Friday, June 20, 2014

Texas I-10 Solstice 'Day Ride'

Time for another Hard Riding Adventure!  On Friday I'm heading to Orange, TX for the start of the TX I-10 Solstice Day Ride.  I'm hoping to see other riders at the Texas Information Center at Exit 880, I-10 around 6AM on Saturday.  It's going to be fun.

See:  Full SpotWalla Map
Sat 2028:  Arrived at the finish in Van Horn.  I rode 1,014.7 miles between sunrise in Orange and before the 2109 sunset in Van Horn.  Was a fun ride and I highly recommend it.  My plan is ride the exact route and times for the rest of the Four Seasons rides in Sep, Dec and Mar.  It will be interesting to see how the time of year, weather and traffic affects the results.  I think I'll do up a spreadsheet to track the significant items for each ride.  Stay tuned.....

Sat 1820:  The temps got into the triple digits on this segment.  By the time I reach the outskirts of El Paso it was 103F with a hot cross wind.  I got Anthony long before official sunset.  It was 1720 MDT in Anthony.  Met Lowell Vahl, MTF member,  who was on his own ride.  We chatted while I was doing my pit stop routine while on the clock.  I drained my bladder, filled the tank and tasty good bottle, did the paperwork and headed out.  Traffic through El Paso was slow but not congested.  The speed limit is 60 MPH.  As usual I stayed with the flow of traffic. 

Sat 1440: Second pit stop was at Fort Stockton.  It was brief as was the last one near San Antonio.  The temperatures were mid 90s and somewhat dryer.  Still overcast with occasional showers.  They were refreshing.  I calculated the 'Sip Rate" of my 100 oz CamelBak hydration system so at 95f I take 5 sips ever 15 minutes.  This ensures I keep enough fluids flowing through me for the riding conditions.  I did not have to stop one time to pee between planned refuel pit stops.  It used to be hit or miss with my drinking.  Either I drank too much too fast and had to stop or drank too little.  So, this calibration seems to work better.  I used the table in the hot weather riding article below to develop the sip rate for each 5F starting at 85F.  Anal, I know.....

Sat 1050: Made the first pit stop just northwest of San Antonio after leaving Loop 1604.  The ride through Houston was smooth given it's Saturday.  Temperatures were pleasant but still rather humid.  Started to pick up some showers near Comfort.  Rather overcast with little detectible wind.  Hit the 80 MPH mark just crossing the Kerr County line at MM 492.  By the time I reached Ozona the showers had come back.  No steady rain, just 1 mile showers.  All my riding gear, with the exception of Klim summer weight gloves, are Gore-Tex so the rain shower are not a reason to stop to put on "wet weather" gear. 

Sat 0530:  Heading out early to make sure I will start the Four Seasons SaddleSore 1,000 by 0551, the official time of the summer solstice.  I want to get the starting clock DBR at the Exxon around 0545, have a cup of coffee then ride to the Texas Information Center for the sunrise start at 0614.  Got no idea how many motorcyclist will be there other than the few I know about who have contacted me.  But, I'll take a couple of pictures and post them later after I've finished the ride. 

I will start out with a full tank and refuel twice before reaching Anthony.  Then the final segment back to Van Horn to finish the SS1000.  Chat with you later.

Fri 1700:  Arrived in Orange.  It was a warm ride with temps in the low to mid 90s.  Except through the showers then it cooled off to mid 80s with lots of humidity.  I checked out the Exxon station near the Days Inn, where I'm staying, to verify the date, time, city and state information on the fuel receipt.  All is in order. Had several text messages from others doing to ride tomorrow.  Most are turning in early.  I had dinner at Senior Taco, cheap Mexican, but tasty.  Got my witness form signed off in the parking lot of the motel.  I'm set.  Going to reset the SpotWalla map to start recording tomorrow morning.

I'm going to extend the adventure by doing the summer solstice requirement for the IBA Four Seasons challenge ride.  Doing a SS1000 on each of the solstice and equinox events :  Jun 21 5:51 AM CDT, Sep 22 9:29 PM CDT, Dec 21 5:03 PM CST, Mar 20 5:45 PM CDT  Source:  Time and Date  I will be using the same route for each of the Four Seasons SS1000 rides.

I'm evaluating my hot weather reading gear and hydration strategy on this ride.  I have calculated the number ounces each mouth full sip from my CamelBak hydration system and used that measurement to establish a sip rate per 1/4 hour requirement for each 5 degrees above 80F.  A bit anal, but adequate hydration while riding long distance is essential when on the clock.  See Tom Austin's article in Iron Butt Magazine linked below for some prospective.

The Event  Ride Across Texas - Border to Border, Sunup to Sundown
A - Orange to B - Anthony

Ride Interstate 10 from Exit 880 east of Orange, TX, starting at official sunrise and ride to Exit 0 at Anthony, TX arriving before official sunset.  877 Miles, border to border, east to west.  Saturday, June 21, 2014, is the summer solstice and longest daylight period of the year.  Official sunrise at Orange TX is at 6:14 AM CDT with official sunset in Anthony TX is at 8:16 PM MDT.  That affords a rider 15:02 to cover the 877 miles. 

This is a "Rendezvous Ride" type event designed to extend ones motorcycle riding horizons,.  Meet up with others before and at the start.  Then head out by yourself or with a riding partner.   The routing is easy with fuel stations, cell phone coverage and efficient highway speeds all the way.  Meet up with friends at the finish as desired.  It will be "HOT" so, check out these tips for Long Distance Riding In Hot Weather, courtesy of Iron Butt Magazine.

Friday June, 20:  Rendezvous in Orange TX, dinner and camaraderie. 
Saturday June, 21:
  •  6:14 AM CST -- Depart from the Texas Information Center,  I-10, Exit 880
  •  8:16 PM MDT -- Arrive at the Pilot Travel Center in Anthony TX, I-10 Exit 0
Sunday Jun 22:  Head back home.

Iron Butt Association -- SaddleSore 1,000 certification option.  Continue on from Anthony back to Van Horn and document arrival within 24 hours of starting DBR.   To certify this ride for the IBA will require documentation:  Start/Finish witness and documented fuel log with supporting dated business receipts.  See IBA SaddleSore 1,000 Rules.

Ride Planning
  • Miles:  877 Miles, West on I-10,  Exit 880 to Exit 0, via 1604 Anderson Loop if desired
  • Total Time to Allocate:  15:02 Orange sunrise 06:14 CDT to Anthony sunset 20:16 MDT
  • Moving Time:  12:33  Source:  Bing Maps
  • Pit Stops:  2:39 Refuel, Refresh, Repair as necessary
IBA Archive of Wisdom -- 29 Tips for Long Distance Riding. DYI LD Riding Training


  1. Tim, I'm not 100% sure but I thought you needed to be underway at the exact time of the solstice (i.e. 5:51 a.m. CDT) to count as one of the four seasons rides. If that's the case, then the ride should start before 5:51 CDT, right? Let me know what you think. Sounds like fun.


    Live Free. Ride Hard. Be Happy.

    1. Curt, that is the true spirit of the ride. And I will be. I plan on getting my DBR before the 5:51 am solstice. That way I’ll be riding to the Texas Information Center to await the 06:14 sunrise for the launch.

      On a technical note, doing the ride on the solstice date is close enough. Check out the Ira Agins posting on page two of the thread on the IBA forum.