Hello traveling adventurers and welcome to to this month's Tempest Rides. It has been a cold and gray winter but with Valentine's Day behind us and Easter rolling in fast we know that Spring will quickly be upon us... and all the rain that comes with it! Despite the dismal forecast of the infamous Punsxutawney Phil we must still dream, and plan for better days.
There is a milestone in the motorcycling world that many have heard of, some have aspired to, and few have reached, it is refered to as the "Iron Ass." It is earned by riding 1000 miles in 24 hours or less. Logistically it sounds as simple as driving a car to LA, Calif or St. George, Utah. Not so my friends. It takes endurance and stamina. There are advantages to daylight travel on a motorcycle as one of the biggest risks is collisions with deer in rural areas during predawn and twilight hours. So, I recommend a planned June or July ride that maximizes your daylight riding time away from critters and stuff. There is some risk of losing concentration, getting too tired or just fighting white line fever as the miles go by, putting you at risk of an operator error that may hurt a little. Well, you only live once; but a little risk can be fun.
There are different ways to complete as well as different viewpoints as to the status of the different Iron Butt rides. You can set your own route or participate in a sanctioned club run. There are those that start early in the afternoon, ride till late, get a room and sleep for 5 hours then head out early to finish before 24 hours have lapsed.
Purists will leave early, only take a short lunch break and do not stop until 1000 miles have been completed. You can plot an out and back route or a loop. An out and back is easier to plan as there is only limited road changes. For example, you could leave Wood Village, Oregon and travel east to Bliss, Idaho (500 miles) then return by the same route. Interstate 84 is a low volume, higher speed freeway relatively straight and low in altitude for the most part. Now an example of a loop could start from Wood Village, continue to Ontario Oregon, Burns Oregon, Klamath Falls Oregon, finishing in Oregon City Oregon. This is 1001 miles of rural riding on roads not as fast and a higher number of animals, both natural and domestic, but its all in Oregon and more scenic. I recommend going to visit the beautiful state of Wyoming early in Summer and when you return home, start in Rawlings, Wyoming. Leave early and rid hard chasing the sun home, maximizing the daylight, crossing time zones and maybe making home by dusk. That's an iron ride!
Enjoy your families and freedoms my friends and remember to keep the rubber side down.