A Sunday ride on the Interstates. US Saddle Sore 1600 (Post IBR19)

Martin Little

Premier Member
IBR Finisher
With the rally over and Pillion Piglet flying back to Minnesota on the dawn flight, my plan was to ride the RT back to Minnesota from South Carolina.

My "ride plan" a Sunday ride on the Interstates

At a distance of 1,800km a saddle sore seemed in order and as I had to be up at 4:15am for Bec’s flight it made sense to just get on the road and ride.

Rally HQ at dark O'Clock, Sunday morning

Out in the carpark, I was on my own, but as I rode out one other rider was mounting up for the journey home. A quick fuel stop, and start docket and then it was onto I85 north. Not much happening at this time of the morning and I made good progress to the junction of I26 where I turned and headed west for the Smokey Mountains. This section of I26 was glorious in the early dawn light as it climbed its way up and through the Smokey Mountains towards Newport Tennessee. There was a bit of traffic around for a Sunday, but it was all moving nicely as rode along taking the offramp into I40, past, Newport, then Knoxville where we took I75 into Kentucky.

Time to head for Minnesota

The day had warmed up and progress was good. At Lexington KY, I took I64 for Louisville, now heading due west through the rolling hills of Kentucky. At Louisville I managed to navigate my way seamlessly (for a change) onto I65 headed due north through Indiana towards Illinois. Not a lot to say about this section of the ride, progress was good until I got to Indianapolis, where there was a detour around the western part of the city. If I’d had my wits about me I would have continued west towards Peoria Illinois to avoid the traffic around the Chicago metropolitan area I didn’t. Instead choosing to follow the detour signs northwards on I65 towards the I94 turnpike.

Taking a moment on Sunday morning at a Rest Area in Tennessee, or was that Kentucky?

At I94 I turned westwards to work my way through the chaos that is the mishmash of interstates around the Chicago metropolitan area. Sunday afternoon and the traffic was tough in the summer heat. I made progress westward, then northwards in the churning metal maelstrom. O’Hare Airport passed by with the City of Chicago off in the distance to my right. Back onto I90 I made better progress towards Rockford, stopping at a Truckstop to cool off and have a late lunch/early dinner ready for the ride into Wisconsin. A couple of sports bike riders were keen to chat the Truckstop, and we swapped notes on our days riding activities. They were quite happy with their 100 km ride and were on their way home.

Taking a moment to cool off and have a late lunch near Rockford Illinois

Crossing into Wisconsin, I90 was under major roadworks, which didn’t appear to have progressed much from last year when I had ridden this section after Buttlite IX. Once clear of the roadworks progress was good with light traffic as I motored towards the setting sun. Taking I94 it almost felt like I was home, but I still had a few hours to go. Approaching Eau Claire the sun slipped below the horizon as the warm summers evening settled over the landscape.

Into the darkness in Wisconsin, only just a few more miles down the road

There was major roadworks occurring on the Interstates in the Twin Cities (Minneapolis St Paul) but the detours were well sign posted and late in the evening I rode into Eden Prairie where I fuelled up, collected my finishing receipt and rode the 1.5km to my destination. A total of 1882 kms for the day. It had been a good ride across country for a SS1600. I felt tired, but satisfied with my days ride.

Done for the day, back home in Minneapolis