Saturday July 3

Provo UT – Santa Cruz CA, 837 miles ridden

My wife had an early flight home and was out before the sun rose, essentially the schedule I was keeping for the prior 11 days.  I on the other hand was now on my schedule.   Prior to the rally I had decided that I would take advantage of my being close to the west coast and head to Santa Cruz California to visit the Recycled Garage, home of the Motorcycles and Misfits podcast.  How far could it be? They are open Sundays from noon until 5pm.  After that I would point my bike east and head towards home with the intent of making it to Nashville TN by Wednesday.  There I would spend Thursday and Friday working, and then head home Saturday.  Other potential stops on my way home were the Rock Shop, Clown Motel, and the Little A´Le’ Inn.  I looked up the Rock Shop and found it was too far south from me to make on my tight timeline.  I was also surprised to see how far north I actually was.

I stopped down for breakfast and as usual most riders had left. I ate my plate of bacon with a little egg for color, said my goodbyes to those there were left, and went back to my room to plan.  Due to the distance I had to ride I was simply heading direct to Santa Cruz.  My route was simple, I-15 to I-80, head west on 80 for a long time, then south on I-680 which turns into CA17 and follow that into Santa Cruz.  The distance was 837 miles, so I’d be riding most of the day and late into the evening.

I packed up and hit the road around 10:30am.  It would have been nice to get on the road early, but I needed the sleep. My ride up I-15 was uneventful as was the ride west on I-80. As I rode, I was fascinated by the terrain as I headed west.  Large areas looked like acres of salt which wasn’t surprising considering I really wasn’t that far from Salt Lake City and the area I was crossing was called the Great Salt Lake Desert.  The heat was getting to me and I decided it was time for a break so I pulled into a convenient rest stop.  I noticed the area behind the rest stop was all white and there were vehicles driving on it however I needed to make a comfort stop.   When I was walking back to my bike I decided to check out a historical marker I had spotted when I stopped

Historical Marker – Bonneville Salt Flats

Doh!  Now what I was seeing made sense!  A group of riders came in and we chatted for a while.  They wandered back to their bikes, and I watched a vehicle come up off of the salt, so I figured why not head down.   I fired up my bike and rode down onto the salt

Bonneville Salt Flats
My bike on the Bonneville Salt Flats

How cool is that??

I needed to get back on the road as time was ticking away.  I pulled out and the ride went smooth for the next few hours.  It got cool when I started crossing the mountains, so I put on my heated jacket liner. A light rain started to fall so I had to slow down a bit. The area I was riding in would have been great had it been daylight as it was tree lined and what buildings I could see looked interesting.    Then I looked down and saw my low voltage light on.  WTF!  I killed my aux lights, but it was rather dark and hard to see without them with the overcast sky and rain, so I pulled the plug on my heated jacket liner and turned the lights back on.  After a bit I found a sweet spot with my controller where I had some heat and could keep the lights on as well.  My only thought was I had pulled too much power through my voltage regulator riding with lights and full heat during the last night of the IBR. I wasn’t too concerned as I had a spare with me. 

I pulled over and got out my phone to find a hotel in Santa Cruz.  I found two Hampton Inns in Santa Cruz, but they were about $200 a night.  Then I realized I had a lot of points, so I was able to get one night for free.  I booked my room and entered the address into my GPS.  Back on the road I continued on towards Santa Cruz.  The road turned into I-680 and then into CA17.  Again, it looked like a nice road to ride during the day.  It was two lane and somewhat twisty with some small hills, just enough to keep my speed down considering the wet roads.  I pulled into the parking lot around 1:30 am, got to my room, and collapsed.

Sunday July 4

Santa Cruz CA, 5 miles ridden

On Sunday I slept in until 9am or so.  I had hoped to do laundry, but the hotel I picked did not have laundry facilities.  I had breakfast and did some planning for the rest of the ride home.  I realized I was further from Nashville than I thought, over 2,200 miles.  That meant 700 to 800-mile days which was doable as I didn’t want to push too hard on the way home. Then I decided I really wanted to stop at the Clown Motel in Tonopah NV which added 300 miles to my trip, so I was looking at 800+ mile days.  I had the option of stopping earlier than Nashville should I need to, so I was not that worried about the distance.  I decided to simply wing it, stop when I wanted to stop, and where I ended up at midnight on Wednesday was where I’d stop.

With that I decided to get some lunch and grab some donuts for the gang at the garage.  I decided to walk down the street and see what interested me for food rather than hop on the bike and head to the closest fast-food place.  Across the street and a few doors down was a local sandwich place, Ike’s Love & Sandwiches.  I went in and looked at the menu, it was a gourmet sandwich place with most of the choices having something on them I had never heard of or didn’t find appetizing. Finally, I picked a roast beef sandwich with some form of cheese on it, and it was pretty good. On my way back to the hotel I stopped in at Ferrell’s Donuts and bought a dozen to take with me.  Boy were they good! What’s the opposite of a baker’s dozen?

Back at the hotel I grabbed my helmet, put the donuts in the top case, and headed out for the short 10-minute ride to the garage.  Along the way I decided to test my charging system by cranking on the throttle and at 70-75 mph the low voltage light came on.  I toyed with the idea of changing the regulator there as they’d have the tools I would need, saving me the effort of digging mine out. But I also just wanted to hang with everyone, so I decided to play it by ear.  When I got there introductions were made and I chatted with several of the regulars.  It turned out that it was July 4th and most of the regulars were not there including Liza who runs the garage.  She was visiting family in Utah, go figure! And because it was a holiday and so many of the regulars were unavailable there was no podcast that evening, I guess I will have to ride back out.

There was one person working on a bike under the watchful eye of Ms. Emma who is my wife’s favorite of the podcast.  She is a great tech and great teacher, letting someone make mistakes but stopping them before they became critical.  Case in point, the young man installing the rear wheel forgot a spacer and she waited until it was together before she asked, “what is that part on the ground?” pointing at a spacer sitting under the bike.  Needless to say, he won’t be making that mistake again.  I also got to meet Morgan Vetter, son of Craig Vetter.  We had an interesting chat about electric motorcycles which is his passion.  After speaking with him I actually want one even more.  They intrigue me, what can I say?  Suddenly it was 5pm and time to close up the garage, and I didn’t work on my bike.  And somehow, I didn’t take many pictures other than getting a few with Ms. Emma.

Me with Ms. Emma from the Motorcycles and Misfits podcast

In the photo the tent to the left of us is actually the garage.  Behind it sits a storage shed.  The garage is much smaller than one would expect. 

I rode back to my hotel and ordered a pizza for dinner.  While eating I thought about my route home and decided I was going to stop at the Clown Motel.  Dropping it into my route ensured I was taking a different route on the way home so I would see other stuff.  I also decided to do minimal planning and simply created a route in my GPS by going direct to the Clown Motel.  Since it was a bonus in the Iron Butt Rally it was already in my GPS.  I watched some TV, packed my stuff, and went to sleep.

Monday July 5

Santa Cruz CA – Tonopah NV, 400 miles ridden

My alarm went off and I went down for breakfast.  What a change not having a clock ticking in the back of my mind and being able to relax and eat breakfast in a hotel. Once done stuffing my face I hit the road around 9am.  My route was mostly California Routes with a few miles on US6.  I had my low voltage light come on 20-25 minutes into the ride and I pulled over in a rest stop for a few minutes to evaluate my options.  One of my concerns was crossing the desert on my way east in fairly remote areas with a questionable charging system.  I decided not to change the regulator and ride for a bit to see what happened.  Miraculously my charging system was now working.  What a head scratcher, I had to be missing something (and I was).

The route was great, all small towns with a lot of farms and farmers markets along the way.  Not a 4-lane road in sight.  Unfortunately, most of the time when I saw cool stuff there was no place to pull over to take a picture. Then I came up on San Luis Reservoir State Recreational Area.  I pulled in and took a few photos.

San Luis Reservoir State Recreational Area
San Luis Reservoir State Recreational Area

While I was there a family pulled up and asked if the park was open.  I laughed and said I had no idea as I was from Philly and was just passing through.  He laughed and said he had moved out from New York about 5 years ago and had family that lived near me.  It’s a small world sometimes.

Back on the road I continued to enjoy the sights. My aux tank ran dry, so I had to switch to my main tank. That gave me another 150 or so miles so I figured I’d keep my eye out for a gas station. I was not in a hurry to get gas as the further I went the less chance I’d need to stop again for fuel before the end of the day.   I passed a sign that said reservations were required to enter Yosemite National Park which I had no idea was on my route.  I wasn’t worried as I assumed (dangerous word!) that there’d be a way around the park.  15-20 minutes later I came around a corner and traffic had come to a stop.  We crawled along and a few minutes late I saw a sign saying I was entering Yosemite, along with a second sign saying reservations were required to enter the park.  Uh oh.  I weighed my options, either try to talk my way through the park saying I am passing through or backtrack an unknown number of miles to go around the park.  I decided to take my chances and crawled forward.  At the guard house I was asked for my reservation, and I stated I was on my way home and honestly had no idea I was entering Yosemite until I came to the entrance, which was true.  He said no problem and wrote me a pass for 3 hours.  I said what a relief as I had no idea how long I’d have to backtrack if I couldn’t pass through.  He commented that last year I would have been out of luck because it was far more crowded, and access was more limited.  I thanked him again and asked how long it would take me to get through the park and he said that 3 hours would be fine provided I didn’t stop.  I said fine, then asked if I could stop at the ranger station and use a restroom.  He laughed and said OK.

After a short break I was on my way and marveling at the sights.  The view was amazing, and I wished I had the time to enjoy the sights.  Some day.  Here are a few photos I took

Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park
Yosemite National Park

As I rode through the park, I passed a gas station in the park and considered stopping but figured the gas would be more expensive here than outside the park and I still had 100 or so miles before it would be an issue.  Exiting the park, I came across a lake, so I stopped again for a few photos

Outside Yosemite National Park
Outside Yosemite National Park
Outside Yosemite National Park

I continued on and again had some great roads.  I started getting nervous as I had yet to come across any civilization let alone gas stations.  I started searching for fuel and found a station, one that is, on my route so I relaxed and enjoyed the ride.  I came to a small speck of a town called Benton Hot Springs.  A mile or two late the road ended at US6 and there was a small white building on my left with gas pumps.  Gas pumps from the 1970’s.  I parked and went inside asking if he had gas and he said no, he has been out for a while.  I thought about asking how many years but thought better of it.  I grabbed a cold drink and asked where the nearest gas was.  He asked where I was heading and I said Tonopah, to which he replied “Tonopah”.  Since I was 90 miles away and now rather low, I asked for the closest and he said there was a station about 20 miles away to the west.  I thanked him and hit the road. 

I pointed my bike west and headed out for gas.  I searched for gas stations in my GPS and what I found was a bit further than 20 miles.  I felt I could make it even though I was now on reserve which meant I had a little less than a gallon left.  But I was cruising at 60 mph which decreases my fuel consumption from 40 mpg to about 45-50 mpg.  I was about 10 miles from the station I had found in my GPS when I spotted the gas station I was told about.  It was rather unique, with the tank sitting on a concrete pad with the pump next to it, but at that point I didn’t care.  There was a small café there as well however it was closed.  I fueled up and could now relax and enjoy the rest of my ride.  In hindsight I should have stopped for fuel in Yosemite as it would have saved me 40 miles of riding out of my way.  As I rode on, I was enjoying the sights and as I neared Tonopah, I pulled over for a few more photos of the Nevada desert in Esmeralda County NV.

Esmeralda County NV

A short while later I pulled into Tonopah around 6pm, and there was no mistaking the Clown Motel. 

Clown Motel – Tonopah NV

I went inside and checked out their giftshop.  I bought a postcard for a friend of mine and considered asking about a room, however I really needed to do laundry and decided to stay in the Comfort Inn and Suites down the road which looked brand new.  I walked outside and booked a room with my phone.  I rode the short ½ mile to the hotel and went inside to check in.  There were two people in front of me that took forever to check in.  Then it was my turn and after I checked in, I was told no breakfast (which explained why all the tables and chairs were stacked and pushed up against the wall), and they had no soap.  However, she said she could give me as many bottles of shampoo I wanted.  Wonderful, maybe I should have stayed at the Clown Motel …   

Once in my room I sorted my clothes and decided what I wanted to wear (i.e., was not washing) and what was getting washed.  I tossed my laundry in the machine, took a shower, and walked across the parking lot to get some food.  They had sandwiches so I grabbed one and some Gatorade and went back to my hotel.  Once my laundry was done, I relaxed for a bit and decided to go back to the gas station for some snacks and spied a really nice sunset

Sunrise: Tonopah NV

I relaxed for a while and then went to sleep.

Tuesday July 6

Tonopah NV – Amarillo TX, 1,100 miles ridden

Due to my planned long day, I was up and out of my hotel by 7am. I stopped at the gas station next to my hotel to get something to eat.  My route was US95 to I-40.  I considered heading to the Little A´Le’ Inn but that added over an hour to my ride, and I needed to make better time due to the distance I had to go.  I decided it would have to wait and I set out on US95 towards Las Vegas.  I passed through Vegas without much delay and came to I-40 in Kingman AZ around 1pm. 

The heat was bad, and I needed a break, so I stopped at the Harley Dealer in town to cool off and use their restroom.  When I pulled up there were a few people there and they just looked at me wearing what looked like a winter jacket pulling in on a Sportster with an obvious bad exhaust leak.  I had picked up a 10-pound bag of ice earlier in the day and I got more strange looks when I pulled the remains of it out of my jacket and placed it on my seat. I spent 15-20 minutes inside cooling off and it was time to hit the road.  As I was backing out of the parking spot the bike was a little difficult to move but I dismissed it as perhaps there was a high spot in the asphalt.  I needed something to eat and gas so I stopped at a nearby gas station and grabbed a sandwich and some Gatorade.  I also grabbed another bag of ice for my jacket.  As I was ready to pull out there was a convoy of trucks painting the lines in the center of the street, so I had to wait a few minutes as they passed.  As I pulled out, I realized something was wrong, so I turned down a side street and parked. A kick of the rear tire confirmed my fear, my rear tire was almost flat.

Since the gas station I had just left did not have air, I picked the next closest one which was ¼ mile away.  I rode there and as I pulled in, I saw an air pump, great!  When I parked next to it, I was deflated to see there was no air hose.  Bummer!  I rolled the bike looking for something sticking out of my tire and nothing.  I started wetting the tire and rolled the bike and nothing.  I decided to pull out my air pump and pump up the rear tire.  I took the valve cap off and the valve stem moved, and I suddenly heard some air escaping.  I found my leak!  I did not have the right sized socket to tighten it up, so I had to use a pair of pliers.  I slowly got I tight and pumped up the tire which took forever.  My air gauge came apart when I tried to use it, so I had to rely on the gauge on the air pump.  When it hit 45psi I shut it off and pulled it off the valve stem.  I went inside to degrease my hands and arms in the bathroom sink and decided to check the air pressure to see if it had changed, and it had not.  I dumped all my tools in my saddlebag, put my jacket on as well as the bag of ice, and I was on my way.

Three hours and 200 miles later around 5pm I was coming up on Winslow AZ and I decided to stop as I also needed gas.  I topped off and then rode into the center of town on Route 66.  I got to “the corner” and took my obligatory photo

“Standing on a corner” in Winslow AZ

As I was leaving town, I saw a truck stop and decided to stop and purchase a proper tire gauge and check the air pressure in my rear tire.  The first thing I noticed was I had forgotten to put the valve cap on when I was done airing up the tire.  The next thing I noticed was the air gauge read 25psi, that sure made me flat.  The truck stop side had air at the pumps, so I pulled up at one and pumped the tire up to 45psi and used the windshield washer to soap up my tire.  I went through two full revolutions of the rear tire and nothing.  Then I remembered something I had hear Ms. Emma say on the Motorcycles and Misfits podcast, a valve cap will 1) keep dirt out of the valve core and 2) keep the valve stem from leaking if the valve core was bad.  Could it be that simple? I put some soap on the valve core and it was bubble city.  I took out my trusty valve core tool and sure enough I tightened the valve core two or three full turns.  A little more soap and nothing. That put the wind back in my sails! This entire episode cost me 20 more minutes.

I continued on my way and the rest of the ride went without incident.  As the day became night, I decided I needed to find a place to stop for the night.  Amarillo TX looked like a good choice (since there wasn’t much else available) so I booked a room.  I pulled in later than I like to stop at 3:30am.  I had done the self-check-in so I went straight to my room, showered, and went to sleep.

Wednesday July 7

Amarillo TX – Memphis TN, 936 miles planned, 725 miles ridden

Due to my late arrival the morning before I slept in until 9am.  I went down for breakfast, packed, and was on the road by 10am.  My route was … I-40.  Not all that thrilling, but quick.  It would have been nice to be on the road earlier however I just didn’t have it in me as I had been on the road for 3 ½ weeks.  The day went smooth and there wasn’t much to take photos of.  I passed through the rest of the Texas panhandle and Oklahoma.  I passed by Ft Smith AR and as I was passing Alma at 7:30pm traffic came to a stop, as in side-stand down, engine off stopped. Waze said I had a delay of 10 minutes, then 20, then 30, and it kept climbing.  The cause of the stoppage was less than a mile away.  I watched a few police cars go by, then a few ambulances, a few more police cars, and then a coroner’s van.  When I saw that I realized that obviously someone was having a far worse day than I was and there was no sense in complaining.  As I was waiting, I suddenly had the urge to get rid of some of the water I had drank and had no choice but to run down to the edge of the right of way and walk into the trees for a moment.  Feeling much better I slowly walked back to my bike.  Day was becoming night and suddenly I saw signs of movement ahead, so I put my gear back on and fired up the bike.  It was 9:20pm, I had been stopped for almost 2 hours.  As I passed the scene of the accident there was a small 4 door SUV on the shoulder missing a few doors and there was a pile of clothes and other debris on the shoulder of the road.  I shook it off and continued on my way. 

As I rode on towards Nashville a light rain started to fall.  10-20 minutes later my low voltage light came on.  I backed the speed down to 75 and it went out.  I then had an idea; I had a USB connector in my tank bag with a voltage meter built in.  I dug it out so I could see it and the voltage was jumping all over the place and it got worse as I accelerated.  I stayed around 75 mph and the voltage jumped from 12 to 15 volts.  As I rode on it got more erratic and I had to slow some more.  Obviously, there was something getting wet causing the issue as the only times I had issues was when riding in the rain or when the bike sat out in the rain.  I realized even with a healthy bike I wasn’t going to make Nashville as I needed to work the following day which meant I had to be up and working by 7am.  I chose Memphis as my stopping point and pulled over to book a room.  At 2am I pulled into my hotel, checked in, and went to my room.  A quick shower and I went to bed.

Thursday July 8 & Friday July 9

Memphis TN, 20 or so miles ridden

For the next two days I was working from roughly 7am until 4pm.  For lunch I walked to a nearby pizza place Thursday and to a nearby food store Friday.  Thursday after work I replaced my voltage regulator and noticed the wire from the regulator to the wiring harness made a hard 90-degree bend at the connector, so I straightened it out and zip tied the wires to the frame just in case that was the cause of my issues.  I took the bike for a short ride just after a light rain and the voltage was steady at 13-14 volts, success.  Friday after I was done working, I rode to a Hooters for wings, however it was gone.  I found a sports bar and had a steak for dinner.  Back to the hotel and I packed up.  For the heck of it I checked prices to rent a truck and it was almost $2,000 from Memphis to home. I checked Nashville to home and that was $1,500.  I decided to keep my money and ride.

Saturday July 10

Memphis TN – Salem VA, 1034 planned, 637 ridden

I was up and bike loaded around 9am, a few hours later than I had wanted.  I ate breakfast and was on the road by 10am.  My route was I-40 to I-81 to the PA Turnpike and home.  Most of this route I have ridden many times.  It never ceases to amaze me at how big of a state Tennessee is.  Not long after I got on the road my charging system issues were back.  I found the sweet spot where the low voltage light stayed off, around 75mph, and kept my speed there.  As I rode east for a while my voltage stabilized, apparently the heat of the engine and/or the air was drying out whatever was getting wet.  I pulled into Nashville around 1pm and decided to stop by the Antique Archeology store from the TV show American Pickers. 

Antique Archeology Nashville Store

The Nashville store is cool because it is in the old Marathon automobile plant.  What I didn’t know before I visited the location was, they only occupy a small portion of the building and the rest of it is shops and restaurants.  Also, someone has set up some of the tooling in the hallways to show what the different areas of the building were.

Marathon automobile factory exhibit
Marathon automobile factory exhibit

The Antique Archeology store was similar to their Iowa location, part souvenir shop, part displays of some of the items they have picked but are not for sale, and part items they picked which are for sale.  I wandered through their store for 15 minutes spotting a few items I saw from the show, one being the Von Dutch XAVW which is a WWII Era Harley with a VW engine in it. 

Von Dutch XAVW
Von Dutch XAVW

The local Harley dealer had a t-shirt store in the building, so I stopped and bought a shirt.  The women taking my money asked where I was from and when I told them they asked how long it took me to get there, so I told them the story of me leaving home a month ago, riding to Salt Lake City in 2 days, riding 10,500 miles in 11 days, and then heading home via California.  I either confused them, impressed them, or they didn’t believe me.  My bet was a bit of all three.

Back out at my bike I decided to take a closer look at the bike, specifically the wiring for my charging system.  It was then that I noticed that one of the wires from my stator to my regulator was a very badly frayed

Frayed stator wire

I think I found my problem.  I grabbed the closest tape I could find in my saddlebag which was duct tape and wrapped up the frayed wire as best I could to keep it from rubbing on anything and shorting out.  Hopefully the weather would hold, but maybe this would be enough to protect it should it rain.  That done I was back on the road 45 minutes after I had stopped.

I made good time and crossed into Virginia around 7:30 pm.  About 20 minutes later a light rain started to fall.  And 20 minutes after that my charging system issues were back.  My speed was dropping to keep the low voltage light off and I pulled into a rest stop for a break and to see if there was anything else I could do.  I dug through my saddlebag and found my roll of electrical tape and retaped the wires hoping it would solve my problem.  What I didn’t think of at the time is the wires were already wet.  I cleaned up as best I could and got back on the road with no apparent change.  I rode on through the rain and in the dark and my mood darkened as I had to decrease my speed.  I wasn’t having fun anymore!  I had been on the road for a month, and I just wanted to be home.  Plus, Sunday was my wedding anniversary, and I missed my wife.  When I was no longer able to maintain the speed limit, I decided it was time to get a room and rethink my plan on getting home.  I pulled over and booked the closest room in Salem VA which was only 10 minutes away.  I pulled into the hotel at 11pm, checked in, and went straight to bed.

Sunday July 10

Salem VA – Willow Grove PA, 395 miles ridden

I was up around 6am and was evaluating my options.  I was now 400 miles from home, close enough that if I had to, I could ride a few hours, find a place to park my bike and have my wife come get me.  She wouldn’t be happy, but it was an option.  I also had several friends in VA not far off my route where I could either leave the bike or work on it.  In fact, I had posted my woes on Facebook, and several reached out to me with kind offers of help and a place to work on the bike.  I checked and the closest place I could rent a truck was about an hour away.  I decided I would head out and see what happened.  If everything was fine, I’d keep going.  If not, I would pull over and reserve a truck to take the bike the rest of the way.  With that done, I dressed, went down to the breakfast area, and ate my breakfast, loaded the bike, and headed out around 8am with a light rain still falling.

As soon as I was on the road, I could see the voltage bouncing around again so I pulled over and reserved the truck.  I was at the point that even if my charging system completely died, I could still make the truck rental location.  That done I got back on I-81 and headed north.  A short time later I rode out of the rain and into sunshine.  Within 30 minutes my voltage reading had stabilized so I made the decision to cancel the truck and continue the ride.  I needed one more fuel stop to make it home and when I stopped, I took a look at my front exhaust and noticed one of the studs had snapped.  I had been checking it daily and it was fine when I left the hotel, however with 200 miles left it finally gave in. The rest of the ride went fine with no issues, and I pulled into my driveway at 2pm.  I was home at last!

Epilogue

I sit here wrapping up this ride report a little over 4 months after getting home.  This was an epic trip in many aspects.  The stats are:

  • Total miles ridden in the IBR: 10,540
  • Total miles ridden:                  6,500
  • Days on the road:                        31
  • Days spent riding:                       24
  • Days not riding:                            8
My route

I thought I came up with a novel approach to minimize the number of vacation days taken and maximize the time riding.  What I did not count on was how long 31 days on the road can be.  Especially when 1/3 of those days are 18-20 hours of riding. I do believe I bit off a little more than I could chew.  In hindsight I should have come straight home after the IBR and taken a day to relax before heading back to work.  Instead, I got home at 2pm on a Sunday and was back working at 8am Monday morning.

As for my performance in the IBR, I was happy with how I did but I know I can still do better.  One measure I use to see how high I can finish in the IBR (yes, coulda woulda shoulda) is by looking at the highest someone has finished riding the same number of miles I rode.  The theory being that I pushed myself as hard as I could and riding more miles isn’t an option, to place higher I need to route better.  The highest a rider finished riding just 300 more miles than I did was in 16th place, and the next highest was 22nd with 150 less miles ridden.  Based on that I can do a little better and possibly make a top 20.

There is also the fun factor.  Yes, I was having fun even though I was pushing myself to my limits.  I enjoy a challenge and the IBR certainly is that.  BUT, that long haul from Kitty Hawk NC to Huntsville AL with no stops was tough.  I really didn’t enjoy that part and was thinking “when will this end”.  I don’t have those thoughts when I am riding the same distance but stopping every few hours to collect a bonus or two.

Then of course is the time away from home and family.  At one of the pre-rally meetings it was stated that riding in the IBR is one of the most selfish things one can do.  I did not appreciate that thought prior to the rally and I may not have if I hadn’t taken the extra time before and after the IBR.  I have been away from home riding in or finishing a rally on 5 of my last 8 wedding anniversaries.

So, for the burning question, will I do another IBR should I have the chance.  My answer, I feel I have one more left in me.  If the 2023 IBR has a start/finish location that is not on the west coast so I can get there or home in less than 2 full days of riding, I’m submitting my application.  Otherwise, I’ll likely volunteer to staff the rally and take my chances for 2025. 

So, there you have it. The answer to whether I will ride in another IBR is … definitely maybe …

As for which bike I ride, that I have no idea.