Saddlesore 1000 start time question

Discussion in 'Americas' started by SnowGS, Dec 1, 2017.

  1. SnowGS

    SnowGS It wasn’t me, officer.

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    I’m planning to do a Saddlesore 1000 from Montreal, Quebec to Knoxville, Tennessee (1030 miles) and was hoping folks who’ve tried can give their opinion on what they perceive as the ideal departure time.
    I expect to take 19-20 hours, leaving a safe 4 hour buffer in case I really need a rest (doubt it).

    I’ve seen some YouTube videos where people leave at midnight but that means you didn’t get a solid sleep before leaving, where others leave at daybreak putting the toughest hours in the dark.
    Opinions?
    #1
  2. BkerChuck

    BkerChuck Been here awhile

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    My knowledge of Canada is pretty limited so I can't say much regarding your start location. My best advice would be that using whatever mapping software you use, like Basecamp, plan your route first including estimated fuel stops and then try various start times and watch for your ETA in high traffic areas. By doing this you can adjust departure time to avoid congestion through New York area and major cities further south. You don't mention when you plan the trip. I like early summer when you have the longest amount of available daylight. On the few cert rides I have done I try to get an early start and have most of my major interstate routes in the late evening so I can utilize surrounding traffic for protection from deer.
    #2
  3. SnowGS

    SnowGS It wasn’t me, officer.

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    Thanks Chuck,
    I'm less than an hour from the NY border. Here's the route including gas stops-> https://goo.gl/maps/cN5wU4S8sao
    This would be in mid May. Not really hitting major centers of congestion as far as I can see and if Google maps says 15h48m of riding, that usually means 14h30m max so I think my 19-20 hour is reasonably relaxed.

    I'm currently thinking a 5:00 am departure makes sense with an arrival of midnight.
    Can folks actually sleep the night before or does adrenaline pump you? I've done many 12 hour rallies and the excitement makes it tough.
    #3
  4. Riteris

    Riteris Dessert Runner

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    IMO, part of the answer includes how your body accommodates changes in regular sleeping schedule.

    If you usually wake up at 6 but set your alarm for 3am, is that going to affect you?

    And, as was mentioned, if you set your alarm for 3am, and go to bed early, will you be able to get enough sleep?
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  5. BkerChuck

    BkerChuck Been here awhile

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    Glad you sent your route, that helps as far as my giving advice. The area on I-81 around Hagerstown, MD can be brutal! Because of the way it intersects there with I-70 you can expect heavy traffic and congestion in the early morning and again late afternoon due to work traffic. Further north around Harrisburg, PA it can back up but it's not horrible there. I live off of I-83 just south of Harrisburg and travel that stretch fairly often. If traffic is jammed up your alternates aren't all that great but barring something truly unpredictable it shouldn't hurt your time too much. My biggest thing is that Hagerstown area. I've been through there on occasions where traffic goes from rolling at 70+ to a damn near standstill in a distance of what felt like only a few feet then back to 70+ again. Mid day or at night would be the best time for that area. I-81 south through VA feels like it lasts forever. You'll be in that state for quite a while. Pretty scenery for the most part but after enough miles it all blend together.

    As for sleep, some times I can sleep good the night before other times the anticipation just kills me and I barely sleep at all. I've done 3 of these rides so far and each one has been part of a rally or Tour of Honor so I have plenty of stops beyond just fuel. Best of luck and keep me posted. Closer to the time PM me and i can give you my cell number in case you need help and you're close to me.
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  6. LeMaitre

    LeMaitre Been here awhile

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    SnowGS,

    It looks like you have a quiet boarder crossing which is good. As for starting time, this is what I did for my SS1K. I commonly wake at different times during the night. So when I woke and saw that it was 3:00 am I got up. The advantage to this is your body is not having a deep sleep interrupted so you are more alert.

    -Mark
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  7. Flipflop

    Flipflop Been here awhile

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    The unofficial ones I've done, I've left around 6:00pm. Seems a lot easier to me to ride through the night, and then have a new dawn... Rather than starting at dawn and then riding into the night.
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  8. SnowGS

    SnowGS It wasn’t me, officer.

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    But what about sleep the day before? Leaving at 6:00pm, I've been up already 12 hours.
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  9. Rollin'

    Rollin' does it come in black?

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    What ever works for the ride.
    I've had start times between midnight and 8:00 pm with a lot of late afternoon starts. I like riding at night.
    I'm like a kid before Christmas before a ride, I know I won't sleep so I just leave midday.
    Most of my start times were based on the ride, timing for large cities, traffic and when do I want to end the ride?
    On my 49 states in 10 days ride I set my alarm for 3:00 am central everyday because I was leaving and returning to the central time zone. I did have some "early" starts in the west but time zones don't matter, hours of riding per day do.
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  10. Rollin'

    Rollin' does it come in black?

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  11. GAS GUY

    GAS GUY MILE EATER

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    The logical method would be to stay as close to your daily schedule as possible. That is what your mind and body is already accustomed to.

    The biggest obstacle to long-distance riding is sleepiness. Most seasoned LD riders could ride forever if they didn't need sleep.

    For instance, my first three SS1000's were night time starts. That is not my schedule. They were organized rides so I had no choice, and although they ended with success, they were very hard on me. I've done a couple of Bun Burner Gold's that were a lot easier - much of which is due to staying as close to my bodies clock as possible.
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  12. FormerOilhead

    FormerOilhead Old Fart

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    Leave at daybreak. Have a glass of red wine before bedtime...takes the edge off.
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  13. boatpuller

    boatpuller Long timer

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    Whatever time you leave, don't be afraid to stop for a nap. If you body wants a nap, take it! There is plenty of time in a SS1000 for rest. And don't be afraid to scratch the IBA aspect of the ride if something feels off to you. There is no shame in that at all, in fact it should be celebrated.

    Napping: I find a quite place (rest stop picnic table, under a big LP gas tank, sidewalk beside a gas station, under a tree in a park or nursing home or hospital grounds, and most recently in a hospital waiting room - more on that later) and lay down in my helmet on the hard surface. When the discomfort of the ground exceeds my need for sleep, it's time to get up and ride again. Works great. A friend married to a nurse suggested going into a hospital and telling the person who greets you "I'm on a long motorcycle trip and getting sleepy, and don't think it's safe for me to ride much further until I catch a nap. Is there a quiet place I can catch a little shut-eye?" I tried it, and he's right, it worked perfect. They guided me to a surgical waiting room that was not used during the night, and also to the coffee and vending area for when I woke up. Probably works best in small town hospitals due to their quieter nature during the night.

    Your route: Consider grabbing I-88 in Albany to I-81 in Binghamton. That has got to work better then any highway going close to the NY City metro area. Also, some of the worst (most frustrating and dangerous) Interstate traffic I've experienced was around Knoxville, TN. Cars coming to a stop for no good or expected reason on the Interstate. This was both on a motorcycle this fall, and in a rented car last weekend where I almost rear ended cars THREE times. And I'm not a bad driver, and can go years with no close calls, and to have three in one day - geez I don't like driving around Knoxville. The point is: Your route ends there after a 1000 miles, make sure you are rested and sharp at the end, or schedule it so it's quiet and empty when you get there.
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  14. Riteris

    Riteris Dessert Runner

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  15. jonz

    jonz Miles are my mantra

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    I don't know the bar closing times along your route but avoiding drunks is a big deal. I'm a morning person and bars close (or used to close) at 0200 around here. I give the drunks an hour to crash and then figure it's as safe as it's going to be. So I like to start around 0300. I usually figure 16 hours +/- in-the-saddle time for a Saddlesore so if I use an hour or two for breaks/fueling, that means I finish with only a few hours in the dark at the end (this time of year). This time of year in Montreal, early morning ice may be a bigger concern than drunks so you need to decide what worries you more.
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  16. SnowGS

    SnowGS It wasn’t me, officer.

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    Good stuff to consider around here (lots of bars), thanks. My plan is mid-May so ice hopefully won’t be a concern :)
    Planning like this gives me all winter to be excited about the trip. Saddlesore to get down there, then Deals Gap to Blueridge Parkway and a pop into NYC on the ride home.
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  17. LeMaitre

    LeMaitre Been here awhile

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    That sounds like a good plan and an nice trip.

    -Mark
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