Monday, August 09, 2004

Tales From the Trip: Saddle Sore 1000

What can I tell you about a trip like this? 1000 miles in 24 hours doesn't sound as hard as it is. Every seems to think they either have done it, or could easily do it. In fact, very few can, and even fewer have.

To prove they could do it, people will talk about some trip they made where they woke up at 5:00am and rode 750 miles before they went to bed the next night.

That's all good and well, but what they are forgetting is that they went to bed to tired to ride any further, and it was probably midnight. So great job buddy... now go to sleep for a couple hours, get up, and try to ride another 250 miles in 180 minutes.

Every trip like this is gonna give you a gut check at least once along the way. We had several though. In Arkansas, the bugs were so thick we were stopping every 20 minutes or so to clean our shields. Then, worn out and almost ready for bed, just past Little Rock we hit construction. It was hot, the bikes were heavy, and we were sitting behind a semi belching stink into our face. We pushed on to exit 115 or so, and crashed at the Comfort Inn.

The next big gut check came the next morning in Oklahoma. We were kicking ass. I mean, we were in the process of stomping across Oklahoma in a little over 4 hours. About the 45 mile marker I saw a long straight stretch and decided to check out. I opened her up and let my girl stretch her legs. After a few miles I backed her down and let Jim catch up. I'm just rollin' along at steady Iron Butt pace when I see him fly up beside me. He's pointing at the hind end of my bike. What the hell is he pissin' and moanin' about now? I reach back to check and make sure my saddle bags are closed. Unfortunately... they weren't there.

We pulled over and stared at the now empty rear end of my bike. A month's worth of planning and preparations... Gone... I sat there for a second taking inventory of everything I had just lost. I had lost a pair of 100 dollar saddlebags... all my clothes... As far as I could tell at that point... I had lost everything but what I was wearing.

I over at Jim and said, "Screw it. I'll buy more."

A trucker pulled over and told us he'd seen them back up the road, so we decided to spin around and check, but we never found them. Dammit.

If all this wasn't enough, time was apparently speeding up, and the road between Vega,TX and us was growing.

We blasted through Amarillo like we were shot from a rifle. We had them cruising at 130. Even still we found ourselves 19 miles away, with 12 minutes to go. One last time we pegged them. The reciept I got at the Exxon in Vega, TX is marked with the time. 3:50cst.

We left Sunday, at 3:50cst.

There are ride reports by guys who talk about taking a week to recover from a ride like this. Jim and I layed around the hotel for a could hours, then climbed back on the bikes and rode back to Amarillo for steaks.

Our trip was just gettin' started.

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