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Planning our first SS1000...any tips?


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Well, after organizing a very successful trip to Deals Gap, me and 2 compadres are now eyeing our first Iron Butt...prob not a big deal to you veterans, but we're pretty jazzed about it. We're starting in the Austin (TX) area and are going to pretty much do a big loop. So two questions: 1) If you're local, any ideas on a route or places to hit (I'm leaning towards Leaky, Bandera, and Big Bend), and 2) In general, any tips that would be helpful? Thanks!! thumbsup.gif

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No help on the route part, but just be aware that you have a whole lot of time during a SS1K. Ride at a comfortable pace. Stretch a bit at every stop. Drink fluids all the time, and not just at your stops. Have a good lunch (avoid the turkey - it will put you to sleep) and relax and enjoy.

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You will have fun. Try to plan your ride so you are not riding into the sun in the afternoon, if possible.


Make sure your tires are good, grab your friends and go!



Steve in So Cal

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Just to keep it simple, look at the Loop starting 35 south from Austin to 10 west, turning back east on 20 at Ft Stockton back to 35 at Ft Worth. The corner gas stops need to be planned to keep from showing a short cut, but you've got some nice fast stretches doing it this way. Slab it your first time, get creative when you know how things feel for you over a long day.

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I agree with everyone. You have tons of time with a SS. As already stated, drink a lot while riding, plan your ride away from the sun and enjoy.


If you are an early morning person, then best to leave early. If you are a night owl, then leave later.




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I want to warn you that you really need stay alert because the hill country is famous for deer. I just want to remind you that if you get really tired and you are riding in deer country please stop and wake yourself up. Eric, Chas and myself did a SS1000 and all I can say is that you can get tired and make sure to pack the proper gear to insure you do not get too hot or cold. Have a great time, I did hanging out with my buddies.

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Did my ss1000 and bb1500 on the way to Sturgis from Pensacola this past August. Would not advise August, too dang hot, when I went through St. Louis it was 105.


I like leaving early, around 4am, road the first two tanks out without a stop in between fill ups and then started stopping more. When I reached the 800 mile mark and knew I had plenty of time to make my goal, I started stopping about every 50 miles to stretch.


Oh yeah, I would advise Anti Monkey Butt powder, I got chaffed towards the end and it was tough to get over as I was on the bike for the following week. I am sure it had something to do with the heat. But I would recommend you buy some and use it just in case.


Should be fun and to end up at home at the end of the ride will be a plus.


Do not expect your credentials back from the Iorn Butt folks, I submitted mine in late August and other than cashing my check, I have heard nothing from them. When I have been at other bike gatherings, I hear the same report of slowness from others that have the credentials...up to a year of waiting in one case.


Here is a picture of my bike in Nebraska, nice LEO, let me off with a warning, had just come off the Interstate above Kansas heading for secondary highways and got caught going Interstate speeds.



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I just completed my first SS1000 back on the 3rd of November, and it turned out to be a piece of cake. thumbsup.gif

In fact, I’m now making plans to do a 50CC Quest. grin.gif


My route took me from Oklahoma City, South to Galveston, and back again, for a total of 1033 miles in 17 hours and 20 minutes.

I stopped 5 times along the way, so I was averaging about 175 miles per leg.


I started very early in the morning (officially at 1:53) so that I could get through the dark hours while I was still fresh,

instead of having to finish in the dark when I’d be exhausted.


I chose an out and back route mainly for simplicity, and North/South because I didn’t want to fight those crosswinds

that I’d have if I’d been riding East/West.


From Austin, you could consider just shooting up I-35 to Wichita and back again,

just a thought.


So from my experience, my advice to you would be this:

Pack clothing that will keep you comfortable throughout the ride.

Get plenty of rest the day/night before.

Start early to avoid finishing in the dark, when you’ll be tired.

Pre-plan all of your stops (I like to use Love’s locations).

Space your stops at fairly equal intervals.

Make fluids and snack food available on the bike.

Keep yourself entertained (satellite radio, mp3 player).

No need to speed, it’s less stressful that way, plus you’ll have plenty of time to finish 1000 miles in 24 hours at legal highway speed limits.


Most of all, just stay relaxed and enjoy the ride, the sights, and the smells, and have the time of your life. clap.gif


Good Luck! and let us know how things turns out.

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There is construction on FM337 between Vanderpool and Leakey with one way traffic and lots of gravel. Also echo other comments on deer - lots of dead and live ones about and hunting season has 'em doubly skittish. I would go thru Hill Country during the daylight and come back via US67/190 so you have better sight lines. Don't forget BBQ at Coopers in Llano.

Bill smile.gif

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Carol and I have done a SS1000 and a BB1500 in the last year.

Trip reports ->




We found the biggest key to maintaining alertness was what we ate. No big meals, just protein snacks. Nuts, jerkey, hard boiled eggs, powerbar... Had a snack at every gas stop. We were still feeling fresh enough after both rides, that could have gone farther if necessary. Finished both with 4-6 hours to spare.


Just watch out for



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During a SS1K, there is no need to ride aggressively, thus bringing unwanted attention to yourself. The key is in being efficient at your stops. Keep your fuel stops to 15 minutes. The clock starts from the time you roll off the throttle at the off ramp exit to when you are back up to highway speed. Practice that a few times to make sure you can get er done.


Keep to the interstates as boring as they may be, they offer an open road and usually fewer critters to tangle with. You only need an overall average of 41.6 mph to complete the ride. It is better to finish with 6 hours left on the clock than to have squandered it along the way. A very comfortable avg time of 55 mph will give a 6 hour cushion. If you get tired, saddle sore, or any myriad of other problems that can spring on you, you will have some time to sort it out and still finish your ride.


Don't add new gadgets or other changes to your ride just before your ride attempt. They will distract you while you try and sort them out and add danger to your ride.


Make sure you stay hydrated and have proper gear to stay warm at night. Even in Texas, it gets mighty cold after the sun sets. Avoid any big meals during the ride, they will make you drowsy. It is better to bring along snack food stuffed into a tank bag or pockets to snack on as you ride or at pit stops. And don't eat while riding if you don't already, just another distraction.


Remember that this is but a ride. Should you get fatigued, it is OK to call it off and try again another day. There are no winners or losers, so use your best judgement and have fun.

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