Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Big As Texas Party

The Iron Butt Association is hosting the Big-As-Texas Party again this year.  I will be attending, cause it's so much fun to see all the cool LD motorcycle and riders.

The Big-As-Texas Party and Memorial Ride Season finale is back again for 2015 !!! The event and special ride will be held on October 16th and 17th, which is the final weekend available for completing a Memorial Ride in 2015.

The rides for the Big-As-Texas Party is the Stadium SaddleSore 1,000 miles in 24 hours and Stadium Bun Burner Gold, 1,500 miles in 24 hours.  Click on the highlighted links to see the routes.

It's just up the street (I-35) from me in Irving, between Dallas and Fort Worth.  So, not much of a ride.  I won't be doing the Stadium rides as I am manning the Wyman Memorial Project information table.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

The Florida Keys SaddleSore 1,000

Let me see,...the last time I rode to the Florida Keys was back in 2011 for the Iron Butt Rally.  I've been hankering to go back for some time.  So, when a couple of IBA Comrades announced they were going to attempt the Florida Keys SaddleSore 1,000, I thought here's the perfect excuse to ride to Key West again.

Full SpotWalla Map:  SPOT Gen3

Mon 9/21:  The ride plan is simple...depart Key Largo and ride the Overseas Highway (US 1) to the Key West Shell the back to the Key Largo Shell....repeat 4 more times.

The ride went well.  Temperatures were tropical, hot and steamy.  Got up to 95f at around 3 pm, but was mostly in the low 90s.  Had a couple of cooling showers but no major T-storm events.  It was a long slog to knock out all 5 legs (Key Largo to Key West to Key Largo).  Traffic was not bad but annoying at some times, both in the towns and while on the open stretches over the Keys.

I used my FLIR PathFindIR thermal imagery camera during dawn, dusk and at night.  It was a big help especially on Deer Key, where I spotted many of the endangered little critters on the side of the road.  I've been looking at getting the PathFindIR II which has artificial intelligent software that draws a yellow box around warm blooded objects like pedestrians, animals and the like.

So, I'll be sending in the paperwork through the IBA Premier certification program and add the Florida Keys SaddleSore 1,000 to my long distance resume.

Here are the ride statistics at the end of the ride:

Start 3:30 am
Finish 1:21 am
Total time: 21:51
Total miles: 1,036
Moving Avg 51 MPH
Overall Avg 48 MPH
No LEO stops
No close calls.
Garmin BaseCamp calculates the moving time at 20.1 hours through the communities and open stretches of the Overseas Highway for the 1038 miles of the 5 round trips.  I have added 10 minutes stop time at each turn around point to obtain a DBR and refresh as necessary.  That brings the total trip up to 21.6 hours.  So, if I start at 3:30 am and  maintain a moving average of 51.6 MPH and an overall average of 48.1 MPH I should finish around 1:00 am Tuesday.

Delays through the towns will affect the Ovg MPH.  Weather could also cause delays. I do not rely on excess speed to make up for delays. If necessary I will take the entire 24:00 to complete the ride.   I will eat and drink while riding.  I've have en tire day's rations placed in food stores of my tank bag for easy access.

Sun 9/20:  It's an easy 5 hours to the Holiday Inn at Key Largo.  There I'm meeting up with a couple IBA Comrades.  Hey, this is turning out to be a Florida Keys Vacation!  Arrived in Key Largo a little after 2 pm and met up with Joe, Tony and Greg.  Tony and Joe are doing the Florida Keys 1,000 but Greg just rode down to have dinner with us.  I got Greg to sign off on my IBA witness form.

I'm going to turn in early tonight.  My plan is to depart the Key Largo Shell at 3:30 am after getting my start DBR.  So, I want to get a good nights sleep start around 8:30 pm or so.

Sat 9/19:  Got up and headed to the Waffle House for breakfast.  I don't usually eat a big breakfast when I'm on the road, opting for the quick continental fare at the hotel.  But, the Waffle House was right next door so I treated myself.  Besides, I have nothing but time to reach Key Largo by Sunday afternoon.

Stopped for the night in Ocala FL and ate at the Cracker Barrel next to the Best Western Plus.

Fri 9/18:  Departing home for the Key West 1,000.  I'm lollygagging my way to near Homestead FL to rendezvous a couple of other IBA riders doing the KW1000 on Monday.

The weather was good all day.  Temperatures were in the low to mid 90s and no showers.  I-10 is exactly as I remember it...nothing interesting to tell.  Except, for me dropping my Under Armour (stainless steel) drink bottle while traveling at about 75.  No cars behind me so, no danger.  But it did piss me off.  I had just filled it up with a fountain drink with ice when I stopped for gas.  After I returned to the Interstate I reached down to get the drink bottle and my thumb clipped as I was lifting it out of the holder.  Plop.....I watched it bounce around as I lamented loosing it.  In the years that I have been using that drink bottle this was the first time I ever dropped it.

So, just outside of Beaumont TX I punch up the nearest Academy Sports on the GPS and got me a brand new one.  Same model....it has worked so well for me.  I like it cause it is great to fill with hot coffee at the hotel and cold fountain drinks while on the road.  It's made by Thermos so it keeps liquids cold or hot long enough to finish off the 24 oz.

I stopped for the night on the west side of Hammond LA.

The Florida Keys SaddleSore 1,000 is Key Largo to Key West and back to Key Largo 5 times, in less than 24 hours.  The challenge of the ride is the shear monotony of riding the 103.5 miles back and forth, though the small communities of the Keys, and across the open bridges of the Overseas Highway.

I am starting the ride from the Shell station in Key Largo at 3:30 am on Monday, September 21, 2015.  I want to get the most out of my normal circadian rhythm for the majority of the 21:36 of overall time.

I planned the trip using Garmin BaseCamp and produced the route data sheet you see here.  Using a standard 10 minutes for each turnaround stop, to obtain a DBR (dated business receipt) the overall time is 21:36 minutes.  So, if I maintain an overall average speed of 48.3 miles per hours I should finish about 1:00 am on Tuesday.  My target moving average is 51.6 MPH

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

IBA Regional Gathering "Head for the Hills"

I am attending the Iron Butt Association's Regional Gathering in Kingsport, TN.  Nestled in the scenic foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, it will be an escape from the Texas heat.

Full SpotWalla Maps:  Bubbler GPS Pro and SPOT

Tue, 9/8:
  Doing research at the Perrysburg library trying to tie down the location of the 1903 post office location, where Wyman stored his motorcycle for the night.  Then, riding west to spot Wyman signs at locations where the Project shipped signs.

Mon, 9-7:  Got all the way to Perrysburg OH

Sun, 9/6:  Riding to Albany to start work on the Wyman Route.  Want to check out the Wyman Waypoint signs posted at locations where the Project shipped signs.

Fri-Sat, 9/5:  Hanging out at the hotel chatting up the Wyman Project.

Thu, 9/3:  After spending the night in Jackson TN, half way between Memphis and Nashville, I did the easy ride to Kingsport, arriving about 3 pm.  Checked in and while returning to by bike I got stopped by Erin and Wayne.  The next thing I knew there was a cold beer in my hands....

Wed, 9/2:  Departing home headed for the AMA Museum Hall of Fame in Pinkerington, OH.  I probably won't make it all the way to Pinkerington on Wednesday, before stopping for the night.  I'm going to see if the Museum has installed the Wyman Memorial Plaque and Wyman Waypoint sign in the Hall of Fame exhibit.  After visiting there on Thursday I will head south to Kingsport, TN for the Gathering.

While traveling north along I-30, in a restricted one lane construction zone, a piece of road debris popped up from the back of the 18 wheeler in front of me.  I swerved to the right to avoid it but the piece of tire tread hit the side of my bike right at my FLIR camera.  It hit so hare the mount was deformed and also broke the cable connector, deforming the connecting pins.  I was able to remove the damaged cable plug securing structure, straighten out the pins and reconnect the camera using good old wire ties.  And, the camera still works....!

Ok, so I sent the AMA Museum about mounting the Wyman Waypoint sign and Wyman Memorial plaque and got a reply that both were mounted inside the Museum within the Hall of Fame exhibit.  That saved me a trip to Pinkerington to visit the Museum.  So, I turned right at Memphis and headed east along I-40 to the tip of Tennessee.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Michelin Anakee 3

August 28, 2015 - 119,492 Odometer Miles

Installed a new set of Anakee 3s today with a total of 12,362 miles on the old set.  This includes those ridden in the 2015 Iron Butt Rally.  I'm getting ready to ride to Kingsport TN for the IBA Regional Gathering event.  So, I needed more miles than remained on the old set.

Well, the Anakee 3's did well for me in the 2015 Iron Butt Rally.  I put them on prior to riding to Albuquerque, NM, rode the some 10,390 miles in the Rally than back home to Wimberley, TX.  I'm still riding on the tires and will probably put another 2,000 to 3,000 miles on them before I get a new set.  I'll post the video when I change them out.

During the IBR I had occasions to ride the Anakee 3's down miles of dirt roads.  One was a 45 mile shortcut from Utah to Idaho and the other was in Colorado.  The tires did their job splendidly.

June 15, 2015 -- 107,130 Odometer

I'm riding in the 2015 Iron Butt Rally, "World's Toughest Motorcycle Rally" at the end of June.  So, I'm mounting a new set of Anakee 3's on the GSA.  Even with riding from home in Texas to the IBR start in Albuquerque, doing the 11,000+ in the rally, I expect to have plenty of tread back home to Texas. The video is of the set I put on back in November.  Since then I have ridden several IBA rides, including The George A. Wyman Memorial Grand Tour, at full rally trim, on that set of tires.  As you can see, with 15,582 miles on them there is still some tread left.  No wear-bars showing and just the normal wear pattern one would expect.  I'm confident I can ride the new set for the entire IBR, baring any road hazard damage.  This time around I have a fully functional Tire Pressure Monitoring System and a backup, to avoid the near catastrophe I experience during the 2013 IBR, see below.

November 7, 2014 -- 91,548 Odometer

I'm having two new Anakee 3's mounted today after a few months of Hard Riding Adventure.  One of those adventures riding to California to have new Wilber shocks installed.  They seemed to help with the front tire wear pattern and rough ride.  But, one might expect new shocks to make the ride a little smoother.  None the less, the wear pattern is still visible after 16,003 miles.  I am still very satisfied with the performance of the Anakee 3 sport touring tire.  I will be using them again in the 2015 Iron Butt Rally.

July 19, 2014 -- 75,545 Odometer Miles

Rear - 14,778 Miles
Front - 14,778 Miles
Just returned from doing the Earth to Moon BunBurner Gold ride.  At the start of the ride I had a little over 11,500 miles on the current set of tires. I wanted to see how they would hold up under BBG riding conditions.  I have a new set in the garage ready to be mounted when the bike goes in for service next week.  Also, I'm replacing the stock ESA shocks absorbers and springs with a set of Wilber's.  It will require me to send the shock assembly out to California so WilbersAmerica can take out the stock BMW Showa absorbers and springs and install the Wilber's with new springs matched to riding weight. Watch Ted Porterdo the Wilber ESA Conversion procedure.  The cost difference between front and rear BMW stock replacement ($4,037 p/l) and Wilber ESA conversion ($1,349 plus shipping) is astounding.  I'm hoping a new set of shocks will have a positive effect on the wear pattern of the front tire, as it was getting a little "knobby" feeling.  As for the rear, well, at almost 15,000 miles I couldn't be happier with the results given how hard I ride.  Almost all of the mileage on this set has been on paved roads of all types.  If you have any questions, feel free to make a comment.  

March 6, 2014 -- 60,767 Odometer Miles

Rear - 11,780 Miles
Front - 11,780 Miles
Yesterday I had a 60,000 mile service at Lone Star BMW.  Today, I had a set of Anakee 3 tires mounted on the GSA.  I replaced the tires earlier than I would have normally.  The current set had only  11,780 miles on them.  But, I'm getting ready to put about 6,000 miles on the bike before the 24th of this month.  I'm riding to Jacksonville FL to attend the annual IBA Dinner meeting then back home.  Then I have to attend a professional development conference put on by Harley-Davidson's Riding Academy, in Las Vegas NV.  As you can see by the pictures below they still had a couple thousand miles left on them.

 August 13, 2013 -- 48,987 Odometer Miles

Had a set of Anakee 3s mounted today.  I have decided to replace front tire every time with a new rear tire from now on.  By the time the rear tire needs replacing the front tire still has lots of miles left on it but the wear pattern is starting to become irregular.  This makes keeping the front tire through another cycle of rear tire problematic.  So, two new tires every time from now on.

I fitted each wheel with a different tire pressure mounting system.  Gone are the TireWatch internal sensors that caused me so much trouble.  They didn't work while I was on the IBR.  I purchased as set of TireGard TPMS.  The sensors mount on the valve stems on the outside of the wheel.  I'm using metal valve stems for added strength and stability.  As it turned out the weight of the metal valve stems and the sensor brought the tire into balance eliminating the need for added balancing weights.  The sensors work good.  No issues there.

The primary function I want a TPMS system to provide me is notification of a sudden drop in tire pressure.  I want a visual alert dramatic enough to get my attention so I can get the bike stopped before I compromise the integrity of the tire.

I am not impressed with the TPMS monitor though.  It is a small devices which looks like it should be attached to ones key chain instead of mounting on a motorcycle.  The low pressure "audible" alarm is impossible to hear when the motorcycle is moving while wearing a full face helmet.  The "vibration" indicator is undetectable if the unit is mounted to the motorcycle.  The "visible" flashing indicator is tiny and difficult to see when starring directly at it and undetectable in ones peripheral vision.  The unit back light does come on when the tire pressure is low but unless it's night, that also is undetectable.  AND, it these none motorcycle friendly attributes weren't enough.....the monitor unit IS NOT WATERPROOF!  But, it's better than nothing.  I'll have to get some experience using the TireGard system.

July 4, 2013 -- End of Leg 1, 2013 Iron Butt Rally

I was so looking forward to riding the Anakee 3s for the entire rally. But it wasn't to be.  During Leg 1, coming out of New York City, on the NJ Turnpike, around 10pm, somewhere, the rear tire got punctured.  With the traffic noise, especially the big truck next to me, and the irregular surface of highway I didn't catch that I had a rear tire problem.  The Anakee 3s have such a stiff sidewall that at 70 MPH I didn't feel the customary shimmy in the rear end that a flat tire usually gives. Oh, what about the tire pressure monitor system?  Hadn't worked since I left home.

At any rate, I got the bike out of the flow of traffic.  Quickly found the puncture sans object.  Plugged it up with a gummy-worm and was on my way.  I was due to start an 8 hour rest bonus so I rode the bike to the eastern end of the PA turnpike and got a room. The next morning I checked the tire pressure, added a couple of pounds and headed down the turnpike to collect the string of bonuses along the way back in time for the 8pm check point just north of Pittsburgh. The rear tire was not right. I must have ridden it too long without enough pressure before getting it plugged up.  It was compromised, out of round and getting worse.  I know I would have to replace it anyway but now I was anxious it would last me back to the check point.  It was Independence Day and nothing was available until after 9:30am Friday morning.  Going over my options to get back on the road for Leg 2, starting at 6am Friday, I was  thinking I would have ride the bike to the BMW dealer a few miles away from the check point and spend the couple of hours to get a new rear tire.
I had just scored the last bonus along the PA turnpike when "POW"....the rear tire blows!  Kevin Lechner was just passing me and he must have heard the tire blow because he pulled over into an opening after the shoulder barriers.  Again, the stiff side walls of the Anakee 3 made getting the motorcycle stopped safely easy work.  I pushed the bike to the open, put it up on the center stand and checked out the rear tire.  Yup, it blew out.  Kevin offered to stay and help but I suggested he head for the check point.  It was just a little after 4pm and I had plenty of time before the 8pm mandatory check point time.  I was 18 miles from the hotel.

Settle down, it'll all be clear
Don't pay no mind to the demons
They fill you with fear
The trouble it might drag you down
If you get lost, you can always be found

Just know you’re not alone
Cause you can always call Lisa's phone

I called the Rally Master, Lisa Landry, and informed her of my troubles.  She did her magic cause inside of 10 minutes I got a call from some guy wanting my location grid coordinates.  He was bringing me a wheel off of his buddies GSA to get me back to the hotel.  It seems Jeffrey Smith and Scott Aucr, from MI, where hanging out in the parking lot at the hotel taking in all the sights when Tobie Stevens, maybe, I'm not sure, approached them about a rider needing help.  Within the hour I was back on the road heading to the check point.  My spirits began to soar as I could see my way back in the game.  I still faced a significant delay starting Leg 2.  Getting a new rear tire would add about 5 hours to my start if everything went right.

Pulling into the hotel parking lot I see Roger Sinclair waving me down and motioning for me to ride over to the back end of the parking lot.  Roger Sinclair, 4th place 2011 IBR finisher, is one of those mechanical geniuses who instantly see the mechanical solution.  And, Roger is one of the nicest guys you would ever want to know.  But, anyways, he motions for me to park under the EZup where I figure they want to swap out my wheel for the borrowed one I had on the bike.  I dismount, put the GSA up on the center stand and moved to get my tools out to remove the borrowed wheel.  I could hardly get around to the pannier to get them when Roger's buddy, George Uber Alles was removing my wheel.  Just then Roger asked if I had a tire.  I told him no and of my plan to get one from the local BMW dealer in the morning after the start of Leg 3. "Nonsense!", he says as he points to a pile of new tires near George's truck.  "Would a Metzler Tourance be ok?" he asks me.  I instantly gave him my best bear hug as I almost broke into tears.

Inside  of 20 minutes I had a new tire mounted on the my wheel, balanced and back on the bike.  I chatted with Jeffrey and Scott about how fortunate I was that they had rode down from MI to be at the check point for the end of Leg 1.  I thanked them both profusely.  Got their names and addresses so I could buy each of them a subscription to Iron Butt Magazine.   George jotted down the cost of the tire on one of his cards for me.   I had my friends at PayPal send him significantly more money than he was asking for the new tire, as soon as I got back home.

Wow!  I was overwhelmed with gratitude at how my misfortune with a common road hazard had turned into such a positive experience for me.  During Leg 2 I moved up in the standing from 63rd to 30th place. This was only possible because of generosity, sense of urgency and willingness to help a rider, I experience from the LD community.

I publicly and personally thank Lisa Landry, Rally Master, the army of volunteers who got the recovery ball rolling, IBR spectators Jeffery Smith and Scott Aucr who supplied the GSA wheel and brought it to me as I was stranded on the road.  Special thanks to Roger Sinclair and George Uber Alles who took time off from their day jobs to be at the IBR hotel, with all their tools, equipment and spare parts, just in case some stranded IBR rider need them. I am very grateful.  Well done, Comrades!

June 20, 2013 -  35,302 Odometer Miles

Had a new set of Anakee 3s mounted today.  These are the tires I will be using in the Iron Butt Rally.  I will ride the 1,447 miles from my home near Wimberley, TX to Pittsburgh, PA, with an over night stop in Memphis, TN.  I expect to ride about 11,000 to 12,000 miles in the IBR.  So baring any road hazards along the way the Anakees should hold up for the entire rally.  I got 14,000 miles riding from home, the 2011 IBR, and back home on Anakee 2s.  If I experience a road hazard or excessive wear for some unanticipated reason, I'll just pay the price of a tire change on the clock.  Decisions...decisions....it comes with the ride.  At any rate, I'll post what the tires look like after the IBR is completed, 12 July.  

May 25, 2013 -- 35,055 Odometer Miles

Front Tire -- 22,955 miles
After completing an in-state 10/10ths IBA certification ride I now have  22,955 miles on the front Anakee 3 I mounted at 12,100.  As you can see from the high resolution picture there is some irregular ware but not as much as I experienced on the Anakee 2 at around the same point.  There is still lots of tread available for safe riding.  The Anakee 3s are noisy but not as much as the Anakee 2s.  The rear tire has a little over 10,000 miles on it and still has lots of life left.  During the 10/10ths I road over every kind of road and highway available in Texas.  Including lots of rough chipset roads in west Texas not well traveled by the public. 
Rear Tire -- 10,554 miles
The goal of this experiment was to give me confidence I could use the Anakee 3s during the Iron Butt Rally without having to replace the rear tire during the rally.  As of this writing I am confident, absent road hazard damage, I can leave home with a new set, travel to Pittsburgh, and ride the IBR without worrying about a tire change. I got real good mileage out of the Anakee 2 "V" during the 2011 Iron Butt Rally with over 14,000 miles on the rear tire.  So, riding on a set of Anakee 3's works for me.

April 26, 2013 -- 24,579 Odometer Miles 

As of this date I have put 12,479 (24,579 - 12,100) miles on the Anakee 3s.  And, I am very happy with the performance and handling.  I've ridden several times in wet conditions, including during the Cape Fear Rally, and the handling has been great. 

As you can see from the high resolution pictures below there is still plenty of tread and good water channeling grooves throughout the contact patch.  I measured 4/32 (3 mm) on the rear tire in the center at one of the lowest channels I could find.  Judging by the profile of the tire there is not much flatting of the contact patch area.  I would not hesitate to put a couple thousand more miles on the rear tire.  The front tire shows just a little wear as you might expect.  The uneven wear pattern characteristic of the Anakee 2 front tire is not much of an issue on the Anakee 3.  I'm getting ready to do a 10,000 miles in 10 day training ride next week so I'll replace the rear but leave the front on the bike.  I'll post a couple of pictures of the front when I get finished with the ride.   

March 23, 2013 --  19,360 Odometer Miles

I'm back home after a the going to Jacksonville FL for the IBA annual dinner and doing the 100ccc (plan) coast to coast to coast challenge ride.  I really like the Anakee IIIs.  Handling is great and the new tread design seems less noisy and smoother than the Anakee IIs.  Cornering, dry or wet, is rock solid.  And, I did notice better handling in the couple of times I went off pavement into the loose stuff.

After riding in the 100ccc (report) I want to document the wear on the tires.  I rode the 100ccc in full rally trim (weight) to duplicate the stresses on the tires I might encounter while in the IBR.  I have the tire pressure set at 38/44 PSI front/rear and endeavoured to maintain this pressure for the most part.  So, after 7,260 miles (19,360-12,100) this is what the tread on the rear look like.  I measured 6/32 (4.5mm) at the center of the tread. On the front tire there is hardly any noticeable wear.

I'll continue to document the performance of these tires here so check back from time to time.  I plan on riding the current set in the Cape Fear 1K the middle of April.  I'm hoping to put another 7,000 to 8,000 miles on them before the 10/10th I'm planning to ride in May.  Need a fresh set for that training event.  The event will be on a mix of Interstate highways and secondary roads. So, it will be a good workout for them and a closer match to the various pavement surfaces and speeds I'll encounter in the IBR in July.

March 6, 2013 -- 12,100 Odometer Miles

Today I had mounted Michelin Anakee III "V" front and rear tires on the BMW R1200GS Adventure.

I got real good mileage out of the Anakee II "V" during the 2011 Iron Butt Rally with over 14,000 miles on the rear tire.  So, trying a set of Anakee III's seems a no-brainer.

I'm riding to the Iron Butt Association annual dinner in Jacksonville FL the weekend of 15 March.  On Sunday, March 17, I'll depart Jacksonville FL for San Diego CA and back to Jacksonville, FL all in under 100 hours.  This will be a good test of how the tires wear on the Interstates.  All totaled it will be about 7,000 miles back home.  I'll post a video below of the tire wear when I get back around the 22nd.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Iron Butt Rally - 2015

Iron Butt AssociationThe Iron Butt Rally begins at 10:00 am Monday, June 29, 2015.  Some 100 of the world's top long-distance motorcyclists will put their skills, knowledge and abilities to the test over 11 days and 11,000+ miles in what is rightfully billed as the "World's Toughest Motorcycle Rally." 

Check out the 2015 Iron Butt Rally official page for daily accounts and updates.  The strict IBR rules prohibit blogging during the Rally, so check the official page for the latest goings on.

The Rally is divided into "legs" each for a predetermined number of hours.  While on the clock, riders navigate to optional bonus locations to collect points by documenting their arrival date/time/odometer and usually take a photo of a specified object with their Rally Flag in the picture.  Riders must arrive at the checkpoint within two hours of the end of the leg or be penalized for being late.  Each leg is scored before the next leg begins with riders receiving points for such things as verified bonus location visits, calling in at a specified time and documented resting times. 

I am riding in the IBR for the third time.  My goal is to arrive at the finish checkpoint on time, in one piece and with enough points to be a Gold Medal Finisher.  I will strive to beat my personal best 16th place position in the 2013 IBR.  See 2015 IBR Goals and Objectives.

The ultimate challenge of the IBR is to finish safely.  To do that I must apply my skills, knowledge and abilities in a balanced way across several performance categories while on the clock and under grueling conditions.  See LD Riding on the Clock - An Organizing Framework 

Below are the planning metrics I will be using for each leg.   These will help me make decisions about ride pace and using resources while on the clock. 

2015 Iron Butt Rally Leg Start/End Date/Time -- Starting and Ending in Albuquerque (ABQ) NM

Leg 1:  10:00 MDT 29 Jun, ABQ NM 82 hours to end 20:00 MDT 2 Jul, ABQ NM
  • Route Selection:  0:00 planning on the clock
  • Planning Miles:  3,772 miles = 82:00 Lhrs X 46 MPH Ovg 
  • Moving Time:  55:28 = 3,772 miles / 68 MPH Mvg
  • Pit Stop Number:  10 = 3,772 / 350 FED (rounded up)
  • Pit Stop Time: 1:40 = 10 Pit stops X 0:10 per stop
  • Rest Stop Number:  3 = 82:00 / 24 hours
  • Rest Stop Time:  18:00 = 6:00 standard (day 1), 8:00 Rest Bonus (day2), 4:00 day3
  • Bonus Stop Time:  6:51 = 82:00 LgHrs - 55:28 Mvt - 1:40 PSt - 18:00 RSt
  • Bonus Stop Number:  41 = 6:51 / 0:10 per standard bonus stop
  • Slack Time:  To be calculated after route/bonus number is determined

Leg 2:  06:00 MDT 3 Jul, ABQ NM 60 hours to end in 20:00 EDT 5 Jul, Kingsport TN (EDT)
  • Route Selection:  2:00 planning on the clock
  • Planning Miles: 2,760  (at 46 Ovg)
  • Moving Time: 40:35 (at 68 Mvg)
  • Pit Stop Number:  7
  • Pit Stop Time:  1:10
  • Rest Stop Number:  2
  • Rest Stop Time:  12:00 (4:00 day 1, 8:00 RB 2 day, maybe)
  • Bonus Stop Time: 4:14
  • Bonus Locations:  25 (at 0:10 standard each)
  • Slack Time:  To be calculated after route/bonus number is determined

Leg 3:  06:00 AM 6 July, East US 100 hours to end 08:00 MDT 10 July, ABQ NM
  • Route Selection:  2:00 planning on the clock
  • Planning Miles:  4,500 (at 45.0 Ovg)
  • Moving Time:  69:13 (at 65.0 Mvg)
  • Pit Stop Number:12
  • Pit Stop Time:  2:00
  • Rest Stop Number:  4
  • Rest Stop Time:  22:00 (split among 4 days maxing the RB)
  • Bonus Stop Time:  4:46
  • Bonus Locations:  29 (at 0:10 standard each)
  • Slack Time:  To be calculated after route/bonus number is determined

After the route is selected I will use the computed route miles, computed Mvg, pit stops, planned rest time and number of selected bonus locations to determine the slack time to the checkpoint. 

Thursday, May 21, 2015

IBR Training Ride

I'm doing a shake down ride in preparation for the 2015 Iron Butt Rally that start June 30.  My IBR goals and objectives are set, the bike is ready for the test run and I plan on getting lots of good riding conditioning before I get back.  

I'm using the IBA Memorial Day Event to get in the George A. Wyman Memorial Grand Tour Gold IBA certification.  I'm planning on starting the Grand Tour Gold on Monday, Memorial Day in San Francisco.  I'm leaving home on Friday morning to ride out to Adobe, just south of Alpine, TX.  I'm delivering the Ardys Kellerman book to Voni Glaves.  Check out "The Paths of Legends" posting below for the details.

Leaving Alpine on Saturday morning I doing a hard 1,000 miles to just north of Los Angeles to get into position to arrive in San Francisco mid afternoon on Sunday.  Got lots to do there before starting the Grand Tour clock on Monday.  Your can follow along here:  Riding the Grand Tour

IBR Training objectives I will be working to accomplish during the Grand Tour are:

Riding and Risk Management:  Riding from TX to CA to NY to TX over all kinds of roads in all kinds of weather will sharpen my riding skills.  My goal is to have no "close calls", which I define as an instance of evasive maneuvers to avoid a hazard I did not see in time, or did not anticipate..

Planning and Navigation:  Point to point and route navigation using concurrent GPS displays, zumo 665 and 590.  The zumo 590 is relatively new to me and I have not used in to navigate a rally so this will be a good exercise.  Loaded all 5 Legs for the Grand Tour. 

Bonus Stop:  Practice Spot-Doc-Pic-Get routine to gain consistency.  I plan on more that 145 bonus location stops while doing the Grand Tour Gold.
  • Spot - send OK message to mark the location. 
  • Doc - Review the bonus listing for the requirements. 
  • Pic - Take the correct picture of pick out the item designated by the bonus location instructions. 
  • Get - Review the bonus location 1 more time before "Getting" the next bonus location up in the book and on the GPS, then Get on the road. 
Resource and Rest Management:  I have changed my down-load and up-load routine at motels while doing rest stops.  This ride will be a field validation of the new routine.

Validate LBE:  I have reduced the number of items I carried in previous IBRs and this will be validation of load bearing equipment and that reduction. 

Hydration and Nutrition:  My hydration system has not changed but I have changed to a whole foods plan based diet since the last IBR.  I'm been quite successful adapting to the new nutrition regime while on the road. On this trip I am replace the highly process junk food with no2low processed food with freeze-dried fruit, and veggies. 

Farkles:  I have cleaned up the GPS and Spot mounting arrangement with a "Farkle Bar".  I have also added Garmin SmartLink for smartphone and GPS data linking.  I'm looking to see how this new technology can be employed to enhance information management while on the clock.

Mechanical:  I'm looking for problem areas on the bike and all equipment to identify any weaknesses or potential issues that might show up on the IBR.

When I return home I will have three weeks of down time before deploying to ABQ for the start of the World's Toughest Motorcycle Rally! 

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

The Paths of Legends

The number of riders actively engaging in the sport of long-distance motorcycling is incredibly small when compared to the millions of motorcyclists around the world.  At the top of the sport is an even smaller group of passionate riders who have ridden in and finished the Iron Butt Rally, "World's Toughest Motorcycle Rally." As recently as 2013 more individuals have gone into space than have finished the Iron Butt Rally.

One of those at the top of any list of long-distance "Legends" was Ardys Kellerman.  A four time finisher of the Iron Butt Rally, Ardys was also famous and loved among the long-distance riding community and with members of the BMW Motorcycle Owners of North America club.  In 2011, "Queenie" to her friends, was one of only two woman motorcyclists to have ridden over 1,000,000 documented miles.  She was 79 years young. 

I had the pleasure of crossing paths with her several times.  She and I, both Texans, traded at Lone Star BMW in Austin.  It was amazing chatting with this kind Lady about her hard riding adventures.  She and Robert Krull, one of the owners of Lone Star, were lifelong friends.  So much so, that when she passed away in 2013 her family asked Robert to take possession of her motorcycle memorabilia.  He attended her Memorial Service.

Last week I was at Lone Star getting a 100,000 mile service and a new driveshaft for my GS Adventure.  Sitting in the customer lounge I picked up  (for the second time, but that's another story) one of the many books laying around with the magazines and such.  It was a book every long-distance rider has probably read;  "Against the Clock", by Ron Ayres, the story of his amazing motorcycle ride to all 49 states in north America....in 7 days!  Ron is also documented as having ridding a motorcycle over 1,000,000 and is a two time finisher of the Iron Butt Rally.  I was tickled to sit next to Ron at the "IBA Legend" luncheon during an IBA International Meeting one year.  I had read all three of his books...several times.  Sadly, I didn't have any of them with me so I couldn't get his autograph.  I asked him to sign my International Meet name plate instead.  Cool....!

Back to the book.  As I opened the cover, I noticed an inscription on the title page.  It read....

You were always
someone I knew I could
count on for help.  Thanks
 again for being in Oklahoma
 in the middle of the night -
Ron Ayres
September 7, 1999
I immediately recognized this as being something very personal, special and a sentimental treasure between two Legends of the sport.  Not something that should be laying around in the customer lounge of a motorcycle dealership.  I called Robert Krull, who recently sold the business to the local motorcycle superstore.  He still owned all the furniture, fixtures and decorations, of which the book was among.  He had acquired the book as part of Queenie's personal affects and somehow it got tossed to the dealership reading basket. I asked him if I could buy the book or replace it with my copy.    Robert told me to just take it.  I knew exactly what should be done with this artifact, this treasure, this very special book.
Voni Glaves, is the other 1,000,000+ mile Lady long-distance Legend, a Bronze Medal finisher of the Iron Butt Rally and life long friend of Ardys Kellerman.  Both Voni and Ardys appear in Ron's book which is replete with his tributes to the long-distance personalities of the time.  Many are now Legends of the sport.  If anyone would appreciate the uniqueness of this book it would be Voni. 
So, I will ensure this book...written by a Legend ... personally autographed and presented to a Legend ... is delivered to a Legend for safe keeping.  I will take it to Voni by motorcycle of course....Ardys wouldn't want it delivered any other way.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Spring Equinox SaddleSore 1,000

This adventure is the last in a series of four 1,000 miles in less than 24 hour IBA challenge rides on each of the celestial events to qualify for the "Four Seasons SaddleSore 1,000" certification.

Full SpotWalla Maps:    BubblerGPS Pro and SPOT

Certified!  Received Iron Butt Association certification for my successful completion of the Four Seasons SaddleSore 1,000 Challenge.  I rode the final SaddleSore 1,000 on March 20, electronically filled using the IBA Premier Member Certification program on March 30 and received certification on April 7, 2015.  IBA Premier Membership...near-instant gratification. 

I completed all 4 of the Four Seasons SS1K events in Texas.  From the start in Orange, TX I rode Interstate 10 all the way to Anthony, turn around and ended in either Van Horn, Alpine or Fort Stockton.


The 2015 Spring Equinox occurs Friday, March 20th at 5:45 CDT.  And in the true spirit of the IBA Four Seasons Challenge I will be riding my motorcycle heading into El Paso.  I will post a couple of remarks before I depart and again when I get settled into my hotel at the conclusion of the ride.

Fri, 3-20:  OK, here's the ride plan:  Depart the motel and head for the Exxon station to gas up and obtain the starting DBR.  Then ride east to the Sabine Turnaround to start at the most eastern Texas exit on I-10.  It's only a couple of miles but I want to duplicated the route I took on the Texas Solstice 1,000 I did in June.  The fuel stops are San Antonio, Fort Stockton, Anthony then back to Fort Stockton to end the ride. 

Left Orange at 0430 in a dense fog.  Oh, not my head but the weather was socked in with visibility about 1/4 mile.  By the time I got to Houston around 0600 it had cleared away.  It was overcast with temperatures in the mid to high 60s all the way to west of San Antonio.  I checked the radar on my zumo 665 and saw it was wet starting near Kerrville.  So, at my first pit stop just outside of San Antonio I put on my electric gear and Gore-Tex gloves.  It was wet all the way to Van Horn then cleared up nicely with blue skies and fluffy clouds all the way to Anthony. 

I did a quick pit stop and turnaround for the last segment back to Fort Stockton for the finish.  Filled up at the new Pilot station, popped over to Burger King for a veggie burger and medium fries.  Then to the Days Inn for a hot shower and a good nights sleep after 1,137 miles for the 2015 Spring Equinox.  Met two riders from Newfoundland at the hotel, who were just tickled to sign off on my IBA witness form.  Ah.....another Hard Riding Adventure in the clipboard.

Thu, 3-19:  Departed home around noon heading to Orange to spend the night.  The SaddleSore 1,000 will be done on Friday so I'm planning on leaving early from Orange to minimize traffic delays through Houston.

The ride to Orange was dramatically uneventful....and the weather was good.  I stopped at the Taco Bell for a Cantina Bowl before heading to the Days Inn to get settled in for the night.  The desk clerk witnessed my IBA form, as he had done once before.

Monday, March 9, 2015

IBA JAX Daytona Party

I am attending the annual IBA Daytona Party in Jacksonville, FL this week.  It's towards the end of Daytona Bike Week so there are lots of bikes to see. 

Full SpotWalla Maps are:   BubblerGPS Pro and SPOT Gen3

It is always loads of fun seeing fellow Long-Distance riders and meeting new ones that come to the IBA Daytona Party for the first time.  I hope to be busy at the gathering promoting The George A. Wyman Memorial Grand Tour that was just made available on line. 

Sun, 3-15:  The ides of March....just a short ride home to Wimberley and the end to another Hard Riding Adventure.

Sat, 3.1415 Pi Day!  After enjoying the full breakfast I headed west to Texas.  The weather was good and the traffic pretty normal.  I got all the way to Orange before stopping for the night.  I stopped at the Super8, the same hotel I have been using for the IBA Four Seasons SaddleSore rides I have been doing.  One left, the Spring Equinox on Friday, March 20th.  I made a reservation for Thursday night.

Fri, 3-13:  Got up early again and waited on breakfast to open.  I set up the GAWMP Grand Tour display again, this time on an nice marble table across from where everyone would be signing in for the evening's banquet.  It would get lots of exposure and judging by how the cards and bumper stickers were disappearing, lots of interest.  Around 1000 am I was drafted to help scoring the Full Court SaddleSore 1,000.  That entailed examining the riders ending dated business receipt and verifying each of their required pictures were in order. 

About 3pm the IBA Daytona Party sponsors had a couple of kegs of beer in the Comedy Zone room.  After we were all loosed up with the adult beverages Mike Kneebone made the ride presentations to all the successful finishers of the Full Court SS and BBG rides.  All except one that is.  At the official IBA Daytona Party banquet Mike would present Greg Rice his completion certificate for the Full Press Bun Burner Gold, 1,500 miles in less that 24 hours.  This was Greg's 30th BBG....establishing a new Iron Butt Association record.  Now, what was something to drink about.....not that any of us really needed an excuse.  

Thu, 3-12:  I got up early to see off the riders for the Full Court 1,000 and 1,500 miles in 24 hours ride.  The official start time was 0555 and about 75 riders head out on the prescribed route.  The wouldn't be returning until about midnight.  Everyone had to be back to the hotel by 0555 on Friday morning.

I set up the GAW Memorial Grand Tour display with the blessing of Lisa Landry, the IBA Daytona Party event master.  She was very gracious and accommodating, providing us a table use all day. 

Wed, 3-11:  It was foggy when I left the motel in Pensacola.  I wanted to arrive in Jacksonville about noon so I was on the road at 0630.  I-10 was pretty much empty eastbound.  After the sun came up the fog started to lift and was completely gone by the time I was east of Tallahassee.  I did a quick stop to gas up and have a cup of coffee.  Smooth riding all the way into Jacksonville and I arrive at the hotel a little after 1235.   Arrived alive.....!

Met up with Dr. H to discuss getting the George A. Wyman Memorial 50cc Gold and Grand Tour rides certified by the Iron Butt Association.  He was meeting with Mike Kneebone, President of the IBA on an assortment of IBA items, one of which was the finalization of our Project proposal.  I would hang out with comrades while Dr H. met with the Grand Master of the LD world.  The good news came in a sms text msg at 1804....All Approved!  I celebrated with a couple of other LD guys by going out to dinner at the local Italian eatery....then back to the hotel for some beers.

Tue, 3-10:  Departed for JAX just after sunrise.  The weather looks a little unsettled as a big rain system moved through Texas heading east on Monday.  I'll post an update on the ride when I stop for the night somewhere in Florida.  I want to arrive in Jacksonville, at the IBA Daytona Party Ramada on Hartley, late morning or around noon on Wednesday.

It was cloudy all day but I didn't reach wet conditions until Lake Charles, LA.  Just sprinkles but it made the highway wet.  The spray from other vehicles on the road was wetter than the sprinkles.  By the time I got east of Mobile, AL, the rain had stopped.  I stopped east of Pensacola FL for the night at around 8pm.