Reflections of a successful Iron Butt
First off, I again want to say thank you to all the forum members who wished me well along the way. The encouragement, thoughts & yes, even prayers were welcomed and appreciated whole-heartedly. Along with the well wishes, there were also a few questions so I thought I'd try to answer those and give some general reflections on the ride itself. Here goes...
billyt, chromedome & Northwoods_Maine asked about seat, shield, handle bars and highway pegs
I have the 2005 stock seat, stock handlebars, a 14 in windvest light smoked windshield. I also have aftermarket highway pegs which are adjustable, but not while you are moving...I took the tools to change them around, but never felt like I had time to do it and test it and change it again if needed, so I just set them at the most comfortable position I could find and left them there for the duration. As far as the handle bars, I did it with stock, so no big complaints, but a +2 would probably be perfect for me...of course a set of HELI bars would solve anybody's problem with handlebar position. For the seat, I'll tell you this...after the first 1,000 miles, your ass doesn't care what's under it for the last 500. I truly believe just a gel pad with a sheep skin cover would do the trick (something like pro pad or Alaskan something). Of course, with enough funds available, I might consider a custom seat or I've sat on hate2shine's air zepplin seat and that thing is like sitting in a lazy boy (so again, if $$$ - that would be something I would look into doing).
TLKurtz asked about the weather
Overall the weather was good, not great...the first leg at 40 degrees and 70 miles an hour, even with leathers and a sweatshirt shirt and heavy gloves does not make for a fun ride...I was kicking myself for not splurging on a heated vest or heated gloves when I was doing accessories this winter. The crosswinds across South Dakota were brutal for about 2 solid hours or better. I'll tell you how bad it felt...If my full face helmet would not have been strapped on under my chin it would have literally blown off my head. That and riding at about a 65 degree angle for 150 + miles, I felt like I was on a GP road course. Had I had the courage to let go of the bars during that time period, I promise you I could have touched the pavement!!! Other than that the weather could not have been better. Cool, okay cold, mornings and only got into the mid 70s for the first day and mid 80s for the end of the BB1500. I had a couple rain storms that played out ahead of me so I had some wet road, but not a single drop of rain the entire trip.
calgaryglide mentioned a picture on Main Street in Sturgis
Unfortunately, I hardly took any pictures at all. I'll really need to work on the camera being mounted somewhere or get a lanyard and attach the camera (as I've read others have done) and hang it around my neck and just point and shoot when I feel like it. When I went by the Sturgis exits it was almost midnight to me (Central Time) and headed to Rapid City to wrap up the day at midnight (Mtn Time) so I just wanted to be done so I could get as much rest as possible before heading out again for the last 500 on the BB1500.
Carman asked how the ride was overall and lundboy1 asked as well, plus wanted to know if my legs were numb, wrists hurt, overall physically & mentally holding up?
Overall, the ride was rewarding...because I finished...it would be a different ride entirely, if I wasn't up against the clock. I'd have stopped more, not to rest my backside, but to check some things out...wander off the super slab and cruise through the little towns...not much tourist activity on an iron butt ride, but the scenery was great...yes, I miss trees (I'm from the mountains of North Carolina), but this country's wide open spaces also have a special place in my heart as well...It's just so vast...I spent a few hundred miles contemplating how the settlers ever made it this far west...WOW! And yes, the last 2 hours were the best miles of the entire trip as the end was in sight, I was on familiar highways and my smile kept growing bigger the closer I got to Omaha.
As for lundboy1's concerns...my legs never went numb, I played a lot of heel toe tapping and going up to the highway bars every 50 miles or so, just to change my position a little. My wrists never hurt, my throttle hand thumb had a little discomfort now and again and I would just loosen my grip or change my grip and it would be good for quite a while. Mentally, the first day was the hardest...I was so close to Rapid City, but I actually took the public rest area 7 miles outside of town, just to get off and realllllllllllllllllllllly stretch out for a few minutes and walk around for 5 minutes and then I was back on and gone.
eldridgetom asked if I had any tips
Everyone talked about staying hydrated and I believe I did, but I started out each day with a full face helmet on and the water bottle sitting in my kruzer kaddy (highly recommended) wasn't doing my any good except at stopping points. At some point each day I would switch into my half helmet and then the hydrating was easy...I also made myself take a sip every 15 mins so that system worked well.
Always, always, always take 2 helmets...the reason being, during those brutal cross winds, I braved it just once to raise my visor and rub my nose and the visor broke loose from one side and then starting slapping the hell out of my helmet right in front of my face (unexpected stop had to be made), rather than pull out the multi-tool and work on it, I just switch out my helmets and kept going (I know SD does not have a helmet law, but that's something I just can't bring myself to do - otherwise no problem, right?).
I liked wearing a vest (leather with 2 front pockets, no flaps). Once I had the half helmet on...this is how I ate to keep from having to stop for food. I kept one pocket stuffed with beef jerky and the other one stuffed with a smorgasborg of mixed nuts, sweet tarts (for a little suprise to the senses) and peanut M&Ms. Word of caution about small pieces of hard food items, if you plan to put more than one M&M or other food in your mouth at 75 mph, please don't start chewing until you have all the pieces you want in your mouth or those loose pieces become shrapnel and can get you anywhere. I had several M&M hard shell candy pieces in my beard at one point and had a couple hit me in the glasses.
If your chaps don't have additional snaps down the legs, not just the top and bottom, the zipper will catch in the wind and if you put your legs up on the highway bars it will completely unzip your chaps...bad thing is, when this happens, you better hope the snaps at the bottom hold, because when they come apart, you get attacked by a big black swath of leather at 70 mph and and this too caused an emergency stop on the side of interstate to just go ahead and take them completely off.
Other thoughts I had....
If I was to change anything before I did this again, I would definitely upgrade from stock headlights to something...anything better, more vision needed, even in the wide open straight stretches, the more light the better. I would not do this again without changing my headlights.
Also, speaking of headlights, I was wearing my bug splattered windshield as a badge of honor on the SS1000, but once the sun went down and the vision was not so good for the headlights and the bug splattered shield I gave in and cleaned it at the next gas stop.
Carry some type of mild pain reliever...I took along some tylenol and would use some about every 4 hours to relieve the little twinge at the base of my neck and my elbow tightness.
I wished I would have put my lowers on, even though they are currently orange (thanks METIME) and my bike's sierra red pearl...I think it would have helped with the wind slap on the calves (if I'm wrong let me know). It felt good at first kinda like a "rough" massage, but then it got to be a little tiring.
Plan for construction zones!!! I did not do this and I bet I rode for at least 50+ miles of two way traffic on interstate with just the little orange cones separating everybody, plus the speed limit was dropped to sometimes 25 mph lower than the regular posted speed limit and of course, no passing. That cost me some valuable time on the 2nd leg trying to get home to finish the BB1500.
The final two things I would probably purchase to do a long trip again, especially an iron butt ride would be a tank bag (I'm gonna check out FXTim's at SWIII) and some sort of helmet communication device...It would be much easier to update the family by being able to pick up the call with a bluetooth instead of having to double text...family & forum.
That's all I have...I know it too long a read, but I thought I'd share in case someone really wanted to know. Again, thanks for your support!
"where the incompetent lead the inexperienced, to do the unnecessary, just in case" - me
IBA Member # 55664
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