The SaddleSore 1000: An Iron Butt Tour of Appalachia

2:30 AM: Eyes inexplicably snap open. Roll over, pray for last moments of sleep before the alarm goes off.
3:20 AM: Still awake, turn off pre-set alarm for 3:30. Go downstairs to get suited up for the day.
0410 SS1000 MotoADVR3:30 AM: Drink the first cup of caffeinated coffee I’ve had in two weeks. Sweet, delicious, caffeine…
3:35 AM: Load the tool kit on the bike, install the tank bag, and fill up my camelbak.
3:40 AM: look at outside temperature. Zip up all the vents on my gear; rip the zipper pull assembly completely off my favorite riding pants. Thinking, “This is not a good start to a really long day”.
3:45 AM: Skip checking tire pressure as I’m now running late. Crank up the bike, turn on Denali D4 LED Flamethrowers, head north to the meet point.
4:08 AM: Rosie isn’t fat enough to trigger the stop light at the end of the highway exit ramp; make a right turn followed by an immediate U-turn.
4:10 AM: Arrive at the Flying J truck stop in Vandalia, OH; check tire pressure as I’m now five minutes early.
4:17 AM: Buddy Rick pulls into the gas station. Get “Witness Paperwork” squared away. Talk strategies and get SENA communicators hooked up. Hit the john one last time.
0425 SS1000 MotoADVR4:38 AM: Top off the tank for the first time stamped receipt, gas pump says “See Cashier for Receipt”. Thinking, “Again… this isn’t a good start to a really long day”.
4:40 AM: Time stamped receipt in hand, head east on I-70 toward Columbus.
5:58 AM: 92 Miles down, filled up at truck stop in Millersport, OH (wherever that is). Had to pee already, vow to lay off the camelbak for a bit.
6:15 AM: Sunrise over Ohio farm country; the fog on the cornfields is gorgeous.DCIM129GOPRO

6:32 AM: Shattering my previous opinion of Interstate 70, it doesn’t suck once you get east of Zanesville, OH, it’s almost “pretty”.
6:54 AM: Didn’t lay off camel back, fortunately stopped to fill up at the first “corner” in Cambridge, OH. 148 Miles down; excited to get on I-77, as it definitely does not suck.
7:50 AM: Cross the state line into West, by God, Virginia. I love West Virginia, can’t wait to ride non-interstate roads in the mountaineer state again.

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8:31 AM: Another fuel stop, this time in Ripley, WV. 248 miles down, still comfortable and having a good time.
9:18 AM: Entering Charleston, WV; I’m really not a city guy, but Charleston is a beautiful city, the gold dome on the capitol building is impressive.

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9:33 AM: Toll booth attendants do not like it when motorcycles pull up double file. Sorry, here’s four dollars, you have yourself a nice day, thanks…
9:43 AM: I-77 is awesome, mountains and twisty pavement, I could do this all day.

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10:07 AM: More gas in Beckley, WV; 336 miles down.
11:04 AM: Enter East River Mountain Tunnel. Thinking, “Holy crap… this tunnel goes on forever…”.

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11:06 AM: Cross into Virginia, checked off another box, “Ride to a new state”.

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11:28 AM: Gas stop, Wytheville, VA; 411 miles down. Eat a Clif bar to avoid getting hangry. Rick shares a bag of beef jerky; really glad I brought this guy, obviously not his first rodeo. The Roads are wet and the clouds look heavy… really wish I wouldn’t have broken that zipper.
11:57 AM: Rosie uses her super power… it’s now raining.

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12:17 PM: Fortunately, rain didn’t last long; the low clouds in the Virginia Mountains are actually really beautiful.

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12:21 PM: Cross into North Carolina. I-77 starts to get a little “straighter”, ho hum…

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1:04 PM: Gas Stop in Statesville, NC. 504 miles, made it to the halfway point. Eat another Clif bar, fill out log sheet, and file receipts; same old spiel. Really getting into a rhythm at this point. Excited to get on I-40 headed west.
1:10 PM: Almost get on eastbound ramp… Rick reminds me we’re headed west. Fortunately someone is looking at the GPS.
2:45 PM: The Smoky Mountains are simply majestic, thinking, “I really need to move…”

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2:49 PM: Gas stop in Asheville, 598 miles down. Eat more beef jerky, despite still fighting a piece that has been stuck in my teeth since noon. Look at Radar… probably going to get wet again, hopefully not in the twisty section of I-40 along the Pigeon River.
3:30 PM: Stuck in traffic jam on I-40; which explains why Waze was telling me to take the exit 2 miles ago. Circumvent gridlock with a 6 mile detour on service streets. Waze is awesome.
4:04 PM: Found the rain again… in the twisty section… along the Pigeon River.

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4:05 PM: Probably should have closed all those jacket vents 2 miles ago, when it wasn’t raining.

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4:07 PM: Cars are terrified by curves combined with rain. Thinking, “Get out of my way! These Shinko 705’s are the bomb!”
4:10 PM: Out of the rain, green flag racing resumes. Set the day’s speed record.

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4:14 PM: Thinking, “is that the curvy tunnel that screws with you?”

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4:15 PM: Thinking, “look through the curve. LOOK THROUGH THE CURVE!”

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4:16 PM: Thinking, “I-40 is unquestionably the twistiest, most scenic highway I’ve ever been on”.

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4:18 PM: Cross the state line into Tennessee.

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4:33 PM: Pass a string of historical vehicles. Impressed with the quality of restoration on each of them. I should probably stick to motorcycles, I can’t afford that hobby either…

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5:00 PM: 718 miles down, gas stop in Knoxville, TN, the last “corner”. Realize receipt doesn’t list the business address. Buy a candy bar and a Gatorade inside, food receipt also has no address. Explain to attendant I need an address on a receipt, he looks at me like I have two heads. Step outside, the other attendant on break is laughing with my buddy Rick; she returns with new gas receipts with hand written address, names, and phone numbers as witnesses for our ride. Calamity averted; faith in southern hospitality restored.
5:59 PM: Soaking up more Smoky Mountain scenic views.

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6:00 PM: Monkey butt…
6:13 PM: Names of Appalachian road signs are hilarious (i.e. “Stinking Creek” and “Big Bone Lick”).

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6:24 PM: Riding over Jellico Mountain. Mini vans think they’re fast when they’re going downhill.

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6:28 PM: Cross into Kentucky, the end of gorgeous scenery nears.

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6:49 PM: Gas stop in Corbin, Kentucky, less than 200 miles to go. A little tired, but I see the end in sight; starting to get “pumped”.
7:26 PM: Say goodbye to the mountains as we pass Barea Kentucky.

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7:47 PM: Bored. Right on cue…
8:32 PM: Last gas stop in Sadieville, KY; 120 miles to go. Appreciative of so many people wishing us a safe ride at the gas station. Butt hurts, but ready to crush the “home stretch”.
2039 SS1000 MotoADVR8:54 PM: Watch the sunset over the Bluegrass state. Thinking, “it’s gonna get sporty through Cincinnati after dark on a Saturday night…”

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9:27 PM: Florence Y’all!

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9:39 PM: Cross into Ohio; 63 miles to go. The Cincy skyline is awesome at night.

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10:12 PM: The Ohio State Patrol is absolutely everywhere; we pass more cops in the last 30 miles than we’ve passed in lass 900.
2230 SS1000 MotoADVR10:25 PM: It’s official, Dayton drivers are the WORST! (Note: Keep right, except to pass)
10:31 PM: Receipt printed and tucked into my wallet. Rosie has done it, 1,033 miles in 17 hours and 52 minutes. “Complete and Iron Butt Ride” checked off the Moto Bucket List, now to go home, get some real food, and finally sleep. Thinking, “Who wants Waffle House?!?”

 
10:32 PM: Start planning 1,500 mile trip to Key West

2242 SS1000 MotoADVR

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15 Responses to The SaddleSore 1000: An Iron Butt Tour of Appalachia

  1. Bob says:

    Congrats on your Saddle Sore 1000! Great post. Love the diary format. The Bun Burner to Key West should be fun, but the interstates in Florida are long, straight and boorrring! But, riding over the 7 Mile Bridge in the Keys is worth it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. MotoCynic says:

    Wow… Most riders I know think I’m crazy for my 500 mile days.
    I’ve thought about doing the 1000 mile Iron Butt a few times, but I’m not sure I could handle the monotony of Freeway that would involve.
    Excellent read. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    • MotoADVR says:

      Much appreciated sir. I tried to add some humor to otherwise mundane details. I obviously love to ride, so 1000 miles seemed like a healthy challenge. I’m blessed that the mountains are nearby, that helped a lot. I imagine you don’t have that luxary. I Bluetooth communicator and a good friend helps a lot too.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. curvyroads says:

    Congrats on the 1000! I’ve been riding 20ish years and still don’t understand why anyone would want to do that, but I did enjoy your post format and humor. Plus, I know all those roads. Avoid them like the plague since they are interstates, but know them just the same. 🤣 Good luck on the 1500!

    Liked by 1 person

    • MotoADVR says:

      Thanks! Yeah it’s a long day of straight roads, but if I’m stuck on the highway at least there’s mountains you see! I have a heard time backing down from a challenge, so I wanted to prove to myself I could stay on the road that long. Turns out I actually enjoyed most of it, highways included.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. zed14 says:

    That made me smile. I really liked the format and you very effectively brought out the many ups and downs that you go through when covering the big miles. I may have to pinch the format for my next ride.

    Well done on the SS1000. The thing that I found when you start covering these types of distances is that it unlocks so many places to go and see. And then all of a sudden going 600 miles just feels like going for a quick spin.

    Liked by 1 person

    • MotoADVR says:

      Hey Zed! Thanks for reading! I have to give Lemmy from Revzilla credit for that format, that’s his shtick and he’s way better at it than I am. I wanted to write about the experience and simply couldn’t think of a better way (“7:47 PM: Bored…”).

      You’re dead on by the way, the Scrambler is unquestionably not the bike for that kind of riding, but it will do it. I regularly tackle 500+ days, but I seldom take the highway. However, now that it’s been done, I suspect I can doctor some routes and cover some serious distances, it’s mostly a matter of being mentally prepared IMHO. I suspect that motorbike #2, whenever that arrives… will probably be more suited for long stretches on the highway.

      Like

      • zed14 says:

        For big rides I prefer secondary roads as they are much more engaging and interesting – major highways/freeways are just mind numbing.

        Its actually surprising what bikes people use for these big rides. There are blokes here doing coast to coast rides on 125cc bikes – that’s too crazy for me.

        Like

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  6. Phil says:

    Congratulations on your SS1000! Thanks for sharing, I’ve really enjoyed your narrative. When you prepared the ride, had you planned any place where to take a nap (just in case) or had you already decided to do it in a row and chose your starting time in accordance?
    Phil

    Liked by 1 person

    • MotoADVR says:

      Hey Phil! I do a lot of 12 hour rides and I did a 16 hour ride just a few weeks prior to this so I didn’t male plans to take a nap. Generally I find napping to take the wind out of my sails anyway, so that probably doesn’t help. Certainly the IBA advocates resting the moment you get tired. In this case I was pretty wired all day. I doubt I could do two days back to back like this considering how tough it was to sleep the night prior, but one day wasn’t bad. I did choose a start and finish time. I knew about when I wanted to get going to save daylight and suspected I would spend 15 minutes at stops on average. I also planned on snacking all day versus stopping for lunch. Got that advice from my buddy Rick, who has a SS1000 and BBG1500 under his belt. Thanks for reading!

      Like

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