Start Time

I have always began my LD runs early in the mornings so I don't have to drive all day and then drive tired into the night. I starting wondering how more experienced riders approach a LD run, IBA cert ride.

Brian Thorn

Premier Member
My normal start time is 4 am as that gets me out of Phoenix traffic before it starts getting crazy and gets me into sunlight before I hit deer/elk country. If I'm going south that get me through Tucson traffic by 0530 before it too starts going nuts. I started my 50cc at midnight because that was planned to get me through Houston traffic late at night. My 191 border to border attempt was started at 3 am as that got me to the start of the Devil's Highway just after sunrise.

In other words, where I'm going has as much to do with my start time as anything else, but if it's just a standard out and back on I-10 heading towards Texas, 4 am is when I'm punching the clock.

Amnon Romano

Premier Member
From the answers you'll get here, I believe you'll find this issue is highly personal.
I, for example, have tried 04:00, 06:00, 08:00, 12:00, 14:00 - before settle for 07:00, which is best for me.
I like to start my riding at 0300 or 0400 - both certified and non-certified rides. I'm usually up at that time anyway, so it's no stretch. However, having stated that, I did start my last BBG at about 2100. I think that I'll stick with the early morning starts - I'm used to the sun rise, sun set times.


Premier Member
:plus1: To Amnon's reply

And : I live north of the city and decided, when possible, to start the ride going north, instead of south, to miss traffic, unless I start a ride on Saturday or Sunday morning. Helps reduce the stress level : not only will I miss the traffic, but possible accidents and serious slow-downs.
I usually start @ 6:30 am , which means I need to get up around 5:00 am to get to my regular starting gas station which is 15 minutes from my home. That's plenty early for me.
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Scott Parish

Premier Member
I always recommend keeping as close to your normal wake/sleep cycle as possible. Getting up 2-3 hours earlier than you are normally accomustomed is likely to result in you starting a ride already tired. The adrenaline will keep you going for a while; but even that has a toll on overall performance if this is your first attempt at a specific type of ride. I have adjusted start times based on when and where I want to stop. However, the hardest is when it requires a 2am or earlier start because I generally do not go to bed before 22-2300; and if I know I'm getting up in an hour or two on day one of a ride - it is a waste of time trying to go to sleep. This has resulted in me just getting up and leaving around midnight which is not terrible depending on the ride and if I can plan a stop around 0500 for an hour nap next to the bike. The earliest I have started is 2200 when it was absolutely impossible to get any sleep prior to leaving so I just planned to ride 400 miles and picked a gas station with an area where I could grab some sleep behind the building. On multi-day rides - I quickly adjust to an hour or two sleep next to the bike whenever possible/needed. Everyone is different and you know your pattern best.


Premier Member
IBA Member
I can be awake at 0300 or 0400 many mornings...being up and gone 30 minutes or so after waking up keeps my body from wanting to go back to sleep....

I'm always hopeful that the impending sunlight will burn holes into my retinas and thus keep me awake for that first 12 or 14 hours. :cool:

For the handful of multi-day rides, I get into my routine of things to be done off-bike to be done as quickly as I can, leavin the remaining time for sleep.

Again, as soon as I get my 5/6/7 hours of sleep, I wake up and start the process again.
First I appreciate the responses. This will be my second attempt at a BBG1500. My 6th IBA ride. My last attempt included just too much rain. So I opted to go safe, sleep and get the ss2000. I figure for the BBG1500 its a 24 hour commitment. Sleep time at a rest area,or other, would be minimal.
For SS rides I always go at 0300. In port by 2100.


Premier Member
IBA Member
I've only done two BBG's - 22 hours and change for both of them. No sleep, rest or anything else.

The first one, I fell asleep quickly after getting into my room. The second...not so much. I was chilled; the last fuel run was at temps below 50 or so. I didn't want to fire up the shower in the room I was in; the walls were paper, and there were no other LD riders staying in those adjacent rooms.

They would have understood... ;)

Luck to ya!
I like a 0400 start, even if I am traveling with my family. I find that Starting in the dark is easier to deal with than riding in the dark after a full day.
I generally do similar, except in order to avoid a night ride at the end of the ride, I would have to leave at 2000 to 2100 hrs. Not much sleep on the front side. I could leave later then finish at night with a IV for coffee.


Premier Member
IBA Member
True, but for a ride such as a BBG - even in the higher latitudes, you'll still be doing some amount of in the dark riding.

I can't find it right now, but there's a great PDF file given at a IBA meet a few years ago about sleep issues. I'm sure someone will post the link for it - great reading material in it.
I have always began my LD runs early in the mornings so I don't have to drive all day and then drive tired into the night. I starting wondering how more experienced riders approach a LD run, IBA cert ride.
For me it depends on which ride I'm doing. I start a 1000 miler at 9:00PM. This lets me ride the familiar roads close to home in the dark and the sun comes up about half way through the ride. I finish the ride in the daylight when I'm starting to get tired. And this gives you time for a couple of beers while you reflect on your accomplishment (LOL). If I'm doing a 1500 miler I start at 4:00AM. I get the first 1000 out of the way before midnight, take a few hours break (depending on actual time I get to this point) then get going before 6:00AM to get the last 500 within time and all daylight. Really I just work from the finish time backwards to set the start time. Of course this all depends on big city traffic if I choose to roll through the metros. I plan rides trying to keep the sun at my back. I hate 6 hour trips directly into the sun when my eyes are tired, just makes since to me. Plan your ride and gas stops and enjoy. And don't get too hung up on beating the time by hours, it ain't a race against anyone. I've done IB rides and finished with only an hour left on the clock. But you know what? I still got the certificates (LOL). Enjoy
If i am in bed around ten pm i am awake at 3am a good time to start living this close to the M25 orbital twenty miles south east of London which i have to use to get anywhere in the UK,
at that time the M25 is inhabited by truck drivers and other assorted weirdo's such as my self by the time the rest of the world is up and about i am usually 200 miles up the road and thinking about a bacon sandwich, you don't want to be around the overcrowded south east England during rush hour.
I like to leave around 4-7pm. Get the night ride out of the way early on roads I'm familiar with. When that sun comes up it's a whole new burst of energy and I'm good to go to finish it off!