Iron Butt Sign Iowa-Spring Equinox SS1K

Got the email today saying the ride is official. To be fair to the certification team of the 68 days it took, I was responsible for 65 of those days. Three day turnaround from the premier submission to certification notification is great work guys!

Iron Butt Sign Iowa-Spring Equinox SS1K

Did not set an alarm and woke up about 10 after two. Had breakfast, a mug of coffee, took the dog out and got dressed. Forecasted low was 32 degrees, so I layered up. Started with LD long legged, artic grade long legged, Kevlar riding pants. For the upper body, thermal underwear, heavy Carhart shirt, light weight Columbia fleece jacket, heavy fleece jacket, three season jacket. All covered with Aeorstich Darian. Felt a little stiff in the upper body. Gauntlet style Aerostich insulated deer skin gloves with thin liners gloves completed my efforts against the cold.

The steed for this ride was the 1985 GL1200A. The GL was chosen because it offered better wind protection. It’s downside is that I have not gotten the ergonomics totally dialed in.

After arriving at the gas station turned on the Spot3 tracking. Getting the start receipt proved to be undramatic official start time 3:26:27 AM. Taking a picture of the receipt and the odometer didn’t produce a good shot due to darkness and flash. First part of the ride was on curvy MN Hwy 61. The road surface was dry, so black ice was not a big concern though I was watching for signs of it. After joining I35 in Duluth, MN the road surface in the tunnels looked shiny which rose a caution flag but did not feel any slippiness. I35 has been a part of two previous IBA rides, so I have a favorite gas stop in Hinkley. I was still on the interstate when the red fuel light came on. Made it to the gas pumps without a problem. The distance 166 miles.

Rode 135E through the Twin Cities. Though I was riding through St Paul, chose to ride through in the morning to avoid potential protest centered in Minneapolis. Made it through without incident and reached the next gas stop in Northfield. The sun was up giving me encouragement that the day is getting warmer. Leg was 114 miles.

I was experiencing a lot of buffeting from the wind as I headed south. Next fuel stop was to be in Webster City 159 miles. Tank was reading near empty and the GPS said 40+ miles. Not going to make it, so made an unscheduled stop for fuel. Stopped for fuel in Webster City as planned while getting gas another rider on a red 1800 stopped and chatted a bit. Onward to the destination the Iron Butt Sign.

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After getting the picture, I removed the fleece jacket and put it and the glove liners in the trunk. Noted how windy it was.

Now to ride an extra 100 mile on the way home to qualify the ride as a SS1K. The first step was to ride back to I35 using some county highways. Nice paved roads through fields and farms. Headed north on I35 to then proceeded east on I90 to Austin, MN leg was 123 miles.

From Austin headed to Oakdale, WI for the turning point of the dog leg. What struck me about this leg was the decent down into the Mississippi River valley, four miles of elevation drop.

Took I94 West to US Hwy 53 North. When planning the route, I had changed my fuel stop to a shorter distance but once again I saw that I had over estimated the bikes range. Original plan was to stop in Minong, WI. Stopped instead in Rice Lake, WI. With that earlier stop it also created and other unplanned stop in Two Harbors, MN.

Sun was setting as I crossed the Bong Bridge at Superior-Duluth. The temps were still reasonable. Filled up in Two Harbors and could smell the ending of the ride. Did not put on the fleece jacket back on, as I rode on Hwy 61 the falling temps became apparent. I was chilly but not drastically so.

Successfully got the final receipt at 8:56:57 PM. Total ride time 17:30:30, 9 stops. Google has the ride time at 16:10 so average stop was about 10 minutes.

Notes to self, remember freeways get worse mileage than two lane highways and work on knee ergonomics.

Ride safe,