Sep 9, 2011

Going the distance

I've been an endurance rider for many years - formerly on horseback, now on a motorcycle.

The formal name for my participation is 'Ironbutt' and the two categories I've accomplished are Saddlesore, a 1000 miles in 24 hours, and Bunburner, 1500 miles in 36 hours, in 2007, 2008, and 2009. I didn't ride that much last year but I did a Bunburner in July and I want to do a Saddlesore this weekend before it is too cold to ride.

What, you wonder, is the attraction to ride like that, besides the obvious, the rumbling between my legs?

O-O-O shall I wax poetic? Simple. Personal best.

We don't have superfreeways here, so this project is more difficult than it appears - you have to average at least 50 miles per hour to make the time cutoff. You have to plan carefully. You have to have some discipline to not take more than 20 minutes per stop. You have to create your own level of comfort, staying warm, hydrated, alert, and fueled to make the schedule.

I live in a very vast and rural state, and Oh, the Beauty. It is absolutely breathtaking sometimes - from riding through glacier ridges with a full moon rising in front of you, the surprise of nocturnal birds rising from the dark road at your approach, the stretches of wildflowers, occasional wild animals, birds and hares and moose and bears, even unexpected snow.

I'm excited - but this time I don't have a partner to ride with, so I'm a bit worried but anticipating this challenge. I've ridden alone before.

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