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Old 10-15-2018, 09:39 PM   #1
Texas T
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Intros

Hi everyone! I've been interested in Long Distance riding ever since I met my first IBR rider outside my Best Buy store in Houston one night. He told me a little bit about the IBA and I was hooked at that point, and I didn't even have a bike yet.

My first bike was a new 1978 Kawasaki KZ650 that I purchased in Tucson when I was still very young and dumb. One of the first mods I did to it was to add a Vetter fairing and go riding around southern Arizona. A few months later I loaded it in the back of one of our Circuit City semis and I rode with the driver to our warehouse in Los Angeles. We unloaded it at the dock, and at about 1 in the morning I was riding it in East L.A. (I told you I was young and dumb) looking for a freeway to take me to Las Vegas.

Once I found the freeway I was on my way, but since this was Easter weekend and there was snow on the ground I was VERY much unprepared for the weather and I was FREEZING. Somewhere around Barstow (with snow on the ground) I found a motel and tucked myself in for a few hours of warmth.

The next morning I awoke and headed on in to Vegas, spending the day and night there. The following morning I headed back home to Tucson. After crossing into Arizona there was a long flat stretch of Hwy 93 and after sailing along at 105 mph for a few miles I glanced down and noticed my oil light was on! Clutch in, engine off, and I coasted to a stop on the side of the highway. I checked the oil level and it was fine, yet the oil light persisted. I started the bike, and began riding slowly along the highway, then faster and faster. No funny noises, no increase in engine temps, so I crossed my fingers and headed for home.

I made it without a problem and when I got it to the shop it turned out to just be a bad ground that caused the oil light to illuminate.

It was only 700 miles, and it was done over the period of 2 days, but it was the spark that lit my desire to pound out the miles.
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Last edited by Texas T; 10-15-2018 at 09:40 PM.
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Old 10-16-2018, 11:31 AM   #2
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Re: Intros

Hello, I got started due to the Tour of Honor that Texas T brought up earlier this year. Since then I have visited memorials in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana. Next year I will add a few more states to the list.
Completed my first Saddle Sore 1000 completely in the great state of Texas. Planning on the Bun Burner 1500 but can't make up my mind on which route.
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Old 10-16-2018, 03:03 PM   #3
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Re: Intros

My longest ride was two years ago in late July. Left Zephyr at three a.m. and made it to Gunnison by five thirty Mountain Time. Something like 883 miles. My bottom was sore the last five hundred miles. I was in serious trouble as the sun was rising. Woke up several times while riding. Fortunately, a roadside table showed up and I slept on that for fifteen minutes. That refreshed me. No more sleep problems that day. I had a couple of sandwiches for quick meals and of plenty of water.

I've problems with legs and knees asking for relief after several hundred miles. I'll be lurking, looking for ways to ride more comfortably and enjoying it.
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Old 10-16-2018, 08:29 PM   #4
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Re: Intros

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zephyr View Post
Woke up several times while riding. Fortunately, a roadside table showed up and I slept on that for fifteen minutes. That refreshed me. No more sleep problems that day.
They are called "microsleeps" and as soon as you realize you had one it's time to get off the road. The "Iron Butt Motel" is any place you can find to lay your head down and snooze. 20-40 minutes is what I need and then I'm good to go for many more hours. I find the bike too uncomfortable to sleep on, grass is great as long as it's not wet and full of ants, but picnic tables at rest areas are my normal "go to".


Quote:
I've problems with legs and knees asking for relief after several hundred miles. I'll be lurking, looking for ways to ride more comfortably and enjoying it.
I would suggest Glucosamine. Until I got comfortable with LD riding my knees would hurt like the dickens but this helped considerably. You need to be taking it for days prior to the ride.
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Old 10-17-2018, 03:58 AM   #5
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Re: Intros

Hi there guys!

I'm not an IBA type of guy... but I'm no stranger to long distance riding, and I actually did get my "official" IBA number back in 2014's "Big as Texas" memorial tour.



My first "Iron Butt" ride was when I was in college, and I rode my GL500 Honda Silverwing (back before they were scooters), from Lubbock TX to Grand Rapids MI non-stop, to visit my parents over spring break. It was quite an experience, and I had nothing but cheap helmet, a jean jacket and some gloves for my "comfort" gear. It was only my flexible 19 year old body that helped me survive that one.

I'm now riding a Wing for LD rides. Usually with Dave (2WheelNut) here on the forums. 800-1000 mile days are something we've done quite often... but then again, I'm riding on a Goldwing with full wind protection, heated seats & grips, adjustable suspension & windshield, cruise control, full Nav, a CB, internet radio, an "Ultimate" King seat, LD Comfort undergear, a Shoei Neotec helmet, and great external riding gear.

Sooooo... maybe that's cheating? I don't know... but it helps me feel like I can complete the trips just like that 19 year old version of me did many years ago.

I don't ride LD trips for the sake of riding LD trips. Some of those guys are crazy... Riding 500 miles of slab, just to turn around and ride 500 miles back the other way just to say they "did it". My trips are usually purposeful with a goal in mind... or because Dave & I realized that we had to be home in 3 days after we spent a week getting to Seattle for a cup of coffee, and we still wanted to visit the Redwoods, Yosemite NP, and the Sequoias.

For example... this Thursday I'm riding from DFW to Chattanooga in one day... then catching a 4:30pm flight home. I'm staging my bike there for later in the week when I will fly back out there and meet up with 2WheelNut & friends as we head on into Gatlinburg and begin a week of riding in the Smokies with other friends and family.

Looking forward to other crazy stories as well.
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Last edited by GLFlyer; 10-17-2018 at 04:25 AM.
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Old 10-17-2018, 08:51 AM   #6
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Re: Intros

A buddy of mine and I worked together in Kilgore, Tx for Gulf Oil. We were both in the market for new bikes, and we wound up buying the Longview dealer's two remaining Honda V-45 Magnas a day apart from each other. Within a month we had plans for Colorado.

There was a small ad in a motorcycle magazine for the 1,000-in-1 club, so we went ahead and registered - why not kill two birds with one stone?

Well equipped with the finest Army-Navy store flight jackets and rain slickers, work gloves and Bell Star helmets we set off after work on a Friday, and 23 hours later arrived in Colorado Springs with our 1,000 miles documented with receipts and notarized start / finish times.

It was an epic week in the mountains on our new bikes, and when it came time to return Saturday afternoon we made it back to Longview within the 24 hour mark, this time unofficially because we just had to get home and get cleaned up before work.

The 1000-in-1 club sent us a sticker and a patch, and that was the last I ever heard about that deal. Did a lot of high mile sprints since then, but none recently. I've been thinking about the next bike though, and I think an R1200GS might be a great time machine for the road!
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Old 10-17-2018, 12:19 PM   #7
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Re: Intros

As Bob (GLFlyer) already mentioned, we've done a few long rides.

Our longest was Thermopolis, Wy to Arlington, Tx. It was just over 1200 miles that day. I was also with Bob and a few others when we did the Big as Texas ride and got my Iron Butt number, certificate and license plate.

Most of our long rides are getting to and from a riding area and done to maximize time at the riding area itself. We typically fly our wives to someplace than then ride 800 to 1200 mile days to get to where they are and then spend a week with them doing 200-300 miles a day and then we'll Iron Butt it back home.

I've got a few friends on the Goldwing forum that are true distance riders. They'll tell you they have a "defective gene" that makes them want to ride further and longer. Back to back to back 1500 mile days or coast to coast in under 50 hours is the kind of stuff they like to do. I've thought about trying for a 1500 in 24 or a 2000 in 48 ride just to see if I would enjoy it but I've just never really "wanted" to do it so I suspect that I'd be missing the point.

We are all different. I truly admire their passion for distance, but my passion is really more about twisty roads. For me, distance riding is a means to an end rather than the purpose itself.

Having said that....I do tend to plan riding days that are far longer than my riding buddies prefer. A perfect riding day for me is about 200-250 miles before lunch and another 200-250 after lunch with all of them being twisty roads in a nice riding area. That means 8 to 10 hours in the saddle and seems to be a bit more than most people like. I've been known to do a ride like that in Arkansas and finish the day by riding back home giving me 900 or so miles in a day. I don't consider that distance riding....but to some....I guess it is.

PS.... I once put 750 miles on my KTM Super Duke GT in a day. That was WAY harder than the 1200 miles on the Goldwing in a day. The Goldwing really is cheating a bit...
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Old 10-17-2018, 12:53 PM   #8
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Re: Intros

Years ago when I first got into riding and started planning trips, I tended to make each day at least 500 miles. I was just trying to see everything and run all the good roads. It did not take me long to figure out that my riding companions did not share my enthusiasm. They wanted a more leisurely pace so they could enjoy the sights, stop frequently to take pictures, and arrive at the hotel before 9:00pm when all the restaurants in many places were already closing. As I shifted into planning group tours, rallies, and large group rides, I eventually settled on around 300 miles as a decent day, assuming we could run an average of 50mph (including stops). For places like North Carolina and Arkansas where the roads are a bit twisty, I might drop that down to 200-250 miles for a day. If it was dirt, it could get down to 150-250 miles per day.

The only exception to those limits was the East Texas Butt Burner rides I used to host back before we started having kids in the mid 2000s. They started and ended in Huntsville and ventured out into East Texas. They were usually 400-450 miles, but most riders came up from Houston, so they were tacking on another 50-90 miles on each end of the rides. I've done some 750+ mile days, but I've never really felt the urge to push on just to get the IB certificate

One thing that REALLY makes a big difference with regard to comfort is how frequently you do the big long rides. Back when I was riding around 25K miles per year and doing a lot of those 400-500 mile days, they were no big deal. Now that I ride MUCH less, doing one of those rides out of the blue is not so much fun. My body and muscles are not used to doing it. When I knew I was going to be doing a really long ride, if I could, I would start doing rides before it in an attempt to build back up to being used to it again. That makes a big difference! IF you think you are going to go from a "long" average ride of a few hundred miles straight to a 1000+ mile ride in one day without any problems, I think you are deluding yourself
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Old 10-17-2018, 03:05 PM   #9
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Re: Intros

I'm reading quite the LD resumes here.
Despite some desire for adventure that has since waned some and having a very capable LD bike, my longest single day was 700miles. From home to Hutchinson KS. When you plug it into a map, it's less than 700 but I had two false starts that morning.
I probably could have done a 1k back then but I wouldn't try it now without working my way up to it. I haven't done anything but local rides for a few years now.

Still enjoying living vicariously through other's LD adventures and reading about them here.
Stay safe.
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Old 10-17-2018, 06:36 PM   #10
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Re: Intros

It may be true that my interest in LDR predates my interest in motorcycling. I have an ultrarunning background and see parallels in the sports including the planning and preparation involved, and the need to “live in the moment” and focus on the task at hand.

Attempting a Saddlesore 1000 was on my mind for a few years before my successful attempt on my Street Triple R. Since then, on my FJ-09, I have competed in 33 and 36 hour rallies and done multiple 1000+ mile tours including a round trip from N. TX to Astoria, OR (the time was a birthday present from my wife).

I love LDR and look forward to doing more as work and family life permit. The camaraderie and supportive atmosphere are great. I’m planning to do another rally during 2019.
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Old 10-18-2018, 09:48 PM   #11
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Re: Intros

These comments really strike a chord with me, because we don't go out and recruit people to do this sort of riding. We don't hide ourselves either, but it's sort of like the Masons. If you want to become one, ask one.

LD riding is very much in that same mindset; if you want to learn we are more than willing to take you on the journey. I have personally sponsored two new IBA members on their initial SaddleSore ride, meaning that I rode with them for the entire trip.

Lots of folks "don't get it" and we completely understand that. We're not going to argue with you that this is "the way" you should ride. In contrast, we're more along the lines of "are you sure you really want to do this?"

I'm really pleased to see all the positive comments so far. Please keep it coming.
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Old 10-18-2018, 10:38 PM   #12
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Re: Intros

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Originally Posted by Scott E. View Post
I have competed in 33 and 36 hour rallies and done multiple 1000+ mile tours

I love LDR and look forward to doing more as work and family life permit. The camaraderie and supportive atmosphere are great. I’m planning to do another rally during 2019.
Scott, thanks for reminding me about Rallies... I left that out of the original post but have since edited it.

Heart Of Texas and Ride Around Texas are two fairly well known rallies here in Tejas.
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