SantaSore 1000

Mike721

Premier Member
#1
I thought I was done with Iron Butt rides for the year, but then those ever so clever folks at Iron Butt headquarters dropped a challenge that I just could not refuse. A few weeks before Christmas they announced some new special theme rides, that can only be done once a year at Christmas time, between 12/24 and 12/26, Christmas Eve, Christmas, and Boxing day.

What are they called? The SantaSore 1000 and Sleighburner 1500 of course.
The details and special rules can be found here, check it out!
https://www.ironbutt.org/christmas/

The special SantaClaus logo on the certificate had caught my fancy, I had to have one!

The logistics of this one were challenging though for a few reasons.

1) First concern was the weather, I'm a pretty tough all weather rider but the reality is that I live in Pennsylvania and some years it's just not possible to ride over Christmas, we could have 3 feet of snow or sub zero temps, but this year it looked promising. Temperatures were cold but warming, and there was no snow in the forecast. Ice and freezing rain were still a concern, but at least it looked possible. I love to challenge myself, and this cold would sure present a challenge to say the least.

2) Route planning was next, I'm pretty much locked into going South, this time of year North or West would lead me to snow and ice, and East I run into the ocean. So South on i81 it is, and for me that is a familiar route, one that's almost becoming old hat, but with the other challenges of this ride that was a good thing. Part of this route goes over some decent mountains in Virginia and I was a bit concerned about ice but it was the best that I could find, the only other choice was i95s along the coast and I've always had traffic issues riding on that route so I chose i81.

3) Scheduling, with lots of house guests, Christmas celebrations, and I had to work the Holidays as well so scheduling this ride was very tricky. I had a 3 day window, but I decided that if I was going to do this I was going to do it right, and at least part of the ride would be on Christmas, 12/25, so I could watch for Rudolph and Old Saint Nick as I rode along :)

I managed to fit all the pieces together, and the ride took place, SantaSore 1000 completed, 12/25/2019, submitted, and verified.

My ride was 1062 miles in 17 hours 15 minutes, Phillipsburg, NJ to Bristol, TN where I turned around and headed back home to Easton, PA. I rode my older 08 Vision and not my 16 on it's first IBA ride, and at 108K miles it proved it still has it and it finally earned it's Iron Butt license plate frame with style!
This was a fun ride on familiar ground, but the cold on the first leg that was all done at night since I really wanted to start on the 25th made it challenging! I started at 10:30 at night on 12/25 after all work and all the Christmas celebrating was done, I headed over to the closest all night gas station which happens to be 3 miles away from my house and over the river in NJ. Temps varied from 22-34 overnight, it was dry and clear, and COLD! I didn't encounter any ice on the roads, but when I left the house I almost slipped and fell on the frozen wood steps of my deck..that got my attention for sure. I headed west to Harrisburg, PA , then south through Maryland and West Virginia and on into Virginia with no traffic or road issues at all. What I did run into was ice building up on the bike and my helmet every time I crossed a temperature zone, which usually meant every time I went over a mountain. A few times near Roanoke, VA my windshield was 100% opaque with white ice, I lowered it and peered over it through a slowly freezing visor, but then it would warm up a few degrees and the ice would go away. I commute in the dark so I'm used to this effect but it is disconcerting to say the least. I was watching the road surface carefully for ice forming but I never noted any, I'm really glad for that! I have never seen i81 so empty as it was on Christmas night, as I blasted through frigid air admiring the Christmas lights on nearby houses I was all alone quite a few times. Not a creature (or Semi) was stirring... :)

My heated jacket liner and gloves worked well, those parts were warm and toasty but I really need to get some heated gear for my lower half, I was wearing freeze out gear under jeans, it helped but my thighs were frozen, there is one spot that the wind spilling off the fairing hits and it cuts like a knife at 80 mph and 25 degrees after a few hours. I really wish I had remembered my chaps, I left them sitting on my dressing bench at home!

Once the sun rose as I reached my turnaround in Bristol the air slowly warmed and I slowly thawed out, by noon I could feel my thighs and life was good, the rest of the ride home was uneventful except for some busy post holiday traffic, no slowdowns, just a lot of people trying to get places..it took some care threading my way though them all. Temperatures rose and I saw about 60 degrees in Virginia but I only saw one other bike the whole trip and it was on the other side of I-81 around noon somewhere in Virginia. I finished up around 4 PM, back at home in Easton, PA. I thought about doing another 500 miles for the Sleighburner 1500 as well, I had the time but I decided that I was quite happy with the SantaSore and I really wanted dinner (I never ate on the ride), some Christmas cookies and hot coffee so I went home and stayed there like a normal person. :cool:

SantaSore 1000 completed, 12/25/2019, 1062 miles in 17 hours and 15 minutes, submitted, verified, and awesome certificate received and hung on my trophy wall :)
 

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IBA ZX-9R

Active Member
#2
Not many could do that ride. And by the sound of it, I'd be one of them. Too dangerous for my liking. The last things I'd want to do with one of my bikes would be slip during a ride I knew better not to attempt and ouch, falling when you're that cold might just shatter me into a million pieces.

Congratulations on doing and surviving it though. That's the spirit we all have a little of inside us.
 

Mike721

Premier Member
#4
Looking good on the wall there!
I wonder how many people did the SantaSore or Sleighburner? There was a lot of talk about it at the time, it had people's attention but not a lot since, I've seen a few people post certificates but that's about it.