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 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.