Monday, December 27, 2010

Iron Butt 2010

Last July 19th, I hosted the third annual Iron Butt Ride. The goal is to travel 1000 miles in 24 hours. I put out the invitation to about 10 guys I have ridden with before. I told them to invite whoever they wanted but the ride was limited to 1000 riders. Two of them showed up but they brought 8 friends with them. It was a new experience riding with people you don't know. That added up to 10 total riders, 4 more than my previous largest Iron Butt group. Two riders were women which was also a new aspect.

The route was Boise - Twin Falls - Pocatello - Idaho Falls - Dubois - Butte - Missoula - Kellogg - Coeur d'Alene - Spokane - Ritzville - Pasco -Pendleton. 

We left about 6:30 in the morning and headed east. Of course I had to lead the echelon. It is a lot of pressure...maintaining a group speed, spacing gas and bio stops, taking the right route, choosing where to eat, etc. Good thing I love pressure. One of my friends led for about 10 miles, missed a turn and gave it back to me.

I also found immediately one of my wires had come loose from the clip under the rear fender. It had rubbed on the rear tire til it split and I had no rear right turn signal. A bit of a problem if you are leading. I resorted to giving hand signals to the second rider and she started the string of signaling. 

It was a very interesting ride. It is all freeway but quite nice after you get past Dubois. My Harley friends have nicknamed me "the Apache" because I can sit up front all day and must remember to stop and give them a rest. Usually there are things about group riding that really bug me but this trip I enjoyed all the nuances and assorted personalities. Which left me nothing to whine about which was kind of a bummer...

We stopped in Connell, Washington for gasoline at the Exxon Station. It was the only service station in town and also the hotspot for all the cholos in town. About a dozen of the preening gang wannabes were clustered around the front door. I had to go inside and walked through the middle of them. They tried very hard to look "bad" but my direct stare parted the way along with the reassuring weight of my .45 on my hip. I couldn't help smiling as I knew they sensed a "sheepdog". Two cops came and broke them up...running them off the property. They also were checking me out as my holster hangs a little below my vest. They chose to leave me alone.

We took two hours longer to complete the grand. But I was not as tired as the last two hours were night riding and I am exhilarated by night riding. A little danger ignites my love for risk and pushing the envelope.

Pure Zen.....

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