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SS 1000 in April ?
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James, congratulations on your SS1000. Glad to hear that David1 also completed his.

Between Fort Stockton and El Paso, there are three stations in Van Horn, after VH the stations are closer and closer together so fuel should not be an issue. I believe the longest dry stretch is between Ft Stockton and Ozone, which you have already know.

Are you turning around at the El Paso city limits or going on to Anthony at the TX/NM border. There is fuel at Anthony, actually a busy intersection as gas is cheaper in TX than NM. 

As you have learned, the Iron Butt rides are more about time management and planning than speed. Congratulations again, job well done.

David McQueen (David1) managed to meet his May 18th goal by finishing his Saddle Sore 1000
this weekend.  He rode a similar route, and encountered some rain along the way.

I also received an email from the Iron Butt Organization saying they were certifying my ride last month, so I'll be receiving all the swag I paid for in the coming weeks.

My next goal is the Bun Burner 1500 Gold (BBG 1500).  Same route, but keep on going to El Paso
before turning around.  Time constraints are much tighter, and the fuel stops have to be as efficient
as possible.  I'm concerned with the leg between Ft. Stockton and El Paso.  It's 222 miles, and at
80-85 mph and a possible headwind, I'm not sure if even filling my gas tank to the rim will get me
there each way.  I didn't make note of the MPG I had when heading to El Paso last time.  There is
a station at Sierra Blanca where I might need to take a splash-n-go.

Just for the record, I rode the SS1000 this last Saturday morning (04/20).

My group ride turned into a one-rider show after both David1 and David2 came up with back problems and had to bow out.  Next opportunity would have been the May 18 weekend...

Officially I got started at 06:50am, drove to Ft. Stockton and back, and closed it out at 01:50am Sunday morning.  1064 miles per the GPS.  I mailed the paperwork today, but it will take a few weeks for Mike Kneebone's group to process it.

Jerry Matson asked me to talk about this trip during the meeting in May, assuming I can get away from work.  Thanks for all the advice in this thread.

I met a guy today who had this patch on his shoulder (attached). He said he didn't do anything special to get it, the Iron Butt Association just sent it because he did his SS1000 in Texas. So this should be something you can expect. Nice!

Take the Loop 1604 north around San Antonio. Avoid the downtown area.

Note: Between Ozona and Ft Stockton there is not much in the way of gas. Plan accordingly.
James...I live in Bellaire...I am planning to do the SS1000 sometime in April as well.  I am retiring March 31 from Corporate America.  This is a bucket list item.  From my house to Fort Stockton via I10 is 504 miles.  If I can assist in documentation let me know. 

I am about 3 miles from I10 and there are plenty of near by gas stations for receipts. If you want to start at my house, let me know.  Looks like it might be a good midway for you and your riding buddy.

I've done countess 500 mile say day lunch rides and it really isn't that big a deal. I am a bit concerned about the 1000 but will give it a go in April .

If you or your buddy drop out and still want to be a pack of 2...holler at me I would be interested.

For water, get a camel back.  I do this now except I don't strap in on my back as find in uncomfortable.  I strap it to the tank bag and can water anytime I want it.  I start by filling it completely full of crushed ice, and drink as it melts.  I refill with water when I stop for gas.  Some gas stations will allow me to fill it with ice for free and some will charge me a quarter.  I fill it first then ask as hard for them to say no.

I have a question for those who have taken the I10 route.  Leaving Houston won't be difficult mid morning or middle of the night, but 3 hours later you will be in San Antonio...what's your advice for dealing with San Antonio grid lock...
Assuming you've poked around the ironbutt assn website enough to gather the forms, recommendations (I think there is a FAQ), and other information that can be gleaned there.  Their information is very complete...

FWIW, I can vouch for (A) there is some flexibility and (B) witnesses and receipts are your main documentation (at least used to be...).  My first SS1000 was a "group organized" loop leaving Chicago on a loop around Lake Michigan (including a sandy "detour" to some penninsula in Lake Michigan to fetch a gas receipt from a tourist trap location that bumped the loop up to over 1000 miles) and returning to the same tollway rest stop used for the start.  There was a check-in/"starting window" of 5 - 7 AM where the organizers took care of paperwork and signed people off as they were ready to leave (fueling, washrooms and food were available at the rest area).  Once the starting window closed, the volunteers had 14 hours or so to "goof off" before they had to return to sign people in and validate their forms.  The reason I state "flexibility" is that my odometer on the 78 R80RT quit about 300 miles into the ride, but I still completed the ride and was still awarded the SS1000 since other things were properly documented.

As for documentation (pretty sure other suggestions on ironbutt website):
consider a police/fire station, they do 24/7 hours (and hope no major fires/accidents - best to pre-arrange)
consider attendant at last fuel stop (post-1000 mi) - risky with job "turnover" though

Other thoughts:

Perhaps one other rider you have ridden well with in the past, no more.  This is basically a solo endeavor.

Start really early (3-4 AM), while your night vision is still sharp and traffic is light, as you'd like to be back on familiar roads, preferably with some daylight, for the last few hours.  Depending on your fitness level, age, etc. you will likely "hit the wall" somewhere around 800-900 miles in, and have to push through those last miles.  Try to make them as uncomplicated as possible for safety's sake.

For long days, I typically hydrate at each stop (chug a 16 oz water) and toss back a few handfuls of a nut/dried fruit mix (big ziplock bag in topcase).  Also, very important, besides fuel and a potty stop, use 5-10 minutes of each stop to do some stretching/aerobics (run in place, jumping jacks, deep knee bends, etc).  You can (potentially) do some of this on the bike while riding as well, YMMV.  Keeps the blood circulating and will help delay the inevitable stiffness/fatigue later in the day.  As an alternative hydration method, I took a LARGE fanny pack, put a large Platypus water bladder (Campmor) in it, and cinched up the fannypack belt around my tankbag (with bladder between tankbag and myself).  Hose comes out the almost closed zipper.  I try to knock back the first two fuel stops before making the third a longer combined "fuel/food break", knock back two more fuel stops, before a dinner break the last stop before finishing the ride.  I also try to make the first fuel stops as far apart as fuel capacity will allow, getting slightly shorter for each as the ride goes on (your endurance will wane, and temps will rise).

Ride a bike you are well familiar with (in case of mechanical issues) and that has been both ergonomically fitted to you (seat, grip distance, footpegs, etc) and that you have pre-trialed at slightly smaller distances.  This is NOT the time to use new gloves, sunglasses, helmet, boots or riding gear.  Make sure everything is as it should be - any little rub or tight spot will be HUGE after 800 miles.

If you are not in the habit of wearing earplugs (or fitted ear monitors for music/communication), do it.  Cutting down that wind noise makes a huge difference on your fatigue level (and will save your future hearing, unless you really crank the music).

Layer clothing, and be prepared for whatever the weather forecast says you might see.  And plan somewhere to put all the stuff you take off as the day goes by.

As some have mentioned, PLANNING is KEY.  Know your rest/fuel/restaurant stops ahead of time.  Double-check them on the internet to be sure they haven't closed (GPS can be inaccurate).

Good luck - and a bit of fitness training between now and then would not be a bad thing. ;-)
James, having done several IB rides, can share some experiences.
1). Your witness is to verify that you and the bike's mileage are at the location start and finish. They can sign the night before starting or shortly after arriving back home. They do not have to be there at 3 AM when you get your start gas receipt. That receipt starts the clock for the ride, not the witness signing. 

2. No photos needed for the SS1000, just your receipts and a map of the route you took indicating the stops and turns. On each turn or route change, get gas and a receipt.

3). There is an All Texas SS100 I mapped out, Houston, Del Rio, Brownsville, Houston. Much more interesting that just superslabing all day. You get a special certificate for a one state SS1000. If you were going for the BunBurner1500 in 24 hours, then yes, superslab it! Not necessary for the SS1000.

4. I normally start around 3 AM , am hyped so staying awake in the morning is easy, plus is cooler. Use the electric jacket.  You 'll be done in 17 hours +/-.

5). Absolutely set up a way to sip water all day. Carry snacks for the stops and something that you can eat while riding. I also carry cinnamon hot Fireball hard candy to suck on while riding, the spice helps to keep your mind alert.

6). Aim for a seven minute gas stop. Stop at the gas pump, immediately go inside to the restroom to stretch the legs and relieve yourself. Return, pump gas, get receipt, leave.  No dancing around while pumping gas fighting the urge to go. Go first. There is no time for chit-chat, shopping for snacks or drinks. Have everything your need that day with you. No large meals, they only make you drowsy.

7). When tired mentally or eyes strained, pull into a rest area, lay on a picnic table and take a 20 minute power nap, no more. I used the alarm on my iPhone set for 20 minutes.

8).A handkerchief dipped in melted ice water, wipe the neck and head will freshen you up and cool you off.

9). Before you go, make several hundred mile rides to get the feel how your bike handles when warmed up, are all the lights working properly, are there any "hot spots' that you need to adjust, does the water hose work for sipping, can you reach the snacks while riding. 

10).Being a one day ride, is easy to check the weather forecast for your route, and if need be, reschedule. 

Good luck with the ride, let us know how you did afterwards.

To respond to some of the comments:

o I've replaced my K1600 GTL seat with a Russell Day Long... much better, and tested on
   a 300 mile trip so far.  I had an Air Hawk, and this is much better.
o I've added Clearwater Erica's to the bike to make any deer cover their eyes.
o I've also bought a heated jacket liner, tested on said ride at 50 degrees.
o I like the idea of going to Ft. Stockton.  Keeps the Sun on our backs each direction.
o Don't know where we' start now, as I'm coming from Seabrook and David is coming
   from the Woodlands.
o Stopping at a hotel for a few hours of rest is a possibility.
o The Spotwalla monitoring is more for the fan base to watch our progress.
o Need to figure out how to hydrate while riding.  I was thinking about a bag or cooler strapped
   on the passenger seat.  Checking on products like that.

James - One more tip, wherever you start, make sure you have at least, at least, one hour's clear ride in front of you ... that establishes your pace for the remainder of the ride.  You will either be trying to make up for that first 40 mph pace, or you will be building on a 65 - 70 mph pace.
If anyone doesn't fully know what we are talking about, here is a link to the Iron Butt Association description of the 1000 miles in 24 hours ride called the "Saddlesore 1000".
Here is some basic math to consider on a SS1K ride. (I know you have probably thought through all this so this is just stuff for others to know and consider if they want to do this ride.)

Assume you have a 5 gal gas tank. At 80 mph on a BMW 1200gs you will be getting around 40 mpg. That means you can go about 4 x 40 or 160 miles before a low fuel light. If you are confident, and your GPS shows you gas stations ahead, you might go 170 or 180 miles on a tank.

1000 miles divided by 170 miles is 5.88, or 6 stops for gas. If each gas stop is 20 minutes (if you are lucky and good) that is 6 x 20 or 120 minutes or 2 hours of not moving time out of your 24 hours. Add 2 full meals at least to keep your energy up and rest and relax. Those can be hour long stops. So that adds 2 hours. So now you have 21 hours. If you average 70 mph moving then it will take 1000 miles / 70 mph = about 14 hours riding time. So you have a buffer of about 7 hours. That is assuming everything goes according to plan. Which it never does...

So you can hammer down and get it all down at once or you can actually stop and sleep in a motel along the way.

Looking at it this way will also help you plan your start and stop times. You might think you want to start at dawn and go all day, except you will be finishing before dawn and riding in the dark when you are most fatigued. I started my ride at 11 am so I could finish sometime just before then and be riding thru dawn and in daylight toward the end of my ride.

Finishing later in the morning will also make it easier to coordinate for a friend to meet you somewhere to sign your witness form. I am not going to meet you on I-10 anywhere at 6 am!

A few other things to consider.

Leigh hit the highlights - all good points. I would add or emphasize a couple of points.

If you are riding with others plan the ride as if you were by yourself. IOW, as Leigh said, if someone straggles or has a breakdown you want to be independent. This is a huge effort that you don't want to do twice (unless you are into that sort of thing) so don't get brought down by someone else's failure.

Along those lines, if you are riding with some friends, pick friends with similar bikes and similar gas tanks. Your gas tank range as a group is limited to whoever has the smallest tank. So you may be stopping to fill up more than you would by yourself.

No stimulants! No Redbull, no caffeine drinks, no gum. The problem with getting stimulated up is the other side when you are coming down. You can't stay stimulated for 24 hours. This is a primary rule in the "Iron Butt Body of Knowledge".

Bring snacks like protein bars. I primarily use Skippy super chunky peanut butter on Ritz crackers. :-)

Gas receipts are your primary reference. Tip: Don't stop at a Love's for gas. They cater more to tourists or individual truckers so their receipts don't have timestamps (some truckers don't want timestamps!). Stop at Truckstops of America or Flying J - they have timestamps. Doublecheck your receipt. Don't ask me how I know...

Pics may provide additional evidence if they are by a cell phone with GPS timestamping turned on. And you and your bike are in the pic. Secondary evidence, not primary.

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Have a water bladder so you can drink on your bike. Drinking a 16 oz Gatorade at gas stops will not keep up. Your body will be in the wind at 75-80 mph for 24 hours and you will lose a lot more moisture than you are used to.

There are a couple of strategies to get it done - ride non-stop or ride for part and stop and sleep and then ride the rest. I did my Iron Butt by starting at 11 am and riding until 11 pm and checking into a Motel 6. I slept until until about 3 am and hit the road and finished about 10 am. Felt great. I actually rode another 3 hours to get to a friends place after that.

If you think about it, why ride with a friend? Riding a motorcycle is inherently a solo sport. The only camaraderie is when you stop. And stops are your enemy for this effort. Every minute you are not moving is an additional mile down the road. So no time for hobb-nobbing and socializing. Gas, snack, piss and go. You'll be lucky to do all of that in less than 20 minutes. So a group of more than 2 is bound to have delays for many different reasons.

Your primary safety tool is your cell phone. Second is your roadside assistance insurance. If you need those your ride is done and the others should continue on.

But it is worth it to get it done and put that license plate frame on your bike. It is really a bucket list kind of thing for an avid motorcyclist. Not many make the effort and fewer get it done successfully. It is arduous.
>>o Direct route or a more scenic one?

Direct is much easier. If your goal is just to get the certificate, go direct. If you want bragging rights about doing it the hard way, go scenic.

>>   o One possible route is a direct East on I-10 to Florida and back so far.

NO! I-10 east of Houston has too much construction and unpredictable heavy traffic

>>    o Another is a loop up to Little Rock and back.

Easier, but still lots of stop and go.

A MUCH easier route is Houston - Ft Stockton - Houston on I-10. Boring, but the easiest and fastest.

>> o How did you acquire the necessary witnesses, especially at odd hours?

My SS was organized by a local forum (I think MTF) group. They provided the start and finish witnesses, and we got gas receipts for the other stops.

>> o Lessons Learned?

I took trail food and snacked at the gas stops. I think it would have wasted less time to eat a larger meal at only one intermediate point.
Don't forget your Air Hawk, if your seat isn't a good one.

>> o Should we acquire cameras or use phones to record some of it as evidence?

I think they mainly want receipts, etc.

>>    o Testing SWConnect or Bubbler GPS to Spotwalla to document the ride.

I suppose it would be good support. But could be faked.

>> o Group riding issues if we have more participants?

I'd go solo, or in 2 or 3 max. Agree ahead of time that stragglers are left behind.

>> Let us know what you think please!

5P rule: Proper Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance. Do it right the first time so you don't have to repeat it.

-James Brown
~~~ End Quote ~~~
David McQueen and I are planning on running an Iron Butt Saddle Sore 1000 in April, and we'd like some feedback from all of you experienced riders who've attempted this in the past.  Jerry Matson suggested I open a discussion here about it.  Here are some of the questions we've been pondering:

o Direct route or a more scenic one?
   o One possible route is a direct East on I-10 to Florida and back so far.
   o Another is a loop up to Little Rock and back.

o How did you acquire the necessary witnesses, especially at odd hours?

o Lessons Learned?

o Should we acquire cameras or use phones to record some of it as evidence?
   o Testing SWConnect or Bubbler GPS to Spotwalla to document the ride.

o Group riding issues if we have more participants?

Let us know what you think please!

-James Brown
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