Sometimes, it's OK to be 3rd

BMW RT Pilot

Premier Member
#1
13 rides, 12 months, 18 states, 1.5 million miles (ok that last one was a little bit of an exaggeration). No snow or hail, but only one ride (the last one), when it didn't rain for significant distances. What's not reflected is how far some of these starting and ending points were to my house- Iron City, for example, was over 2 hours and 120 miles away...one way! (the mileage to the starting point doesn't count)

Since one missed ride means you have to start all over, I really restricted my other riding; the last thing that I wanted to have happen was to have an accident or mechanical failure and miss one.

The one thing that always made me shake my head was how the weather would go from agreeable to disagreeable right as the ride window would open. And of course, right after I completed a ride, the weather (mostly) went back to being nicer. :)

One ride in particular was really interesting- I started at midnight and the temperature was 72 degrees...in October! Of course, things wouldn't stay that way and the temp kept falling another 10 degrees between legs until finally, in Indianapolis, it was barely 40 and it was time to put the heated gear on! The temperature hovered around 45 the rest of the way.

It was nice to get back to MI and visit my childhood homes and get some cider from Yates cider mill (but it also saddened me to see the cider mill changed so much).
 

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BMW RT Pilot

Premier Member
#4
For some odd reason you made me feel better. I thought I was the only one the weather screwed with when trying to accomplish a ride. Congratulations on your 12 Ides Insanity!
If the weather never factored in, then the IBA slogan would have to be changed from "The World's Toughest Riders" to something along the lines of, "We'll ride if we don't get wet". :)

I hope that I'll never have to go through again with what I went through on my SS3K Gold Christmas of last year.
 

dmcqueeney

Staff member
Premier Member
IBR Finisher
IBR Staff
#8
Greetings, Christopher ...
Well done, well done -- for persevering with your series for the year, and for completing the Insanity variation, including the wrinkle of ending one SS and starting a second SS on the same Ides day (with some intervening rest, I hope). My congratulations to you on your carefully planned & executed riding accomplishment.
Regards ... Dave
 

BMW RT Pilot

Premier Member
#9
Greetings, Christopher ...
Well done, well done -- for persevering with your series for the year, and for completing the Insanity variation, including the wrinkle of ending one SS and starting a second SS on the same Ides day (with some intervening rest, I hope). My congratulations to you on your carefully planned & executed riding accomplishment.
Regards ... Dave
Kind words from the man himself!

If anyone didn't already know, Dave McQ was the guy who came up with this diabolical series in the first place. I thought I was going to be the 2nd person to do this, but Charles Lamb beat me by two months.

My avatar is actually from one of my rides; It was the double I did in July for Letters R and E. I am in the U.P. of Michigan, along the northern shore of Lake Michigan, facing SE towards the Mackinac Bridge, which if you look, is completely fogged-in! That really surprised me too...I never expected this kind of fog in July, and even when I returned to the bridge around 1pm, the fog still came up to the bottom of the roadway, despite temps in the 80s!

Here is a link of the video I recorded while going over the Mackinac Bridge- pretty effin' hairy when the lane closure force me on to the metal grating with it being that wet. As you watch remember- that isn't rain...it's FOG!

Dave, this was probably my only "real" rest stop- I cleaned up a bit and had a nice sack lunch I brought while sitting on a very wet picnic table. The sound of the waves crashing along the shore and the birds in the water were really quite soothing. The traffic, on the other hand, wasn't as relaxing- too many people pulling campers and boats, semi's, and tourists suddenly stopping or turning. Road was mostly 2-lane with some parts 3. One section was closed and the detour took us on to some pretty tight, hilly, twisty and narrow road, which must've been a lot of fun for those aforementioned load-pulling vehicles.

I would end up riding over 2200 miles in just over 36 hours (most of the delay came from massive road closures around Detroit and my losing the detour route (Garmin wasn't very helpful in getting me back on course)), but I still managed to get not only the two SS1Ks, but also a SS2K Gold and another BBG.
 

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JAVGuzzi

Premier Member
#14
I have ridden over the Big Mac Bridge many times on the grating. Some Riders say it's not that bad, but I disagree !! I'm glad I never did it in fog, like you did !!

I rode once from Duluth to Superior during a Lake Superior SS1K and while on the bridge, I first thought I was riding through fog. But by the time I got to Superior, I realized I had actually rode through a low hanging cloud. Me and the bike were saturated with water. It wasn't raining, but I was completely soaked. The bridge is fairly high up.
 

BMW RT Pilot

Premier Member
#15
I have ridden over the Big Mac Bridge many times on the grating. Some Riders say it's not that bad, but I disagree !! I'm glad I never did it in fog, like you did !!

I rode once from Duluth to Superior during a Lake Superior SS1K and while on the bridge, I first thought I was riding through fog. But by the time I got to Superior, I realized I had actually rode through a low hanging cloud. Me and the bike were saturated with water. It wasn't raining, but I was completely soaked. The bridge is fairly high up.
Yeah it was butt-clenching for sure. Like, I could turn coal into a diamond clenching, LOL. I couldn't ride with the visor up because there was so much water that it was as if it were raining but leaving it down didn't help and neither did the stock windshield.

This fog/cloud really started much further to the south, dozens and dozens of miles from the bridge, actually. When I hit Mackinaw City, I couldn't see diddly.

But what really surprised me, whether it was fog or a cloud, was how widespread it was and that despite the temperatures later in the day hitting the high-80s, IT WAS STILL THERE!! (albeit just below the bridge)

The first pic is along HWY 2 heading east towards the bridge; the second is as I was heading south (kinda distorted).
 

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JAVGuzzi

Premier Member
#16
The weather up there can be very localized, too. We did the Lake Superior SS1K CCW starting & ending in the Soo. It was raining ( not that hard ) for the last 3 hours before we stopped for gas in Ishpeming during the wee hours. I asked the clerk there, How long has it been raining here ? He said all day & night. We pulled out of the gas station and headed east and about a half mile down the road, the rain stopped and the road was bone-dry. Had clear weather after that all the way back to the Soo.

They say the U.P. is beautiful during the summer - all three weeks.

BTW, FYI : All Yooperland SS1K June 22nd.
 
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BMW RT Pilot

Premier Member
#17
They say the U.P. is beautiful during the summer - all three weeks.
It's weird because I mostly grew-up in Michigan near Detroit and I don't ever remember it being that hot (never had AC, slept with windows open), but as I was riding south on 75, the temps were in the 90s. Very fatiguing.