The Warm Up Ride. There are six legs to my June – July 2010 road trip. The first leg begins on Saturday, June 19 with a 546-mile warm up ride from my home in Stafford, Virginia to Kittery, Maine. I will rest up that night in Kittery at the Enchanted Nights Bed and Breakfast (http://www.enchantednights.org/).
48 States in 10 Days. The second leg is a 7,350-mile journey through all 48 continental states, starting in Kittery, Maine sometime early on Sunday, June 20 and traveling to Kennewick, Washington. This route looks similar to a lazy “W” scribbled across the United States. This leg will be punctuated with naps and motel-stops as needed.
48 Plus! The third leg continues the journey for another 1,158 miles from Kennewick, Washington to Hyder, Alaska, completing the 48 Plus! ride in less than the IBA-allotted ten days. While in Hyder, I plan on resting up at the Sealaska Inn and Camp Run-A-Muck (http://www.sealaskainn.com/).
SaddleSore 1000. The fourth leg begins my trip back home with a 1,082-mile ride from Hyder, Alaska to Moses Lake, Washington, where I will likely find another hotel to rest up before I pick up Interstate 90 and head east. Should the roads and terrain through British Columbia, Canada permit, this leg of the trip will complete another IBA ride, the SaddleSore 1000 (http://www.ironbutt.com/ridecerts/getdocument.cfm?DocID=1), which is 1,000 documented miles in under 24 hours.
BunBurner Gold. The fifth leg will take me another 1,658 miles from Moses Lake, Washington to Des Moines, Iowa to attend Wing Ding 32 (http://www.wing-ding.org/), which is the annual rally for Gold Wings. This leg of the trip will complete another IBA ride, the BunBurner Gold (http://www.ironbutt.com/ridecerts/getdocument.cfm?DocID=3), which is 1,500 documented miles in under 24 hours.
SaddleSore 1000. And finally, the sixth leg of the trip is another SaddleSore 1000 ride of 1,082 miles from Des Moines, Iowa to Stafford, Virginia. I hope to be home no later than Monday, July 5.
Musings. According to MapQuest, this 17-day road trip will take 216 hours to travel 12,760 miles. For those of you who cannot resist reaching for a calculator, that is only 9 straight days of riding if I average 59 mph, which leaves me another 8 full days to stop for gas, food, and sleep, or to slow down for traffic, construction, and weather. I know, easy ride!
Of course, averaging 59 mph is the real challenge when stopping for gas, food, and sleep. My Gold Wing has a 6.6 gallon tank and I average a minimum of 31 mpg around town and in the mountains, and a maximum of 37 – 42 mpg on level blacktop Interstate. So, I have planned my road trip around the stops required for each state and a comfortable 180-mile range for the stops required for gas. I have calculated that I need to stop for receipts and gas 57 times between Kittery and Kennewick, and another 9 times from Kennewick to Hyder (at 15 minutes per stop, that’s almost 17 hours pumping gas just from Kittery to Hyder!). A 15-minute stop for gas during a 3-hour run at 60 mph drops my average mph to 55 mph, and a 2-hour stop for a nap during a 3-hour run at 60 mph drops my average mph to 36 mph.
Okay, enough with numbers. My number one top priority goal is for rider and trike to return to Stafford safely without injury, damage, or speeding ticket. The trick is not to speed, but to keep the wheels rolling and to stay reasonably well rested. I have food and snacks on board for 15 days, and a 100 oz camel back for hydration. I also have waterproof boots and a waterproof Olympia Moto Sports Phantom riding suit with a great ventilation system that will keep me moving regardless of the weather. And my Bluetooth-enabled Nolan N103 full-face modular helmet keeps me in touch by phone for emergencies.