Day -13: June 9, 2000
If I am going to write trip reports from the road this summer, I need to warm up by writing a line or two before I leave. So, here goes. I have taken 7 cross-country motorcycle trips in the past 7 years, and each time I have promised myself I would write a trip report when I returned home. I have even taken notes along the way to help me remember the events of the trip, but the full reports never seem to get written. This time I'm going to take a laptop computer with me and write the trip report in installments via e-Mail as I go.
There are two long distance "events" I will be attempting on this trip. The more important of the two, and the reason for taking this journey, is called the Four Corners Tour. The Southern California Motorcycling Association sponsors this event, and the rules are pretty simple: ride your motorcycle to the four geographic corners of the continental United States in 21 days or less. I started planning this trip 2 years ago, when I returned home from my 50cc Quest, and the biggest mistake I have made so far is that I started planning much too early. But fortunately the departure date is almost here.
The second event I will be attempting is sponsored by the Iron Butt Association, and it is known as the Bun Burner Gold 3000. It involves riding 1500 miles in a 24 hour period, and just to be sadistic, another 1500 in the next 24 hours. Only 5 members of the IBA have completed and documented this event. The logical question at this point of course is "Why?" and I offer a quote from the American humorist Dave Barry in response. In his book, "Things I Have Learned by the Age of 50", Barry says: "There is a very fine line between a hobby and mental illness".
Here's the plan:On June 22 I will ride my Honda ST1100 to San Ysidro, CA to document my presence at the first corner of the USA. Just living this close to one of the corners is reason
enough to want to ride to all four! This documentation will take the form of a Polaroid photograph of the bike parked in front of the San Ysidro Post Office and a gas receipt from San
Ysidro, both of which will be placed in an envelopeand mailed from the San Ysidro Post Office to the SCMA in Los Angeles. The postmark on this letter starts the 21 day clock on the Four
Corners Tour, and of course similar documentation must be obtained at each of the
The next morning, June 23 at 5:00 AM, 2 members of the Iron Butt Association have agreed to witness my departure on my Bun Burner Gold 3000 ride. The documentation required by the IBA is a little bit different. They require signed witness forms and they want either a police officer or an approved IBA member to witness the beginning, midpoint, and end of this event. On the 23rd, an IBA member is riding about 140 miles to San Diego in the middle of the night just to witness my departure, then turning around and riding back home! There's proof that I'm not the only person with the long distance riding sickness! The IBA also requires a trip log, a route map, and electronic gas pump receipts showing time, date, place, and number of gallons purchased at every gas stop along the route. By matching the gas receipts to the trip log and the map, it's pretty easy to see where the rider went and how long it took to get there. The witnesses will further prove the facts of the event.
On the first day, June 23, I will ride non-stop (except for gas stops) from San Diego, CA to Salina, KS, a distance of 1522 miles. In Salina I will sleep for a couple of hours, and then on the 24th I will ride from Salina to Orlando, FL, which is 1523 miles. IBA members are scheduled to meet me in Salina and Orlando to witness my arrival in each of those two cities. In the interest of making good time, this ride will take place primarily on Interstate highways.
After the the successful completion of the BBG3000, the pace will slow a bit, and I will take more interesting roads, as I proceed with the Four Corners Tour. The second corner will be Key West, FL, followed by Madawaska, ME and finally Blaine, WA. These cities are just where you'd think they should be, at the corners of the country.
After documenting the fourth corner, Carla will fly to Spokane, WA, and we will ride 2-up for 6 days in the northern Rockies, visiting Lolo Pass in Idaho, Beartooth Pass in Montana, Yellowstone NP, Grand Teton NP, Cody, WY, and Jackson Hole, WY. Carla will fly home from Jackson, and I will ride home solo. In all, I am planning almost 13,000 miles over 24 days.
Two years ago, I rode from Ocean Beach, CA to Jacksonville Beach, FL in 42 hours and 46 minutes to gain membership in the IBA. This event was called the 50cc Quest (Coast to Coast in less than 50 hours). Last summer I rode 1631 miles in a 24 hour period. This event was called a Bun Burner Gold. Successful completion of these two events qualified me to attempt the Bun Burner Gold 3000. By the way, a certificate AND a plastic license plate frame are awarded to the rider for completing one of these events, so you know it's well worth the effort!
That's enough about the rules and regulations. Next time I'll try to write a little bit more about the route I'm taking on the Four Corners Tour. In case you are interested in more information about the events mentioned in this report, here are 2 websites:
http://www.ironbutt.com/ (click on IBA Extreme Rides)
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© COPYRIGHT 2000, Richard R. Brookes, Peter H. Baumann