There and Back Again: a 50cc Tale.

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by BMW-K, May 15, 2008.

  1. BMW-K

    BMW-K F800GS FTW!

    Nov 11, 2004
    Anaheim, CA
    There and Back Again: A 50cc Tale.

    “Yeah, I’m here.” I pause. “I think I need to just enjoy the moment” I say and hit the end key on the phone.

    I’m sitting on the beach, the sun not yet up, crying softly. I’m too choked up for words. I’ve just ridden straight through the night, finishing nearly 2500 miles in under two days. Every emotion is playing itself out: Joy and Elation are met by Despair and Agony.

    Every ache in my back, the crack to my left knee, the stiff neck and dry eyes…every pain simply vanished the moment I placed my first foot on the creaking wooden stairway that led to the beach. I wondered how many others have taken this exact same step the same way.

    I’m alone, yet not. The picture of my wife winking at me as I rode through darkness, the posts of my friends on STN, the countless calls and PM’s from Ken badgering me “Are You There Yet?”…I’m anything but alone.

    A bird chirps, a family sits off to my left waiting the sunrise, someone else jogs by while another person crushes a cigarette out in the sand. I pick up my empty Gatorade bottle and walk into the receding surf. Foam and water swirl over my boots and up my leg as I bend down to collect my prize: A bit of sand and some salty water.

    Just as I turn my back the sun rises and the first rays of golden-red light paint my shadow on the sand in front of me.

    I’m here. I’m not alone. And I’m wondering what’s next.



    It all started back in March, 2008 at a gathering of us riders. Sitting around after dinner we chatted about what a great year of riding 2007 had been and of some of the goals we had for 2008. My friend Ken spoke up saying “I need to do something crazy this year”. The end result of this 45 minutes BS Session was an agreement to do a 50CC ride.

    Abut 6 weeks ago, a number of us gathered to together at James home for some fantastic sammiches and great company. During our event Ken had a comment:

    Ken: "I need to do something crazy this year"
    Me: "You mean like not get a ticket?"
    K: "No, a ride. A BIG ride."
    M: "SS1k?"
    K: "Too mundane."
    K: "Maybe a B2B via WCRM?"
    M: "Logistics are lousy for me. I'd need to take nearly a full week off."
    K: "Then?"
    M: "oooooooooohhh...I know. Back to back 50cc's"
    K: "I'm listening"
    M: "I ride out, get to Jacksonville in two days. You FLY out, pick up the bike and ride it back. I fly home..."
    K: "I need another beer..."

    It was a simple plan, really. Our original plan was to rent a K12LT or some such nonsense. The more we looked into it, the less attractive it became. My GS would be up to the task with a couple simple modifications (seat, windshield, radar). It just needed some execution.

    I give you: The MotherShip.


    And her Co-Pilot.

    The Office for the next 48 hours...


    50 hours, Coast to Coast. In my case, Huntington Beach, CA to Jacksonville Beach, Florida. In under 50 hours.

    Our discussion wound up with us renting a BMW K1200LT. Over the next couple of weeks the K-LT plan was abandoned mainly because the thought of riding a completely unfamiliar bike was a bit daunting, especially one as big and imposing as a K1200LT. Instead we chose to finish outfitting my vaunted 2007 R1200GS just for the ride. Farkling to begin at dawn!

    The plan formulated quickly: I would ride out starting at 6:00am PST on a Thursday morning and would finish no later than 8am PST that Saturday. Ken would fly out to JAX on Saturday (where we would meet at the airport) and then ride the GS home, leaving JAX Beach at 6:00am PST on Sunday, finishing the ride somewhere around 8am PST at the Western end of the 10 Freeway, Santa Monica Beach, CA. The ride itself would be simple: Get on the 10 Freeway and get comfortable for the next 50 hours…

    For my part, my goal was to be on JAX Beach in 42 hours. I would ride 18 hours the first day, attempting to set down 1,250 miles later in Junction, Texas for an evenings rest. Leaving at 6am meant I should be in Junction around 12am PST (2am Texas Time). I calculated that I should be able to get Six hours of sleep before moving on. That meant I would leave Junction at around 6am PST (8am Texas time). Then I would make the run to JAX, come rain or shine, in one final ride. My hope was to run another 18 hours and arrive in JAX Beach around 12am PST (3am Florida Time).

    So, 18 hours + 6 hours + 18 hours = 42 Hours. Total distance would be 2,450 miles. I’d need to have a 68mph moving average for my 36 waking hours.

    Since most of Interstate 10 is pretty much wide open riding (and I assumed I’d be able to cruise at 85mph pretty much all the way) I figured that averaging a 68 mph rolling average should be doable.

    Ken and I compared notes and he decided that his return trip should be pretty close to the same. After all, it’s just the 10 – get on it and go. Exactly how much planning does one need?

    We set forth to farkle the bike. The 2007 R12GS is one amazingly well equipped bike for distance riding right off the factory. 200+ mile range, smooth Boxer motor, extremely comfortable and adjustable ergonomics come right from the factory.

    I’d already equipped the bike with the following:
    Crash bars
    Quad Fog Lamps (Hella Micro DE fogs, Hella FF50 Driving Lights)
    Ohlins Suspension (front and rear)
    Garmin Zumo GPS
    Touratech Zega Panniers + BMW Vario Topcase
    Bags Connection quick-detach Engage Tank Bag
    Autocom + ER6i earbuds

    To this basic setup we then added:
    Bill Mayer Saddle (special thanks to BMS Saddles who did a fantastic 4 day turnaround on the saddle!)
    Grip Puppies
    Ghetto Pegs (home built highway pegs made from 1” galvanized tube, 4x hose clamps, and a couple of rubber stoppers)
    Givi Adventure Windscreen
    Conti Trail Attack Tires (brand new, 9mm starting tread depth)
    Delphi XM MyFi
    Escort 8500 Radar
    12 volt cig-lighter socket (wired into the tank bag)

    Fresh Oil and a tune up and we were ready to go!

    We barely had 4 real weeks to finish putting the bike together. It was a rush job – and one that I am damn proud of. HUGE compliments to Bill Mayer Saddles for converting my stock saddle into a true mile-eater in just FOUR days! We could not have made the ride without such a quick turnaround.

    Fresh power leads were run from the Centech box (now fully maxed out) to the Escort and the 12 volt cig lighter. Relays were double checked, lights were cleaned, parts were bolted up.

    We finished final prep the night before I left, thereby violating the very well known IBA Rule: Don’t make any changes to your bike the night before the ride!

    I stuck the key in the ignition, hid the spare in the tank bag. Checked my insurance and registration and turned off the lights in the garage at 8:30pm, Wednesday night.


    It was a simple plan.

    I leave tommorow at dawn.
  2. BMW-K

    BMW-K F800GS FTW!

    Nov 11, 2004
    Anaheim, CA
    Thursday, 24-Apr-08 5:30am Anaheim Hills, CA

    Half a cup of coffee, Half a bowl of Oatmeal.

    I left the house at 5:30am, not too early, not too late. I wanted to be able to beat the traffic of SoCal but I also didn’t want to be so early that I sacrificed sleep. My first stop was what I called a “positioning stop”. I wanted to be able to provide proof that I was truly near my home when I first got gas. So I hit the local gas station before heading off to the true starting point. After that I headed straight down to Huntington Beach for the official start.

    Day 1: Stop #1: Official Start: 6:31am Huntington Beach, CA 27 miles Time Zero.


    I rode down to the beach for a couple of obligatory pictures. I’m smiling. I know this is going to be a long journey, but I’m smiling. I like riding when there’s nobody else on the road…and there’s no one here on the beach yet. It’s quiet, peaceful. Clear skies ahead, and a soft breeze. The sand is clean.

    Even the bus driver doesn’t pay me any attention as I take a pic or three.

    I thumbed the motor and headed straight down Brookhurst to the Mobil station for my official starting time. And I’m off.

    (As an aside, the rules of the 50cc require a couple things. The first is a date/time stamped gas receipt. The second are witness forms. The witness forms do not need to be completed at the same time as the first gas receipt. Basically the IBA is looking for some personal “proof” that you are actually in an area near your starting point and that you are riding the bike and not trailering it!. I had my neighbors sign the witness forms the night before…the Date/Time stamp on the gas receipt is the actual starting time).


    Day 1: Stop #2: 9:36am Blythe, CA 223 miles 2 hours, 59 minutes

    Escape from Los Angeles! I’m off, and traffic is a doddle. What traffic is there is heading into Orange County and LA County, not out towards Riverside and the 10 freeway. I move along briskly, cutting and splicing traffic only mildly. In minutes I’m on the 10 and moving along at 85 mph…

    And within 90 minutes of the ride start I discover the first flaw with Radar – it only works if the LEO’s are using it! Some guy in a white Mercedes blows past me at an easy 100+. Not seconds later a CHP rips past me, the wind blast from his car two lanes over is easily noticeable.

    The Radar never even chirped.

    Next thing I know I’m in Blythe. Leg 1 down before I even know it. The GS is in great form.

    Day 1: Stop #3: 12:24pm Casa Grande, AZ 198 miles 2 hours, 56 minutes


    Ahh yes, standard Police activity on the 10 between Phoenix and Tucson. In other words, don’t speed! All truth be told, I don’t speed much and tend to set at 8-10 over the limit for the most part, and 3-4 over the limit in high risk areas. Just enough speed to feel like I’m “getting over on The Man” without drawing undue attention!

    Great. My gas gauge is doing the standard BMW wonky, telling me I’m out of gas at 190 miles…yet I’ve just gotten 43mpg average on a 6 gal. tank. Panic sets in and I search for gas. I hate this. I’m on the 10, nearing Casa Grande and I KNOW that there is a gas station somewhere up ahead, right off the freeway. I’ve hit it before during some of my trips to Tucson but I can’t remember the exit. This is going to cost me…

    The detour costs me a solid 30 minutes and the sad part is that there is a gas station not two miles further down the road. I’m a little pissed and stew on this for a while. It really dawns on me what the real value of a Fuel Cell is: reduced stress. If I had one I’d have kept on going to the next station without fearing running out of gas. As it was, I filled up with 5.1 gallons – I still had over 25 miles of range left…

    Oh, and my Ghetto-Pegs rock.


    Day 1: Stop #4: 3:25pm San Simon, AZ 189 miles 3 hours, 1 minute

    Another Gas Gauge crunch stop as the tank barely takes 4 gallons. And I lose another 10 minutes backtracking to a gas station. Smooth sailing otherwise and the GS hammers out the first 600 miles with easy comfort.


    It’s worth noting that San Simon is just before New Mexico. I didn’t stop in New Mexico and simply burned across New Mexico at 85+ the whole time, finally stopping in El Paso in just under 3 hours.


    (Ummmm, No.)


    Day 1: Stop #5: 6:34pm PST El Paso, TX 195 miles 2 hour, 59 minutes.


    So have I mentioned that it’s not safe to speed in Texas? Yep. Just don’t do it! The local LEO’s are having a field day devouring speeders. They just ignore me…

    I entered into what I truly considered to be the scariest part of the ride – West Texas Hill Country. Aka, Deer Haven. Aka, LEO Central. It goes from daylight to dark in no time and I power through to Fort Stockton.

    Day 1: Stop #6: 10:07pm PST Fort Stockton, TX 240 miles 3 hours, 33 minutes.

    I’m tired. I’ve entered Texas Hill country and the deer are out. I’m not sure which is worse: the deer, the 65mph nighttime speed limit, or the number of LEO’s enforcing it. I kid you not, I passed in the neighborhood of 20 LEO’s in this section and more than 50 deer feeding on the side of the road.

    It’s times like this that I am super pleased with my HID’s. They are obscenely bright and having slaved them to the hi-beams makes them as natural as can be to use. Overkill is just about right when it comes to spotting deer.

    One LEO decided to Paint me with his radar…I was doing 67 mph…fooker. I lit him up with the HID’s from over ½ a mile away. I just left them on as I passed him. Retina’s are cheap…Now leave the biker alone.

    I started this leg with the intent of finding a hotel as soon as possible. I’m rapidly heading beyond the point of “no return” and I’ve got 200 miles to go to Junction, TX. I stop at a gas station in Fort Stockton and grab a fried mini-burrito, a Red Bull, and two liters of water. My CamelBak is empty at this point.

    The mini-burrito I’m convinced now, was a mistake. Fried food didn’t exactly help me wake up.

    The worst part is that I’m tired. I mean, really tired. Blinking, swerving, questioning my sanity tired. I need to stop, to find a hotel, to rest. It’s all I can think of…sleep. I do stand-ups, 3 sets of 25, twice over on the pegs. It works for a little bit. I try doing modified push-ups – nope, that doesn’t work. The bike is swerving around. I try music – no go either. The steady beats are acting against me. XM isn’t working right (can’t hold a signal) so news radio is out.

    I pull into a small town and it’s got three hotels. All say “No Vacancy”. I’m cold – it’s only 65 degrees out though. I turn the vest up. I’m tired and that’s why I’m cold. I’ve been here before and I know that I’ve got to curl up.

    Next town: four hotels. No-Vacancy.

    Another 40 miles to the next town. Not far at all really. I hardly blink at a 400 mile ride and this is barely 10% of that. A scant 30 minutes… But now I’m just hurting. Sleep is priceless to me and I’m in short supply. An odd side-effect hits me. All the swerving around, doing loops, riding up to hotel front doors and the like have given me a break from the monotonous, tunnel vissioned night ride. I feel mentally refreshed and my dry eyes flutter with energy.

    I hit a quick gas stop because I’m here and I really don’t know how far it will be before I can get into a hotel.

    Day 1: Stop #7: 12:48 am PST Sonora, TX 143.4 miles 2 hours, 1 minute.

    I clear through the last 60 miles and power into Junction at 1:30am PST. I never figured it out at the time, but the time change was killing me here. The hotels had vacancies, I’m sure – parking lots were half empty. What they didn’t have was anyone on duty… It was 3:30am, local time. Lesson learned.

    END: Day 1: 1:47am (3:47 am local time) Junction, TX 56 miles 59 minutes.

    I pull into Junction. If I can’t find a hotel I’m sunk. I’ll just find a park or something and crash. It’s a penalty I’ll have to pay…

    I hit the Days Inn, Comfort Inn, Best Western, Econo-Lodge, and Roadway Inn’s: All are No-Vacancies. Last house on the block is the Motel 6.

    “I have one room, Smoking. It’s $75 with tax”.

    “I’ll take it.” I say and throw my Visa on the counter. It’s 3:30am and I’ve basically just rented a room for $12 an hour…

    Some of you may be wondering what the big deal is. Iron Butt riders are known to sleep on park benches all the time. Unfortunately I’m not going to. The problem is simple: I have Sleep Apnea and a pretty bad case of it. I have to sleep with a CPAP – which means I need a 110volt socket. I don’t care where I sleep, I just need my CPAP to do it. If I don’t sleep well for at least 5 hours a night my attitude on life rapidly deteriorates.

    Sleep is priceless to me. $75 for 6 hours of rest is worth every penny.

    I take a 5 minute shower at 3:52am and hit the sack by 4am with my gear strewn all over the room. I’m asleep as soon as I plug in.

    Day 1 Totals: 1,248.9 miles. 18 hours, 17 minutes.



  3. BMW-K

    BMW-K F800GS FTW!

    Nov 11, 2004
    Anaheim, CA
    START Day 2:

    Day 2: Stop #8: 8:17am PST Junction, TX 56 miles 0 hours, 0 minutes (Gas receipt for start of day)

    I awaken in a minor panic – the clock reads 10am. Which is meaningless because I’m staying on Cali Time. It’s 8 am in reality and I’m about an hour behind my original schedule. That’s ok. I had a full 24 hours to cover the same distance I’d just done in 16 hours.

    It takes me 30 minutes to get all my gear together and back on the bike. I’m not real happy about the time this takes but it’s not worth rushing. Every time I’ve rushed I’ve forgotten something. 30 minutes – I’m sure I can work on Nascar timing down the road and get this down to sub 15 minutes if I really try. Maybe as good as 10 minutes. It’s all about prepping to leave and keeping packing super simple.

    I’m out at 10:17am local time.



    Day 2: Stop #9: 10:39am Luling, TX 169 miles 2 hours, 22 minutes.

    Nothing to report. I’m feeling good, fresh, and refreshed. I roll.

    Sadly, I have to cross through Houston. Which is a huge bummer. I lose a good 30 minutes off my time due to traffic which was reduced to a bumper to bumper scrawl. I thought about the carpool lanes and decided against it: They don’t say if motorcycles are legal – only that HOV vehicles are. 2+ per vehicle the sign says… And I know people in Texas can be shot for offenses. Nope, I’m good. I just slog it out with the rest of the traffic world.

    Houston is a growing town. Construction abounds, freeways are being rebuilt left and right. Skyscrapers and tower cranes, signs of Progress abound. Good for Texas, bad for my times!





    Day 2: Stop #10: 1:15pm Beaumont, TX 222.5 miles 2 hours, 36 minutes.


    I note at this point that there is a remarkable difference between East and West Texas. It’s as striking as the So-Cal vs. No-Cal differences. In West Texas, You Do Not Speed. That’s right: the speed limit is just that: the LIMIT. I hold at 3 over in Texas and get painted by radar on a regular basis.

    Here in East Texas though people are as ignorant of limits as we are in SoCal. 85 in a 70 is normal. I’m happy just to keep up with the flow of traffic. Some guy in a New Jaguar XK lights the fires and is easily pulling 110mph. I think briefly about giving chase and decide not to. I’m not going to make up any real time doing so and the risks far outweigh the benefits. Still, I notice that speeds are increasing steadily.

    And faster, and faster, with the speedo starting to edge up and over 90. And I’m still being passed. “WTF is going on” I think. And then I see it, the sign.

    “Now entering Lousianna”.

    Oh! I get it now! Everyone is trying to ESCAPE Texas!

    I put the hammer down and burn off the rest of the gas tank and stop in Baton Rouge, LA to take on fuel.

    Day 2: Stop #11: 4:59pm Baton Rouge, LA 195.5 miles 3 hours, 45 minutes

    I power through Louisiana and power into Daphne, Alabama. This section of road might just be my favorite of the whole ride. 212 miles on the tank and I’m seeing fuel economy in the 46mpg range despite rolling at 85. I’m truly loving this – people in the South treat the speed limit as a suggestion…

    But what I loved the most was the elevated highway. 50+ miles of it through the swamps, over lakes, the Bayou, and more. Fantastic.






    Day 2: Stop #12: 8:00pm Daphne, AL 200.3 miles 3 hours, 1 minute.

    The best part about this section is Mississippi. I ripped through Ol’ Miss with the throttle locked at 85mph and tucked into the flow of traffic. It was great. I didn’t touch the throttle even once to back off. I rode flat across in total peace. The best part was “Chipmunking”.

    Try to imagine. It’s dusk, but plenty of light. I’m getting a bit hungry here and with the throttle locked down and the stability of the GS I’m able to do things I wouldn’t normally do. I open my tank bag and pull out a bag of Almonds. I tear the top of the bag open and pour the almonds on top of my tank bag. It’s so still and smooth behind the fairing that the almonds don’t even vibrate on the tank bag. I tuck half the bag into one of my pockets and raise my face shield half way and begin stuffing almonds, one at a time, through the shield and into my mouth.

    I must have looked like a Chipmunk!

    The best part though was the guy in the car next to me trying to figure out what was going on. I looked at him and offered him my half-full bag of Almonds at 85mph…

    He waved me off pleasantly and accelerated away. I chipmunked for the next 20 minutes, one nut at a time.

    HOURS of endless fun!

    Day 2: Stop #13: 11:04pm Chipley, FL 151.4 miles 3 hours, 4 minutes. Aka, The Wall.

    It’s 1:30 am local time. I’ve been riding in the blackness of night for near 6 hours now and it’s hitting me. I’m still thinking fairly clearly but my eyes are getting all buggy. I’ve hit the wall. The same one I hit last night in Deer country and this time I’m not screwing around. First acceptable stop I see I’m taking.

    Chipley – an Exxon gas station with a Burger King. Fuck yeah – the King’s gonna take care of me! I’m hitting the exit, powering left and up to a parking slot. Screw Gas, I’ll get it after I nap. I was going to close my eyes in the Burger King booth but they were roped off and closed. The King Dissed me!

    I stagger into the Station and ask the Counter Gal something. She looks at me strange and I realize that I’m actually speaking very, very softly. I speak up: BATHROOM! She points around the corner and I trundle off.

    60 seconds later I wander back out front, stand in the door of the station (with the electronic eye going “bing bong, bing bong, bing bong” ) and change my mind. I walk back in and buy a Green Monster energy drink.

    I reason, if it’s good enough for Miles…I pound down half the can.

    It’s 1:30am. I sit down against the wall of the Station, bike in front and facing me. My right arm is resting on my helmet and my left hand (also on the ground) is grasping the Monster.

    And I’m passed out like a Derelict on a bender.

    I can hear people walking past me and half open an eye now and again. But I don’t move and I can feel myself drifting. I wonder what they are thinking but don’t really care.

    20 minutes later I wipe the drool off my chin and get up. I feel great. I push down the rest of the Monster, hop the bike, gas it up and roll.

    Day 2: Stop #14: 1:15 am (ish) Live Oak , FL. 162.7 miles 2 hours, 10 minutes.

    Nothing much to report except my famously screwy BMW fuel gauge read empty with over 1.5 gallons left in the tank, forcing an earlier stop than I wanted. I pulled a NASCAR stop and rolled out fully fueled in under 3 minutes.

    END Day 2: Stop #15: 2:42 am Jacksonville, FL 103.5 miles 1 hour, 28 minutes.

    I’m in the stretch now and I can feel it. The great glow on the horizon is J-ville. I’m almost there. GPS is giving me a 2:30 am (Cali Time) arrival and all systems are running great. My HID’s are cutting huge swaths of light into the blackness and the GS is purring like a kitten.

    I’m bored. Earlier I decided to try and figure out just how good the HID’s really are. I picked a well illuminated road sign in the distance. I made sure I could see the road clearly (not just reflections, but actually could see the gray shades of the asphalt) and started counting the seconds.

    30 seconds later I passed the marker.

    At 85 mph, I had 30 seconds of clear visibility with the HID’s.

    30 SECONDS.

    Do the math: I’m throwing enough lumens to clearly illuminate three quarters of a mile of road. I could actually see reflected light (Bots dots and road signs) a solid two miles down the road, if not further.

    I’m still stunned by the sheer magnitude of this.

    I enter J-Ville and turn down the freeway towards the Beaches. I’m giddy. The end is near and I am finding it difficult to contain my emotions. I’ve ridden straight through the night and the end is a mere 20 miles away.

    15 miles to go.

    5 miles...

    At 2 miles I turn off the freeway and make a loop, heading north up Highway A1a towards 3rd St.


    At Mile Marker 2,456.8 I pull into the Shell Station, pump a couple gallons into the tank and collect the last receipt I’ll need. I walk into the shop and buy a small bottle of Gatorade Blue and a Milky-Way Midnight.

    At 3:00am California Time I sit on the beach, watching the Sun rise while chewing on the candy bar.


    I take a few pix, pack up the bike, and head off for breakfast. I should be exhausted, blasted into the next millennium tired, achy beyond belief. But I’m not. Certainly not anywhere near as tired as I thought I might be.

    I’d just ridden nearly 2,500 miles in 44 hours, 41 minutes. I’d put almost 34 hours in the saddle and I had originally thought that I wouldn’t want to get back in that saddle ever again. In fact when I booked the hotel room for that night I was a bit put off that it was 21 miles from the beach.

    Yet right at that moment, 2,500 miles away from my wife and loved ones, I truly couldn’t imagine any place I’d rather be than on that bike. I settled back into the saddle and looked upon the bug stained plexi-glass cock-pit that had become home to me. The controls rose easily to meet my hands, grips warmed in the morning sun. I looked over the instruments, the GPS, the picture of my wife. The Mother Ship barked to life, her engine a little bit rougher than before, certainly willing as ever.

    I hoped Ken would have as good a ride as I.

    I thanked the Good Lord for safety, turned the sun to my back and twisted the throttle.

    It is a good day to be Alive.
  4. BMW-K

    BMW-K F800GS FTW!

    Nov 11, 2004
    Anaheim, CA
    Total Miles: 2,456.8 (first gas stamp to last gas stamp)
    Total Moving Time: 33 hours, 58 minutes.
    Total Ride Time: 44 hours, 41 minutes. (First gas stamp to last gas stamp, Adjusted for sleep, stops, etc.)
    Total Stopped Time: 2 hours, 53 minutes. (Gas stops only)
    Average Length of Gas Stops: 12 minutes, 35 seconds
    Total # of Gas stops: 14 not including starting stop. (The “starting” gas stop doesn’t count against time.)
    Total Nap & Lunch Break Time: 0 hours, 55 minutes (includes 1x 25 minute lunch break, 1x 30 minute nap)
    Total Hotel Length of Stay Time: 6 hours, 40 minutes.
    Estimated “Waste of Time trying to find an Open Hotel”: 15 minutes.

    Net margin for error: 5 hours, 19 minutes.




    Things I learned.
    1. I had a 5 hour, 19 minute margin for error. I needn’t have rushed at certain times.
    2. 20 minute power naps really work wonders!
    3. Blowing gas stops because your gas gauge has issues really sucks. I had to make three un-ideal stops that cost me significant time: 20 minutes for one stop, 15 minutes for another, and 13 minutes for the third. I lost 48 minutes of time because I didn’t trust my gas gauge.
    4. NASCAR pit stops aren’t necessary, but may be valuable. My average gas stop was about 12 minutes, 30 seconds. Enough time to dump 5 gallons of gas into the bike, cram down a handful of nuts or a protein bar, call the Wifey with a quick report, and then get dressed again. Straight “Gas & Go” stops would have shaved 7-8 minutes off per stop. Taken as it’s own, this isn’t a big deal. Taken as 6 stops in a day, this adds up to an half an hour. That’s an half an hour of Sleep. And that is huge.
    5. For future planning purposes, I’ll use 12 minutes per gas stop, 1x 20 minute nap per day, and 1x 20 minute lunch break in my long distance planning per day
    6. Trying to do math in my head at 3am, at speed, in different time zones, without a proper countdown timer is the pits.
    7. Having the ability to call a hotel from the bike would have saved me some time wasted trying to find an open hotel…
    8. Camel Baks are great for hydration but are murder on the back after 16 hours…
  5. PirateJohn

    PirateJohn Banned

    Jul 8, 2001
    Uvalde, TX
    Congrats! :clap
  6. sandiegoland

    sandiegoland Adventure Boy®

    Oct 3, 2005
    4 8 15 16 23 42
    Great write up! Good lessons... :1drink
  7. Rossbike

    Rossbike Adventurer

    Feb 15, 2008
    Long Beach, CA

    Thanks for the story.
  8. doom

    doom bithead

    Dec 12, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    Awesome right up!

    Something to consider is that HOV lanes on interstates HAVE to allow motorcycles as per federal mandate if the state in question wishes to continue to receive federal highway funds.

    As I type this I'm finishing up my last few hours of work before I head out for a quick SS1K to CA which should be fun probably not as exciting as eating almonds off the top of my tank bag at 85mph though...:D
  9. BlaSTr

    BlaSTr Adventurer

    Feb 14, 2007
    SoFlo - land of 11 turns in 318 miles
    Congratulations and nice write up. :clap

    I'm planning a 50CC for later this summer and the comments are most welcome. I'm going to have to get a radar detector and more lights. Most of the 50CC reports I've read mention the road critters, cops, and the need to keep your speed at night and in certain parts of Texas well under control. Now I know the lights have to go to the top of the list (I have 50w MotoLights attached to the calipers but I don't think they'll provide a safe enough response window).

    Like you, I've been fooled by the gas guage and miles to empty indicator on my ST1300ABS, so mush so that I generated a cheat sheet I keep in my tank bag that tells me much more accurately what's left in the tank. When I fill I check the gallons I put in against the crib notes.

    The trick to the ride is keeping the wheels turning and knowing when to grab some sleep. I've taken a short power nap, fully kitted, on a bench at the entrance to the rest stop facilities. It did wonders for my riding and mental abilities.
  10. PirateJohn

    PirateJohn Banned

    Jul 8, 2001
    Uvalde, TX
    If anyone is coming into (or out of) Jacksonville and needs a witness or, God forbid, something like local help, feel free to contact me.

    I'm on the approved witness list, did a 50cc myself back in 2002 or so, and my FAQ on the Jacksonville area for IBA purposes is on the IBA site. Direct linky here:

    Always happy to help!
  11. tagesk

    tagesk Tuscan rider

    Jun 23, 2007
    Tuscany, Italy
    I have never before posted a "I like it too". But now I feel compelled to do so. You have captured very well the comfort of solitude one can find while riding.
    Take care!

  12. GB

    GB . Administrator

    Aug 16, 2002
    :nod :nod Exactly, well said :thumb
  13. Cordless

    Cordless Two Wheel Addict

    Sep 11, 2006
    Davenport WA
    It was on a similar trip some years ago I started calling my helmet THE CHAPEL because some really holy things happened there after a long day or two on the bike. I am not a religious man normally.

    You have captured the exhilaration through exhaustion while fully engaged in a favorite effort very well.

    Thank you
  14. BMW-K

    BMW-K F800GS FTW!

    Nov 11, 2004
    Anaheim, CA
    Thanks Guys for the kind comments!
  15. Kelevra

    Kelevra Banned

    May 7, 2007
    North East
    I've been itching to do a ride like this for some time now and your advice will really help my planning. Thanks.
  16. groop

    groop So much to ponder

    Jun 5, 2007
    oc, ca
    Fellow O/C rider,
    Excellent report. :clap Can I ask you which brand of HID lights you chose? Does the piggybacking onto the high beam cause an error message on the CANBUS?

    Tip for the XM: use the small auxillary antenna. It works wonders for me. The internal antenna is crap, even in wide-open areas.

    Holy Crap; 22K+ miles in 10 months? I've got some riding to do...

  17. rickf

    rickf oldfatguyMAN

    Jun 21, 2006
    Temecula, CA
    Considering doing something like this and I have one of these for off-road.

    Do you think this would be useful for Wifey reports?
  18. Clarkman

    Clarkman Don't taze me bro.

    Mar 23, 2007
    In a VAN.., down by the river -- ABQ, NM
    Seriously - badass. I've done 100 mile mtb races, and wanted to do an Ironbutt - but this sets a new bar. I'd never even heard of a 50cc. Effing -- Nuts!

    Man, I like your ghetto pegs too. Would you mind posting a closer/more detailed pic of them? I was thinking of doing something like that myself and then I read this... Ghetto pegs rule.

    Great RR. Thanks.
    :drums :super :strum
  19. BMW-K

    BMW-K F800GS FTW!

    Nov 11, 2004
    Anaheim, CA
    Sure thing G!

    HID's: Some cheap $35 knockoff brand from China that cost me more to ship than the unit cost to buy! :evil I found them on some website recommended by Jim Von Baden - Anyway, the total cost was $70 and they had the larger "old-school" ballast.

    CANBUS & HID's: very important to note here: I did NOT use the CANBUS to power the HID's. All of my farkles run through a Centech fuse box. The only thing that I ran off the Hi-Beams was a single wire that went from the High-beam to the Relay. Power draw off the CanBus can only be described as "minimal" - I seriously doubt my canbus draw exceeded 1 watt, if that.

    Slaving the HID's - Wire to Relay, Relay to HID's, HID's to Centech, more or less.

    XM: Yeah, I had the small external antena - it still sucked. IMO, if I'm really gonna do this more I need the Zumo Puck - and I just don't listen to music enough on the bike to really care...MP3's off the Zumo worked just fine.

    It was a helluva ride and I can say truly that I am glad to have done it!
  20. BMW-K

    BMW-K F800GS FTW!

    Nov 11, 2004
    Anaheim, CA
    Oh yes. She's already "informed" me that I won't be doing any more riding like this without one!

    Errr, so I guess I need to pony up the $150... :lol3

    That, and having a Bluetooth connection to a ScalaRider Q2 or what not to make cell calls on the road would have been hugely helpful too.