Oct 23, 2009


got e-mail saying a couple people were riding to daytona. if i was interested, it could be turned into an iron butt ride. i was, so it was… and i completed my first saddlesore 1000 (one thousand miles in twenty four hours) this past weekend.

once a couple more e-mails were sent around, it ended up with three of us going. we had two routes picked out, a northern loop and a southern straight shot. because of predicted snow along the northern route, the night before the ride, we decided to take the southern route. we’ll save the northern route for another time.

saturday morning came, early!! i officially started my trip at sheetz at 4:53am. it was cold morning and i was glad we were heading south. at sheetz, i got my witness form signed and my start receipt. i headed to benson, nc, my first stop and meeting point for the other two riders.

i get to benson, top off my tank and wait for the other riders. i’m glad to get off the bike, move around and warm up a little. after about five minutes, the other riders show up. without wasting time, they top off and we’re off to the next stop.

the plan is to start looking for stations at one hundred fifty miles, stopping before one-eighty. i’m usually good for about one hundred ninety miles. i’ve gone over two-hundred, but was really nervous. i’m good with going one hundred eighty and stopping for gas.

because we were running at slightly higher speeds that i normally drive, my mileage wasn’t quite what i expected. we were at about one hundred fifty miles and i *needed* gas.  that put us in manning, sc for our second stop. i ended up putting a little over five gallons of gas into my advertised five-gallon tank. the new rule is stopping for gas every one-fifty.

stops were long enough to top off the tanks, relieve ourselves and get back on the road. no time wasted. stopped time can really eat into overall time.

with one more stop in midway, ga, we made it to our turn around point in st. augustine, fl around 12:30pm. we were making good time and i was feeling good about the ride. other than a tiny bit of rain on the way down, and being a little cooler than i was expecting, the ride had been great.

after topping off, we talked about lunch. we’re good on time and it’d probably be a good idea to get off the bikes for a short time. without much argument, it was decided to stop at waffle house. we top off our bellies and head back home.

just after entering georgia, we hit stop-n-go traffic. not looking good. one of the guys starts darting in and out of traffic to get ahead. i do my best to keep up. after a few miles, the traffic lets up and we hit the speeds we need. i’m able to catch up to the leader, but no sign of the third rider. all this at about the time i need gas. i indicate i’m pulling over at the next exit. not sure what’s going to happen from here.

at the next stop, i top off, get my receipt and am documenting the stop when another rider pulls up. no sign of the third rider. he waited at the exit long enough to see riders we had passed earlier. surely the third rider was already past them. we try to reach him on his phone and decide to push ahead.

as we’re driving, i’m scanning ahead and behind, seeing if i can find him. no luck… until right before our next stop. he’s on the side of the road, accompanied by a local police officer. oops… our timing must have been perfect because as we pull off the exit, he’s right there with us.

talking to a local at the gas stop, the local police apparently patrol a short section of 95 north. they do their best to get as many people as they can. ticketed him for doing seventy-nine in a seventy. lesson learned…

our next stop is in benson, where we met in the morning. we top off and say our goodbyes. we’ll ride together for a bit and then split off, heading to our final stop.

my last stop is at sheetz, where i started. i rolled in there around 9:20pm. got my final receipt, witness form signed and headed home.

i ended up riding over 1000 miles in about seventeen  and a half hours. according my my odometer, it was 1049 miles. according to the gps, it was 1031 miles. the trip was actually a lot easier than i expected. i didn’t get tired like i expected and my butt didn’t start to hurt, as i expected.

my wife asked, dreading the answer, “what’s next??” i don’t know what’s next. but i do know there will be more…

check out the 2009 ride map to see the route - this one in green ...