother and tell her.  I grab a power bar and jump back on the bike and head back out.  My average is around 73 mph at this point.  I eat the power bar as I am riding along I-85.  It is still dark and traffic has been light so far.

 

I make it almost all of the way through South Carolina before my next gas stop.  I stop in Blacksburg to fill up and grab another power bar, which I eat on the fly.  I figure as long as I keep my averages up on the early part of the trip, I can slack off later.  I want to get to the end as soon as possible, because that will mean I can have a cold Miller Lite and maybe a steak dinner.  I wonít get much to eat today and figure I might be hungry by the time I get there.

 

I make the turn north on I-77 in Charlotte.  So far everything is right with the world and it is a great trip.  It has yet to get above 70 degrees.  Most of the time it is around 65 degrees, but with the jacket and snowmobile pants, I am toasty warm.

 

I donít really need to get gas, but I stop in Statesville North Carolina in order to get a gas receipt.  At this stop, I grab a pack of cheese crackers out of the trailer and wolf them down and drink a little diet Pepsi.  I have all of my food and snacks stored in the trailer as well as everything else but the kitchen sink.  The trailer is absolutely full with clothes, an extra cooler, food, and even a portable jump battery which has a compressor and a 12 volt outlet on it.  I brought it in case I needed to charge a phone, I-pod, or other electrical device.

 

Iím back on the road and headed to Virginia which is why I chose this route in the first place.  I was not disappointed in this choice.  Virginia was absolutely beautiful, the mountains were a treat to look at, the tunnels were fun, and the highway was easy riding.

 

Just after entering West Virginia, I stopped at Camp Creek to get gas, and another pack of crackers.  I fill up the bike and call Elaine to let her know where I am and as I am talking to her I walk over to the trailer and try to open it.  I set my phone down while I pull repeatedly on the latch.  It wonít open.  I pull a little harder and then snap.  Crap, I broke the latch.

 

After a few choice words I tell Elaine what happened and told her I would call her back later.  I try a couple of things to get the trailer open, but no dice.  It dawns on me, call Bushtec and see what I can do.  It never came to mind that I had Bushtecís number in my PDA, instead I called my daughter Christina, and got her to look up the number on the computer.  She found it, and I called them.

 

I got Samuel on the line from Bushtec, and after explaining what happened, he tried to explain to me what was necessary to get into the trailer.  Suffice it to say, I did not have the necessary tools to do the job.  All I have is my tool kit that came on the bike.  Donít get me wrong, I have other tools, but you guessed it, they are in the trailer.  I told Samuel that I would procure the necessary tools and call him back.

 

Wow, I have sure blown my average now.  I am down to 63 mph average.  I am really disappointed.  As I ride on through West Virginia thinking ďI donít have food, I donít have clothes, and everything is locked in my trailerĒ.  If that wasnít bad enough, it started to rain.  Now I am miserable, I am getting wet and I am commiserating about what to do with my trailer.  

 

I thought about going to Bushtec, where they could fix my trailer.  I also thought about going to WOTS, where Bushtec is one of the vendors.  I punch in Jacksboro Tennessee in the GPS (this is where Bushtec is located).  I canít make it there until after 5:00pm so that wouldnít help.   Scratch Bushtec.

 

I-77, through about half of West Virginia, is a toll road.  A car pays $1.25 in toll, but because I have a trailer, I have to pay $1.50.  I am sure the people behind me are complaining about having to wait while I dig to get the money.  I had to pay a total of $4.50 in tolls.

 

Now it is raining really hard.  (I just thought at the time it is raining hard, but I have no idea what is in store for me.)  It rained on me all the way through West Virginia and was still raining in Ohio when I stopped at my next gas stop in Caldwell.  While here, I buy the necessary tool needed to get into the trailer and a hot dog.  I wolfed the hot dog down and hit the road.  I am hoping to run out of the rain soon.  Now it is down to a drizzle, so it is only slightly irritating.

 

The rain stops, and I stop at a rest area.  I try to open the trailer with my new found tool, but am having no success.  I am not saying what it takes to open a Bushtec trailer on purpose.  Suffice it to say it is not easy, but there is no reason to give anyone any ideas.  If you find yourself in my situation, call Bushtec or me and I will tell you how to break into your trailer.  I call Samuel back and he walks me through the process.  I am not very mechanical and I was having a real hard time getting the trailer open.  By now there are about three or four people watching me.  I wonder if they think I am breaking into some ones trailer.

 

Finally Samuel tells me to hold on, he is going to get some dimensions and give them to me to help me open the trailer.  While he is gone, I get lucky and get the trailer open.  You canít even imagine how excited this made me.  As soon as he gets back on the line, I tell him it is open.  He begins to tell me what I need to do in order to be able to use the trailer without the lock.  I take out the key mechanism so all I have to do is reach in and trip the latch.  I thank Samuel, hang up, and talk with some of the people and let them know what is going on and where I am going.  One guy says I am in for quite a bit of rain as I move through Ohio.  I sure hope he is wrong.

 

I relax a little now knowing that I could at least change my underwear tonight.  Also I can go back to snacking along the way. 

 

There were two times when I almost gave up.  One was when I was thinking about going to Bushtec, and the other time was when it was raining so hard in West Virginia.  I punched in the address for the motel, and found I could be there in about 3 hours by cutting across.  I am glad I didnít.

 

The journey across Ohio is almost boring.  Most of the way the speed limit is 65 mph, my average is already shot, but my GPS says I will be at my motel around 8:30pm.  I have lost a total of 1 hour and 20 minutes to stops so far.  I make one stop in Mason Ohio for gas, which will be my last stop before reaching the motel.  The rain the guy told me about never materializes.  It drizzles a little, and the pavement is never dry, but no heavy rain.

I guess I should be thankful for small miracles. 

 

The damp pavement means that every car I pass is kicking up a little spray loaded with dirt and grime.  This means that the windshield is never dry or clean, and the only way to see is to lower the windshield and look over it.  I am not sure what people do, who canít lower their windshield.

 

As I reach Cincinnati, the GPS keeps telling me to turn in order to stay on I-71.  I did not know there were that many intersections with other interstates.  Finally I am heading south with only one more intersection where I -71 turns off to Louisville.

 

Now it is straight down I-75 to Lexington, and then on another 30 or 40 miles to Richmond Kentucky, and a good steak dinner and some rest.  Damn, I am ready for a cold beer.

 

I arrive at 8:41pm and check in.  I get the desk clerk to sign my ďEnd of RideĒ form so that no matter what happens, I have completed the Saddlesore 1000.  I have 1099 miles for the day according to the GPS.  If I were to go by the bike odometer, I would have traveled 1123 miles.  One of my pet peeves is that Honda builds a $20,000.00 Goldwing and canít get the speedometer any closer than that.

 

As many times as I have stayed at Hampton Inns, and my profile with them tells them I want to be close to the elevator, I have never been this close to the front door.  When you come in the front door, you turn down the hall, and my room was the second room.  No elevator or stairs.

 

I get some beer out of the cooler and put it in the spare cooler, sit down and enjoy two of them, and head out to Outback for supper.  I had checked the GPS earlier in the day to see what restaurants were available in the area where I was stopping for the night, and when Outback popped up, I just quit looking and set a waypoint.  I already knew I wanted a steak, and I like their food.

 

As I leave out to go eat, I get gas and a receipt which will show date and time.  Just one more form of proof. 

 

Outback is about four miles away.  I follow the GPS and in no time I am there.  I sit at the bar and decide instead of a steak, I would have wings.  Just my luck, they are out of wings, so I order coconut shrimp and fries.  WhatÖ no coconut shrimp either?  I sure hope they have a truck coming on Saturday.  I end up back at plan A, and order a small filet and baked potato.

 

Back at the room I make final preparations for Saturday.  I load the cooler with ice, and then I settle down to get some sleep.  Seeing as how the trailer will not lock, I remove any real expensive stuff from the trailer, camera, computer, and etc.  I close the trailer and insert the lock mechanism back into the opening so it looks normal.  The manager has allowed me to park under the front canopy, so it is visible from inside.

 

 

 

 

DAY TWO

 

My phone goes off at 4:00am, and before getting out of bed, I turn on the TV and switch to a local station.   I have awakened in the Twighlight Zone!  The only thing missing is Rod Serling standing at the foot of the bed doing a narration.

 

ďAnd here is Ray, who has been transported to another time, in another place.  Letís see how he is going to react to the bad newsĒ

 

What am I looking at?  I am looking at a weather map, and almost all of Kentucky is covered in red, yellow, and a little bit of green.  The whole state is covered in heavy rain and thunderstorms.  Now, donít get me wrong, I have ridden in rain many times, but the area I was looking to go through was covered in yellow which is really heavy rain, and red which are badass thunderstorms.  Wow what am I gonna do?

 

The storms look to stop right at the state line so if I can get through the first 100 miles I should be clear.  As I am looking at the local station in Lexington, just 40 miles north, they start saying that overnight they have gotten 5.38 inches of rain and the town is experiencing major flash flooding.  This is really serious, and station is on the air broadcasting the weather the entire time with no breaks.

 

If you took the outline of Kentucky, that is where the rain is.  No rain in Cincinnati to the north, no rain to the east, and it quits right at the state line to the south.

 

The weather forecaster is constantly bringing up a graphic that shows the all time record rains for a 24 hour period.  Right now what has fallen overnight while I slept has put today in 5th place.  He keeps saying that before the day is over, this will become the second heaviest rainfall in Lexington Kentuckyís history.  This is not what I want to hear.

The heaviest day in Lexingtonís history is over 8 inches of rainfall.  (I heard on the national news after my trip that Lexington got almost a foot of rain.  Man, 12 inches of rain, making this the all time highest rainfall total ever in a 24 hour period.)

 

I pace back and forth like a caged deer.  I load the bike, but the rain is coming down really hard.  I keep watching the weather on the Lexington station, and the forecast is showing yellow and red to the west of my route heading toward the I-75 corridor.  The worst of the rain was leaving the southern part of I-75 and it looked like it was only going to be green on the radar for a short period of time.  I would have to try and make my way during this lull in the weather.  After all, I only had 100 miles to go to get to clear weather.

 

There was no way I was going to hit the road with this kind of weather in the dark, so I was biding my time till dawn.  Finally at 7:15 the sky was starting to lighten up, the radar showed a corridor along I-75 to be green instead of Yellow, so I head out.  As I was walking to my bike, two guys were talking about not wanting to get wet while they went to get the car and pull it up under the covered area.  I looked at them and asked, ďYouíre worried about getting wet?  What about me?Ē  They mumbled something about feeling sorry for me, but that was it.

 

I had my snowmobile pants and my Goldwing jacket on to try to protect me from the rain.  I took my glasses off, so that they would not get covered in water.  I can see with out my glasses but I canít read anything on the GPS or small signs.  The big lettered signs were readable when I got close to them.  At least there was very little traffic I-75.  I wonder why.  Maybe it is because the local stations were telling everyone to stay inside unless it was an emergency.  Surely they donít mean crazy people on motorcycles.  I guess I donít listen well.

 

I could make around 60 mph when I was lucky.  A lot of the time I am lucky to be able to run 40 or 50 mph.  The rain has returned with a vengeance.  When it is raining hard, at least the water flow off of the windshield and I can see through it.  If I am following a car or truck, the water coming from the road makes it hard to see. 

 

ďI must be Crazy!Ē   I know I said that over and over to myself and I am sure the drivers in the cars and trucks were saying something similar if not worse. 

 

I donít believe it can rain any harder than this.  I donít think you could pour it out of buckets any harder than this.  (Little did I know.)  About 50 miles south of my starting point it started raining harder than I ever thought it could.  By now I sopping wet.  Where the rain is collecting on the seat around my crotch, the snowmobile outfit is leaking and my blue jeans are wet. My leather gloves (thatís the only gloves I have) had water starting to collect in the finger tips.  (Make yourself a note Get some waterproof gloves.)

 

I pass through several points where the water is over the road, but the bike handled the water without hydroplaning, and I donít know why.  As I ran through this water, you could see the water spraying out from the sides of the bike.  It came out from the front tire with so much force it knocked my right foot off of the foot peg.  For the next little while I followed a car so I could see if they made a big splash which would let me know if water was across the road.  That way I knew to slow down a little to go through the water.  I canít even begin to count the number of cars parked on the side of the road with flashers flashing.

 

I keep my hopes up because I am expecting that as I get close to the state line, the rain is going to taper off.  It seemed that instead, it started raining harder.  I think all that yellow and red that was to the west, had moved in on me.  My leather gloves were holding water in the tips of the fingers, so every once in a while, I had to clench my fist and wring the water out.  Finally just north of Knoxville it started raining so hard that I pulled off under an overpass to wait it out.  It was actually raining so hard, the traffic was down to less than 40 mph.  I could not see the cars and trucks in front of me.

 

At this time let me say that in all of my years of driving cars, trucks, and motorcycles, I donít think I have ever driven in harder rain.

 

I called Elaine and told her where I was and got her to look at the radar and see if she could tell what I had in store for me.  The verdict was that I was in for rain through most of Tennessee.

 

I put my wet jacket and wet gloves back on and headed out again.  I stopped on the south side of Knoxville to get gas.  I took off my jacket and snowmobile pants, and I was wet from my belt to my boots. While I was there I talked with a guy who said, ďIt just started to rain a couple of minutes ago.Ē That is my kind of luck, the rain is following me.  I put my rain suit on under my snowmobile pants and then changed and put my snowmobile top on because it was dry.  My rain suit top fit over the top of the snowmobile top.  It is in the lower 60ís and being wet made it almost unbearable.

 

After filling up and resting for a couple of minutes, it was back on the road again.

 

The rain finally quit about 30 miles north of Chattanooga.  As soon as I ran out of the rain the temperature climbed fast.  From 63 degrees it jumped to almost 80 in less than 20 miles.  By the time I was going through Chattanooga, I was roasting.  I knew I was going to have to stop south of Chattanooga so I unzipped the suit, opened the wind wings, and pushed the bike to 79.5 mph. 

 

The GPS said that I could be back around 4: pm, but that was 16 minutes too late.  I decided to keep pushing and try anyway.  I pushed the bike to the limits I thought I could get away with and not get caught; now that it wasnít raining I needed to make time.  It really felt good to push the bike back to what I consider highway speed.  I am back to 79.5 mph and loving the opportunity to make some time. 

 

By the time I was south of Chattanooga and into Georgia the GPS was playing around with an arrival time of 3:50pm.  I was getting closer to being able to get in under the 36 hour time window.

 

I want to thank the guy from Tennessee that was in a hurry.  He was running around 90 mph except when he ran into traffic, so I fell in behind him and wow, the GPS started dropping.  3:49pm, 3:48pm, 3:47pm, 3:46pm.  It kept dropping until it read 3:44pm.  This was good, but I still had two stops to make.  One stop very soon to get gas and get out of these heavy clothes and the other to get gas below Macon.  Thatís gonna kill my time.

 

I stopped in Calhoun Georgia only after the low gas light came on.  I wanted to make as many miles with this fool as I could.  As I pulled off of the interstate the GPS was reading 3:43pm.  I pulled up to the pump, jumped off did a quick strip tease, threw the wet clothes in the trailer, and filled the bike up.  I jumped back on and took off.  By the time I hit the bottom of the ramp, I was pushing 85 mph.

 

Damn, Iím back at an arrival time of 3:50.  Iím gonna have to go to one of those NASCAR races and see how they do their pit stops so fast.  I guess they donít have get off on an exit ramp and stop for stop signs.  I guess you couldnít call what I did at the stop sign a stop.  I rolled through it at better than 15 mph.

 

Now I have to really make some time and get that arrival time down.  I am pushing 82 to 85.  Damn, a car just pulled into the left lane in front of me.  The right lane is clear, so I blast past on the right.  I would do this more than once today trying to get around traffic.

 

Now a little thank you to the young lady from Georgia who wanted to run 85 mph.  I dropped in behind her and we made some tracks all the way to North Atlanta. I jumped into the HOV lane and was running with the traffic at 70 to 75 mph in a 55 mph zone.  I believe they actually speeded up as we got closer to the center of the city.  I donít remember much of the trip through Hot-Lanta, because it took all of my energy to concentrate on traffic.

 

By the time I blew through Atlanta the GPS was reading 3:45pm, but I still had one gas stop to make.  I am cruising now at 79.5 mph because I had no one to follow that wanted to speed.  Just as I am getting to where I-675 comes back into I-75, everything comes to dead stop.  We begin to crawl and then we start picking up speed, but canít these idiots see I need to get going.  I canít believe it, I have lost the race.  The GPS is back to 3:48.  The only way to make this much time is to run 90 the whole rest of the way.  I push it at 85 for a few miles, but now we are coming to Forsyth and I am a little leery of this area.  I have seen a lot of radars in this area in the past, so I back off to 79.5 mph and hold it even though the speed limit from here to below I-475 is 65 mph.

 

Iím holding my speed at 79.5 mph as I get on I-475 heading south.  The GPS is back in the 3:44pm range, but I still have one more stop to make for gas.  I am about halfway through I-475 when I all of a sudden it dawns on me, ďDuh, I can stop anywhere south of Macon and I will have 1500 miles.Ē  I had added enough miles to the route to be sure there was no way the mileage would be too low.  I had a route that was 1632 miles, so I can stop anywhere below Macon.  Knowing this took some of the pressure off, but I still pushed on.  I would really like to finish this Bun Burner where I planned to finish, and not have to cave in early.

 

By now the GPS is holding 3:43pm and I only have one gas stop to make.  I choose to stop at the Highway 26 exit for a quick gas stop.  I didnít even take my helmet off.  I jumped off swiped my card got 3 gallons of gas, just enough to get home, and was about to jump back on when I realized I had to log the mileage and etc.  That only took a minute and boom, I was gone again.

 

Iím hauling south and thinking about whether to stop in Cordele and end the trip there or not.  I am pondering all of my choices when it hits me like a large flying beetle up side of the head while running 80 mph, ďDumb-Ass you have told the GPS to go home.Ē  Thatís another 4 or 5 miles from where I set my start/stop point.  I change the GPS to the BP Station and wonders of wonders the GPS was reading in the low 3:30 range.  If I donít get stopped or crash, I should be there with 10 minutes to spare.  And to think, I almost gave up in North Georgia.

 

Traffic seems to be working in my favor, and finally I make the turn onto Highway 300.  Now I only have 35 miles left.  Back up to 74.5 mph and heading for Albany.  I only slow down in Warwick, but not much in Oakfield.  I am now sure I am going to make it

 

I turn into the BP station and fill the tank and out pops my final gas receipt.  September 23, 2006 3:29pm was a wonderful sight to behold.  I made it.  I really didnít think when I left this morning I was gonna do anything except to survive and get home.  It wasnít until late in the day I actually gave thought to finishing on time.

 

I called Elaine and let her know I was home.  I am not tired at all, and probably could go on for another 200 or 300 miles and still be having fun.  Elaine voiced what more than one person has said to me.  ďWhy?  I donít understand.Ē  I do not have any explanation for what I did except that it was something I needed to do for me.  I will get a little piece of paper for completing this trip, but it is a piece of paper I will cherish forever.  I proved that I could do it, and even if that means something to only me, I have the satisfaction of completing something I wanted to do.

 

Now letís see, what is this Bun Burner Gold ride.  1500 miles in 24 hours,   I can do that.

 

 

 

 

Post Script:

 

Riding a Honda Goldwing is an easy thing to do.  You have every creature comfort that the cars have except protection from the weather.  I have GPS, CB, AM/FM Stereo, I-Pod, Cruise control, and storage compartments.  I also have a trailer to carry all of the rest of my stuff. 

 

I averaged 32.42 miles per gallon.

 

My maximum speed was on Saturday and was 92.8 miles per hour.  I do not know when this occurred, because I was pushing it all day after the rains quit.

 

Total mileage for the trip was 1640.  If you go by the bike odometer, it was 1689.  The first day was 1099 miles, and the second was 541 miles.

 

I made 14 stops for gas and purchased 55.10 gallons, which cost $120.92.