In-State Saddlesore 1000 (or, how many obstacles to overcome on a ride?)

kwthom

Rider
Premier Member
IBA Member
#1
Didja ever have one of those rides...

I have been cooking up a plan recently to accomplish another certified ride on the resume, just a simple in-state Saddlesore 1000 here in the depths of a balmy Arizona winter. Why? Well, why not; I've got nothing better to do, I don't have an Arizona in-state ride, and the weather geniuses have stated this weather pattern is going to last a few days. A day that my wife had to work between the holidays was chosen. The bike is prepped, the gear is ready, time to enjoy a bit of familiar roads for a thousand plus miles.

I got thru the ride, but – did you ever stop to think that sometimes it's just one darn thing after another? A list of issues that I encountered on this single ride:

• Wrong receipt data - three different locations. At one location, I managed to take a photo of the receipt, but it was from a previous stop. Another location; the time was off - by like a couple of hours. I asked the guy, "Hey, y'know your computer time is off?" "I can't do anything; sorry!" Gaah!

• Receipts! Speaking of those, on this ride, I’m taking a photo of the receipt, along with the odometer, for submittal purposes. So, the small clipboard I have is great to hold that receipt next to the Goldwing LCD display to get those images. Shoot, I even practiced a couple of times in the garage, just to make sure my point-and-pray camera would catch a shot clearly. The problem is, the clipboard actually has to balance on the end of the key. The key obviously must be either in the ON or ACC position, keeping that display enabled. I’d like for the clipboard to be reasonably level with the LCD display, in order to help the camera a bit (focus). It took about four stops before learning how the handlebar had to help support the clipboard so that it’s all lined up properly.

• ProTip: Gel-type pens at near freezing temperatures for several hours don’t work - at all. Those were the only two pens I had, so this ‘write mileage on the receipt’ trick? Doesn’t work if you don’t have a pen that works. D’oh!

• Thirty miles into the ride, very close to me fully leaving civilization, my handlebar mount water bottle decided it wasn't going to go for a long ride, and promptly decided to jump out. Fortunately, the rest of the mount was intact enough for me to stop, tighten things down on the mount, before continuing. I'm kinda partial to having one of those 700mL flip-top water bottles available, this ride won't have that, but I do have a small cooler with 500mL water bottles. Ugh!

• My diligence in hitting Bubbler GPS points at my various stops wasn't as good as it should have been - I missed three of them. Since I'm also using my Android phone for a trip computer, Bubbler is typically hiding in the background. I need to derive a way of having Bubbler pop up on the screen after being stationary for a certain period of time (5 minutes?). I've done some research on this to see if it's possible. It is, but it costs money. Need to get that list of stuff to do at each stop better (I’ve said this before…)

• After availing myself the use of the facilities at a McDonalds along the way, I felt it might also be a good time to grab a quick bite to eat. I'd not eaten anything substantial since dinner the previous evening. The interminable wait for the food order to be processed just is another reminder of why stops are better if they are staggered. I don't recall but less than a handful of times having an unintended stop this long on any of my prior Iron Butt rides.

• I've done previous rides where my GoPro camera is set up to record still images every 30 seconds. I hadn't realized it, but at my first fuel stop, I managed to mis-align my camera. Instead of it being pointed to the front, it had folded over and was pointing at my seat. D'oh! I didn't actually notice it's position for three hours, only at my 4th stop along the trip. The first three were in total darkness; it's not like that's compelling time-lapse video, seeing car headlights go by, but it does kinda tell a story.

• I'd thought that rush-hour traffic in the 12th largest metropolitan area (Phoenix) wouldn't be *that* bad on a weekday between the two holidays, during afternoon rush-hour along I-10. ::chuckle:: No, I suppose, I'd hate to see it on a normal weekday. It really wasn't *that* bad, but then again, I like going thru there at any time *other* than rush-hour!

• Gerbings makes some fine heated gear. At the beginning of the ride, I knew about several hours of temperatures that were anywhere between 34 and 39 degrees. After the second stop, I'd plugged in the liner...and is sorta felt warm, but wasn't sure. I've always worn my jacket with the controller in the jacket itself, just to keep it from getting beat up. When I removed the liner, I did a quick check. "Gee, was this thing on?" ::click:: Nope, it had been off the entire twelve hours I had been wearing it. The heated grips and heated seat made up for it - a little bit. D'oh!

• The new Goldwing I have also has a GPS. This version has the ability of importing routing data, so this ride was also a test ride for one I’m hopeful I can do later this year. Using Basecamp to plot this first major ride, and having the information available on the 7” screen in front of me was nice. I do have some small tweaks to do, but I was satisfied that this will be adequate for routing purposes in the future.

So, after all of those what I thought were bone-headed problems, another ride was successful. 1030 miles in a leisurely 17:46. Google claims that my moving time was 15:45, and a review of my stop history shows that my normal stop times were in the ten minute range. The 28 minute McD’s stop…wow!

I just sent off the data for ride verification.
 

cacomly

Premier Member
IBR Finisher
#2
Congrats on the ride, great lessons that you learned. Hopefully you are not like me and keep learning them :)

I'm sure you thought of it, but placing your pens inside your jacket would keep them warm enough to work. I'm making the mental note to add a mechanical pencil or two to my tank bag just in case ...
 

sector7g

Premier Member
#3
Hats off! You make an excellent point on the pens. It's the things you don't plan that make the trips interesting :) 28 minutes at McDonalds - I'm not sure parents with kids stay that long... haha Glad you made it!
 

Bill Lumberg

Premier Member
#4
Nice report. Never thought about the pen freezing. I've been bitten by McDonalds (and Hardee's, etc.) before. I stick to four food groups on a long day, all readily available at finer convenience stores. The water food group, the red bull food group, the breakfast/power bar food group, and the combos food group (those cholesterol packed filled pretzel bites). Distance rides are the only time I'd ever touch a packet of combos. I don't tend to eat or drink heavily on a distance ride, though cold weather does change that a bit. If I need to inhale half a breakfast bar or a half bag of combos while fueling, they're easy to get with no wait, and cheap enough that I eat what I can when fueling and toss the rest. My boiler room doesn't function as well as it did when I was a kid, so, for me, sticking to simple, tried and true stuff helps. While I normally only consume red bull in sugar free form, on a long ride, I treat myself to one or two with full sugar on the last leg.
 

Scott Parish

Premier Member
#5
Nice job Ken - a saddlesore is long enough to identify a few issues without taking much time. Glad to hear the GW GPS is going to work well for you. I'm rethinking some of my planned rides this year and will probably drop the CDT return from the 48+ ride and take a more leisurely route home from Hyder. After a more careful review of my ride plan - I was focusing too much on the CDT which is where I was anticipating more challenges and decided I would move the CDT to 2019 and use the additional time to practice along the Mojave trail - this way I could enjoy the rides separately.
 

DrNeo

Premier Member
#6
How fun!! I have found a simple checklist in my tank bag and a grease marker that will write on my windshield or mirror helps out quite a bit for some of these things. Obviously a lot of veterans use a checklist too, but it became very apparent to me after I would be about 100 miles into a tank and think "I should do x,y, or z when I stop" then about 25 miles after I stopped I'd realize I hadn't done any of it.
 

kwthom

Rider
Premier Member
IBA Member
#8
Nice points...a bit of commentary:

The main pen is on a lanyard attached to the clip-board. It's worked in the past, with warmer temperatures. May need to consider switching the pen that's just wandering around in the trunk for the mechanical pencil instead.

The McD's saga...laugh about it now, but wasn't quite as funny at the moment. As I was approaching Parker, AZ, that urge of "I gotta GO!" hit. So, I do the gas stop; decent time, then recall there were a couple of fast food places on the route.

Oh, did I mention, "I gotta go - NOW!". Mc'D's is here, just solve this issue. I beelined it to the facility (thank goodness they hadn't been cleaning it!) and took care of business.

It was that additional 15 minutes of dealing with food that seemed to be the time drain.

I made up for it by not eating much more the rest of the day.
 

Scott Parish

Premier Member
#9
Nice report. Never thought about the pen freezing. I've been bitten by McDonalds (and Hardee's, etc.) before. I stick to four food groups on a long day, all readily available at finer convenience stores. The water food group, the red bull food group, the breakfast/power bar food group, and the combos food group (those cholesterol packed filled pretzel bites). Distance rides are the only time I'd ever touch a packet of combos. I don't tend to eat or drink heavily on a distance ride, though cold weather does change that a bit. If I need to inhale half a breakfast bar or a half bag of combos while fueling, they're easy to get with no wait, and cheap enough that I eat what I can when fueling and toss the rest. My boiler room doesn't function as well as it did when I was a kid, so, for me, sticking to simple, tried and true stuff helps. While I normally only consume red bull in sugar free form, on a long ride, I treat myself to one or two with full sugar on the last leg.
For short rides like a saddlesore - I generally just make one or two PB&J sandwiches cut in half so I can easily eat a half at a time spaced over a few fuel stops. I wear a 3L camelbak so fluids are not an issue. Energy drinks tend to dehydrate me and increase bathroom stops. But I think each rider knows best what works for them and should stick with it.
 

Rusjel

Well-Known Member
#10
Thanks Ken, as an Aussie I found your cold weather insights fascinating. We get down to freezing and below here, but rarely for extended periods.

Re the Maccas drama, when we travelled in the US last year I found most diners had a 'soup of the day', often Pea and ham, minestrone, pumkin or tomato. They seemed to be able to bring it out in a matter of minutes. Our service stations here in Oz often have a little cafe attached that serve similar. Hearty meals that warm you up but don't send you to sleep.
 

kwthom

Rider
Premier Member
IBA Member
#11
@Rusjel It can get cold here in the Sonoran Desert of AZ, as it can in many deserts. It didn't get above 41F/5C until I got into the lowest elevation in the Yuma area. From that point, riding north, elevation slowly climbed, until I got to the peak of the day (11AM-ish) at the fuel stop just outside of Kingman, AZ, where the elevation is 4300'/1300m. Only two additional mountain passes for the remainder of the ride at roughly the same elevation meant I didn't need to deal with freezing temps, just cold temps, but only when the sun went away.

Spotwalla Image_annotated.jpg
 

Rusjel

Well-Known Member
#12
Yes we don't routinely deal with those elevations unless we are riding in the Snowy mountains,which is, of course great fun!

Canberra is about 1800ft about sea level. In winter a 2AM launch can see you riding in the -5 to Zero C range until just after sunrise. We don't have elevated deserts at all, which is why I'm keen to do some more riding in North and South America.
 

Stephen!

Premier Member
IBA Member
#13
With regard to a "Stops" list... Label maker with clear labels... Didn't think it would last beyond the first rally but it's been there about four years now. 36075.jpeg
 

Brian Thorn

Premier Member
#14
• I'd thought that rush-hour traffic in the 12th largest metropolitan area (Phoenix) wouldn't be *that* bad on a weekday between the two holidays, during afternoon rush-hour along I-10. ::chuckle:: No, I suppose, I'd hate to see it on a normal weekday. It really wasn't *that* bad, but then again, I like going thru there at any time *other* than rush-hour!

.
They are currently constructing the 202 / I-10 extension. It will run from I-10 / 202 (just as you're entering Chandler) west and then north to reconnect with I-10 past South Mountain. This will allow two things; you can bypass that entire I-10/60/I-17 mess, and it will allow for a Loop 202 SS1K.
 

kwthom

Rider
Premier Member
IBA Member
#15
Running my route clockwise...what I *should* have done is US-60 | AZ-74 | I-17 | AZ-101 | AZ-202 | US-60

That 'loop 202' SS1K does seem intriguing. You're gonna need a witness or two. :D Wonder what that distance is gonna be when it's completed...
 
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Brian Thorn

Premier Member
#16
Running my route clockwise...what I *should* have done is US-60 | AZ-74 | I-17 | AZ-101 | AZ-202 | US-60

That 'loop 202' SS1K does seem intriguing. You're gonna need a witness or two. :D Wonder what that distance is gonna be when it's completed...
85 miles up to 150 miles depending upon which loop you choose; 101, 202, or 303.
 

Attachments

kwthom

Rider
Premier Member
IBA Member
#19
1030 miles, per the GPS. Since this was a late December ride, the goal was to hit the high country in the mid-day. Temps up in Kingman were in the upper 60's; that's when I ditched the heated liner.

Putting US-191 from Alpine to Safford seems like a good idea, and people *have* done it.

If this is your first SS1000, I would reconsider at a minimum, running it counter-clockwise from how you have it planned.

You might also plot your route in Google Maps to review real-time average speeds.

Spotwalla_annotated.jpg