The Egg[Sanity] and I


Premier Member
A report longer than the ride.

I'm still a light weight IBA guy. Not on the bathroom scales, oh no, but in terms of certificates. I have, to date, a grand total of six. One Gold, a BB 1500.

But on August 29 I completed an EggSanity 1000 – pending the blessing of my documentation, of course, it will be lucky 7. It's a ride I've long considered. First of all, I like to eat – point me at a BBQ 1000 and watch my dust! Secondly it's a pretty unique certification so it will stand out on my “I love me wall”. Lastly there's a FLAG!

Pretty cool concept too. Four specific breakfast chains, four egg dishes gets a gold. The route has to be blessed first. When I first planned this ride I knew if I got this done before May 20, 2019 I'll have two gold level rides within a year. Mile Eater Silver, hot diggity....

But then Judy, wife, friend and the very best thing in my life needed surgery. Ride, what ride? Judy's health is priority one through as far as I can count.

Fast forward to now and she's doing great. A healthy Judy is as good as it gets, and that is very good indeed. Plus a shot at Mile Eater Bronze that's on the podium level, right?

You know the drill, Plan Your Ride, Ride Your, yada, yada, yada.

I planned the ride, I surely did. I planned the stew out of it. I'm lucky to have both a Huddle House and a Waffle House withing a dozen of so miles of my home. Starting and ending points fixed, OK! Now I just need the Royal Waffle King and Omelet Shoppe.

I think I plotted out every RWK and OS within the entire South East United States. Not that there are many of these. Plotting a path between them that generated a reasonable 1,000+ mile path was a bit of a challenge.... try THIS RWK with THAT OS..... nah. Hey, this route looks doable. Throw in a second Waffle House (they are everywhere here in the south) for spacing the egg meals and DONE. I finally had a route I thought worthy of submission.

Plus, I thought, I pass reasonably close to Hot Coffee, Mississippi. For fun I'll throw in a picture of me having a cup o' Joe in Hot Coffee. It would have been my first selfie.

I check the route to each restaurant. Note their times of operation (hey, all but the one in Tifton, Georgia is 24/7, hard to beat). And I can do the dark parts of the ride on the Interstate routes – I fear the deer! Now to spot gas stations at roughly 150-175 miles apart. My bike will do 200+, but it's also hard to push. Look at times of first and last light. What is the phase of the moon – it makes a difference to us old night blinded guys with venisonphobia.

Done and done. Submit to Mr. Kneebone. Blessed! And I got the flag!!! Looks like Judy will be on her feet by early July so July is now the target.

And then fate intervened. The old good news/bad news.

I devour every ride report I can find, especially when they can be instructive on one I have in the planning stage. I was lucky indeed when the Motorcyclist Tourer's Forum (MTF) put out a notice they were planning an EggSanity 1000 for September. Included in their route was the Omelet Shoppe in Sumiton, Alabama, one I plan to use too.. But, hey, what's this note about hours of operation? Can't be 6 to 9, it just can't be. I had them down as 24/7.

Oh crap, now the two places away from my home have limited hours. And the loop I've laid out makes it impossible to hit both the RWK and OS during open hours.

My original route would have had the Sumiton, Alabama OS as the last stop before ending at my home Waffle House. If I'd ridden the original plan I'd have been in the Parking lot of the Omelet Shoppe staring at the “CLOSED” sign and exercising my proficiency at profanity.

A BIG thank you to the MTF and Mr. Robert Rehkopf. I owe them a debt. I think signing up for one of their rides might be a partial payment.... hmmmm, I need to check their list of rides in 2020.

Monkey wrench thrown, I started anew at planning. I came up with an alternate or two, but they were not very satisfactory. Back and forth along the same route, three stops to eat early then a big gap to the next restaurant, a sprint down an Interstate and home. Not elegant by any means. I submitted it but explained I hoped to improve it before I rode. Mr. Kneebone came through again and even allowed me some flexibility if I had to improvise a bit.

I figured I'd better check the other places to see if there were any more surprises. Well dang! The local Huddle House was closed when I called. That isn't a 24/7 kind of thing. The guy answering the phone the next day said they MAY resume operations soon, didn't know the hours planned or when they might be back in business. Is someone trying to tell me something?

I easily found some more Huddle Houses, some along the routeI already have planned. But inserting these into my route made it uglier and uglier. I wanted the stops reasonably well spaced. Now it was three close together and the last WAY apart.

It was discouraging, so much that I didn't even fully explore the gas station options. In fact I sort of put the ride on the back burner. PT for Judy more than filled the void.

One bright spot during this period. I rode by the Huddle House and saw cars there. I stopped in and, wonder of wonders, they were back open 24/7. Apparently they had had a mass walk out and could not find staff enough to stay open for a few weeks.

I still thought I'd do the ride, but the fire had dimmed. I'd start thinking about it and Judy would have a small setback. Or weather would put off any ride plans, or one of the kids needed help with a project or – excuses, excuses. Maybe, I thought, at 67 I'm too old for this.

But then I'd see that flag.

Then, about 3 days before the ride I literally woke up with a thought of re-ordering the stops and BAM a new route was born. Not perfect, but better, much better. I can beat the dark and be on Interstates, I can get through Birmingham at a reasonable hour. I add an additional Waffle House to the ride for spacing... Yep, I think it will do. Now I gotta refine this puppy.

But I didn't. I'd been failing to pull the trigger on this ride for a long time. That doubt about my age and IBA was getting stronger. I know there are many older than I out there riding, my admiration to you. But, as Clint Eastwood said, “A man's got to know his limitations”.

Then I cut down and cut up a tree on one of the kids home. A daughter in law heard about this and said, “Bill, I think you are too old to be climbing a ladder and using a chain saw”.

“Too old”? Too old! Oh HELLZ NO! I am RIDING!

T'was The Night Before
I went to bed early the night before the ride. I always try, I often fail. But this time I nodded right off. Until our two dogs went berserk. Barking they burst out through the dog door, sprinting into the night I'm now wide awake around midnight. They calm down and come back into the house and I try to sleep once more.

An hour or so later the commotion begins again, worse than before. Fearing the neighbors will share my lack of sleep I stagger into the night. Our two dogs, total weight of 28 pounds are growling barking and huffing around an azalea shrub. The shrub is making a disgusting snarling growl too. More accurately the possum under the shrub is snarling. My brave duo is a very respectful six feet beyond possum strike range and clearly not interested in closing that gap. But, by golly the have mister possum right where they want him. Neil, the Chihuahua-Whippet goes into the house on command. Minnie the Chihuaha-Pug mix is still stomping and barking. I go to her, she rolls over and I pick her up. In the house we go. I assure them both that the have saved us all. I block the dog door. Mission accomplished, if the mission was to assure I did not get a good night's sleep.

I thought then that I should not try the ride after the restless night. In fact when the alarm went off I almost rolled over. But then I thought, “Too old?”

And THAT is why I charged into the night with incomplete planning and lack of sleep on the EggSanity 1000.

And We're Off
When I first planned the ride it was closer to the Summer Solstice with dawn coming earlier and dark later. So my schedule shifted forward so that I could leave the first restaurant, the Wetumpka, Alabama Huddle house near dawn. And that phases of the moon thing? Yeah, one day short of a new moon, pitch black tonight!

The Huddle house has one guy in it when I show up. As luck would have it he's a guy I've known for years and have ridden with many times. I apologize for not being in social mode and explained what I was doing. This guy would routinely go150 miles one way for lunch. But even he said, “1,000 miles in 24 hours? And you are riding alone?” Yep and yep. It seems he thinks I am nuts.

Two scrambled, picture taken and I'm off. It is 6:27 am.

I plug the next restaurant's address into GPS on my Road Glide and go. At this point I did not know that the gods of bits and bytes were laughing at me. But their amusement would become all too clear.

Heading to Sumiton I take back roads for several miles before I hit I-65 north. As usual it was congested. I creep and crawl along for several miles before the GPS says, “Exit right”. I do so. I've used US-31 which roughly parallels I-65 many times lately when construction or other delays make I-65 a rolling parking lot. Then I realize that wasn't Waze telling me there is a better route due to congestion. That's the “dumb” GPS on my Harley. I check the route on the GPS. It shows my destination in west Birmingham. Sumiton is well outside of Birmingham to the north east. I check the entered address. It was correct.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?

I pull up Waze and enter the address. Yep, back on I-65 to I-22. Off again. At this point I should note I'd quit using Waze lately. A few months ago, I-65 south bound had been completely closed. Waze had failed to realize this fact even though the closure had been hours old. Then it routed me along back roads, telling me to turn onto roads clearly marked with Dead End signs to finally deposit me in a parking lot where the only exit was a boat ramp.

But this time Waze was right. Back in the crawling masses of I-65 go I.

Omelet Shoppe Sumiton, AL
I'm way behind schedule, but after I clear Birmingham it is smooth sailing.

I walked into the Omelet Shoppe carrying my flag and the server said, “Let me guess, you have 30 minutes to eat and ride”. I think I may not have been the first person to use this Omelet Shoppe for an EggSanity ride. A couple of patrons ask me about the ride. As I explain I note they are looking at me... differently... like I'd begun drooling and was about to start talking to a dog. The hostess was thrilled to hear a group was coming through in September. The patrons might have plans to eat elsewhere.

Two scrambled with whole wheat toast, she takes my picture, and I pay the bill. Hmmmm. Pretty limited information on the receipt. No name of the place or time – picky, picky, picky. But the server noted the information by hand. That and Bubbler/Spotwalla will, I trust be sufficient.

Back on the road, I back track to Birmingham where I will divert to US 280/231. Congestion was way worse than expected on I-665 south due to a wreck. I'd entered the Tifton, Georgia Royal Waffle King address into Waze, the Harley GPS now in timeout. Waze failed to inform me of said wreck although there are few, if any, alternates in this area.

A bit north of where I am to get off of I-65 I glance at Waze. I read 8.9 miles to my turn. Yeah, that's about right. But the Waze voice had died. Inconvenient, but there are long stretches of highways on the route where there are no turns. I just have to be vigilant in watching.

And then I notice I blew past the exit where I thought I'd divert onto I-459 to take me to the US routes. Sigh. Once again I pullover. The 8.9 miles wasn't 8.9 miles. It was 89 miles! Waze has me riding almost 90 miles south on I-65 to Montgomery before turning east. I'm no genius but I know: 1) that ain't the route Map Quest had and 2) a route with a 90 degree angle is longer than one that uses a relatively straight line. That engineering degree wasn't for nuttin'.

Rerun Waze and it puts me on local streets crudely following I-459 until there is a ramp and off we go. FWIW, having your GPS's voice die when navigating local streets is … sub-optimal.

Things are going pretty well after that. I'm right on pace to finish in almost 24 hours. That isn't good. But more than half of the ride is Interstate and I can make up a lot of time.

At my gas stop I had switched back to the Harley GPS. Its voice died after a few turns too. Radio works, phone works, streaming music works. GPS, nope. I'm sure there is a simple explanation. I'll ask at the next meeting of the International Luddites.

Oh well things go smoothly until I get to Albany, GA. I see a sign for the highway to Tifton. But the GPS says stay on the current road. So I did. I rode completely through Albany, Georgia home of (estimated) 14 billion traffic signals. And I can often see tantalizing views of the highway I didn't take with cars moving smartly along.

I've had this issue with my GPS before. For example it can tell me to take an off ramp just to then say take the on ramp. Apparently the ramps on the inside of the Interstate curve are 6 or 7 inches shorter than the mainline. So, no matter the degree of insanity required to exitand enter, the GPS sends you that way.

Sometimes this is amusing and I can ignore such foolishness. But not when under the stress of a timed ride, on a route I didn't really study, in a region I've never ridden in before. Oh the GPS gods laughed. But the more they laughed the more tricks they threw my way.

Royale Waffle King Tifton, Georgia.
The ride from Albany to Tifton was uneventful. But now I'm in a town I don't know needing to make turns on local roads to find a place I've never been to before. Helping in this effort are two mute GPS devices.

You know how a GPS will say things like, in 2 miles take the left turn onto Smith Street, then ¼ mile, then 250 feet, then turn here? That information is nice. Not so nice is glancing down while moving then missing a turn, recalculating then.... well you get the picture. Into a nice little residential neighborhood we go. Finally I get the you have arrived symbol. And I'm in the parking lot of the Harley Davidson dealership in Tifton. No restaurant in sight.

Now, for those of you who have never experienced the wonders of the H-D GPS I will note they have every dealership pre-programmed into the device. This can be handy. But not when I'm having problems with both GPS units, I'm in a dealership parking lot and there is no egg eating destination in sight. My presumption is the GPS brain farted into the default of the dealership. Dunno, I'm sure my brother Luddites can explain it to me.

OK, Waze, you are up. Hey, the place is just a few miles away AND Waze is talking to me again. Off I go back through the residential neighborhood. Now Waze says you have arrived at your destination on your right. On my right is a road, in fact a road I'd just been on. And I can see the Harley sign from here down that very road. On my left I can see gas pumps so I think I'll pull in and ask. I fear revocation of my man card by asking for directions, but what else can I do? I'm desperate.

Then as if the clouds parted after a storm I see a sign for the Royale Waffle King. It is part of the gas station.

Eggs, picture, bill (you have to pay at the gas station counter) and I'm off.

For some reason, perhaps egg poisoning, I fired up the Harley GPS again. Remember that send you down the local street if it's a foot shorter? Remember I did NOT study my route well, (OK, at ALL for this segment)? Yep it's open mike night at the GPS Comedy Club.

Turn here sez the GPS. Hey the voice is back, or are these voices in my head?

Well, OK, I'll turn but the road we are on looks pretty good. The new road is pretty good too, for awhile. It gets narrower and rougher. Then I'm told to turn again. Onto a narrower, rougher road. After another turn or two the GPS says turn left. This is a loosely graded dirt/gravel mess. Uhhhh, that's a NO. I pan the GPS out and see I-10 tantalizingly close. I stay on the current road and a mile or two later there is a sign to I-10.

[Prologe note: Once home I pull up Spotwalla and my planned path on Map Quest. Turns out the local road route was about 9 miles shorter. Oh great. I sacrifice 9 miles of my “cushion” for a MUCH slower, more stressful path on poor quality roads. What's that laughing I hear?]

Mental math shows I'm still taking up a LOT of the 24 hours. But blissful Interstates lay before me. Best of all my GPS worries are over. I know the routes from here.

Waffle House Biloxi, Mississippi
The ride to Biloxi was uneventful straight down I-10 to exit 44. Signs warned of delays due to construction at the Mobile, Alabama tunnels, but it turned out to be just a couple of miles of riding at 45 mph.

I'm feeling so froggy at Biloxi that I get hash brown and bacon with my eggs. Picture, pay and on my way.

Last Stop Waffle House,Wetumpka, Alabama.
More easy Interstate riding. I-10 east to I-65 then local roads I know well. One more electrical gremlin. Now my music died and the bike's blue tooth would not pair with the Sena 2.0.

The GPS gods threw one more wrinkle at me. The Harley GPS screen said exit at Lower Wetumpka Road. Might be. That COULD cut off a little bit of distance and we often use that route. I have NO idea why I'm not ignoring the GPS at this point, but I take the exit. As I exit I thought, nope, I'll bet this is one of those exit off, merge on things. I get to the bottom of the ramp and the GPS says, “Turn right”. Now turning right, boys and girls,would carry me into Montgomery, away from the Waffle House and into a not-so-nice area. Can't fool me (again) GPS gods. I return to the highway I was on before.

At the Waffle House I knew I had over three hours remaining, so I relaxed, had some extra coffee and added ham to my eggs, plus browns and toast. Quite the feast. By the time I eat and chat with the staff a bit it's almost 4 am, still two and a half hours to spare and it was nice to relax and enjoy the food. Picture and pay then I ride the dozen or so miles home to the lovely Ms. Judy.

Final Thoughts.
Life is good.

All through the 1,000 miles weather has been good. It got into the low 90s during the day, but humidity was below normal. And it cooled at night but not to any great extent.

My total miles per Map Quest (adjusted for my local road detour) is 1,031 miles. I use MapQuest because I can,painlessly add extra points. But I ran Google Maps after I got home and it showed what looks like the route I actually rode. Interesting, at least to me.

I pushed my range between gas stops to over 200 miles one time, but still had almost a gallon in reserve. It was during the local road portion of the trip and my mileage was obviously pretty good. Good thing too, I failed to carry my spare gallon on this trip.

I was remarkably focused despite the lack of sleep. I never felt like I was going to doze off. I did drink coffee with my eggs, but sparingly, and a LOT less than I normally drink. I think the number of stops, five to eat and several gas stops helped.

I tipped each server/picture taker well. These folk work hard for not much pay and were uniformly happy to help and curious about the IBA.

Plan your ride, discard your plan, ride anyway is not a good idea. At a minimum review the principle routes you will ride.

Pending certification this was both a frustrating (GPS) and satisfying (lots of stops) ride.

I spared you from MANY egg related puns. It was an effort to hold back.

I am not THAT old.

What's next?
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