Friday, August 10, 2012

Heaven to Hell 1,000 - Gold

IBA Certification

Starting Odometer:  152,528   Ending Odometer:  156,252   Total Miles: 3,724 (TX to Denver, H2H 1,000 back to TX)

This adventure had two parts:  attend the IBA International Meeting in Denver, CO and riding the Heaven to Hell Gold challenge ride.  I'll be departing home on Monday, August 13 and returning around Wednesday, August 22.  See the full SpotWalla Map.

Monday 8/20:  Refreshed from our rest we had a quick hotel breakfast and departed for our second mandatory DBR spot in Ely, NV.  I had programmed a waypoint in my zumo 665 for the gas stop some weeks ago.  Our original plan was to do our rest stop in Ely.  I was leading on this segment so I just rode to the Ely Gas waypoint I had in the GPS....effectively passing a much better choice right next to the turn off to Beatty.  I caught hell from my rally mentor, Dr. Howard, for relying too much on the crap in the GPS and not paying attention to the road signs.  We ended up spending about 30 minutes for a gas stop and riding around in Ely.  At this point our slack time to the Badwater finish was down to about an hour.  We still had to stop at Beatty, NV just outside of Death Valley for a mandatory DBR.

Howard leading the way
The wide open spaces on this segment meant we could push a little harder and make up a few minutes.  By the time we got to Beatty, Howard had gained us 25 minutes.  We gassed up, soaked our LD Comfort shirts down and departed on the last 58 mile segment. 

Don't drink the water
Odo and Temperature
It was 114f on my bike thermometer when we pulled into the Badwater parking lot.  Time was just after 2 PM PDT on August 20th.  Spot'd our arrival, took a couple of pictures and headed towards Boulder City.  The temperature climbed to as much as 118f as I was riding out.

Joe was there!


We stopped in Kingman AZ for the night.  Took a shower, walked across the parking lot for dinner, then back to the hotel for a good night's sleep.  We're parting company tomorrow.  I'm heading back to Texas.  Joe and Howard are taking I-40 east to get some NPT stamps along the way.

Got Oxygen?
Sunday 8/19:  Going to pack up and get ready to re-position to the top of Pikes Peak for our 3PM MDT departure.   Check out the route plan sheet for the timing to waypoints.  Joe Green joined Dr. Howard and myself on the ride to Pikes Peek.  Our plan was to depart around 3pm local so we are on I-70 during most of the night riding time.  We got to the summit a little after 1pm and took in the sights.  Pictures to follow shortly.  Wow, "Got Oxygen" .... I really noticed the lack of oxygen at 14,100 feet.  Hell, I was out of breath taking a piss in the port-a-john.   After taking in the sights we went into the gift shop an had lunch.  I took a nap after lunch for about 30 minutes.

Mandatory Waypoint
After making a gift shop purchase to establish our starting DBR (dated business receipt) we departed the mountain top at about 3:15PM.  Next mandatory waypoint location was Independence Pass on CO 82 on the way to Aspen.  Dr. Howard and Joe are doing the National Parks Tour soe they stopped just of US24 for a park passport stamp.  I waited at the highway intersection for them to return.  At Independence pass we stopped for a quick bonus picture, "Spot'd" and rode down the mountain. Very narrow parts along the steep mountain parts.  At the junction of I-70 we topped off our fuel for the long ride to Delta, UT.  The was our rest stop and we arrived there a little after 1pm.  Our plan was to do 5 hour rest stop.  By the time we got to Delta we were about 1:45 behind our ride plan.  We cut the rest period down to 4 solid hours.   

Iron Butt Association International Meeting

Saturday 8/18:  The breakout sessions today were interesting.  I attended an over view of Garmin's new mapping software BaseCamp.  I've been experimenting with BaseCamp for a while now but have not found it more useful than MapSource.  But, I found out that BaseCamp will be including a way to include dwell time in the properties of a waypoint.  This is a significant improvement while planning multi waypoint routes to get an overall and more accurate route travel time.  I also attended the 2013 Iron Butt Rally briefing where the general location of the rally check points were announced.  This will help all those entered in the rally.  As you might expect the rally will encompass the entire lower 48 states and maybe much of Canada and Alaska.  More information to follow. 

Friday 8/17:  Today was filled with lots of good information about long distance riding. The IBA organization has done a great job putting this meeting together.  The venue at the Marriott Tech Center is first rate.  The speakers have been very professional.  Of particular interest to me was the presentations by Dr. Donald Arthur (USN ADM) who is very active in the long distance riding community.  His article on FATIGUE and Motorcycle Touring is the must read for rest management.  He delivered a presentation on First Responder action, or what do you do if you come across a motorcycle crash with victims.  His presentation tomorrow on Fatigue will be very interesting.  Howard Entman and I have been going over our plans to ride from the top of Pikes Peak to Death Valley.  We're changing our departure time from early morning to 3pm MDT to minimize riding on two lane road at night.  By leaving in the mid afternoon that will put us on Interstate 70 during most of our night riding.  More later about the ride on Sunday. 

Thursday 8/16:  Got up early this morning to see off the 40 or so Rally 101 participants depart for their training ride.  The Rally 101 classes yesterday were about creating a ride plan from a rally book.  A set of bonus locations and rules for a long distance motorcycle rally.   The all arrive back later today and go through the scoring process.  Speaking of scoring, I attended a class on scoring the Iron Butt Rally.  Was a great learning experience.  Lots of attention to details and focus on the process.  Going to work on the audio issue I'm having with my helmet and XM audio amp.  Also, I want to reboot my zumo 665 to see if that resolves the time zone change issue.  Want to get finished before happy hour.....

Wednesday 8/15:  Slept in today.  Walked across the parking lot to the Waffle House for breakfast, yummy!  I'll probable leave Castle Rock and ride the 40 miles or so to the IBA International Meeting hotel at the Marriott Tech Center.  I'll be there till Sunday when Dr. Howard and I ride to the top of Pikes Peak for our Heaven to Hell Gold challenge ride. 

Tuesday 8/14:  North to Denver, well actually just outside of Denver.  I did a GPS time zone function check while crossing from CDT to MDT.  I prefer my GPS clock to stay on CDT and all subsequent time calculations to be made using one time zone.  It's less confusing to me.  My zumo 665 will change the arrival time to a waypoint as I cross a time zone.  I've emailed Garmin technical help but they skeptical.  So, just before crossing the TX/NM border from CDT to MDT I took a screen shot of my unit clock settings that shows the "Automatic" box unchecked.  Then, just before crossing the border I took another screen shot that shows the clock, location, arrival time to Denver.  Shortly after crossing the border, another screen shot.  Sure enough, the arrival time at the destinations increased one hour.  When I got to my motel in Castle Rock I sent Garmin the screen shots.  

Monday 8/13:  Left home around 11am to head west.  Took the southern route on US90 instead of the usual I-10.  Of course it was warm, around 102f till I reached Sanderson.  The ride into Alpine was a lot more comfortable with temperatures in the high 80s.  I'm trying a new neck cover made of Dryline fabric.  It's a Halo head band but instead of putting it on my forehead I tied it around my neck as a bandana.  It was much more comfortable than my usual cotton bandana.  I could feel the evaporation on my neck working.  

The IBA International meeting is a gathering of long distance enthusiasts from around the world.  Held every two years it is put on by the Iron Butt Association.  The agenda for the meeting is jammed pack full of seminars and breakout sessions with the focus on the various aspects of long distance riding and the sport of competitive rally riding.  The event runs from Wednesday, 8/15 though Saturday 8/19.

On Sunday, August 19, I and my rally mentor, Dr. Howard, will depart the Marriott Tech Center hotel in south Denver and ride to the top of Pikes Peak.  We are shooting to be at the summit around before 9AM MDT.  This will be the start point for the IBA challenge ride Heaven to Hell Gold.  Ride from Pikes Peak, across Independence Pass, through Ely NV and finish at Badwater, CA in the middle of Death Valley, all in under 24 hours.

A - Pikes Peak Highway, CO
B - Independence Pass, CO
C - Ely, NV
D - Beatty, NV
E - Badwater, Death Valley, CA