Natchez Trace Scooter SaddleSore 1000 Gold Ride

EricV

Premier Member
IBR Finisher
#1
Natchez Trace SS1K Gold Ride on a 2021 Honda ADV 150

SpotWalla Link

Notes: (Negative mileage values are miles not on the Natchez Trace)
“On Road Fuel” means filling the scooter gas tank from a 2 Gal plastic jug while stopped at a pull out on the NT.
Miles = Odometer Miles from last gas receipt stop.

——————————————————————————————————————————————

10:10:37 PM - Depart from TIGERMARKET EXXON, 101 Johnston Pl, Clinton, MS 39056
(-2.4 miles)

On Road fuel @ 110 miles. (Realize I won’t have enough fuel to get to planned Chiska FoodMart)

1:43:17 AM - Arrive at Shell, 835 Barnes Crossing Rd, Tupelo, MS 38804
(Filled only main tank)
Miles = 181
(-1.8 miles)

2:51 AM - Arrive at Chiska FoodMart Exxon US-72, Cherokee, AL 35616
(Filled main tank and jug)
Miles = 56
(-2.6 miles)

5:31 AM - Arrive at Shell 8456 Hwy 100,Nashville, TN 37221
(Filled only main tank.)
Miles = 125
(-1.0 mile)

On Road Fuel @ 115 miles.

9:23:59 AM - Arrive at Shell, 835 Barnes Crossing Rd, Tupelo, MS 38804
(fill only main tank)
Miles = 179
(-2.8 miles)

On Road Fuel @ 115 miles.

12:54:41 PM - Arrive at Super Store / Bluesky #638 401 Northside Dr, Clinton, MS 39056
(filled main tank and jug)
Miles = 180
(-0.8 mile)

2:52:11 PM - Arrive at Circle K / Bluesky #507 138 North Shields, La., Natchez, MS 39120
(filled only main tank)
Miles = 90
(-1.0 mile)


4:52:05 PM - Arrive at Super Store / Bluesky #638 401 Northside Dr, Clinton, MS 39056
Cards declined at pump. Had to go inside and pre-pay for $3.50 gas. Purchased a corn dog and 2x 5 Hour Energy. Ate corn dog at pump.
(filled only main tank)
Miles = 91
(-0.8 mile)

On Road Fuel @ 115 miles.
8:12:43 PM Finish at Sam’s Texaco 2126 W. Jackson St, Tupelo, MS 38801
Miles = 183
(-2.4)

Total Odometer Miles = 1076
Total GPS miles = 1078
Total Off Trace Miles = 15.6
Total Odometer Miles Ridden on the Natchez Trace = 1060.4

——————————————————————————————————————————————
Natchez Trace Scooter 1000 Gold Ride Report
(Not yet certified)

I have had the itch to attempt a Saddle Sore 1000 all on the Natchez Trace Parkway ever since we moved to Tupelo, MS in Sept of 2018. The stars had not aligned previously. After selling my Long Distance and rally prepped 2015 Yamaha Super Tenere in Dec of 2019, I purchased an inexpensive 2005 Yamaha FZ6. Not exactly a long distance motorcycle, but a good day ride bike. Still, there were always other things to do and while I had a route plan, I didn’t do the ride.

Fast forward to Sept 2020 and we just bought a pair of 2021 Honda ADV 150 scooters. These are super fun little 150 cc scooters and we have great plans for them to do slow adventures on as well as the Scooter Cannonball Run coming up in July of 2021. We only just got the 300 mile break in done and have done a few other rides on them, the longest being 262 miles.

I noticed some talk on the Iron Butt Association Forum about doing a Natchez Trace 1000 ride. There were different ideas from different riders. One was to include a full length end to end ride of the Natchez Trace within a 1000 mile ride. I felt that a more challenging approach would be to ride the entire 1000 miles on the Natchez Trace itself. My take was more like a “Dusty Butt” ride where you could ride pavement to get fuel or to another dirt road, but those miles didn’t count toward the Dusty Butt 1000 miles. It was a great sounding board and several good ideas were presented. At this point, it was believed that no one had done such a ride yet.

I had barely over 1000 miles on my ADV 150 scooter. Break in and first service were complete and I managed to have some basics sorted. I realized that the ideal time to do a Natchez Trace 1000 would have been late June to maximize daylight hours. That time had passed, but I was not to be deterred. Looking at the weather forecast for the next few days I realized we were on the cusp of Fall. Temperatures were starting to drop from daytime highs in the 90’s and night time lows in the 70’s to Highs in the low to mid 80’s and lows in the low 60’s. The next couple of days had zero rain forecast and comfortable temps. It was now, or wait until next year.

I had previously installed a GPS with hard wire, handlebar bag, RAM mounts for Spot cradle and GPS and a panel mount SAE connector direct to the battery as well as a brake light modulator and mirror extensions. More farkles would be needed…

I had already planned a route based upon the scooter’s range and had realized to minimize stopped time I would need to carry a 2 gallon gas can strapped to the passenger seat area of the scooter. Thankfully, two Rok Straps securely attached the can using the passenger grab rails. The luggage racks we ordered from Thailand had not yet arrived. (They showed up two days after I finished the ride!)

Sudden Prep!

(Yes, I was going to violate IBA AOW #5… Again. https://ironbutt.org/25tips.html )

I needed more light for night riding on the Natchez Trace! What was on hand was a 20” LED light bar that drew 126 watts and had a mix of spot and flood pattern LEDs. Some wiring, a relay, a switch, some aluminum flat bar and Ta Daa! We have Zombie Lights. All from things on hand in the garage. Voltage only dropped 0.2V, so I felt confident that the scooter’s electrical system could handle the load fine.


I hustled around the garage to get some last minute prep work done to the scooter. I wanted a hydration system so I could drink while riding and needed to make sure I had everything I felt I needed during the ride. I had a 40 ounce TAL insulated jug from a previous hydration system, so pulled that out and made a trip to the local thrift stores, then Walmart to find a method to secure it to the scooter’s passenger foot peg. I found a good fit with the Mainstays Vented Kitchen Caddy, made from Stainless Steel for only $3.89! And it already had holes all over, even the bottom, so mounting was a breeze!




With that in hand I returned to the garage to mount it to the bike. (2) 5/16” stainless steel, button head bolts and nylock nuts with some washers and it was securely mounted to the passenger peg on the left side of the scooter. My 40 ounce TAL insulated jug fit loosely inside, but I found a piece of insulated plastic stiffener from another project that made a nice sleeve for the caddy. A couple of mini bungee cords, with one end crimped around a split ring kept one end captured to avoid loss. I then fed the split ring through one of the existing holes on the caddy. Since the TAL jug was already set up with a drinking hose and bite valve, all that was left was to clip the hose end to the handlebar bag D ring with a couple of ID badge leashes and secure the hose to the side of the scooter so it would not flap around.

I quickly packed the scooter with my rain liner for my mesh riding jacket, extra gloves in case it was cooler, a half cover and my CPAP machine. While out shopping I had picked up a bag of beef sticks for on scooter munching and I put some of those in a zip lock bag, then stored in the scooter’s handlebar bag for easy access. A small notepad for rider log entries, a couple of pens, a sharpie and some witness forms in case I needed to go old school and I was ready to depart.


With my Beautiful Wife’s blessing, I geared up and hit the road South to Clinton, MS where I planned to grab some sleep at the conveniently located Quality Inn before starting the SS1K attempt at 10 pm, hoping to maximize the darkness during the beginning of the ride while I was freshest.



As I got on the Natchez Trace in West Tupelo to ride South to Clinton, MS, a solitary, small, brown fawn stood sentinel in the grass at the side of the road and watched me pass by. I had never before seen deer here, especially not during daylight hours.

I got a nice sleep cycle followed by a quick shower at the Quality Inn, then geared up, re-packed the scooter and headed across the street to the Tiger Mart for a known good Dated Business Receipt for gas to start my ride. As I got to the street from the Quality Inn parking lot, a lonely black cat crossed the road casually in front of me.

At 10:10 pm I pulled my receipt from the pump and wrote my starting odometer mileage on the receipt… 1313 miles. Thankfully, I’m not superstitious.

Starting receipt safely tucked away, I was off on surface streets with minimal Friday night traffic for the 2.4 miles to the Natchez Trace where my official miles would start. Once on the Trace, I had empty road and complete darkness as a companion, with no moon to speak of and only a sliver of a crescent when it did rise later that night.


Barely 30 minutes later as I rode North, I spotted my first deer of the ride. A herd of approximately 30 small deer were in the grassy area West of the road. The scooter didn’t seem to bother them, some looked up, showing me their green tinged eyes to match their gray shadowy outlines as I rode by. None were startled or bolted. This became a theme for deer during my ride. Never in the road, rarely more than one or two, but no bolting and if they looked up at all, they might just casually walk into the woods away from my lights.

At just after Midnight, I spotted blue Disco Party Lights up ahead. The scooter is not capable of FJR Nominal speeds. Hell, it’s not capable of Vespa Nominal in some cases! I knew the bell did not toll for me. As I approached the party, I found a LEO vehicle parked dead center in my lane with a pick up parked in front of that, and an unfortunate soul in the process of receiving a field sobriety test right there in the middle of the road on Saturday morning, in the middle of no where, on the Natchez Trace Parkway. Not the recommended way to start your weekend off.

During the next five and a half hours on my way to Nashville, TN I would see numerous deer, both more of the green tinged eyes and much larger red eyed forest rats, along with possum, raccoons, owls, bats, turkeys, vultures, feral cats, dogs, one very large cat, a medium size bear in TN and a solitary skunk, (well off the road, thankfully). Of them all, only one very confused or myopic raccoon was in the road, walking straight down the centerline. I first noticed that the yellow center line was disappearing and reappearing as I approached. Pavement gray raccoons shouldn’t walk the center line!


Arriving at the Northern Terminus of the Natchez Trace Parkway was a solitary event at 5:30 am on a chilly 54F Fall Saturday morning. Nothing open except the well lit 24 hour pumps of the Shell station and not a soul around except me and my scooter. Another Splash-n-Dash™ and I was back on the Trace, heading SouthWest. 444 miles to Natchez, MS and another turn around. About an hour later the sun started to come up and by 7:10 am I was able to turn the aux lighting off and comfortably see w/o the benefits of extra lights.

My planned via points came and went as the miles ticked by. Much of my travel was Wide Open Throttle, (WOT), to manage the hills and stay at or near the 50 mph speed limit along the Natchez Trace. Some hills, though mild on anything else, drove my speed down to 45 mph climbing them. Down hills at least gave me some better mpg. The day riding portion was uneventful with only a few passes or over taking traffic to break up the beautiful scenery of the Parkway.

I arrived at the Southern Terminus of the Parkway in Natchez, MS right on schedule and little worse for wear. My butt felt no worse after nearly 17 hours than it did after the first 2 hours. Another Splash-n-Dash™ and I was heading back to the Natchez Trace Parkway to head NorthEast once again.


Early on during this ride, I realized that my planned range was not the same as my actual range under Saddle Sore conditions. My usual 130 miles to reserve became ~105 miles. And the reserve on the scooter is only good for ~14 miles, mathematically derived, but not fully tested, as yet. Some things are best not learned during a certificate ride! Like many ride plans, I had to adjust my plan to work with the range I had. This meant an earlier stop at one point, but allowed me to skip another stop. In Natchez I realized that if I added a fuel stop back in Clinton, MS I would have enough fuel to ride all the way home to Tupelo w/o any additional fuel stops. Despite the crappy receipt issues at the Blue Sky #638, (no receipt paper at the pumps and clueless employees, they did have other positive features there. Hot food being one of them.

I wound up the rubber band on the Honda once more and spun my wheels the 90 miles back North to Clinton, MS where I had started this adventure. Naturally, at this point in the ride all of my credit cards had stopped working at the pumps and I had to go inside and pre-pay for two gallons of gas. Note to self, remember to look at the price of gas before going inside. We know how many gallons we take to fill, but that info doesn’t do you any good when asking to pre-pay for fuel. You need to know what dollar amount you want. I scored a corn dog of dubious age while in the station, thus gaining not only a DBR for gas, but also for food. My only other DBR for food had been at the same Blue Sky station many hours before.

Here I was, nearly 900 miles into my SS1K and finally on the last leg. I felt good, not overly tired and still alert. I realized here that I was also not going to make my destination before darkness fell once again. I knew that the final miles of this ride would be the most challenging. As I closed in on Tupelo, traffic would increase and I wouldn’t be able to use my aux light or even high beam, while simultaneously being blinded by oncoming headlights, often from trucks towing trailers that left their headlights poorly aimed.

After only a slightly slower gas stop in Clinton, MS, I was back on the Trace and heading for Tupelo, MS and my final DBR to officially end my SS1K ride. I had about two hours extra over what I needed, so it looked pretty good at this point. As darkness once again descended upon the Natchez Trace Parkway, my lights came back on and I enjoyed being able to see well in the darkness. I stopped briefly at a Historic pull out to do my last on road fuel stop from the gas can strapped to the seat of the scooter and continued NorthEast along the Parkway. Being able to see well using my lights lasted for about 174 miles.

Near Houston, about 30 miles from my exit I knew there was a badly broken section of sunken grade that would eat the scooter for dinner if I hit it wrong. The only safe line is close to the center line. There is a warning sign “Rough Road”, but if you don’t know what’s coming and can’t see it, it could be catastrophic for anything on two wheels except maybe KTMs. I passed the first exit for Houston and knew I was coming up on the rough road only to have a long string of on-coming vehicles, spaced just wrong so I had far too long w/o high beam or aux light. The moment I saw the Rough Road sign, I gritted my teeth and moved as close to the center line as I dared with oncoming traffic swishing by closer than I preferred. The moment the last car in the line passed, I snapped on the aux light and just glimpsed the broken pavement passing by to my right. There is a second section just up the road, but it’s not nearly as bad. I was easily able to see and avoid it with the aux light and high beam on.

12 Miles. I just needed to get 12 more miles to my exit off the Natchez Trace Parkway. Up until this point I had really enjoyed the ride. Even the 8 hour slog in the darkness at the start had a certain tranquility to it. All the more for not having wildlife issues and getting a chance to see the Trace at night w/o traffic, just my scooter and my lights blazing through the tunnel of darkness. But now, traffic. Traffic behind me, traffic on-coming. No chance to use my lights and constant strings of vehicles, often with poorly aimed headlights or running bright aux lights of their own, and far too often not bothering to dim them. I hugged the fog line as much as possible and kept my pace up. I know I looked at the odometer far too many times during this last stretch. Like the school clock, the miles crept by much too slowly. Eventually I saw the sign for my exit and slowed, carving that final corner off the Trace and slowing to a stop under the streetlights of West Main Street in Tupelo, MS. 1.9 miles of well lit surface streets to my chosen official ending location and final receipt of my Natchez Trace Scooter Saddle Sore 1000 Gold.

Like any rider on home ground, the final 1.9 miles over familiar roads were easy. I pulled into Sam’s Super C Texaco station and filled my tank for the last time that night, 1.283 Gallons costing a whopping $2.31 gave me the final DBR to officially end my ride at 8:12 pm, 22 hours and 2 minutes after I started it. A half mile later I was safely ensconced in my garage, ride over, paperwork waiting to be done.

This was my first Scooter Saddle Sore ride and a few things that helped me complete my longest SS1K ride were also things that help on any ride. Aux Lighting. For this particular ride, much like riding in the Wilds of Nevada, Light was critical. W/o the big light bar I would not have finished this ride. I wouldn’t have been able to maintain 50 mph speeds at night on the Natchez Trace Parkway. Managing stopped time. In the endurance rallies I have ridden, every minute is on the clock. This teaches you that every minute is critical and not to waste them, because you may really need them later. More than any other Saddle Sore ride, I was super critical of my stopped times. No wasted time loitering. After 12 hours I still had barely more than 35 minutes in stopped time. (I forgot to check at the end of the ride) Hydration was also important. Even though the weather was cool, having the ability to drink while riding kept me hydrated and alert through the night and during the long day of riding.



Total Odometer Miles = 1076 Total Fuel cost - $37.05
Total GPS miles = 1078 Fuel cost per mile - ~$0.035
Total Off Trace Odo Miles = 15.6
Total Odometer Miles Ridden on the Natchez Trace = 1060.4
 

Mike721

Premier Member
#2
Great write up and that sounds like such a fun ride on a scooter..very cool indeed!
I love the massive light bar on the little scooter, that's great! Just for fun I keep toying with the idea of doing a SS1000 on my antique Honda CB400T. The bike runs perfectly, I've done a 500 mile day on it and it should make the distance just fine but it has a 42 year old 2 candle power sealed beam, I think I might do something like you did with LEDs just for the ride so I can see where I am going.
 
#3
Great write up and that sounds like such a fun ride on a scooter..very cool indeed!
I love the massive light bar on the little scooter, that's great! Just for fun I keep toying with the idea of doing a SS1000 on my antique Honda CB400T. The bike runs perfectly, I've done a 500 mile day on it and it should make the distance just fine but it has a 42 year old 2 candle power sealed beam, I think I might do something like you did with LEDs just for the ride so I can see where I am going.
Mike,

Trying not to hijack the thread so PM me if you want specifics. I have placed a set of these low on the tip bar of my CB550F. 3 SS1Ks with them installed. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01FH583KG/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

-Mark
 

Natehawk750

Premier Member
#5
Just over the past week I've been thinking about doing a SS1k on my xt225 seeing that the Trace is about 100 miles north of me that was where my mind was going to attempt this. Having ridden the trace a few times and with the lower speeds and generally low traffic I figured it would be perfect for my bike of choice.

Thanks for the write up! I may be in touch with you @EricV via PM.