Last Updated: 12 February 2014

Ted's Big (Iron Butt) Ride---Day One

The Challenge
To complete the Iron Butt Association® "SaddleSore 1000" (1,000 miles in 24 hours) and
go on to complete the "BunBurner 1500" (1,500 miles in 36 hours).

THE PLAN: My counter-clockwise route is shown below: you can only imagine how many hours I spent planning how to go at least 1000 miles from home on day 1, yet end up with only 500 miles to get home on day 2! It doesn't sound hard, but take my word for it, it's tricky. I also need a route with gas stations every 150 miles. Scenic would be nice, no road construction, no holiday traffic, few tall hills. . . . Whew!

I plan to leave on a Saturday morning, early, about 6am, and complete the trip on Sunday by 3pm, leaving 3 hours to spare. The tenth stop, at Black Mountain, NC, about 1052.5 miles from home, is where I can lay down my weary head (and other parts of me) to sleep. I plan a quick night's rest and then to finish the journey. You can check out the Iron Butt Association for details about the World's Toughest Motorcycle Riders.(P.S. That would be me now. . . .)



The "SaddleSore 1000"
Washington, DC to Black Mountain, NC
twbaird@hotmail.com
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NewMap.jpg
IMG_1699.jpg 06:17:57 am
Here I am at the start, all clean, rested, loaded up, and ready to go.

Did a test run on Friday to make sure that the gas station I was planning to use as the Start was open at 6:00am; turns out checking was a good thing because I tried three stations before I found this one that opened at 6:00 not 7:00! While I was getting gas and doing some last minute bike checks, Patrick Crilley (behind me) became an enthusiastic supporter of the trip and promised to be here when I returned. Claudia gave me a hug, Patrick and she waved goodbye, and I was off!
IMG_1702.jpg 09:06:13 am
Entering West Virginia. . .

O darn, I couldn't take a picture of my entry into Kentucky because the sign was on a bridge with no shoulder. But here I am, almost in West Virginia. It's chilly riding out here in the early morning, so you can see I'm all zipped up in my heavy leather clothes.
IMG_1703.jpg 05:22:06 pm
Entering Tennesee. . .

No place to set up the camera for a timer picture here. . . Look at that fancy font on the sign!
IMG_1705.jpg At the Acorn Motel in Black Mountain, NC
Checked in at 11:06:43 pm Photo taken early next morning.

Let me tell you how I got here: At my 7th stop for gas (splash & dash in Iron Butt lingo!), in Harriman TN, I pulled out my trusty Harley Davidson VISA card, pushed it into the card slot in the pump, and the machine said, "Your card has been Declined.” I tried the process again, and got the same result. No worries - pulled out my Starbucks VISA, and it worked fine. (What do these two cards reveal about my Yuppie-ness???)

Actually, the IBA website offers an Archive of Wisdom from IBA veterans, and Tip#17 includes the note: “And have more than one credit card handy, in case your financial institution's automated systems "shut down" your card for unusually heavy use.” So I was prepared for the event even though it was somewhat of a surprise when it actually happened. In Newport TN at stop 8, I had the same problem and the same resolution, so I knew the Harley card wasn’t my friend anymore.

I arrive in Black Mountain, my destination for the evening; about 10:30 PM and find the Motel 8 where I had booked a room about a week before. When I went in, a nice woman at the desk told me that she had given my room away earlier in the evening! What!!!@#$%^&*(). She explained that when another potential guest arrived, and I hadn’t claimed the room by late evening, she ran the credit card I used when I made the reservation. You can see the problem coming – the card I gave her on the phone was the Harley card that had been shut off about 3 hours earlier. . . . With a paying customer in hand, and a late-arriving, bad-credit-card-holding potential customer out there somewhere – she rented the room to the person standing in front of her. I understood her point, but it was late, I had ridden for over 16 hours, I needed to be up early to start again tomorrow, so I WANTED A ROOM.

She offered to call another place, the Acorn Motel, and found they had one room left! “I’ll take it,” I shouted, as I sped away. I arrive at the Acorn Motel, check in, and go to the very back of the motel in a little cabin in the woods. Talk about your No Tell Motel - the mattress was about two inches thick, the bath towel was the size of my laptop, I can’t even begin to think about the bugs – all for only $61.05! (I do have to remind you that this was only about 2 miles from The Biltmore in Ashville, on Memorial Day weekend. Not the best of times to be looking for a place to stay, I know, I know, I know.


Total for the day:
Miles: 1043
Time: 16 Hours, 47 Minutes
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