Thursday, May 6, 2010


I mentioned in a previous post that I completed a Bun Burner Gold (BBG) ride in the summer of 2009. A BBG is an Iron Butt Association (IBA) certified ride. I have been a member of the IBA for a couple years. The first ride I did was a Saddlesore 1000 which is 1000 miles in 24 hours. I rode down to Atlanta where I met Leslie and we attended a friend's wedding. The IBA requires documentation of the ride in order to get it certified. I had to provide a map of the route I took with the stops I made highlighted on the map, I needed to have a start and end witness signature on a form, I had to submit all of my gas receipts along the way, and I needed to fill-out a fuel log marking the location and odometer readings at each fuel stop. I submitted all the paperwork and about six months later I received a certificate. Kind of a lame nerdy thing to do, but I'm kind of lame and nerdy. Well, the Saddlesore ride was kind of easy for me so I wanted to do something the IBA calls an "extreme" ride. The BBG is 1500 miles in 24 hours. That is averaging 62.5 mph including all stops. You really have no time to relax on a BBG because you need to keep moving. My route was basically all slab (I90 to I94 to I35) from Boston to Hinckley MN. On the Saddlesore I was able to pull over and get a four hour nap and still have plenty of time to complete the ride. The BBG was a straight shot. The only stops were for gas and two 20 minute food stops (combined with gas). I completed the ride in 23 hours. It was an interesting experience because you have the challenge of achieving the goal while fighting things like fatigue and boredom. I didn't have my GPS yet at this point so I was doing all of the calculations in my head as I was riding which kept my mind occupied. I would figure out what my average speed was because I knew it couldn't drop below a certain number. When I got to about hour 20, I couldn't do the math and just focused on the road and looking out for deer along I94 through Eau Claire, Menomonie, and River Falls WI. The only mind/fatigue weirdness was when I was heading into MN they were doing road construction so there were orange cones along the interstate and I was imagining they were closing in on me so I had to hurry and pass by them. It was kind of like that scene in the original Star Wars when Luke was in his X-Wing going around the Death Star half tunnel thing to destroy it and it was getting narrower and narrower and he had to fire and pull out of there before hitting the wall. I thought for sure the cones were going to close-up and block me from going through. I laughed after I got through the construction area. I have heard several fatigued riding related stories and they all crack me up. Ron Ayres has written a few books about his experiences as a Long Distance Rider. He tells a funny story from one year he was riding in the Iron Butt Rally which is basically 11,000 miles in 11 days. Anyway, one of the riders on like day-8 was pulling into a gas station to get gas and his eyes were dry so he wanted to drop some Visine into his eyes. He leaned his head back and put the drops into both his eyes and then realized he forgot to take off his glasses.

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