Saturday, March 23, 2013

Ride Report -- 100ccc Gold

The 100ccc Gold ride is complete (pending IBA certification).  It was a very good ride with no adverse weather.  There were high head winds traveling west after Ozona, TX.  And, on the way back some nice tail winds through New Mexico.  There were the usual traffic slow downs going through Baton Rouge LA and on the return trip I caught morning rush hour traffic entering San Antonio.  The only construction delays I experience was on the west side of Las Cruces NM.

NERD ALERT! What follows is a review of the ride in terms of the performance factors I use to evaluate my long distance events.  I have found organizing my LD training efforts around these factors effective at isolating areas where I need to improve.

Riding and Risk Management:  I had no "close calls" while on this event.  I did not employ excessive speed.  I would maintain speeds faster than the slow traffic and speeds slower than the fast traffic.  I do not have a radar detector so I'm diligent about maintaining a consistent and effective pace.  The FLIR thermal imaging system mounted on the bike was a great help.  Especially, while riding at night in west Texas and through Florida.  It significantly enhances and extends the detection distance of warm blooded critters in and around the path of travel.  Being able to detect threats 6-12 seconds ahead really helps reduce the stress level while riding at night.  After six months of using the FLIR I am please with the decision to employ this advanced technology. 

Planning and Navigation: I divided the 100ccc into logical segments.  Of course the routing was easy, I-10 west to I-12 to I-10 to I-8 and back again.  I plotted the route on MapSource to capture the miles and travel time.  Then used the route turn by turn data to  prepare the timed out ride plan adding in the pit stop times and rest stop times.  I published the 100ccc RLPLite MS Excel spread sheet on 3/15/2013.  During the ride I had SPOT tracking on and sent a SPOT message at each fuel stop and rest stop.  You can refer to the spot markers to compare the SPOT date/time stamp arrival time (CDT) with that planned using Rally Leg Plan Lite tool.  I have recapped the segment plan vs actual times below.

Segment                                                                            Planned          Spot Time Stamp
  1. JAX Start                                                                      05:00             03-17 04:59:41
  2. JAX Start to Junction Rest 1 - 1,198 miles                     22:02             03-17 21:58:34
  3. Junction Rest 1 to El Cajon Rest - 1,145 miles             21:17             03-18 21:20:09
  4. El Cajon Rest to SDO DBR - 20 miles                          06:35             03-19 06:37:10
  5. SDO DBR to Junction Rest 2 - 1,163 miles                   23:22              03-19 23:20:10
  6. Junction Rest 2 to JAX Finish - 1,195 miles                   00:10             03-20 23:52:24

Ride Pace and Resource Management:   Maintaining a consistent ride pace was a major training objective during this ride.  This 100 hour "on the clock" event provided the opportunity to validate the moving and overall average MPH of my riding pace.  I used the calculations within the Leg Planning Tool to identify these two metrics as well as the required fuel stops for each leg segment.  Refer to the 100ccc RLPLite Excel file to see the planned segment and for the entire 100 hour leg.  As planned I had 8:49 of slack time should the weather, equipment malfunctions or heavy traffic cause delays.  Knowing time to each segment end would give me good information about the pace.  At the end of the ride I did a screen shot of the zumo 220 (powered continuously) that captured the actual pace performance to compare to the planned numbers.  They are pretty close which confirms the accuracy of the planning tool and the consistency of my riding pace.

Planned using the Leg Planning Tool (see Leg Statistics table in the 100cccRLPLite file)
  • Total Plan Miles = 4,721
  • Moving Average MPH = 72.7
  • Overall Average MPH = 51.8
  • MapSource Travel Time = 64:55
  • Pit Stop Time = 2:45
  • Rest Stop Time = 23:30
  • Total Stop Time = 26:15
  • Total Time = 91:10
Compare to the GPS screen shot of the performance data captured at the finish.

I maintained a consistent pace given the speed limits, traffic flow and overall conditions to help manage risk and reduce stress.  This consistent riding pace also aids in the accuracy of the fuel endurance distance calculations.  I had planned to stop every 300-350 miles to keep within IBA rules.  That distance is also the FED of my new GSA motorcycle.  It is not completely broken in yet and I have not achieve its best fuel mileage per gallon.  I captured the data for each fuel stop while preparing the IBA fuel log.  Refer to it for the details.  Below is a summary of the FED data:

  • Enroute Pit Stops = 13
  • Start/Mid/Finish Stops = 3
  • Fuel Stops at Rest Stops = 3
  • Fuel used Start to Finish =  131.8 gallons (133.393 total minus start fill up of 1.593 gallons)
  • Miles per gallon for event = 35.9 (4,735.1 GPS miles divided by 131.8 gallons)
  • Highest/lowest MPG = 44.4 and 31.7
  • Farthest fuel load distance = 341.1 miles
  • Highest amount pumped = 8.831 gallons
  • Total fuel costs = $533.56 (High $4.40, low $3.69 and average $4.01 per gallon)

Problem and Stress Management:  There were no significant problems that caused stress and no stress that caused significant problems.  My rest management plan kept me well rested with 23:30 devoted to rest spread over the event.  At each rest stop I practiced my routine to maximize eyes shut time.  At Junction the first stop is at a store to get a healthy sandwich and a pint of 2% milk to consume before sleep.  Then to the hotel to check in, download the bike, shower, set the alarms, eat then go to sleep.  In the morning I refueled to get a start DBR then hit the road.  I hydrated while riding using a 100oz CamelBak with insulated hose.  I did experience several instance of bladder stress which caused me to make a unscheduled pit stop to refresh.  I'll work on slower consumption while riding to lessen excess bladder accumulation. I had one equipment issue that caused me stress.  The switch on my electric jacket kept shorting off.  I solved the problem by removing the switch and plugging straight into the lead from the battery.  I ate while riding using a combination of high protein bars with low glycemic index and custom trail mix.  I use a 32oz drinking bottle for tasty good zero calorie drinks with added electrolytes.  This kept my energy level pretty even throughout the ride. I avoided heavy meals opting to consume around 2,000 calories spread throughout the day.  My riding gear worked very well without stress causing comfort issues. 

Personal Courage and Commitment:  Seems a bit pretentious but it takes some degree of courage to push oneself through the tough times while maintaining a commitment to stopping the ride when one exceeds one's limit.  Because I managed the other performance factors within my knowledge, skills and abilities I did not feel I was exceeding my limits.  My commitment to being disciplined about staying focused on tasks made the ride interesting.  I kept my mind active, thinking ahead, anticipating problems or issues in a way that made the ride fun. 

Sundry Items:  The total cost of the 100ccc was $760.92 itemized below.  Combine the cost of attending the IBA annual dinner and the IBR pizza party before the 100ccc along with the redeploy back home from JAX pushes the total cost of this LD adventure to around $1,356.11.  But, who's counting?!

Fuel costs = 533.56
Lodging = $142.36
Cash = $85.00

ROG:  After arriving home on Friday 3/22 the GSA indicating 21 miles left till zero on the fuel range counter. Today, 2/28, I fill up a quart sized MSR fuel bottle and got on the motorcycle to run out of gas.  This is my first ROG on the new GSA.  When the GSA Fuel range guage hit zero I started an odometer on the GPS.  I was riding on I-35 at interstate speeds to burn up what was left in the tank after the ride back from Jacksonville.  By the time the motorcycle experienced complete fuel exhaustion I had traveled another 43.4 miles.  By this time I was doing a turn around via frontage roads off the interstate and pulled into the parking lot of a motel.  I could see an Exxon station less than a 1/4 mile away.  I poured the 0.25 gallons of gas from the MSR fuel bottle and rode to the Exxon.  There I put another 9.584 gallons into the tank.  That's a total of  over 9.8 gallons of fuel.  This is good information.  I will be confirming this with more ROG tests in the next couple of weeks.  I'll do a blog posting to document the results of this fuel endurance distance testing on the new bike.

Follow On Items:  I need to stabilize my FLIR camera.  At high speeds it tends to pulsate causing a slight distortion in the output to the display.  I was happy with the way the zumo 220 worked with the hard wire to the battery.  I want to find a better way to eat my custom trail mix while riding.  Using a zip log bag tucked away in my tank bag was clumsy.  I'm thinking a plastic cylinder, like a drink container, with a wide mouth and flip up cap.  That way I can mount it in a pouch on the side of the tank bag for easy access.  I also want to do some ROG (run out of gas) testing on the GSA.  It's getting well broke in now and I want to dial in the fuel endurance distance and consumption rates under several different riding conditions.  I'll do a blog posting of the plan and the results after the tests.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

100ccc Gold Ride Plan

Thursday, March 14:  Beginning odo 12,464 & ending odo 19,360 for 6,896 miles

I'm riding to Jacksonville FL to attend the IBA annual dinner on Friday, March 15th and the IBR Pizza Party on Saturday.

Starting on Sunday, March 17th, St. Paddy's Day I'll be leaving Jacksonville Beach, FL at around 0600 EDT to start the Iron Butt Association 100ccc Gold challenge ride.  The goal of this event is to ride from coast to coast to coast in less than 100 hours.  You can follow my progress in almost real time by using the Spotwalla map below.  I will be using Spot tracking, also marking the start, pit stops and key points with the SPOT Check in/OK.  I'll be marking rest stops using the SPOT Custom.  Click on the marker to read the position data and embedded message.

The ride plan can be found here:  100ccc RLPLite  This plan is not a ridged "schedule" to keep but rather a measure for the riding pace; moving and overall average miles per hour.  Any pace efficiencies I gain between rest stops I will add to the rest time.  Any time delays I experience that put me behind the ETA at key way points will be charged to the ending slack time, rather than cut rest time short.  This strategy enhances the rest management plan and is part of the commitment to managing overall risk. 

I plan on departing Jacksonville Beach FL on Sunday 3/17 at 0600 EDT and arrive at Mission Beach CA on Tuesday 3/19 0430 PDT, 49:30 later.  During the first leg I will stop for rest in Junction TX and El Cajon CA.  The ETA to Junction is 2202 CDT 3/17 and El Cajon is 1917 PDT 3/18.  At 0410 PDT I'll head to Mission Beach for the turn around DBR to stop the clock on the first 50cc at about 0450 PDT 3/19.  The clock on the second 50 hours of the 100ccc begins with the DBR in SDO.  I plan on 30 minutes of dwell time in SDO to secure the turn around witness sign off before departing.  The plan calls for a 7 hour rest in Junction TX and an ETA to the JAX Finish at 0010 CDT  or 0110 EDT 3/21.  The clock runs out on the 100 hours at the JAX Finish a little before 1000 AM EDT Thursday 3/21.  The plan has about 8:45 of slack time for whatever might happen along the way.

I am doing this "on the clock" challenge ride to accomplish several objectives:
  • Put more miles on the realitivily new BMW R1200GS Adventure.  From home near Wimberley to JAX to SDO to JAX and back to Wimberley will be almost 7,000 miles.  This will bring the total mileage of the new bike to almost 19,000.
  • Get another merit pin for my windscreen.
  • Practice IBR tasks and performance skills: 
    • Conduct a Pit Stop to refuel, refresh, repair. 
    • Conduct a Rest Stop
    • Conduct a Call-In
    • Prepare and Maintain Required Documentation
    • Routing and Navigation
    • Rider Pace (Moving and Overall Average MPH)
    • Riding and Risk Management
    • Rest and Fatigue Management
    • Problem and Stress Management
    • Hydration and Nutrition Management
    • Personal Courage and Commitment
  • Validate riding gear comfort and function
  • Validate motorcycle load plan
  • Validate add-on equipment function
  • FLIR field testing 

I won't have time to blog along the way but will post results of the ride when I'm finished.  I will use the log entries, documentation and the GPS data to generate useful information about the trip.  The goal is to capture information about the following performance measures:

    • Moving and Overall Average MPH for the leg and segments
    • Pit Stop Time -- refuel, refresh, repair (using GPS track arrive/depart times)
    • Fuel Endurance Distance & MPG -- leg and segments (compared to Mvg Avg MPH)
    • Rest Stop Time -- check-in/refresh/sleep/check-out
    • Bonus Stop Time -- SDO DBR time and to securing turn around witness
    • Documentation -- Pit Stop, Rest Stop, Call-in, Witness sign off
    • Total direct cost by category -- Fuel, lodging, meals and incidentals