4th of July - 49 states of the USA


Premier Member
IBR Finisher
Like many of us, I've had my attention drawn to the Iron Butt Rally in America lately and the adventures of the 100 or so riders including a very talented bunch of Aussies. They are riding all over the USA. Last time I was in the US for an Iron Butt Rally I only managed to ride a few hours in New Mexico, I didn't see any other state.

I phoned TigerBill. "Its the 4th of July. I'm cooking up a plan".

With a 23:37hr start docket down the road from TigerBill's in Fletcher, NSW I fired up the Tenere and headed to my first location shot - the first of many signs on sticks:


Then just down the road at the suburb of, well, Maryland:

Then across Newcastle through some late night revellers to Warners Bay for a bunch: Indiana, Vermont, Minnesota, New York, Nebraska, Colorado

Then down around the Lake and beyond to the Central Coast at Charmhaven:


Nearby Hamlyn Terrace for Louisiana, Georgia and Virginia:

By this point the technical aspects of taking the pics had arisen. Sometimes rolling up and using the bike lights worked, other times a torch I had mounted on the handlebars was better, sometimes flash, sometimes no flash sometimes the torch I wear around my neck to front light the dash and my little dodgy Rally Flag, sometimes just try, fail and get off the bike and walk up to the sign and hold a 'flag' up - aarrgh no flash then - oops missed the sign. Lots of times I did the whole lot over and over. Up to seven pics to get a barely readable shot of a mute sign, just standing still minding its own business and quietly flashing overwhelmingly and blindingly back at my camera - or not.

Niagara Park for a double whammy single park Delaware and Washington:

Then to the Gosford suburb of Wyoming:

With an O/A of only 42km/h at that stage and a required O/A for the whole day in the high 60s it was great to head south onto the freeway and faster riding.....


Premier Member
IBR Finisher
With my plan working so far and the streets of Sydney pretty deserted it was nice to ride here in higher than second gear for once.

Rhodes for a dodgy Rhode Island:

Maybe a bit dodgy, but its my ride so my rules. My plan calls for 1710km in 24 hours with over 50 stops to make. With respect for the rally riders currently doing their thing in the US I stayed in rally mode for all but about 20 minutes in the day.

Five Dock for a short run of New Jersey, Illinois and Connecticut:

Riverwood is a suburb tangled with streets named after US states, so I was here for a whole bunch: New Hampshire, Montana, Kentucky (just in case), Pennsylvania, Florida, Michigan and (West) Virginia

That last one is an example of what's known as 'leaving points at the scoring table'. In a rally you sit down with a scorer, and go through your photos one by one showing that you have captured what was required to show that you were there so that you can 'claim' the points for that bonus. ie the bonus location itself is visible, your flag or perhaps part of your bike or whatever else is needed. The scorer will have on hand a reference photo so that they can compare with the rider's photo. Below is a screen grab I'm faking as a scorers reference photo:

Comparing mine to the reference the fence is visible, the little structure across the road clearly locates the correct scene, and things are in focus enough to read. Unfortunately my dumbass little flag completely obscures the required "Michigan" sign. When I checked it on the night I thought "tops, clear enough" and rode off. The scorer, if there was one in my made up fake rally, would around about now say something like " Umm, we have a problem." Leaving points at the table.....

Another quick leg stretch along the F5 out of Sydney and farther south onto the Hume. Kearns for Arkansas and Mississippi:

Then fuel at nearby Eagle Vale for the southern turnaround. 03:47hr, 229km, 32.13 litres (empty aux at the start, now full).

Back north and there was a trickle of commute traffic starting. Toongabbie for Kansas, Utah and Oklahoma:

Then west against the traffic to St Clair for (North) Dakota and Iowa:

Before my last pic before heading out of Sydney at Lethbridge Park for Hawaii:

From here it was back to more usual LD roads with a lovely solo run into the dawn up the Putty Road.


Premier Member
IBR Finisher
A couple of turns later I was at Scone for Alabama:

Then down the Ox to Walcha for a corner (10:58hr, 786km, 31.95L) and Ohio:

Then up Thunderbolts and on to Terrible Vale Road to Kentucky:

A nice run to get the O/A up to Tenterfield (14:09hr, 1051km) and a somewhat slippery run in the rain down the hill toward Casino I switched off for 20 minutes and just let the bends carry me along. A cruel bunch of roadworks on the Bruxner followed each one a good 5 minutes just standing.

Lismore for (South) Carolina:

Then (North) Carolina Elanora, QLD:

From here I was in the extended residential area of the Gold Coast and its thousands of commuters. Heading north I was dismayed to see the southbound traffic stopped on the freeway next to me. I was gambling that it would clear by the time I came back this way.

Burleigh for Massachusetts and Wisconsin:

Broadbeach for a roundabout with Alaska:

And a final northern feast at Oxenford for California, Nevada, (South) Dakota, Missouri, Texas, Idaho:

A fuel stop to mark the corner at Helensvale (19:17hr, 1361km, 19.62L). A brief check of my plan had me about to head south into traffic, 350km to go, one 'state' to bag and just over 4 hours remaining. Thankfully the freeway south was now moving. It seems to carry an enormous volume of traffic, but I was able to hold pace.

A quick detour into Ballina for Maine:

Then back out into what I understand is $4 billion dollars worth of roadworks for the next 150km or so south to Woolgoolga. Tops.

Anyway, after a drudging run with the trucks through a constantly changing melee of speed zones I made it to Coffs Harbour. Into the servo for a docket 23 hours and 44 minutes after starting and my nod to the Iron Butt Rally riders was done.

Ride Date: ...........................4th of July, 2017
Bike: ................................Yamaha Super Tenere
Distance: ............................1707km
Stops:................................... over 50.


Scott Parish

Premier Member
How in the world did the concept come to mind? I was smiling the entire time reading your report. What a terrific idea - and as a Yank - many thanks to homage of our Independence Day. :)


Well-Known Member
How in the world did the concept come to mind? I was smiling the entire time reading your report. What a terrific idea - and as a Yank - many thanks to homage of our Independence Day. :)

Oh Scott, Ox is very imaginative, I think that would be a fair description would it Ox? ;)

And a very nice idea, a lot of planning and great riding and camera work to bring it all together, good one Ox.. :)


Premier Member
IBR Finisher
Very cool. Only 49? Which one did you miss?
New Mexico Stephen! I rode there last time I was on a "USA" ride so didn't feel the need......

Michigan. Photo 26 - on the same pole as Kentucky. Photo 27 shows what he should have got.
Points left at the table for missing "Michigan" Daisy, but I still rode to the right place.

Full disclosure: there is a rural locality called New Mexico in NSW. It is West of Manilla, or if looking on my SPOTWALLA map above it is just west of the green '65' flag. I don't think there is any sign saying New Mexico. Leaving NM out seemed to fit my story anyway...


Premier Member
IBR Finisher
Well planned, well executed.
I'm interested to know how you researched this ride Peter. What was your source of information? Do you mind sharing?

No problem Cuddles. A while back Skidoo and HAGAR came up with the IBA Australia "States with a Twist" theme ride (Towns include Texas, QLD; Virginia, QLD;Wyoming, NSW; that kind of thing). I clicked on google maps looking for other 'State' names at that time and noticed a few streets etc, but not many town/suburb options. But I had a rough idea of a dozen or so street names between Sydney and the Gold Coast.

For this ride I was looking for somewhere to ride to honour the IBR big Dance in progress and remembered the "States" idea from before. Seemed appropriate. I called TigerBill about lunchtime on the day of the ride to see if he was available to be a start witness as I saw there was "Oregon" around the corner from him and thought I could probably find some more.

When he said that he could meet me at 23:30 I hooked into Google Maps, Streetview and BaseCamp and found the 49, jigged about for a couple of hours and routed a suitable route, uploaded the .gpx, had a nap and filled up my bike at 23:00.