|07-16-2013, 08:24 AM||#1|
Joined: Feb 2013
Location: Southern California
Coast to coast in 47 hours
Coast to coast in 47.75 hours; Oh baby, what a ride
Sunday June 16th at 0100 CDT
I’ve been in the saddle for 21+ hours and I’m fading; I’m about 40 miles west of Junction Texas, and for the most part the ride has been uneventful to this point, I had heeded the advice of a fellow endurance rider and was riding Texas at night, however I am getting a bad case of “white line fever”, the last time I stopped was probable the last time I moved around on the bike, I have a fixed stare and am completely oblivious, to what’s going on around me. Suddenly there is a very bright light and siren behind me; instant, high alert… Shit; I can’t get popped!
Saturday, June 15 @ 0200 PDT- Malibu, California;
Rotten nights sleep, I finally fell asleep around 2300 last night – 3 hours ago, Ugg, plus, I’m still dealing with a sinus infection and have been on antibiotics for a 4 days – But, this is it; I’ve been planning this for some time now and I’m not going to let these minor setbacks screw me up. Into the kitchen and eat 2 banana’s; I have a tendency to get bad cramps in my hands and feet so I’m doing what I can to keep them at bay.
Am I ready? I go through my list:
Bike packed, check
Both Bluetooth’s charged, check
Both GPS programmed, check
Camel Pack filled, check
Kidney belt on, check
Sheriff called to meet me at the gas station, check
It’s time to ride!
Saturday June 15 @ 0300 PDT– 29145 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, CA
I arranged to meet 2 Los Angeles County Sheriff’s at a corner gas station to sign a witness form to start my ride; I initially started the ride with one goal in mind, cross the United States, coast to coast in under 50 hours on my beloved KTM 990 Adventure, but I up the anti when I cross into New Mexico, slightly ahead of schedule; so being the compulsive person I am, I decided – what the hell; I wonder if I can do 1,500 miles in 24 hours or less, then press on to the east coast in under 50 hours. California was no problem as was Arizona, with the exception of the heat, 105 degrees; in New Mexico I’m still moving, however my butt’s a bit uncomfortable, I just have to keep my eye on the prize, or by now prizes… I entered Texas around 1700 CDT; you know I went to school in Texas, but never quite got a handle as to how big Texas was, until that – afternoon, evening, night, following morning and onto 1130 the next day… Oh my God!!! Back to the topic; at about 0130, the lights and siren go off behind me and I pull to the side of the road where I am confronted by the incarnation of Sheriff J.W. Pepper, from the James Bond film “Live and Let Die”, this dude had the voice, and mannerisms down, it was all I could do to keep from laughing out loud, however I maintained control, because I knew if I didn’t, I’d have a one way ticket to jail – fortunately everything was fine; the reason for the stop was to inform me that I was riding the center line and to “advise me” that I must stay in the right lane. He went on to tell me that I was in deer country and to stay alert – Well, thank God for this Texas State Trooper, he could have well saved my life. I can’t tell you how long I’d been in the zone but from that moment on and all the way to Comfort, Texas; the first of 2 goals on this ride all I seemed to do was dodge parts of dismembered deer for the next 100 miles, it was quite honestly a hair raising experience, like a scene from some horror film, heads, innards, entire bodies, there were dozens of them, not to mention the hundreds of deer grazing along the side of the road. A quick check of mileage tells me I’m low, very low; I pull into a gas station, run inside and ask the time 0445, and I have 1,497 miles down – dam, I’m 3 miles short and 25 minutes to spare – I ask the attendant where the next station is; 9 miles up the road; I do a splash and dash… I’m a man in a mission; I’m outa here, let’s just say I’m very happy the speed limit in this part of Texas is 80 MPH. At exactly 0500 I fuel my bike check the mileage in at 1,507.1… I did it; one down; time to rest for a couple of hours.
Sunday, June 16th at 0800 CDT – Comfort, Texas
I must have nodded off in the truck stop, because when I opened my eyes my bike was surrounded by Harley’s. As it turns out there was a ”U.S. Military Vets Motorcycle Club” convention in Arizona and there were dozens of these guys on the road; they were a great group of guys, anyway,I’m feeling better I get moving again, 1,500 miles down 1,000 to go, and I’m still in Texas… I’m a little foggy at this time, my head is far from clear but I know to make my next goal I have to press on, however, my back, butt and knees are killing me and I’m sure I have open blisters on the heels of both feet. My saddle time is now down from 2.5 hours (the duration of my fuel tanks) to 100 miles, before the pain is too much to deal with.
As I ride through Louisiana, I’m done – it’s been 35 hours and I just can’t go on; I call a friend in California and we talk; I realize about this time I haven’t eaten in 24 hours, I stop for food. Legs, knees, butt and feet are beyond words painful, but as I eat I can’t get the thought out of my head that there are people counting on me finishing this, and I’m no quitter. I finish up and get my mojo back; I’ll be dammed if I’m not going to finish this. As I walk out of the diner, I see something that I just couldn’t believe… A drive through bar… I’m not talking liquor store here.
Back on the road; Louisiana, Mississippi, I have little to know memory of, other than the fact that Mississippi seemed quite beautiful as passed through and didn’t seem as warm or humid as the previous two states… Wow, I’m no longer counting miles I’m counting states crossed.
Florida; I entered Florida at about 2100 EDT, I made it, the last state to cross 370 miles aka 6 hours including stops or 2 tanks of fuel, a quick yet fuzzy check of time and I now know I’m going to make it. The adrenaline rush only lasts about 20 minutes, then the pain is back and now there is no relief, Advil is a joke, I might as well be trying to put out a forest fire with an eyedropper. Focus, I have to focus – I’ve been up for 40 hours and my mind is playing tricks on me, I keep seeing deer, bear and bunnies running out in front of me and waving, the problem is I’m not sure if there real or not; I really can’t tell, so I hope for the best and ride through them, hopping they are in fact hallucinations, and trying to constantly remind myself that “real” deer and bear will have eye glint, no glint no problem…
At just past midnight on June 17th, I stopped at a Florida State truck scale. One of the state troopers came over to see what was going on; I explained to him what I was doing and where I was going, I also mentioned to him that I was, retired L.A. County Fire; yes I will pander my former occupation when necessary; he looked at me and my bike, then just marched off, he returned a few moments later to inform me that “you’ll will have smooth sailing through Florida” and wished me a safe ride…
Monday June 17th @ 0500 EDT - Jacksonville Florida –
A warning to one and all – when programming your GPS, in my case both GPS,( I’m a firm believer in redundancy); you must know exactly where you are going, because if you don’t, and just tell the GPS to take you to… Oh, let’s say Jacksonville, Florida; it will take you to the geographic center of that city, and I can tell you from personal experience, the center of Jacksonville is not like the center of London, England – especially at 0515 in the morning; nuff said.
The GPS has me turn off the I-10 and head into the heart of Jacksonville, Joy of joys, I’m there… The GPS tells me I’ve arrived at my destination and now starts the search for an open gas station to get my final gas receipt and have my witness form signed off. I spot a gas station to my left about 2 blocks away, bitchin I’m there. As I pull in, things don’t seem quite right, but I attribute it to the exhaustion and fatigue. Stopping the bike in front of a pump I discover that I must pay inside, clue 1, walking to the front door, I notice that ALL the glass is bulletproof, clue 2, go to open the door, I discover that it’s locked but the woman that works there is inside the store, I ask to come in – she informs me that she can’t let me in until she gets behind the counter, where she is surrounded by more bulletproof glass, clue 3. You’d think I’d have figured it out by now; but not me. I turn to walk back to my bike and there are 3 “gentlemen” surrounding me, at 10 o’clock, 12 o’clock and 2 o’clock… Not good; the fog in my head suddenly clears and now I’m on full alert, I know I have to get to my bike; I have a little friend there. The man standing in front of me approaches me and asks for a cigarette, “sorry, I don’t have any”; at this point these 3 guys head into the service station and proceed to have a heated argument with the woman at the counter behind the glass, I dig out “my little friend” and stow it in the back of my pants, then, as if it were choreographed a person who at first glance appeared to be a woman, but I’m now sure wasn’t, approaches me, to ask if I’d like any “companionship”…. I politely decline… At this point all I want to do is get the hell out of here; BUT NO; my buddies from earlier are now behind me – I’m thinking give me a f-ing break… now I’m hit up for change, that I have, and, I want no problems, so I give him about $3.00 in change, all I have in my pocket and I bail out. Two blocks down the street I see a police car in the parking lot of a post office; I pull next to the officer, and he does a double take on me, he rolls down his window; and I inform him “I’m lost”; this officer had one of the great responses of all time, considering the circumstances; his answer was simple and to the point – “no shit”. The Jacksonville police officer explained how to get to the beach, and thankfully kept it simple, I rode about 10 more miles and, at 0612, 47.75 hours, 8 states 3 time zones and 2,522.8 miles from my starting point, I did it. Coast to coast in under 50 solo… Brother what a ride…
After getting my paperwork signed off, taking some photos, I found a Denny’s restaurant at the corner of Atlantic Blvd and 3rd Street, in Atlantic Beach, Florida, walked through the door, was greeted by a waitress who asked if I was okay, I told her I was but I was exhausted; she showed me a booth and took my order, 1 coffee, 1 large OJ, 2 eggs scrambled and bacon crisp – I also told her, “if or when I fall asleep to please wake me in 3 hours, and oh yah, I’m a great tipper”. Three hours later I was woken up with a fresh cup of coffee and a bill for $12.00, I paid $40. Thanked her for letting me rest there and off to moms in Ocala, 140 miles to the south.
|07-16-2013, 11:15 AM||#3|
Joined: Nov 2001
Location: in The Cloud
Good write up...I've done the 1500/24 and considered the coast to coast, but still on the fence about it.
Next write up? How about white on black? Maybe it's just me, but the grey text on the black background was very hard to read...
"Converting oxygen to carbon dioxide since 1951."
|07-16-2013, 12:25 PM||#4|
Joined: Aug 2008
No shit, i had to drag the mouse over the whole thing to read it. Aside from that nice write up. Crazy ride /distance. I get in more trouble riding tired or at night in deer country.
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