Atomic 1000 opportunity in two weeks

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  • Atomic 1000 opportunity in two weeks

    This is a ride recap from last year and the referenced photos are no longer available. Your next opportunity to ride this happens in two weeks. Less than five people are currently on the books for this ride.



    The first Saturday in October is one of two days a year in which you are allowed to visit the Trinity site; the location of the world's first Nuclear explosion.

    At just shy of 3 am I filled up and and Brenda and I headed for the Trinity site in New Mexico, a distance of just over 500 miles. The site is only open from 8 am to 2 pm and I had forgotten about the time change, so we really should have left around midnight but four hours of sleep is better than nothing when doing a long ride like this.

    After riding through some 37 degree temperatures near Willcox AZ we stopped for breakfast in Lordsburg NM where it was a balmy 45 degrees. I had given Brenda her heated jacket and gloves because she gets cold at the drop of a hat, but I had failed to take my own gear thinking that it was only going to get down to about 47 degrees. Wrong! Big mistake! The lesson learned was to take the heated gear even if you don't think you're going to need it.

    From Lordburg we continued east to Las Cruces, got fuel to mark our "corner", and then headed north to San Antonio NM. We obtained our fuel receipt from the town's single dual-hose pump (pay inside only) and then headed for the White Sands Missile Range entrance about 12 miles east of San Antonio.

    From there you ride about 5 miles south to the range (Stallion) gate where you are given the once-over and everyone's ID is checked. We then proceeded to the Trinity site via a paved two lane (rough) road. There is a sign just inside the gate entrance that says radar detectors are prohibited, but the guards either didn't notice mine or didn't care. The base is also a No Firearms area but again, they never asked about it. You can take pictures at the Trinity site but nowhere else on the base. If I had been in a cage I would have been shooting photos left and right, but it's a bit obvious when you're on a bike so I behaved myself.

    The sign about the radar detector is pointless because mine was falseing on K and Ka bands the entire time I was on the base and even 5-10 miles away from the base. There are radar installations *everywhere* you look, especially on the north side of the facility, but they are up on the mountain peaks as well.

    After about 25 miles of rough pavement you arrive at the gravel parking lot and they give motorcycles preferential treatment near the site entrance which is really nice of them.

    The entrance is just behind me to the right, and you can see the Wing on the other side of the Trinity sign.



    There are porta-pottys and some water coolers provided, but that's the extent of the "services". Since it's a 1/4 mile walk to the actual test site from the parking lot we were very fortunate that they did provide a golf cart for disabled folks, as I doubt that Brenda would have been able to make the entire trip.

    Once you're at the site you discover that the ground around the tower for about 300 feet was depressed up to 8 feet by the detonation. The area took on the shape of a dinner plate; sunken in the center with a raised edge. There is a small clump of concrete/rebar above the surface which is what remained of one of the tower legs. Everything else was vaporized. The bomb had been in a shelter at the top of the 100 foot high tower when detonated.



    Just like at the Four Corners monument, everyone waits their turn to get their photo taken at the monument itself.





    The entire area is still radioactive, but a couple of hours spent there will not affect you all that much. Still, they do have signage to let you know that your being there is at your own risk.



    Since we had arrived so late we did not have time to visit the MacDonald House, a tour that requires you taking one of their shuttle buses to get there. The Balloon Festival was going on this same weekend, so if it plays out again the same way next year we'll probably make a long weekend of it and visit ABQ first for the balloons, and then come down to Trinity earlier in the morning on Saturday for the full tour.


    We mounted back up and headed home, stopping in Truth or Consequences for dinner and fuel, and then back through Las Cruces and Lordsburg before reaching home just prior to midnight.




    Total odo miles was just under 1150, and total GPS miles was 1097. Time was just a few minutes shy of 21 hours.

    Brenda's stroke anniversary is next Monday morning, so this was very much a celebration of her recovery from four years ago. From not knowing who I was, or who her son was, to not knowing her name, not being able to walk or talk or eat; to being able to ride a SaddleSore 1000 after only being back on the bike for six months is remarkable. She was very tired and sore the next day, but she was glad that she went. The intention had been for me to go alone, but at the last minute she asked to go as well, so after some serious discussion about how hard this would be, she still wanted to do it.


    Which brings me to this, the Atomic 1000. After getting home and getting my paperwork in order I emailed Mike Kneebone and described the ride to him and sent him some photos. He agreed that this should be a new Iron Butt Assoc ride and will certify it as such, which means that Brenda will be the first pillion to have that certificate (once everything gets approved).

    Mike will have to be the one to formally announce this and what the requirements will be, but my suggestions were as follows.
    It can only be done on one of two Saturdays a year in which the range is open to the public.
    The Trinity site must be either an end point, or a waypoint as part of a SaddleSore, or Bun Burner style ride.
    This is very similar to the requirements that were in place for the Eclipse rides a few months ago.

    I don't know how they will verify arrival at the site unless it is a combination of a photo / Spotwalla map / and a fuel receipt from the San Antonio station, but that will be up to them to determine.

    All in all, it was a good ride, although poorly planned. Thanks for following along.
    * Brian & Brenda * IBA 50053 & 50354 * 2002 Gold Wing
    * Founding riders of the Atomic 1000 SS1K
    * Tour Of Honor riders since 2012

  • #2
    I've read that at least three people did this - two on Goldwings, one on a Beemer.

    Comment: (For off-topic replies)


    • #3
      David Hay and John Garza did it yesterday, I don't know who the Beemer rider might be. Even with those three we might still have less than ten riders with this certificate so far. It was a year ago today that Brenda and I established it.
      * Brian & Brenda * IBA 50053 & 50354 * 2002 Gold Wing
      * Founding riders of the Atomic 1000 SS1K
      * Tour Of Honor riders since 2012

      Comment: (For off-topic replies)


      • #4
        So, for those considering an Iron Butt ride...this one is available on April 6, 2019 and October 5, 2019 only.

        I'm going to give this attempt in April an honest opportunity to happen...as long as that date stays clear on my calendar.

        Comment: (For off-topic replies)


        • #5
          If Ken makes it and submits his paperwork first, he'll be one of the first ten riders to accomplish this.
          * Brian & Brenda * IBA 50053 & 50354 * 2002 Gold Wing
          * Founding riders of the Atomic 1000 SS1K
          * Tour Of Honor riders since 2012

          Comment: (For off-topic replies)


          • kwthom
            kwthom commented
            Editing a comment
            Yeah...some last-minute stuff came up that came up last year. I just need that to NOT happen in early April.

        • #6
          Hmm, this sounds like an interesting ride. For IBA purposes, could you use stallion gate for a point? I know you probably couldn't get any kind of a receipt there. Google is showing me restricted routes from here. Do you have to have be at the Stallion gate at 8 AM?
          DS#1146 IBA#55800 50CC,BBG, BB1500 x2, SS2K, SS1Kx3 CERTIFIED ALL DS, PGR RC
          2010 Level3 Endeavor Reverse Trike BS Driveguard

          Comment: (For off-topic replies)


          • #7
            NO!

            You actually *go* on the range about 25 miles, as Brian's first post describes. This is why this is a time-limited window to get to that point.

            This is why my plan would get me ready to enter the facility about 1100 local time, and avoid the rush of humanity getting into the place. A two hour stay to see the place, then the ride home.

            I'm figuring a 19 to 20 hour day.

            EDIT: Google Maps won't directly route from the gate to Trinity. Another user on another forum showed the trick is NOT to try and route by driving, routing must be done by walking - on the base.

            LD Rider Brian, does that routing (walking...) seem accurate to you?

            Comment: (For off-topic replies)


            • #8
              Yes, the walking routing appeared to work for him. To clarify, it's walking mode only from the gate to the site, you can use normal driving GPS routing for everything else.

              It was roughly 25 miles from the Gate to the Site, and the speed limit on the range is about 35 mph so be sure to build that into your riding plan. If you have faster traffic that you can use as a rabbit, you can probably move a bit faster. I did not see any cops between the Gate and the Site.

              When you leave the site you will travel west and then tie into the road back north to the Gate. You're not allowed to take photographs anywhere on the range other than at the actual Site itself, but you'll see some pretty interesting things between the Site and the road back north. (hint, hint) Just time your exit so there's no other vehicles near you.

              Pooch, the Range is only open between 8 am and 2 pm. You can visit any time during those hours, but what Ken is talking about is that the line can be quite long to get in at 8 am. Wait a few hours later and you won't "waste" as much time sitting in line. Pee before you get to the gate because if there's a long line there's nothing but mesquite bushes to pee behind while everyone else watches.

              If you have a radar detector, turn it off. It will start going nuts about 10 miles from the range anyhow. It is totally worthless while you're on the range.
              * Brian & Brenda * IBA 50053 & 50354 * 2002 Gold Wing
              * Founding riders of the Atomic 1000 SS1K
              * Tour Of Honor riders since 2012

              Comment: (For off-topic replies)


              • #9
                LDRDR, I was thinking about getting to the gate around 10am, would that still be too early with the crowds? Then a couple hours to get in to the site/pics and back to to the gate. I may spend the night in Farmington on the way home. I will have to activate the spot for the tracking.
                DS#1146 IBA#55800 50CC,BBG, BB1500 x2, SS2K, SS1Kx3 CERTIFIED ALL DS, PGR RC
                2010 Level3 Endeavor Reverse Trike BS Driveguard

                Comment: (For off-topic replies)


                • #10
                  I think that will be sufficient. They had two sets of guards checking ID during my trip so it does flow fairly well as long as there isn't a large number of people in each vehicle. Remember that your closest place for the receipt is going to be at the General Store in San Antonio either before you hit the site or after.

                  Having the tracker is crucial to show your time at the site in conjunction with the time on the receipt.
                  * Brian & Brenda * IBA 50053 & 50354 * 2002 Gold Wing
                  * Founding riders of the Atomic 1000 SS1K
                  * Tour Of Honor riders since 2012

                  Comment: (For off-topic replies)


                  • #11
                    One month countdown begins...
                    * Brian & Brenda * IBA 50053 & 50354 * 2002 Gold Wing
                    * Founding riders of the Atomic 1000 SS1K
                    * Tour Of Honor riders since 2012

                    Comment: (For off-topic replies)


                    • #12
                      My wife quizzed me about this ride...

                      "Still doing it?"

                      "I'd like to...wanna come along?"

                      "Overnight somewhere?"

                      "Naah - doing it in a single day."

                      "I'll pass. You have fun, though!"

                      "I love you too!" Ahahahaha...


                      My probable routing - not including the 50-odd miles from the gate to Trinity & Back.

                      https://goo.gl/maps/uvcYw1MiDsu

                      Thanks to a user on another forum on how to show the Trinity routing.

                      https://goo.gl/maps/jLfchayiPDq

                      So, an estimated 7.5 hours of travel time to get to the center access road. Figure a total of three hours (travel time in & out of the facility, plus visit time), then another 8-ish hours home.

                      That'll be a long day. I really need to be moving by 0300 MST (AZ time) / 0400 MDT (NM time) to make it work for timing.

                      Comment: (For off-topic replies)


                      • #13
                        Enjoy the ride. I won't be able to go as Brenda has a couple of big and important Dr's appt on the 8th and I need to make sure I'm home in time to take her. It will be the end of a Tour Of Honor ride week for me anyhow, and then I've got a rally in Kingman on the 19th.
                        * Brian & Brenda * IBA 50053 & 50354 * 2002 Gold Wing
                        * Founding riders of the Atomic 1000 SS1K
                        * Tour Of Honor riders since 2012

                        Comment: (For off-topic replies)


                        • kwthom
                          kwthom commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Looking forward to doing it...the themed rides actually gives a reason to do a ride like this.

                          Sleeping in your own bed after it's done is a bonus.

                      • #14
                        What my wife tentatively had scheduled on the 6th isn't going to happen...so, she's considering tagging along.

                        Comment: (For off-topic replies)


                        • #15
                          Even better. You'll have someone to take your photo at the monument.
                          * Brian & Brenda * IBA 50053 & 50354 * 2002 Gold Wing
                          * Founding riders of the Atomic 1000 SS1K
                          * Tour Of Honor riders since 2012

                          Comment: (For off-topic replies)

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