Can I Join?

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  • Can I Join?

    I just finished reading through all the Iron Butt related posts. I was not previously aware there were so many Iron Butt riders and so much experience and knowledge here. I would like to solicit your advice and counsel for my first SS1000.

    My background: I'm old! I'll turn 73 in July. I rode a Honda CB-450 purchased new in 1973 irrc for abou a year until I traded it for a VW dune buggy. I didn't ride again until I was in the Philippines in late '79 and bought a Yamaha XS-1100 from the Navy Exchange retail store at Naval Station Subic Bay. The NEX was selling them overseas without the big import tax that was imposed on Japanese imports then.

    I discovered I loved motorcycle touring and rode the Yamaha 10,000 miles in a less than a year all over the island of Luzon. I sold it in late '80.

    I never even sat on a motorcycle seat again until 30 years later in July of 2010 when I succumbed to the temptation and bought a very nice, clean, low mileage used '06 ST1300 for my 68th birthday. I rode the ST south to the famous Three Sisters and that went well so I rode it to AR and rode AR-7 from Hot Springs to Harrison, AR. When I left a friend's home in Shell Knob, MO I rode a little over 600 miles home with only fuel and meal stops. I loved riding but didn't love the ST. Put 9,200 miles on it in six months but didn't like the riding position, no cruise control, and no sound system.

    In January of 2011 I bought a new '10 Goldwing and rode it home from Shawnee, OK on a cold January day. I discovered I was not too old to take frequent long motorcycle trips on a Goldwing. By mid-October 2014, less than four years later, I had ridden the Goldwing through all 48 states and across Canada from BC to NS and had racked up 93,000 miles. I loved almost every mile of it.

    My first trip on the previous Goldwing was out to San Diego and back in March 2011. On the return trip I learned about becoming dehydrated between SD and Tucson. Fortunately I realized I was impaired and guzzled a quart of Gatorade before I got in serious trouble. On the second day I rode from Tucson home about 740 miles. I was tired that night but still functioning.

    I rode the new '14 GW about 640 miles in cold temps and light drizzle back in December. I'm not as young as I once was and don't try to fool myself that I still have the same endurance I once did.

    I think I first heard of the Iron Butt Association in 2006 when I saw an Iron Butt frame on a BMW R1200RT in a Flying J parking lot in South Dakota. I was intrigued but didn't own a motorcycle at the time and didn't anticipate ever owning one again. The owner was an LAPD officer who told me he worked the "shootin' Newton" district of LA. He told me how he earned the IBA license plate frame.

    About a year ago a member on "the other" GW forum cut and pasted an article from the Iron Butt magazine. I was impressed with the quality of the information and the writing and immediately purchased a subscription. After reading my first issue of the magazine I ordered a copy of every available back order. As I've slowly read and reread every article in every issue I've slowly moved from being fascinated but thinking I'm too old to attempt to become an Iron Butt rider to convincing myself, "I think I can do it."

    I can't put aside the idea of attempting an SS1000. I really want to earn the certificate and the license plate frame! I realize that 99,999% of the population has no idea what it means and couldn't care less but you folks who read these forums know better than I do what it means and why even old men like me want to do it.

    I've persuaded myself I want to try it. I first laid out a several potential routes across Texas. I considered Shreveport, LA to Willcox, AZ or Jackson, MS to Las Cruces. I also considered DFW to El Paso and return. West Texas - from Odessa to El Paso is simply barren and boring. The 80 mph speed limit is a plus and usually light traffic is good but it would be boring.

    It's not my original idea but I like the idea of leaving Las Cruces at 12 noon to Albuquerque to Flagstaff to Phoenix, check into a Motel 6 in Phoenix for 4 or 5 hours then finish the ride back to Las Cruces.

    I understand the basics: Maintain speed, minimize fuel/restroom breaks, carry snacks, Gatorade and bottled water, and be careful to obtain and save receipts and check to make sure each receipt has a time stamp. Record the odometer miles on each receipt. Fuel and save a receipt at each of the corners, plus, of course, the witness signature time, miles. location, etc at start and finish plus motel receipts with time stamps and clerk signatures as witness.

    I would appreciate everyone's comments, suggestions, recommendations, and sound advice.
    Harvey Barlow
    Crosby County, TX
    2010 Goldwing Level II Pearl Yellow (sold at 93,000 miles)
    2014 Goldwing Level II Pearl Blue (sold at 27,000 miles to forum member)


  • #2
    On a Goldwing it's really no problem My membership number IBA # 40576

    Just do IT! When you need to stop for fuel (get a gas receipt) Take a pee and get a drink no need to pack anything when finished mail your stuff and your done.
    Whoever said money can’t buy happiness, never paid for a divorce


    IBA # 40576

    Comment: (For off-topic replies)


    • HBarlow
      HBarlow commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks for the words of encouragement. That's what I need to hear.

      You make it sound like a Sunday afternoon ride!

  • #3
    Harvey,

    I did my one Iron Butt ride on an organized ride here in Texas. It was an IBA ride that qualified for a 1000cc where you had to stop and take a photo of your bike and your flag (provided by them) at several historical sites in Texas related to the fight for Texas independence. I had heard about the trip (this was in 2013), and decided I was going.

    Then, I had second thoughts. I ride my bike back and forth to work every day, and several times during the summer, that one hour commute gets to be a problem. Sometimes (usually coming home), I find myself sleepy and tired, and even considering whether or not I need to pull over for a quick nap. I had pretty much decided that I didn't need to try a 1000 mile trip in 24 hours just to prove something (even if it was mainly proving it to myself). That was in about mid-summer that year.

    Then my one of my daughters and her husband moved back to Texas and asked if we could drive the moving van for them (she was moving right away, he was to follow three weeks later). My wife and I decided to make a mini-adventure out of it, and agreed on the condition that they leave enough room in the truck for the bike. We would ride up to Pittsburgh, seeing some sights on the way, then I'd drive the truck with my older grandson (3) and my wife and daughter would follow in the car with younger grandson (1).

    So, we did the trip. Because we deliberately detoured several places, our total distance was over 1600 miles. When we got back, I looked at our stops, and realized that we did almost 600 miles the second day in 12 hours. That was after traveling the day before, knowing I would have to travel again the day after, and with a passenger and luggage on the bike. On top of that I hadn't felt stressed or overly tired at any point on the trip.

    It occurred to me that there's a big difference between riding for fun at constant high speed and boring commutes in bumper to bumper stop and go traffic (often at > 100 degree temps). I made up my mind that I could do the SS1000.

    It was a blast, and I'd do it again in a heartbeat. As a matter of fact, there was talk that they would do a similar trip last year, but it got cancelled (I think there was trouble finding a hotel to base operations). I understand that they're going to try again this year.

    I was totally shocked at how easy it was. We started as a group at 5am. Some of the folks (including MisterK) drove pretty fast, but even at reasonable speeds, I completed it with four hours to spare, and could have done better but the group I hooked up with (several guys from the "other" forum) stopped to eat.

    If you can find some folks to do it with, it's probably a bit easier in a group, especially if you have a radio to talk to them. That said, MisterK is planning a 500 mile a day trip April 1-4, and mentioned that one could fit in a SS1000 and meet us on the second stop. Here are the details - http://gl1800riders/forums/showthread.php?571705-April-2015-SW-Spring-Retreat-the-4-x-500

    From where you are, you could pick up I-10 in NM, and meet us at the South Rim in AZ for our second night and get your 1000 miles in, then have a slower second 1000 miles and meet some other riders.

    However you decide to do it, I think you'll enjoy yourself. Like I said, I was surprised at how easy it was.

    Click image for larger version

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    That was me at the second to the last stop (final stop was a gas station in Irving, TX).
    2012 Honda Goldwing | 2009 Timeout Camper



    Patriot Guard Rider since 2007 | IBA member #59823

    Comment: (For off-topic replies)


    • HBarlow
      HBarlow commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks for reporting your experience. You had a big smile on your face in front of the Alamo and actually looked like you were enjoying it.

      Logic tells me anyone, absolutely anyone can do it on a Goldwing and I have done lots of 600+ mile days. That's really what I plan to do to earn the Iron Butt certificate. A 700 mile day, a rest, then another 300+ to finish.

      A few days ago I looked up the legend, Ardys Kellerman. I had read about her for years. She completed more than one Iron Butt Rally in her mid-70s and died in a tragic accident on her BMW in Alabama on a trip at age 81. That's not a bad way to finish up a long life.

      I appreciate the invitation to ride with your group. I read and bookmarked the route description and will think about it as the time grows nearer. I'm a little intimidated by the thought of such high elevations the first week of April and the possibility of snow, ice, and hail as mentioned. Here in west Texas we aways get a hard freeze just before Easter.

    • kwthom
      kwthom commented
      Editing a comment
      If I may inject another bit of thought...you're contemplating '...a 700 mile day, a rest, then another 300+ to finish."

      If your typical 700 mile day takes 12 hours, that's an average - including not moving time - of ~58MPH. If you were to consider continuing to maintain that ~58MPH overall average speed, that takes you just a bit over 17 hours to do a full 1000+ mile ride.

      If you think you can rest adequately in less than 7 hours, in order to be sure you 'beat the clock' and have the 1000+ miles in before that 24 hour clock expires, then that's the way to plan it.

      Consider planning both ways - one straight thru (see my earlier PM) and one as described above then ask yourself which one makes the most sense from a time management perspective. That's all endurance riding is quite simply...time management.

  • #4
    How often do gas station receipts fail to print or print illegibly due to a bad ink cartridge? I never print receipts so have never paid any attention. A bad receipt on a timed ride like an Iron Butt would be a big waste of time if I have to go inside, stand in line, and ask for a receipt.

    Has anyone had this happen? Can the desk clerk normally print out a receipt if I show my card?
    Harvey Barlow
    Crosby County, TX
    2010 Goldwing Level II Pearl Yellow (sold at 93,000 miles)
    2014 Goldwing Level II Pearl Blue (sold at 27,000 miles to forum member)

    Comment: (For off-topic replies)


    • Pooch
      Pooch commented
      Editing a comment
      Usually they can print you a reciept right at the register if the one from the pump doesn't. Some stations leave the pumps on(must use a CC) but are closed, that case explain it in your log what happened. Usually not a problem. http://www.ironbutt.com/ridecerts/

    • HBarlow
      HBarlow commented
      Editing a comment
      Good. Thanks. I'm at the worry stage as I begin planning this ride.

  • #5
    Hey All, my IBA # is 1626 and I went on my first IBA ride back in 97' that took me thru Texas, Okla, Ark & La. There have been several others since then but too many to go into here. All of them were made on a Wing since that's all I've owned for the past 38 yrs. Now that you mention it, I've never had a gas receipt fail to print legibly. Some printers were out of order when I stopped but went inside to get one. And it IS easy as a Sunday afternoon ride if you do it right.
    TMRA - life member
    GWRRA - life member
    AMA - life member
    IBA # 1626
    N. Texas PGR

    Comment: (For off-topic replies)


    • #6
      For those who live in AZ and NM - I know I can usually ride across I-10 nearly year round but what's the earliest time of year when I can plan to ride from ABQ to Flagstaff on I-40 without risk of a winter storm making life miserable. Flagstaff is about 7,000' iirc. I have good Aerostich gear including a heated vest and can ride all day pretty comfortably down to around 30° but don't want to risk ice or snow.
      Harvey Barlow
      Crosby County, TX
      2010 Goldwing Level II Pearl Yellow (sold at 93,000 miles)
      2014 Goldwing Level II Pearl Blue (sold at 27,000 miles to forum member)

      Comment: (For off-topic replies)


      • kwthom
        kwthom commented
        Editing a comment
        April...maybe as late as early May. If possible, plan a departure time that puts you in the area in the afternoon to be certain.

    • #7
      Grampawinger and I do many IBA rides - he's 75. We've got a few more planned for this year. Go with a positive attitude - you can do it. PM me if want to talk.

      Comment: (For off-topic replies)


      • HBarlow
        HBarlow commented
        Editing a comment
        That's encouraging.

        Thanks for the offer. Right now I don't have any questions that need to be answered.

        I've found that simply reading . . . and rereading . . . all the back issues of the Iron Butt magazine, guidance copied from the IBA's website, and random posts by IBA members on various motorcycle websites provides just about everything I need to know.

    • #8
      Harvey,

      I am not sure if the IB Association still offers it but at one time there was a special SS1000 if you did it all in one state. I thought this was a great idea and laid out a route in VA. Over half of the route was on two lane roads with a max speed limit of 55MPH. Now remember that VA is much smaller than TX so you had to cover a large part of the state to complete the 1000 miles. Anyway it was a fun ride and I got to see a lot of my home state. Even the part after dark was enjoyable.

      As far as gas tickets, I really have not had one that just printed a blank sheet, but I have had them not print at all and this is going back many years of using Pay at the Pump. Go in the facility and get a ticket from the clerk and if data is missing write it down and have the clerk sign it along with you and date and time.

      I do urge you to make sure you are physically ready for a long day in the saddle. A 600 mile day is one thing but stretching that to a 1000 miles really requires a lot more energy and better condition. Exercise and there are recommended exercises somewhere does help. So does practice and building up to the ride.

      You know about hydration, I carry a camelback with about 2 liters of water. I fill it and add ice as the day progresses. Avoid energy drinks, sugary drinks, sodas, and caffeine.

      This type of ride can be fun but know yourself well enough to know that it is time to quit before you crash. Sometimes we push on when we should have quit. I have also found that when doing a 1000 mile ride it works better for me not to stop for a few hours sleep---takes too much time and I don't want to get up and go. It is easier for me to just keep going, then I do the few hours sleep and then try to stay up till bedtime and readjust to my normal sleep habits. I like my 7-8 hours!
      Harvey
      Ride Safe and Ride Often

      Comment: (For off-topic replies)


      • HBarlow
        HBarlow commented
        Editing a comment
        Harvey also,

        That's good information. I guess I can't know about my endurance until I try it. I'm certainly not an athlete and don't climb mountains or hike 10 miles in the wilderness but I walk a lot, am slender, eat decently, don't smoke or drink alcohol, and my heart is in good shape.

        I don't think I'm stupid enough to force myself to push on beyond my abilities. There's usually a motel along the interstate where I could take a nap if it becomes necessary.

    • #9
      I am hardly qualified to comment here, as I have not even been certified yet as an IBA guy. I did a 1200 mile ride in about 20 hours last spring, but I decided that I wanted my first certified SS1000 to be an in-state 2 lane ride which I plan to do this spring so I have not sent in the documentation for that ride.

      I did stop riding in 1984 and did not start again until 2013. When I rode in the '80s, I was not a long distance rider as I could not afford to. The longest ride I ever did was about 1500 miles in about 40 hours with 55 mph speed limits on a GS850G Suzuki. 8 months after swinging my leg over a GoldWing for the first time, and with only about 5000 miles under my belt on the Wing, I did the 1000 miles in < 24 hours. I am not saying that it was trivial, but I am saying that it was not difficult. The ride was about 90% Interstate and did not have to hurry to complete the ride. The weather was pretty good except for some low temperatures at the beginning of the ride and some pretty severe crosswinds in the middle of the afternoon. The only struggle I had was at about 9 hours into the ride when I got REALLY tired. I realized that I was not eating or drinking enough to stay alert. I wear a full-face helmet so eating and drinking on the move is not trivial, but I had some nut bars in the passenger cubby and and I increased the amount of Gatorade that I was drinking from my Camelback and I was OK for the rest of the ride. BTW: I did discover that trying to eat chocolate covered snack bars that have been in the passenger cubby for 6 hours when it is almost 80 degrees is not a good idea. The nut bars worked OK, but the chocolate covered protein bars were a MESS. I have a 90 degree bite valve on the CamelBak and that worked OK even under my helmet.

      The only reason for this tale is to say that the SS1000 is very doable. You do not have to hurry, just keep at it. I am diabetic and have peripheral neuropathy (nerve pain) in my feet but that does not bother me more when I ride than it does when I'm sitting in an office chair. I have a stock seat on the bike and do not have highway pegs. In fact, I did not have my mirror wings installed. I wore my normal riding gear which consists of jeans, T-shirt, riding jacket, riding pants, helmet, gloves and boots. I wore my Gerbings jacket liner and gloves for the couple of hours that the temperature was under 50 degrees. I do not have LDC underwear and I would confess that for the warmest part of the ride, which was over 80 degrees, my butt did get a little uncomfortable. I did stretch my legs every 15 - 20 minutes by holding them in front of me for a minute or so. I also stood on my pegs a few times during the ride just for variety.
      Terry

      DS# 1595
      2008 Honda GL1800
      1980 Suzuki GS850G
      1972 Suzuki GT750
      1973 Honda CB350

      Comment: (For off-topic replies)


      • HBarlow
        HBarlow commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks. Every personal testimony I read encourages me a little more.

    • #10
      Originally posted by HBarlow View Post
      <...>I've persuaded myself I want to try it. I first laid out a several potential routes across Texas. I considered Shreveport, LA to Willcox, AZ or Jackson, MS to Las Cruces. I also considered DFW to El Paso and return. West Texas - from Odessa to El Paso is simply barren and boring. The 80 mph speed limit is a plus and usually light traffic is good but it would be boring.

      <...>

      I would appreciate everyone's comments, suggestions, recommendations, and sound advice.
      You've already gotten some good advice; here's my two-bits worth.

      1 Make your route as simple as possible. An out-and-back ride can be done - and you can sleep in your own bed - in 18-20 hours if you loaf around. If you're efficientat every stop, you should be able to accomplish the ride in 16 to 18 hours. Seriously. Plot about 520 miles or so; look for a good fuel/food stop as close as you can. You'd only need three receipts if you do it this way - beginning, turn-around, end. Get two receipts (gas pump & inside store) at each location if you're paranoid.

      1a If you don't use a GPS on your bike, these are the types of rides that make having a GPS worth their weight in gold.

      1b DON"T believe your bike's odometer! I've measured mine; 2.5% error. IronButt Association uses GPS/Google miles not the miles you claim. Make sure your ride is at LEAST 2% longer (some say 3%) to make darn sure the ride really is the mileage you claim.

      2 You need a witness at the beginning and at the end of the ride that basically proves your odometer readings at the beginning and end of the ride are legitimate. I'll point you to my posts in this thread started here on the topic:
      http://www.theglforum.com/social-groups/darksiders/iron-butt/8718-long-distance-ss1000-bbg-etc-discussion-planning-etc

      3 This is a long ride, but it's just a ride. Don't feel well, didn't get off to a good start, don't feel well enough to finish SAFELY? Abort the ride, learn from it & ride it again another time.

      Don't sweat it - watch the weather...fina good window, and go! I did my last ride on 30 December - a few hours of right-close-to-freezing, but the rest of the day was fantastic!

      Comment: (For off-topic replies)


      • HBarlow
        HBarlow commented
        Editing a comment
        That's all helpful.

        I'm playing with google maps to select a route so it should produce the same mileage as the IBA verifier staff's methods.

        I do have a Garmin on my wing as well as the built-in navigation unit so there should be no issue of ending up a little short on distance traveled.

        I want to do the ride on interstate highways so I won't do it to and from home. Also, the deer population is too large across most of Texas to risk riding before sunrise and after sundown.

    • #11
      I'm playing with maps...

      If you're not planning an out-and-back type of ride, this seems to be what you're considering - or something close to it:

      https://goo.gl/maps/XvXJF

      I've added the ~2.5% additional taking you down to San Luis, AZ. There's not much gas at all if you cross into California, but there is in the border town of San Luis.

      The routing from "Crosby County TX" is as Google plotted it - but you know your local region better than I do, you can adjust the start point - or from there to Big Spring, but don't make it too complex. IBA always assumes the shortest route between two points, unless you prove otherwise.


      I'm a fan of loops...if you want to bail out in the middle of the ride, you can cut off the loop and head straight home.

      So, a bit more playing...again, conceptual rides only...

      https://goo.gl/maps/PIOir

      2/3'rds of the route is interstate highway, much of the rest is a combination of two-lane highways and Farm-to-Market/Ranch roads.

      If it was me, I'd almost ride this loop counter-clockwise - same most of the freeway stuff for daylight.

      Comment: (For off-topic replies)


      • #12
        Ken,

        Thank you for all the good information you've offered. I initially considered but rejected several possible Texas routes.

        I live in a rural area along US-82 which is a divided four lane and busy artery connecting DFW and Lubbock with a 75 mph speed limit. When I'm forced to travel to Lubbock during daylight hours I set my cruise at 75+ mph and slow only for the small towns. Before daylight and after sunset is a different story. Lot's of suicidal critters roaming.

        We also own a home in Lubbock where my (working) wife lives during the week. I could start and end a loop at Lubbock including Amarillo which is connected by I-27 but except for north, all other highways connecting Lubbock are non-interstate and include small towns and wildlife. I don't want to deal with either.

        I want to make my first attempt at an IBA ride as simple and easy as possible. To me that includes interstate highway only, as far south as I can be, no small towns, and no critters. Those parameters lead me to I-10 and I-8 in NM and AZ.

        I would prefer a loop from Las Cruces to Albuquerque to Flagstaff to Tucson. Parts of that route are very scenic and a pleasure to ride but it's too early in the year to ride I-40. I could encounter a heavy snow storm and be stranded in Flagstaff for a week.

        My route will be Las Cruces to Yuma and return. That will keep me on I-8/10 where the weather should be warm and clear, speed limit is a continuous 75 mph except through Tucson, and four-legged critters don't usually live in the desert southwest.

        Rural west Texas highways are simply too dangerous for me during hours of darkness. I see the highway roadkill every day. Early every morning TXDOT trucks leave the Crosby County and Dickens County district offices to travel the length of highways in their districts to remove roadkill carcasses. The threat is real!

        If I have to abort my ride along I-8 or I-10 I'll just have to tough it out to the next town with a Motel 6. I hope that doesn't happen but if it does I'll deal with it.
        Harvey Barlow
        Crosby County, TX
        2010 Goldwing Level II Pearl Yellow (sold at 93,000 miles)
        2014 Goldwing Level II Pearl Blue (sold at 27,000 miles to forum member)

        Comment: (For off-topic replies)


        • #13
          I know...old post...

          Originally posted by HBarlow View Post
          I would prefer a loop from Las Cruces to Albuquerque to Flagstaff to Tucson. Parts of that route are very scenic and a pleasure to ride but it's too early in the year to ride I-40. I could encounter a heavy snow storm and be stranded in Flagstaff for a week.
          The Motorcycle Touring Forum (MTF), an unofficial adjunct society of other long distance riders does this very loop...I think they've done it twice since I rode with them back in 2011 when I certified a ride for the first time. There is a shortcut (NM-26, from Hatch to Deming) which is how the loop is run when it starts & ends in Tucson.

          Comment: (For off-topic replies)

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