50CC...The Prequel (aka My First SS1000)
Preparation for my first SS1000 began more than a year ago. It started with my attendance at a RTE in Leavenworth, Indiana (The Dock). Prior to that event, I knew nothing of the IBA or the various endurance rides motorcyclists could attempt.
Now here I am writing a ride report for my first endurance ride.
I initially registered for the regional SS1000 in Jacksonville, Florida, but work got in the way and I had to scramble for a back up plan. I recalled seeing a route on the Internet from a regional held in Georgia back in 2009, so I decided it would serve as a nice alternative.
Start in Newnan, Georgia, which is just south of Atlanta. Take I-85 north to I-285 east. From there travel I-20 east to Columbia, SC then north on I-77 through Charlotte, NC to I-40. Travel I-40 west through Knoxville, TN to Nashville, TN. From there, I-24 east to Chattanooga, TN then I-75 south to I-85 south. I tweaked the route a bit and ended in Union City, GA, which is closer to my house. Distance indicated by Microsoft Streets and Trips: 1031.8 miles.
June 4, 2011. D-Day
I awoke at approximately 3:30a.m. I beat the alarm clock. Obviously, the excitement created another alarm clock in my subconscious, one that wanted to get started earlier than I planned. I showered, got dressed and went over my final checklists for the ride. At 4:24a.m, I ATGATTed, started the bike ('00 BMW K1200LT), and headed for the start point where my witness met me. The obligatory form was completed and I headed for the gas pump to fill up. I obtained the receipt, which showed my official start time as 4:59a.m. Odometer reading showed 84, 471.
The traffic cooperated throughout South Carolina. North Carolina? Well, let me just ask a question: Does the state have a law mandating all drivers to remain in the left lane on the highway, even when it is obvious others are attempting to pass? Sheesh! I now understand the Wright brothers’ motivation for inventing the airplane. Like South Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia received good marks.
As for the weather, temperatures were in the mid- to upper-70s in South and North Carolina (NC weather marginally made up for their traffic). By the time I approached Knoxville, someone had turned up the furnace. Way up. Temperatures in the high 90s for the next several hours awaited me. It was so hot that I dreaded stopping the bike for gas, but, of course, had no choice. At each stop, the first thing I did was grab water from my cooler. My biggest fear was the temperature having an ill affect on my stamina.
Four hours into the ride, I realized something. No burn. At about this time I usually begin to get a sensation in my derriere that lets me know it is time for Pilates, or anything, to get the sensation back into my butt. Not this time. The Rick Mayer (shameless plug) seat that I ordered arrived two days before the ride and I cannot imagine how I would have fared without it and the LD Comfort shorts I wore for the first time. I am not sure which had the bigger impact, but I cannot say enough about the difference an aftermarket seat makes. Special mention to the Mick-O-Pegs highway pegs I also installed.
At certain points during the ride, I did feel a bit sleepy or fatigued. Having tunes on the bike was definitely a lifesaver. I would sing aloud and on a few songs, I even “danced” in the saddle. Worked wonders, although some of the motorists either thought a wind was really buffeting the bike or my cooler carried something other than water.
The only stops I made were for gas. Six stops along the route (not counting the start/finish points). Whenever riding any distance, I rarely get hungry enough to want to stop for a sit-down meal. The snacks I carried with me served their purpose of filling any cracks. Besides, after the first 250 miles I had a nice rhythm going and did not want to lose it.
I pulled into the final checkpoint, fueled up, and got the receipt. 9:45pm it read. That is 16 hours, 46 minutes by my calculations. Not bad, I thought. The odometer read 85535. That is 1064 miles! Stupid odometer.
Thankfully, the ride was uneventful, except for some minor issues I had with several receipts.
•Stay away from North Carolina if you want hassle-free passing
•Whatever you do, if plan on doing any LD riding, run, don’t walk, to your nearest after-market seat dealer.
•Snacks are manna from heaven. Make sure you carry an ample supply. Water too.
•Never trust your bike’s odometer. It lies.
Would I do another? Without a doubt. Bring on the 50CC!
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2000 K1200LT, Champagne, "The First Lady"
2009 DL650, Silver(Fastest),"WeeStrom"
2005 Suzuki Boulevard C50 (gone)