Physical training and motorcycle maintenance for long distance


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I'm feeling healthy enough to take a certified ride again after a summer of bicycling. I've been cycling for an hour almost every day since May, and have added some strength training. The result has been that my blood pressure meds have been cut to one quarter of the previous dosage, and next month I will try going cold turkey. Weight, resting pulse, etc., have also been moving in the fit direction.

But the important thing for motorcycling is that I feel more alert, and I stay that way throughout the day. I had been seriously concerned about getting too tired to ride safely over the course of a full IBA day's riding.

But they never warned me about the psychological side effects from all this activity. I find myself wandering the house looking for something useful to do. I've painted three rooms in the past month! Professionals have explained that this is called "boredom," and it's a common side effect caused by fitness. Fortunately it's still motorcycle season. But I might get in trouble with my wife if this continues into winter. :p


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"Eating on the bike is no big deal. But, a modular or 3/4 helmet with a drop down internal sun visor makes it a lot easier/safer."

Except for those of us with loooooong oval heads. In my case think the creature in the movie Alien. Ain't no such critter/helmet. I've tried. I buyed. I kweet.

I'm now 68 years old. My spirit animal is a sloth.

Like the guy above, cutting back to a couple of cups of coffee IS caffine deprivation. I do that before an IBA ride. I also seek better sleep for a few days before the ride. I still can not sleep a full night before a ride, so I tend to grab a couple of hours and leave at zero dark thirty.

Jerky and almonds are my snack of choice. I hydrate before and during.

And,yes, both my doctor and my wife would appreciate it if I worked out a bit.


Premier Member
IBR Finisher
Except for those of us with loooooong oval heads. In my case think the creature in the movie Alien. Ain't no such critter/helmet. I've tried. I buyed. I kweet.
I hear ya. If you get an opportunity, try the Bell SRT Modular. My forehead is smashed in a Shoei Neotech but the Bell is wonderful.

Back to the topic: When I was just getting serious about LD riding and rallying, I met Eric Bray and he took one look at me and said that I needed to work on my conditioning. That was the best advice that I absolutely ignored.

Going into the last IBR at 335 lbs, some of the bonuses were torture for a fat boy. I now understand what Eric said and have made the commitment to be in better condition for the next one. I'm down 80 lbs through better eating, building stamina through walking and spinning and exercising my mind through routing exercises and fine tuning my "system". I still have to work on the caffeine intake.

Maintenance wise, my Trophy is good for 10k mile oil change intervals, more than enough for an IBR allowing for a small overage. Front tires are an issue. 12k is about the limit on the PR4GT. I'm about to go to the Road 5 GT and see how it does. Rear is darkside so it is not a concern.
That was a very good interview. Thanks!

My biggest issue has been consistency in exercise/activity. I'd been good at my daily plan - some yoga, some kettlebells, 1-1.5 mile walk - but something would interrupt the regularity, and I have a hard time getting back on track. I think part of that is not having a reason to keep up. I started in preparation for my SS1000, and it helped a lot. Maybe committing to doing LD rides regularly would do it.

Watching my food quantity and quality had brought my weight down from 265# to 240# or better in about three months, and I've been able to maintain that. That's been good, other than having a mis-fitting wardrobe now.


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A story, once started, should be finished. I went cold turkey on my blood pressure meds last week, and just came home from having it checked. I'm on the high range of normal, and can continue not taking any meds.

I have to keep up the effort, both to further improve and to keep off the meds. Also, 15 lbs. weight lost, better stamina, better sleeping, overall better health and longevity.

Now I'm fit enough for another Iron Butt ride.
But it was the Pedal Ninja that brought me here.

Here's a pic of the Pedal Ninja on her Field of Victory. She's a Bridgestone XO-3. Yes, that Bridgestone. I bought her almost 30 years ago at Grand Performance in St. Paul, MN. The only mods have been an anatomically correct seat, new tires and tubes, new rear brake pads, and a carry pouch. She gets the job done! We ride the Interurban/Oak Leaf trails in Milwaukee and its northern suburbs. Pedal Ninja.jpg
Just read this with interest as i live 20 miles south east of London by the river Thames i have a route on the river bank away from road traffic on a pedal bike approx i hour a day it definitely helps.
I did a UK four corners last year starting in Lowestoft ending at John o Groats 1400 miles within 36 hours including 5 hours sleep in a hotel around two thirds of the way compared to the mileage you do across the pond it's a modest distance but hard work on our little over crowded island with the traffic, road works, and idiot cage drivers.
I find the best way is to get a good nights sleep bed at 10 pm that means i am awake around 4 am up quick wash and shave drink plenty of water and go with the GS i get around 300 miles a tank try to get as close as to that as i can by that time i have some mileage in before the thundering herd is out of bed fuel water snack bar i have something more substantial on the second fuel stop hot drink bacon roll.
I have found the further you get into the ride the harder it is to maintain your mileage discipline between fill ups so i dig in and get bloody minded.
The older i get the more i enjoy this long distance stuff.


Premier Member
IBR Finisher
@Baxter - Take the Pedal Ninja out for a Century ride. I did a bunch of those in my teens along with a lot of road riding, then returned to cycling in my '40s, doing MTB trail riding and commuting 150 miles a week, rain or shine in Oregon. Bicycles are great for cardio. I've lost 20 lbs over the last three months or so, walking 3 miles every morning and cutting back on snacks, watching my intake more. That pretty much means I'm back to where I was before CV-19 lockdown, which isn't a bad thing, but I need to push past the current plateau and lose another 20 lbs, then repeat a couple more times.

I used to joke that I could hop on just about any motorcycle and knock out a SS1K. I've done them on ill fitting seats and comfy RDLs custom fit to me. About a week ago, I more or less proved my point, riding a SS1K on my 150cc scooter. So, yes, I can knock out a 22 hour SS1K on just about anything that can go over 50 mph. :D The best conditioning for LD riding is LD riding. Being fitter and healthier means you're not as fatigued, but LD riding is as much a mental game as it is a physical activity.

Exercise wise, getting the heart pumping and keeping at that for at least 20 minutes every day has a very positive impact. It takes about a month to wake up your metabolism if you have been sedentary for an extended time. Keep up the daily activity and it will start to show some results after the first month or so. Move in stages, try not to bite off more than you can chew right off the start. Walk a block if that's what wears you out. After walking a block for a week, you should be able to walk two, keep increasing the distance until you're walking for 40 minutes to an hour. When that becomes comfortable, toss in something else. Some squats or push ups at different points along your walk or at home with some trigger.

I know a fellow that does 20 push ups every day when the mail carrier comes. Every day when he goes out to get the paper, he walks around the block before coming in with the paper. He does sit ups before lunch every day. It's the little things plus consistency that help keep us moving in the right direction.


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It's been far too long! I'm submitting my documentation for a Lake Michigan 1000. While I wasn't the most efficient rider, I also felt that this was my easiest Iron Butt ride due to the fitness changes I started making last year, as indicated above. Normally I'm shattered after an IBA ride. But I felt that I could have kept going for a good bit longer, both physically and mentally. And the next day was also good.
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Congratulations! Don't worry about not being the most efficient. It's a marathon, not a sprint. Your exact time doesn't matter. 30 seconds ahead of the timer is the same as 3 hours ahead of the timer. It's a pass/fail, not a percentage score.

You realized that you needed to get in better shape to accomplish one of your goals, and you did what it took to make it happen! That's awesome. Good job.


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The weather was good, I was feeling good, and I had no reason to push. So it was a relaxing 1000 miles! But I need to be a lot better at planning fewer stops and keeping the time for each stop to a minimum if I want to try for a BB1500 Gold.
4. Train for life, not just for a specific thing. I'm able and ready for daily living and everything that comes with it. Including IBA rides.
Update: On July 10th I had an accident. We’re still waiting for the dash cam footage from the state trooper that was in the intersection to see if I royally screwed up or if the auto jumped out in front of me and stopped. I almost got around it but I clipped the rear of the car with my left engine guards. I held it up through the intersection but dumped once I got to the grass. The guards on my left side bent, the left floorboard and the heel/toe shift lever were torn off. My foot was caught in that mess, breaking my 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th toes, along with a minor fracture near the ankle. My right hand was burned by the exhaust as I slid for a few seconds with the bike pushing me. I was in the hospital for a five days with an open wound, then they put pins in three of my toes. My granddaughter was with me but she was thrown clear and didn’t tangle with the bike. She has a broken left ankle but she was released that day.

Anyway, my recovery hasn’t been as difficult as it could have been since I’m in shape. My right leg is strong and my upper body strength allowed me to get moving quickly on crutches. I’m returning to work on Monday, and in another week the stitches and pins should be removed. I didn’t expect a crash to be something I would experience, but being fit is definitely making it easier to recover.

Also, we were wearing full gear, so we didn’t suffer any other injuries. No head or spine trauma.