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Old 04-16-2014, 02:24 PM   #1
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First Moonshine Lunch Run - with first Saddlesore

“What do you think? 1031 miles for a burger? There is a SS1K certificate and everything”

That was the email I received from GSAnderson, one cold and wintry February day.

My response?

“YEAH!
Maybe we can steal the central tag on the way.”

And that was that. Just like that, we had decided to make an attempt at the fabled Moonshine Lunch Run, this year to be celebrating its 10th anniversary.

You may have heard of Moonshine (population 2) – the little general store in the middle of nowhere – well – near Casey, Illinois – just close enough to the Indiana border to screw with the east / central time difference on your cellphone.

Moonshine was started by an LD Rider by the name of Terry Hammond – just an informal gathering of like minded people to shoot the breeze, have a burger. You know how it is.

You can read about it here:

http://moonshine-run.com/Moonshine/History.asp

On top of that – it tends to be a gathering of people who like to ride a long distance for the sake of doing it. Consequently, there is an Ironbutt Association Saddlesore 1000 associated with the event, to honor fallen LD Rider, Curt Gran.

My riding buddy GSAnderson is no stranger to the world of long distance endurance road riding, but for my own part I have never attempted a Saddlesore before. Sure, I have ridden some longs days at 600 miles and a bit over, but attempting to go to the 1000 miles in 24 hours or less mark – well that’s a somewhat daunting prospect, especially with winter raging outside the window, and not a whole hell of a lot of prep time for the event, which was a mere month and a half or so away.

But, as they say, bugger it. “Let’s do it” was the consensus, and so the ride was declared “ON, like Donkey Kong”.

There wasn’t much to do at that point, but sign up for the various rides, lunches and suppers, book a hotel room (“screw camping” was the next unanimous decision), and then make sure the bikes were ready.
GSAnderson was going to be taking his trusty 1200GS, and me, my trusty replacement Tiger800XC. Fine, fine motorcycles both. Freshly equipped with all manner of farkles.

Then we talked about our plan. Using www.drivingtimesbetweencities.com, GSAnderson arrived at a rather nifty set up, based on one of the approved SS1K routes for the Curt Gran memorial run.

7:54 from MSP to Emporia. 544 miles (round up to 10 hours) 8:00 am to 6:00 pm.

1:37 Emporia to KC. 108 miles (Round up to 2 hours) 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm.

Rest and BBQ in KC (3 hours) 8:00 pm to 11:00 pm.

5:36 KC to Casey. 376 miles (Round up to 7 hours) 11:00 pm to 6:00 am.

Therefore leave 8:00 Thursday so we can do the lunch on Friday (more BBQ) and sleep a little before the Friday night festivities. Then more sleep to rest up for Saturday's Moonburgers.

And there you have it. The plan was declared as having much win, and we were set. Chomping at the bit, while snow continued to fall.

……….and fall.

And fall.
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Old 04-16-2014, 02:25 PM   #2
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Amazingly though, as we got closer to departure day, things started looking up. The weather perked up. The sun came out, the temperature rose. The piles upon piles of snow and ice began to recede, and by the time we reached Thursday, April 10th, it was positively pleasant out.

In fact………..
Quote:
Originally Posted by GSAnderson View Post


And thus it was that preparations continued, test rides were taken, and systems checked, heated gear verified.

And then….disaster struck. The day before we were due to leave I was struck down by an incident of epic proportions. It had become clear that the ride to Moonshine would be warm, balmy, with sunlight shining its radiant brilliance upon us while angelic choirs sung to signal our passage. But Sunday…..the day of our return, was to herald a return to frigid and arctic conditions.

My heated jacket failed on the Wednesday morning ride to work. A tourmaster jacket, which had been repaired multiple times. And now it was blowing fuses. What devil trickery was this? What ghost lay in the machine, what team of foul demon spawn hellacious gremlins sought to test me and vex me so? What, in short, was I the hell going to do about this?

There I was, staring disaster in the face. Drawing inspiration from Shackleton and Hillary, I summoned all my faculties and focused on one thing: survival. I chose hope over loss. To avoid possible discomfort, I made a bold decision.

I bought another jacket.

And what jolly nice jackets Gerbings make.

At this point, mention should be made of our planned stop in Kansas City for BBQ. We had another idea par excellence on this one. “Why not pop in and see our beloved friend ajayhawkfan?” An astounding idea, so I sent him an email, and within moments we had arranged our rest stop, and ajayhawkfan was planning out our evenings supper.

The question was received “Do you and GSAnderson like brisket, pulled pork or ribs?”

Answer – “yes”.

The Ride

And then, the day was here. Just like that. With bikes packed and ready, we met at a local diner for a slap up feed, and then it was off to Minneapolis for the first gas receipt, to mark the start of the 24 hours for the SS1K.
As always, I had a certain amount of apprehension before starting the ride. This ride was to be my first SS1K, and that would involve pushing myself a bit, and riding through the night to achieve the goal. As usual though, once engine was revving and the wheels were turning the apprehension was replaced by calm, and the business of making the ride successful. So away we went.
First port of call, Holiday gas station on broadway in Minneapolis, and thence to a traffic jam on I-35 through the city.

That wasn’t too bad though, and after a few moments we found our way into the commuter lane, let engines rev freely and wound up the bikes to make some headway.
Our route was suitably simple – superslab all the way to Emporia, then back to Kansas City, and then across Missouri to end up in Casey, Illinois, at the Moonshine Lunch Run Headquarters.
Certainly not what you would call the most exciting of routes, but the interstates certainly provide an efficient and clear route to go the required distance, with easy refueling, and the opportunity to make time, and thus allow reasonable rest stops.

I must say – I wasn’t sure how this was going to pan out. Normally I shy away from interstates, preferring to tour on back roads and take in the scenery. Interstate I can find very boring.
This ride was different though. With goal of racking up a long mileage in a defined amount of time, my mind had other things to occupy it – the constant analysis of passing time for one. Always paying attention to speed. Never going under the speed limit, but only a few mph over to avoid the unwanted time (and $) consumptions of PC Plod.

So the time ticked away, and the miles churned under our wheels. I am happy to say that everything went very smoothly down to Emporia. (Emporoia, by the way, was the defined mid point of our ride, by the Iron Butt Association). Gas stops were smooth and fast. The day was warm and bright, but not overly hot. It was easy to be fully geared up, and still be comfortable. We were well ahead of schedule when we reached Emporia, Ks, and so we took a good half hour break to stretch our legs, before heading back north east to Kansas City.

Emporia Stop

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Old 04-16-2014, 02:25 PM   #3
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So we reached Kansas City and Le Maison de ajayhawkfan by about 6.30pm, and were greeted with open arms and big smiles. I can’t emphasise this enough, mr and mrs ajayhwakfan were charming and generous hosts. When we arrived they had a HUGE plate of mixed BBQ and multiple sauces from Oklahoma Joes waiting for us, and a home made cheesecake.





Not only did the ajayhawkfans provide refreshment, but they graciously allowed us to get some sleep. This was fantastic, we rested for a few hours, until about 10.30pm, and that really made a big difference.
At 10.30, it was gear on, and head out. We made our way steadily out of Kansas City, and began the slog across Missouri on I-70.

I-70 is a bit of a shit road. It frequently gets heavily backed up, but we were crossing in the wee small hours, and taking our time with it, steadily racking up the miles at a moderate pace.

I had a minor issue, as my Sena head set had become unpaired from my Bluetooth transmitter for both radar detector and iPhone, leaving me with nothing but my own thoughts for a few hours until we got to a gas stop. Oh the horror – at 1 am I really don’t need my own thoughts rattling around. AC/DC or something is far more appropriate.

Have you ever noticed how, when you’re rolling down the road on the bike, your toonz always seem so appropriate? Highway Star blasted out as I left my house at the start of the run, and “On the road again” was playing as we left Minneapolis. I like movie soundtracks too. “Desert Chase” from Raiders of the Lost Ark felt right as we jockeyed for position on I-70 with the many semis that rumble across country at that ungodly time of day.
Anyway, riding through the night is surreal and kind of exhilarating. Features rush by at the side of the road, and BEWARE the many carcasses of shredded truck tyres. There were enough of those to remind me of my fragility and mortality.

Still we went on and on, mile after mile, still well ahead of schedule. The arch in St. Louis was fun to glimpse, and then we rolled over the Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge, which at night is quite a spectacle.
By the time we rolled towards Effingham on I-70, I was going loopy. Per some advice I had received from GSAnderson, I made the decision to “stop to go further”, and we pulled off the interstate and rested for 15 minutes in a tourist information area. This was a hugely important stop. After a little while napping there, we both felt significantly better, and the sun was coming up. This felt really good, and when we set off again we were both refreshed and ready to complete the run.

We pulled into Casey at 6.20am or so, and proceeded to fuel up for the last important receipt – and just like that – we were done. As I tucked the receipt into my wallet I heard GSAndersons dulcet tones – “Hey, aren’t you one of those Iron Butt guys?” he said to me, grinning ear to ear.

Why, yes I am.




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Old 04-16-2014, 02:26 PM   #4
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The story though, such as it is, doesn’t end there.

We were now in Casey, Illinois, early (ish) on Friday morning. So we found a little café, by the name of Whitling Whimsy café, which just happens to be the home of the worlds largest wind chime.





Well anyway. At this point we tried to get in our hotel, but it was only 9.30, so they weren’t ready for us. No problem, we just slept on our stich’s on the cigarette butt covered lawn outside the hotel for a few hours, until they let us in.

Moonshine is not just about burgers. The organizers also put on a wonderful BBQ feast at the workshop of one of the farmers who hosts the event.



You make a donation to join in, which covers the cost of the food and the campground, for those camping. We also learned that this event really supports the local community. Generous donations by the riders that participate result in funds going directly back into local facilities.

Friday night is a big supper, which is held at a local restaurant, and it was really great to see so many people and bikes there. All kinds of bikes too. The supper was a fantastic buffet affair, and very reasonably priced. Well worth getting to the Friday night supper if you can.












Inside the restaurant:




With supper done, we were ready to retire for the night, but not before celebrating the ride with suitable beverages. A very pleasant surprise was the presentation of a delicious Scotch Whisky – samples of the Cigar Malt and the Single Malt from the Dalmore distillery.



All this…..and it’s still Friday. We haven’t even had a Moonburger yet!
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Old 04-16-2014, 02:26 PM   #5
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Which brings us neatly to Saturday.

This years moonshine was set to be a record breaker, with masses of bikes. I guess it is always popular, so we decided that the “early bird gets the worm” and got over to Moonshine HQ first thing for a Cinnamon roll, and didn’t waste any time getting to Moonshine either. I believe that GSAnderson and I had Moonburger numbers 5 and 6.

It’s a great place – a wonderful old time store owned by two wonderful people. We were privileged to meet the owners and have our burgers cooked by them.







Intrepid adventurers GSAnderson, propforward, Normus (not pictured).



No ride is complete without PIE!, and we were delighted that some local Amish folk were providing the PIE! On Saturday. In that regard, we had slices number 1 and 2.



At this point, it was about 9.00 am or so on Saturday. The original plan had been to head back on Sunday. But as we watched the weather, and shot the breeze with other Mn riders, a new plan formed.
In short, let’s get the hell out of Dodge and see if we can get back on Saturday, before the cold front came in.

But – not by abandoning the Central Photo Tag.

So the race (er…..sure, the race against ourselves) was on, the game was afoot. We quickly packed up our gear and got on the road. The first few hours involved pounding back west on I-70, but then we got onto some more scenic roads, and we headed up the Illinois River road (highway 100) to a place just north of Kampsville, to see this wonder:



Surely the ultimate in discarded junk. Bit of a shame, but really, it’s a goner.

After that, it was time to make like tree and get the heck out of there. We still had a long way to go, and the radar showed forewarnings of storms building in Iowa. So a quick cruise along Silver Creek Hollow road, through banjo country, and back to the freeway, by which time we were into 85°F heat.

We hoped that the rest of the journey would be uneventful, but on the radar the storms were turning an angry read, and we figured that a cold front would be coming in right behind those. As we moved northwards out of Missouri into Iowa we could see the weather building in the distance.

Just before Waterloo, we felt the temperature drop an instantaneous 20 degrees, and so we stopped to don electric gear and prepare for deluge. A nice truck driver merrily informed us of “Hail in Waverly”.
Great.

The radar images were getting worse too.

We continued anyway, threading our way along US 218 to US 18, and then over to I-35.

All the while the storm clouds gathered on either side. Gigantic great bruised, towering, tumultuous affairs, flashing lightning and rumbling discontent. Wankers.

But somehow we threaded our way through. As the clouds gathered with more fury, the highway turned us away. As another bank of clouds grew, so the highway turned the other way. This process continued all the way to Clear Lake, Ia, where we got sprinkled on by maybe 10 raindrops. We blasted up I-35 and made a gas stop in Albert Lea.

Checking the radar there we couldn’t believe our luck. The storms were intense – huge blood red affairs on the radar screen, with little wee gaps between storm cells, and we missed the lot. Although we were solidly in the cold now, with the temperature down to just over 40, but screw that. We were still dry, and loving every minute.

The last leg was a tough one for me. We blasted up I-35 at a fair lick, and by this time I was getting tired. GSAnderson and I parted ways just north of Minneapolis, and again heeding the advice of the LDRiders, made one final “stop to go further”. Finally arriving home at a little after midnight on Sunday morning, after a750 mile ride that day.

All told, the journey was about 2000 miles over the whole Thursday through saturday time period.

I didn’t know exactly what to expect of an Iron Butt ride – I should say a Saddlesore. I didn’t know whether I was just going to get bored out of my skull, have difficulty staying awake or what. Honestly, up until this point I have always shunned masses of interstate riding, preferring to tool around on backroads. But there was something really fulfilling about the ride. I had a superb time, and I will do it again.

As always, phenomenal to meet new folks, and see old friends.

If you haven’t been to Moonshine, you should really consider it.

Thanks to GSAnderson, and to Mr and Mrs ajayhawkfan.

Fine people all.

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Old 04-16-2014, 03:16 PM   #6
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Great write up!
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Old 04-16-2014, 05:41 PM   #7
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Your prose is so descriptive it almost like I was riding along with you.
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Old 04-16-2014, 05:43 PM   #8
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I freely admit to stealing the best lines.

EDIT: From you, in fact, and I have no remorse about it whatever.
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Old 04-16-2014, 06:44 PM   #9
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Great read about a great ride!
-K
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Old 04-16-2014, 07:13 PM   #10
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Congratulations on your SS1000.
Nice write up.
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Old 04-17-2014, 09:21 AM   #11
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Congradulation on your first 1000 mile ride. Is it also your last?

I'm glad the two of you stopped by. We enjoyed having you and you are welcome back anytime.
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Old 04-17-2014, 09:49 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajayhawkfan View Post
Congradulation on your first 1000 mile ride. Is it also your last?
No, I'm pretty sure I will do more saddle sores. I don't know how many, or how mad I will get on that. I'm not a "hard core" IBA member, but I like how it prepares you to be able to crunch out significant miles to get places - a useful tool for motorcycle touring.

It was super to see you both again. Looking forward to the next time already.
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Old 04-17-2014, 01:22 PM   #13
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Old 04-17-2014, 04:21 PM   #14
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well done!

Great write-up, Stuart!

What is "PC Plod"?

I approve of the blatant and repeated insertion of "PIE!" into the write-up


I want to make this next year
I need to try both a Moon Burger and of course the Amish PIE!

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Old 04-17-2014, 05:12 PM   #15
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PC Plod is an English colloquial expression for "copper", "fuzz", "sweeney", "Po-po", "Police".



I think Police Constable Plod might have been a character from a show a long time ago. not sure.

PIE! is everything.
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