Historic US 50 Coast to Coast


Premier Member
IBR Finisher
Perusing the list of Iron Butt Association Rides I find a ride called “Historic US 50 Coast to Coast”. Now I live about 6 miles from 50 and ride on it multiple times a week. Riding the entire length might be interesting. This ride is from Ocean City, Maryland to West Sacramento, California via US-50 (3,073 miles) --or reverse--in 4 days or less. I think I can do that. I start talking about it and the “boss” says shut up and do it. Okay, I will. I call my long-time friend Jack Airlie and ask him if he wants to come along. Surprisingly, he says yes and asks when do we meet in Ocean City. The die is cast.

Day 0 to Ocean CIty
The bike is packed and ready to go. But first I have to do my volunteer shift at the USO at Ft Meade, MD. That finished, I am on the road to the eastern shore of Maryland. Just after crossing the Chesapeake Bay Bridge a guy in a pick-up truck flags me to the side of the road. He yells you lost a bag on the bridge. Sure enough, the day bag I carry on the top case of my K1600GTLE is missing. Two straps have failed, and the ends are still strapped to the bike. The other four straps must have vibrated loose and the bag went into traffic and presumably into the bay eventually.
Oh well. Start a mental list of what I have lost. iPad, charging cabled, blood pressure meds, and some clothes and sandals. All replaceable but no meds for the ride is a concern. Call my wife and give her the news and ask her to count out some more meds and stack some clothes in our closet. Call Jack and tell him to meet me at the Walmart near Ocean City.
Have the shopping trip at Wally World, meet an old friend, John Badrian for an early dinner. And head off to bed. We had planned on a 0300 start to be ahead of the traffic in DC and now with a detour to my house to replenish we plan to leave at 0130.

Day 1 to Vincennes, IN - 864 miles (plus a few extra)
After four hour of restless sleep we are up and on the road. Take the short ride over the bridge into Ocean City proper and get a start receipt and requisite picture of the receipt and odometer. We are off. 22 miles down the road jack’s NC750DCT throws the chain. He just had it in the shop yesterday. What did the guy do? Or not do? Anyway, we get the chain back on and tighten it as far as it can go. We are off, again. After recrossing the Bay Bridge, we detour into Annapolis and stop at my house. I grab all the stuff that is set out for me. Load it on the bike, this time in the seat bag configuration that has not failed in numerous rides, including 2 IBRs, we are off for the third time. We retrace our route to get back on 50 at the point where we had exited and head west. DC sucks no matter what time you go through, and Northern Virginia is little better. It is not till Middleburg VA that things start to roll. Then it gets smooth. The sun is finally up and there are things to see. The ride from Winchester VA to Clarksburg WVA could be a destination ride. In Parkersburg we pass the McDonalds where I picked up a rescue dog who spawned my screen name. In Ohio the roads were good; in fact near Albany they were so good that we we gabbing about how nice the road was that we missed a turn and had to backtrack 25 miles to get back on 50. As it got dark, it got colder, a portent of things to come. At 2230 we got to the Hampton Inn in Vincennes IN for the first rest stop of the ride.

Day 2 to Garden City KS – 805 miles
Up and out the door at 0430, which immediately is 0330 as we ross into Illinois. It is in the 30s and electric gear is on and working. The ride is easy and straightforward until we get to East St Louis. 50 is now running concurrent with I-255 and at some point, there is a detour and I-255 is closed. We loop around trying to find a way around the detour with no success. We get back on the Interstate and use the GPS to get us to a shaping point we had in the route and get back on 50. We cross the Mississippi and 50 takes us onto the streets of St Louis. After a while 50 joins up with I-44 and it is 40 miles of Interstate before 50 splits off. Nice ride on the way to Jefferson City until Jack’s chain pops off again. It is stretched to the limit. Searching separately, Jack’s wife Ruth and my daughter Lisa find the only Honda (?) shop in Jefferson City MO. We limp along hoping the bike will hold together. In Jefferson City we split up as Jack heads to the bike shop and I continue the ride. We will figure out how to rendezvous later. Getting around Kansas City is not a problem. Our Naval Academy classmate Tony Mitchell has been following on Spotwalla and drives the hour from Lawrence to meet me in Emporia KS for a quick hello. A nice respite from the ride, especially when he gives me a bag of mini Snickers and 3 bottles of Iced tea. While we are talking Jack calls and says he is underway. Given the fuel range of the Honda, Tony heads up the interstate to meet Jack at a gas station in Ottawa KS. Great friend. I have about 225 miles left for the day and roll into Garden CIth while it is still light out. Jack arrives two hours later and we celebrate by having a meal at IHOP.
Day 3 to Delta UT – 783 miles
A good 6 hours of sleep and we are rolling west towards Colorado. Again, it is a quick change to Mountain Time and again it is dark until after 0700. The ride is uneventful. Great scenery. Pass a bonus I got in IBR 2017. The road from Canon City to Salida is another destination ride. 50 goes over Monarch Pass, the site of a deer taking me out and totaling my bike during Butt Lite 8. The oil stain I left there is now gone. Mostly two lane and amazingly fast. Then 50 merges with I-70 for 180 miles of 80+ mph. Some beautiful roads in Utah and we get to Delta before dark. However, Delta must close early on Sundays as the only place to eat is McDonalds.

Day 4 to West Sacramento – 603 miles
Another 6 hours sleep and another cold start. It is 40ish as we start and eases towards 50 degrees. But then the bottom falls out and it is in the 20s. You would think my thermometer was broken as the temperature fluctuations are amazing, especially how quickly they happen. As usual we are in the dark, so we see nothing. The low point of the morning is when, just before Ely NV, the gauge reads 15. Thank God for heated gear. We are headed onto the Loneliest Highway in the US. Topping off the Honda in Ely, we intend to gas up at every station we find. There is gas in Eureka. Seven miles from Austin NV the bottom falls out. Jack’s rear tire gives up the ghost. He down to the belts and it will not hold air. Fortunately, he has cell service and Progressive is sending a tow. We ride two up into Austin and I leave him at the gas station where he will wait for the tow truck. There was nothing but empty where the bike sits. I get back on the road and head for the finish. Traffic is not bad until South Lake Tahoe. Lane splitting is a way of life in California but in a town with tourists it is another adventure as they do not know the rules. Eventually I get to the head of the pack and it is an easy trip from Placerville to the finish.

Start Oct 17 at 0137
Finish Oct 20 at 1533
Total time 88 hours 58 minutes
GPS miles 3114
Odometer miles 3066 (can you spell odometer error)

And Jack got to the hotel at 1900. His was not intended to be a certificate ride. route 50 complete.jpg
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Premier Member
Great ride, hate that your Buddy had so many issues. Heck, you as well. Losing the bag with your stuff in it. I really think I would have called it at that point.
Sounds like you had pretty good weather, at least no rain.


Premier Member
Nice job!
I completed this ride earlier this year E to W. It was a fun challenge and (at least for me) not as easy as one might think. My cert is still pending.
Curious if the movie "21 Days under the Sky" influenced your decision at all?
Looks like a great run nonetheless. I'm hoping to do a Canada C2C next summer. Maybe a gold, but ask me on day two... lol.
My IBAs thus far have only been 24 hours or less. That said, a BBG is also in the works.
Crap about losing the bag & buddy's motorcycle issues.


Premier Member
IBR Finisher
Curious if the movie "21 Days under the Sky" influenced your decision at all?
Looks like a great run nonetheless. I'm hoping to do a Canada C2C next summer. Maybe a gold, but ask me on day two... lol.
My IBAs thus far have only been 24 hours or less. That said, a BBG is also in the works.
Crap about losing the bag & buddy's motorcycle issues.
don't know the movie so I don't know what it would have to do with my decision. the parameters are set by the IBA so that's how anything I did was decided.
Cool, not a major, just a movie about these four guys, I'm assuming a moderate production crew as well. Riding west to east on the US 50. On old Harley-Davidson motorcycles.

--I've done the Loneliest Road and received the State of Nevada "I survived" pin and certificate after filling out the passport. I think it's more for kids and wives [ha ha] as my wife enjoyed all the little shops where the passport stamps were collected. No IBAs were completed during MY ride.
The Hotel Nevada is pretty cool as well. They used to give wicked discounts to motorcyclists, but now they're a little pricier.

Regardless, the "21 Days" movie is alright, and it helps with winter [for me anyhow... ;)]

Thanks for the report.
Fantastic, that is a great ride, I have done it but not straight through like that. I live in Evansville south of Washington IN, I picked up US 50 in Washington and went West one trip and East the next. That is a great road really shows how wonderful our country is, congrats on that ride I am jealous.


Premier Member
IBR Finisher
... I think it's more for kids and wives [ha ha] as my wife enjoyed all the little shops where the passport stamps were collected. No IBAs were completed during MY ride...
Well, that made me laugh, a sad laugh, but a laugh. Some wives would find that ride a little sedate while I can imagine some husbands not enjoying a day riding with me (insert smiling devil emoji here!)

Thanks Marty - now you've got me thinking about a US50 run. Thanks for giving me something to look forward to :)