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1542 miles on an RT


psmitty

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I saved this ride report especially for this posting... This is my 50th post and I will become a member of this forum. Thank you all for being so kind to me and putting up with the "new guy."

 

Sorry, but I don’t have pictures to post with it except for the end shot. I was too busy riding this one. But, next time, I promise I will.

 

WARNING: I'm longwinded!

 

BBG1500 - July 6, 2008

Miles: 1,542 from Red Bluff, CA to Rapid City, SD

Time: 22 hours 32 minutes.

Average speed: 68.4 mph (including stops)

 

I planned leaving at midnight on Sunday, July 6, 2008 at 12:00 am PST. A few weeks before the ride and after my Alaska tour to the Arctic Circle, I had new tires put on my 07 BMW 1200RT and the 24K service done. I was not sure where to ride to for my IBA Bun Burner Gold 1500 and my wife suggested riding somewhere that everyone knows about. Not just somewhere obscure just to turn around and come home. I planned my ride to Rapid City, SD to see Mt. Rushmore and wanted to try it after the 4th of July holiday was over figuring the roads would be pretty empty. I got up Saturday morning the day of departure around 7am as I normally do. I spent the day going over my bike, rechecking my GPS gas stops, making sure everything was ready and packing my food/water for the ride. I took along with me 10 bottles of water, 4 bananas, 2 sandwiches my wife made, hard candy, grapes, jerky, and candy bars. These would only be eaten while I ride. They’ll be no stopping to eat. I went to bed around 6pm, but couldn’t sleep. I laid there for hours trying to sleep, but couldn’t. I was too excited thinking about the ride. I will find out later I wasted valuable riding time waiting until midnight to leave. About 10pm I told my wife I hadn’t slept at all since last night and maybe I should wait to leave. I set the alarm for a couple more hours to try to get some sleep. More time went by, still not sleeping and the midnight departure time was approaching. I had to make a decision now or wait until tomorrow. I told my wife I was leaving. My wife and daughter saw me off from the house at 12:00 midnight to go get my fuel receipt. At 12:16am I got my gas receipt at the USA gas station on Main Street, recorded the date, time, location, O.D. reading in my log and I was off. The ritual of collecting my gas receipt and writing in my log would repeat itself 12 more times.

-Stop 1: 12:16 am PT; USA Gas, Red Bluff CA; OD 25290-

 

Before the trip I made myself a little cheat sheet to remind me where and when my next stop was. I even listed locations along the way and what time I should be there. That way I could see if I was going to make it or not. My first stop was the Chevron in Vacaville, CA. I chose this stop because it added more miles to my route. A direct route from my home to Rapid City, SD was only 1385 miles. I needed to make a few detours along the way to add necessary miles. The ride to Vacaville was hot and uneventful. As I remember, traffic was almost nil and the stars were out.

-Stop 2: 02:06 am PT; Chevron, Vacaville, CA; OD 25420; 130 miles; 1 hr 50 min; 71 avg. mph; 39.6 avg. mpg-

 

Before I left Vacaville, I put on my heated jacket liner in preparation for Donner Summit (Elevation 7,227 ft.) which was along the way to Reno, NV and I knew it would probably get chilly. Between Vacaville and Sacramento the traffic picked up a little and I was concerned about drunk drivers. I tried to stay away from everyone else, but tried to stay five miles above the posted speed limit. I began to wish I hadn’t put on my heated jacket liner. Even though I didn’t turn it on it was really hot. I had to pull over just outside Sacramento to strip off the liner. A little while later, I found myself getting cold and had to put it back on. As I was going over Donner Pass I encountered deer on the road. I had to slow down and decided to stay behind a pickup while doing this portion of my ride. When I finally pulled into the gas station it wasn’t in Reno, but Sparks. In Reno, I didn’t see my preplanned gas stop and didn’t want to waste time trying to find it so I kept going to find another. I planned 10 minutes at each stop and I was already 15 minutes behind schedule. I know this doesn’t sound like much, but I told myself if I lose 15 minutes every stop I won’t make it.

-Stop 3: 04:45 am PT; Chevron, Sparks, NV; OD 25587; 167 miles; 2 hrs 39 min; 63 avg. mph; 40.98 avg. mpg-

 

Sparks to Winnemucca was cold, but the long stretches of open highway allowed me to make up some time.

-Stop 4: 06:56 am PT; Jim’s Chevron, Winnemucca, NV; OD 25746; 159 miles; 2 hrs 11 min; 72.9 avg. mph; 36.79 avg. mpg-

 

My next stop was supposed to be Wells, NV but as I approached Carlin I noticed a gas station right off the freeway and I didn’t want to chance not being able to find one close to the freeway as I did back in Reno. My preplanning included gas stations right off the freeway, but as I found out sometimes the trip planner is wrong. Or, maybe it is me that is impaired. I figured seeing is believing! No sense in taking chances.

-Stop 5: 08:25 am PT; Pilot, Carlin, NV; OD 25851; 105 miles; 1 hr 29 min; 70 avg. mph; 35.56 avg. mpg-

 

Carlin to Wendover, NV had long stretches of open highway. The morning cold was turning to a nice warm day. I took off everything I had on for cold weather. I made even better time on this leg. However, with the changing time zone I just lost an hour of daylight.

-Stop 6: 11:11 am MT; Chevron, Wendover, NV; OD 25980; 129 miles; 1 hr 46 min; 73.7 avg. mph; 43 avg. mpg-

 

Wendover to Lakepoint, UT had more open highway and it was really getting hot! I thought about stripping down to a t-shirt, but everything I read says to stay at least in your riding jacket and pants. I wish Olympic didn’t have so much Velcro to undo and wished I only had to open zippers. Finally, with my jacket opened to let air in, I was off.

-Stop 7: 12:37 pm MT; Top Stop, Lakepoint, UT; OD 26079; 99 miles; 1 hr 26 min; 69 avg. mph; 35.4 avg. mpg-

 

Leaving the desert and riding into the mountains on the way to Little America, Sweetwater, WY was great. I was finally out of the hot desert and it felt good. At least I have a few turns to keep me occupied. As I approached Little America I came upon a supercell thunderstorm with rain and lightning. I mean the kind of rain you pull over for and the kind of lightning that makes you afraid. I pulled over for a few minutes and didn’t feel safe just sitting there. I thought it would be safer moving on than sitting around waiting for lightening to strike me. I got behind a trucker and into his tracks and let him pave my way to Little America. When I got to Little America the gas pumps were invaded by bikers. There were bikes everywhere! They completely “hogged” up the middle section of the pumps keeping out of the rain. I had no choice but to get gas near the edge where rain might get into my fuel tank. I filled her up while leaning over the fill hole as best I could. A few guys came over and said I could push my bike next to theirs until the rain and lightning stopped. I told them what I was doing and they said I should stay and wait it out. Another guy said he’d never heard of a motorcyclist getting struck by lightening, and that was good enough for me. So, back onto the highway I went.

-Stop 8: 03:06 pm MT; Little America, Sweetwater, WY; OD 26244; 165 miles; 2 hrs 29 min; 66 avg. mph; 53.3 avg. mpg-

 

As I left for Little America for Rawlins, I could feel them all staring at me as I headed for the interstate. I know what they were thinking and maybe I am crazy; but, I figured, if I don’t speed and stay behind a trucker like already did, I should be fine. The downpour only lasted another ten miles or so, but the lightning still continued for a while. Whenever I see lightning I count the seconds to see how far it is away from me. It took a few rumbles and some near hits for me to realize that when the noise and the puff of smoke on the side of the road hit at the same time …. You are IN the lightening and you don’t have to count to find how far away it is. I started paying more attention to the little puffs on the side of the road and realized the phenomenon was dry lightning. It was hitting the dirt off in the distance and some were right next to the road and a little puff of dirt would rise. I was too amazed to realize how scared I should be!

-Stop 9: 05:03 pm MT; Conoco, Rawlins, WY; OD 26387; 143 miles; 1 hr 57 min; 71.5 avg. mph; 38.8 avg. mpg-

 

From Rawlins to Casper it is a two lane road. It starts out with no passing and then opens up. I was lucky that there weren’t many cars on the road. It would have cost me a lot of valuable time. The cross wind about 20 miles outside Casper was so bad it almost blew me off the road. For about ten miles I couldn’t manage anything over 40 mph and be safe. By the time I got to Casper all the cars I passed on this darn two lane road had caught up with me. At the fuel stop in Casper there were a lot of teenagers hanging around looking at me. A few looked like thugs so I decided not to leave the bike unattended. This stop was strictly gas and go. Normally this would not bother me but I was by myself and far from home.

-Stop 10: 06:44 pm MT; Loaf N Jug, Casper, WY; OD 26500; 113 miles; 1 hr 41 min; 67.2 avg. mph; 45.7 avg. mpg-

 

As I left Casper on my way to Buffalo, WY I had to ride in 2 inch deep hail. I pulled over a few times until a truck went by and then followed in his tracks until he was too far ahead and had to wait for another truck to go by to do it again. I repeated this for about 8 miles or so. By the time I got to Buffalo it was raining pretty good. At this point in the ride it was getting dark outside and hard to see the road. I was wondering where all the reflectors were on the highway.

-Stop 11: 08:32 pm MT; Kum & Go, Buffalo, WY; OD 26617; 117 miles; 1 hr 48 min; 67.2 avg. mph; 44.9 avg. mpg-

 

Buffalo to Gillette, WY is known as my ride from hell. I was tired and I didn’t want to be riding after dark. I thought I had left Red Bluff at the right time to avoid this. This is when I realized I should have left a lot earlier than midnight. If I had to do it over, I would leave between 6 and 7 pm. That way I would be ending my ride in the daylight hours. Anyway, the ride to Gillette was horrible. It was raining so hard I couldn’t see the road. I stopped in the middle of nowhere to put my heated jacket liner back on and my cold weather gear. I sure missed the California highways and all their stupid safety reflectors, bright paint, and stupid signs. The only way I knew I was on a road is because it was flat and a guard rail would appear from time to time and, of course, the two cars going the other direction. Later, I would find out there was another supercell ahead of me and everyone except me was off the road.

-Stop 12: about 10:09 pm MT; Flying J, Gillette, WY; OD 26687; 70 miles; No time on receipt; ? avg. mph; 31 avg. mpg-

 

From Gillette to Rapid City, SD was the worst and best time of the ride. The rain, wind and lightning were so bad I thought I was going to have to quit. The only problem with quitting out here is I didn’t know where I was or where the nearest town was. I did know one thing, I was on schedule and I made sure I had two hours to spare… just in case. I knew that Rapid City was somewhere ahead of me and I could take it easy the rest of the way and still make it. As I approached Sturgis, I knew I was close. It was still raining hard and I could see lightning off to my right through the trees. It was very strange seeing lightning off through the trees. Almost like, I was up on a hill or something looking down on the lightning. At this point I was so tired and I started yelling a few times to get me motivated. I was also standing up on the bike watching the water shoot out from the tires. I was actually trying to enjoy the last of my ride, no matter what. I was going to make it!

As I pulled into my last gas stop I could see my hotel across the street and I already had my room reserved. I didn’t realize that my wife was in CA also watching for me to arrive. She had the night clerk on the phone for the last two hours asking if I had gotten there yet. The last thing the night clerk told my wife before I showed up was given the storm he figured I would be hiding under a bridge. He said no one would be out in this. Needless to say, I arrived at the gas station, got my receipt, my witnesses were also amazed I would be riding in the storm, and headed to the hotel. I was so close to my final destination and wouldn‘t you know it, they were doing construction on the road leading to the motel. The road was blocked off and I had to take the back way in… after I found it I rode to the front door and parked my bike. It turns out the phone call my wife made to the clerk served more than one purpose… the clerk was ready for me with my key, pizza and a soda on the counter. He even opened the indoor whirlpool for me and made sure it was heated up ready to get in. I ate the food, talked a bit on the phone with my wife, thanked the clerk, and changed in my room for a visit to the hot tub. It was all worth it now!

-Final Stop 13: 11:48 pm MT; Exxon, Rapid City, SD; OD 26827; 140 miles; 3 hrs 16 min since Buffalo; 64 avg. mph since Buffalo; 43 avg. mpg since Buffalo-

 

The next morning I rode to Mt Rushmore for my photo to be taken. Here it is:

 

2008-MountRushmore_0005.jpg

 

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Paul,

I enjoyed your descriptive tale greatly - although I can't see myself doing such.

Riding so many hours non-stop in that kind of weather seems to me like self-flagellation! :grin:

 

Jeff

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Paul,

I enjoyed your descriptive tale greatly - although I can't see myself doing such.

Riding so many hours non-stop in that kind of weather seems to me like self-flagellation! :grin:

 

Jeff

 

Jeff, Don't let a little rain, lightening, and wind keep you from riding a long ride. Most of my rides don't involve this kind of torture. I only mentioned them in my report because these are things that happened that I could never have imagined unless I did it and you might never know if I hadn’t shared. Go ride the ride! :clap:

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Nice ride, but I don't know how you did it without a full nights sleep before you set off.

 

I had dry roads for my IB1000, but I was fully rested before I left, and I needed a nap in the middle of the ride.

 

Very nice write-up, look forward to more.

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That was some ride!

 

Just curious Paul, Did you do this ride on the stock R1200RT seat?

 

 

Yes, I have the stock seat. It does not bother me that much, but I have never bounght a custom seat either to compare. I do wear a bicycle shorts under everything. They don't have the seems in the wrong places.

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Great write-up TallPaul. I am tempted to try a similar ride, though hopefully through better weather. Did your eating strategy work as you hoped it would, or would you handle that differently next time? How did the RT do? Any hiccups or disappointments? Did you have to add any oil along the way?

 

Jay

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Great write-up TallPaul. I am tempted to try a similar ride, though hopefully through better weather. Did your eating strategy work as you hoped it would, or would you handle that differently next time? How did the RT do? Any hiccups or disappointments? Did you have to add any oil along the way?

 

Jay

Jay,

My eating strategy did work. I ate something while riding between every stop and drank about ¾ of a bottle of water. Previous LD rides have taught me not to get dehydrated and always keep something in my stomach. The hard candy kept me busy and focused. When I got really bored I would mix different flavors to keep me occupied. I even made a new music CD to listen to. The RT did wonderful! No hiccups and my bike has never used oil. I have never had to add anything between oil changes and I have 37,500 miles on my bike.

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Very interesting. It sounds like you have done this sort of thing before. The Hexhead RTs are not perfect, but overall BMW did a great job of designing and engineering them. My '05 has almost 48K, but has not been on an Iron Butt ride (yet). My longest one-day ride was 907 miles.

 

Jay

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Very interesting. It sounds like you have done this sort of thing before. The Hexhead RTs are not perfect, but overall BMW did a great job of designing and engineering them. My '05 has almost 48K, but has not been on an Iron Butt ride (yet). My longest one-day ride was 907 miles.

Jay

 

Jay,

I lost count of how many 1,000+ mile days I have done, but this 1,542 miles in less than 24 hours is my best so far.

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Paul you are a sick sick man. My hat is off to you!

 

I once rode an '88 Kawasaki EX500 with a buddy on an '88 Honda 450 rebel from Camp Lejeune NC to San Bernardino CA in 6 days on Interstate 40. 2613 miles +/-. We also hit every possible weather. The rain in Tennessee limited us to 150 miles one day. Gail force wind in New Mexico, my buddy center punched a 7' tumbleweed. Hail / show in Arizona through Flagstaff.

 

I hope to be able to do something like it again on this RT.

 

George

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VERY nice, Paul!!! :clap:

 

What a great ride and a nice write up--congratulations!!

 

It was great to meet you at last month's Death Valley Daze in Beatty. Congrats also on achieving "Member" status . . . and what a great addition to the family you are! So . . . how about New Hampshire for the UnRally in August?? :grin:

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Super write-up Paul. Felt like I was running right along with you.

 

I ran into a storm kinda like that coming back from the BMW Spokane Rally. Had left UT and was cutting east across WY. The storm came up from CO and man was it bad.

Some hail, lightning and rain big time. Luckly I and like you said about 10 other riders found a lonely little gas station off the interstate.

 

Lightning scares the crap out of me when I'm riding.

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VERY nice, Paul!!! :clap:

 

What a great ride and a nice write up--congratulations!!

 

It was great to meet you at last month's Death Valley Daze in Beatty. Congrats also on achieving "Member" status . . . and what a great addition to the family you are! So . . . how about New Hampshire for the UnRally in August?? :grin:

 

Thanks Jamie. It was also great meeting you at DVD. :wave:

I pm'ed you about the UnRally in August. :)

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