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Topic: First SS1K - Interstates or state highways?  (Read 19346 times)

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Dmozer74
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« on: August 02, 2017, 12:13:16 pm »

I recently moved from a Bonneville to a C14 and am looking to do my first SaddleSore 1000. I live in Colorado Springs so I have a few choices when it comes to running a route. My longest day in the saddle has been just over 500 miles on the Bonneville. I am planning a 300+ mile day on the Concours to make sure the bike and I are up to the challenge. The SS1K will be attempted on a weekday.  Anyway, the question: Do I take a far more scenic route on twisty state highways through the mountains (loop) or do I plan a strictly interstate route (out and back)? I could choose to go east into Kansas or head North to WY/MT border, or even head south to Truth or Consequences, NM. The preference is to go on state roads and take a fun and interesting route, but not having done an SS1K before I don't want to get in over my head.  Google Maps says the highway route would take 18 hrs, 20 minutes to go 1018 miles.
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« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2017, 04:52:34 pm »

I would opt for the route that keeps your interest level high.

Also, front-end the darkness. Time it to finish while there is still light in the sky.

If the route on the good road she involves a boring stretch to either start the ride or finish it, do it first.
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« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2017, 09:19:49 pm »

I've done a few IB rides and I would, regrettably, suggest the interstates. Or, at least, for the majority of your miles. Even a SS1000 on fast roads is a very long day and if you're not used to it, you might end up pushing yourself too much at the end to get out of the winding roads where you have no place to stop for the night. I have no trouble being stimulated when I'm riding, even on interstates. On anything but IB rides, I avoid anything resembling an interstate like the plague so I suggest this only out of necessity.

I agree with the above post suggesting doing the dark part of the ride first. You will be fresh and alert. I always did mine that way. If you have to finish in the dark, make sure that the end portion is easy riding and well calculated to end near home or a motel. If it's a motel, make sure you have a reservation. On my first IB ride, the town was fully  booked due to a wine festival and the nearest vacancy was about 60 miles away.

Finally, get a good mapping program and create waypoints every 150 miles or so and calculate your ETA for some or all of those waypoints. It's good discipline, especially for your first IB ride to see how important it is to keep your speed up and to keep rest and gas stops to a minimum. Your GPS, if you input the waypoints, will help you keep on schedule. On that first IB ride of mine, I created the schedule but then, while en route, didn't pay very close attention to it. Once finished, I couldn't believe how far off the ETA that I was and it was easy to look back to see how and where I messed up. I was inside the 24 hours though but not by much.
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« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2017, 02:57:14 am »

I agree with David.  Take the interstate and pick a route with the highest speed limit.  The object is to ride 1000 miles in less than 24 hours, not to stretch that time out by taking twisty roads.  By the time you are finishing, you will be tired.  You'll be even more tired, if you put in a few hours hauling a C14 through one turn after another.

I started my SS1000 at about 4am and finished after dark.  I didn't plan well.  I did an out and back from Seattle to Montana and back.  Unfortunately, that put me coming back in the dark over Snoqualmie Pass a couple hours out from home.  There was construction on the roads through the pass, which made it difficult in the dark.  Top that off with rain that hit at the top of the pass.  I was doing well as I crossed Eastern Washington's flat straight interstate...but I could barely keep my eyes open through the pass.

Take the interstate and get the ride over safely.  Nobody cares if you did it on the interstate in 18 hours, or the side roads in 23 hours and 45 minutes.  Your Iron Butt certificate and $4 will still get you a cup of coffee either way.

I did mine on a Suzuki Burgman 400 scooter.  Yup, a scooter.  I've since sold the scooter and kept the license plate frame.  Everyone assumes I did the SS1000 on the BMW I currently own.  I have no interest in doing it twice.  All I really wanted was to prove to myself I could do it and get the license plate frame.  Now when I ride, I want to avoid the interstate.  But it was useful for that trip.

Chris
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« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2017, 10:08:51 am »

I can hardly imagine a more miserable experience than a SS1K on nothing but freeways.  Sad
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« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2017, 10:31:19 am »



Take the interstate and get the ride over safely.  Nobody cares if you did it on the interstate in 18 hours, or the side roads in 23 hours and 45 minutes.  Your Iron Butt certificate and $4 will still get you a cup of coffee either way.



From the IBA website:

"There are five steps to earning a SaddleSore or Bun Burner 1500 certification; 1. Choose a safe route, 2. get a start witness, 3. collect and track receipts, 4. get an end witness and 5. copy and submit your documentation. Since safety is our primary concern, no pre-registration of your ride is needed. Our goal is to give you added flexibility to decide on any given day whether the combination of weather, your motorcycle and most importantly, your attitude, is ready for a big ride."

In general terms, the biggest obstacle in your first SS1k will be fatigue and fatigue is cumulative over time.
Selecting an interstate route will allow you to maintain an average speed higher than the highways and byways.

Twenty-four hours is PLENTY of time to ride 1000 miles. With a MOVING average of 63 mph, your time in the saddle is just shy of 16 hours, leaving 8 HOURS for fuel, restroom/snack breaks - and even a nap if you need it.
Set yourself up to succeed by planning:

*a route that will reduce unnecessary delays, like traffic in metro areas
*fuel stops at reasonable intervals. Your Connie's tank may hold enough fuel for 200-mile intervals, but your body may need 150-175 miles - especially in the second half.
*ride on a day when the weather forecast does not include high/gusty winds; avoid riding into the rising or setting sun; dress and pack clothing for predicted or possible extremes of temperature or rain.
*stay hydrated. The relationship between dehydration and fatigue is legendary and as both increase, safety decreases.

You have PLENTY of time. Focus on minimizing the effects of cumulative fatigue, pay attention to your documentation, and ENJOY!

"Plan your ride, ride your plan."
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« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2017, 10:35:00 am »

Adding:
After your first SUCCESSFUL SS1k, you'll have the experience and confidence to do another on different roads!
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« Reply #7 on: August 15, 2017, 12:36:46 pm »


I can hardly imagine a more miserable experience than a SS1K on nothing but freeways.  Sad


I would agree but we can't always have everything that we want and get it safely. A SS1K is generally the first IB ride for a rider - this is not the time to take the fun roads only to find out that you should have done the interstate. This is the time to pick the low hanging fruit and see what you are capable of. Better to be bored to tears on the interstate that hurt riding beyond your LD abilities.
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« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2017, 12:55:21 pm »

When you need to click miles off quick ride the interstate highways.  Try to stay away from big cities in rush hour.  

And my other motto is "Left Lane Hammer Down".   Only one lane of merging traffic to deal with.

That's my two cents

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« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2018, 11:32:58 pm »

I have done all my saddle sore rides on highways. I start around 5 am, my normal wake up time, and finish around midnight. For me interesting roads and small towns are part of the fun. I also find that standing up on my pegs as I pass through small towns helps stretch out my legs. Plan a box route with a couple of places you have always wanted to go pick a nice day and go.
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« Reply #10 on: March 31, 2018, 12:40:51 pm »

I did my first on 3/4 interstate. The 1/4 state highway nearly cost me the cert because it was loaded with locals going under the posted speed limit.

I agree with Mr. Morrow. Do the first one on interstates. Increase the difficulty once you have a better idea of how you handle the miles in the easiest possible way.
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« Reply #11 on: March 31, 2018, 01:45:03 pm »

Having done a couple myself I agree (sadly) regarding riding the Interstates or at least higher speed divided highways. I also agree regarding avoiding cities as much as possible, even smaller cities if they don't have freeways going around them. Keep your stops as short as you can while also making sure you have enough rest time. I have saved a lot of stop time by strapping a small cooler on the bike and packing a bunch of food I can eat quickly like cut up vegetables and beef jerky, and eat something at every gas/bathroom stop. Stopping for a proper meal at a restaurant will really slow you down.

In planning, figure out any spots with picnic tables so you can pull over and grab a ten minute nap on a picnic table if you get drowsy. They are amazingly comfortable if you just leave your gear and helmet on. The helmet makes a good pillow. Set your phone alarm for no more than 10-20 minutes.
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« Reply #12 on: March 31, 2018, 04:58:50 pm »

TRAFFIC is the enemy.  What type of road you ride on is not as important as is the need to avoid traffic.  That and the need to just keep MOVING.  The roads that you are likely to ride out there are going to allow you to ride at a faster pace than many in other parts of the country.  They are more rural with higher posted speeds than many in other places.  I suggest a combination of expressway and state routes where the speed limits are at least 45-55.  Try to avoid towns and cities as much as possible, especially at morning and even rush hours and a traffic lunch time.  When you stop to eat, do so at off hours.  Eat lightly.  Stay hydrated.  Get some music in your helmet.  A cruise control is a great help.  Take aspirin, etc. before you start and before you get sore.  Use a trunk on the back of the bike to keep your records.  A big envelope to put receipts in.  Try to keep the sun at your back as much as you can.  Riding into the sun increases discomfort and fatigue.  Have a back up plan if it looks like the weather is not going to cooperate.

Plan something FUN and then ride the plan.  
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« Reply #13 on: March 31, 2018, 06:35:16 pm »

I wouldn't get too formal with your receipts while riding. Just write the odometer reading on the bottom and stick it in your wallet. The receipt will have a location (usually), time, and date on it. You can do the paperwork when you're done.
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« Reply #14 on: March 31, 2018, 06:44:14 pm »

I did 1,000 miles in twenty-four hours and I wasn't even trying. More on that in a minute.

If I was to do a 1,000 mile ride for a license plate, I'd get it over with in as little of hassle as possible. The interstate all the way. Where I live, Southwestern part of the country, going from Southern California through Las Vegas and then on the interstate highways of Utah or through Arizona would be a piece of cake to do 1,000 miles. My FJR1300 will do an easy 250 miles on a tank and I am one of the few that can go that distance with no discomfort at all. I have XM radio so I have music/news all the time or I keep myself busy looking at stuff.

I left one Summer several years ago in the early evening and stopped for several hours of sleep on the way to some business two states away. I arrived in the morning took 2/3 hours in a meeting and then left back home. I stopped in the same rest area to get a brief nap and when I woke up realized that I had gone over 1,000 miles in less than twenty-four hours and I wasn't even trying.


I did do 840 miles in twelve hours and two minutes. Seventy MPH average including stops. That is my distance record so far and don't think I can ever beat that.
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« Reply #15 on: March 31, 2018, 07:57:20 pm »

You got a comfortable rear end

250 miles without stoppin  
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« Reply #16 on: April 01, 2018, 02:58:18 am »

No license plate, no bragging rights, but I've done 1000 miles in a day many times --- we used to ride from the DC area to WPB/Miami area in 16 hours including stops --  probably about 13 hours of riding time at 80+mph the whole way.   Right down I95 and doing as many miles as possible at night to avoid the oppressive summer heat and traffic.  I'd leave DC at 9pm have breakfast with family and take a short nap in Jacksonville Fl. and then push on after rush hour was over.    

Definitely go for highway / freeway miles -- its real easy to rack up miles and stay ahead of the curve / schedule.    
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« Reply #17 on: April 01, 2018, 07:52:28 am »

My butt doesn’t start hurting to bad on long rides, but my knees and shoulders will start hurting.  Highway pegs of some type can help the knees.  A cruise control and a good windscreen help with the shoulders.  I’ve found that an Airhawk pad, with the PROPER amount of air really takes care of the butt hurting problem.  Getting the air volume set right takes some time and experimenting, but it’s well worth it.  
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« Reply #18 on: April 01, 2018, 11:29:32 am »

A 300 mile day would be a piece of cake as a warm up ride, then do a 500 mile ride to identify what further issues may creep up. Funny how that extra 200 miles added on changes how your seat and riding position feels. Lots of good advice from the experienced crew here. I'm also learning as a bystander.

One thing I personally have to do is get off caffeine for a week or so before the ride or I am stopping too often when trying to stay hydrated. I typically stop every 1/2 tank of gas to take in a snack and fluids, only for a couple minutes, then back on the bike. Real short breaks often does me more good that a longer on less often, but to each their own.

As far as route, for the first 1000 ride from the Springs, I would consider an easy run to Carlsbad, NM for lunch, if done in the Spring or Fall. If summer maybe head to the Salt Lake City area via big multi-lane mixed in with low traffic highways. Avoiding traffic is the key, as has been stated. Worrying about being on schedule, fighting slowing moving lines of cars and trucks, slowing down for close together towns and avoiding performance awards are killers to the fun factor.

Travel season is just starting up for me, and I can't wait.
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« Reply #19 on: April 02, 2018, 12:47:36 am »

The suggested route that I recommend, I have covered much of during my own SS1000. I would take route 24 to Limon, CO. and pick up I-70. Run it to Topeka, KS., turn around and retrace your route back to Colorado Springs. I-70 in Kansas has a posted speed limit of 75mph for most of the route. You can easily travel at 80-85mph without attracting the attention of LEO's. Another thing that is mentioned by a few others.... no caffeine and stay hydrated. On long rides, I wear a 2 liter CamelBak and fill it with Gatorade.

I am planning another SS1000 myself in late September. Wichita, KS to Stecoah, NC for the Vintage Yamaha Rally.


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