Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Longest Ride Of My Life

I've been thinking about trying to ride a Bun Burner Gold, http://www.ironbutt.com/ridecerts/   A ride of more than 1500 miles in less than 24 hours. Since this years national BMW MOA rally is in Salem, OR and I have a cousin that lives in Boise, ID, it was the perfect opportunity to give it a try. I did a little planning and decided to leave at 8:00 PM on Sunday, July 14. The reasoning behind this was I thought it would be better to get the night riding part over first on roads I was fairly familiar with. 

Sunday finally came and wouldn't you know it, it rained most of the day. I thought about waiting a day but decided to just stick with my original plan. I have good riding gear, an Aerostich Darien Light jacket and pants along with BMW Touring Pro boots that keep me nice and dry. The day dragged along and although I tried to take an afternoon nap, I was too wound up to be able to get any sleep. 8 PM finally came and I pulled into the gas station to fill up and get my starting receipt. Wouldn't you know it, the receipt printer at the pump malfunctioned and I had to go inside to get one. This was not a good feeling for the start of the ride. But as I jumped on I40 and headed east, a rainbow spread across the sky signaling the end of the rain and maybe a sign for a good ride ahead. 

The ride north on I35 was uneventful with pleasant weather and just an occasional sprinkle to keep me nice and cool. The sunset to the west was pretty and dusk slowly turned to dark. I haven't done much night riding and I was a little apprehensive about it. As I crossed the Kansas border and managed to pay the toll without dropping my bike I was approaching my first gas stop. When I pulled into a station just north of Wichita my bike's engine died for no apparent reason. I coasted to the pump and started it again. It started fine and I have no idea why it died other than to give me a near heart attack. I gassed up and headed on up I135 to Salina then started the dreaded long trek west on I70. If you've never ridden across I70 thru Kansas, let me tell you, it is the most boring motorcycle ride in the world. To help pass the time, I listened to an Audible book titled The Man Who Would Stop At Nothing, by Lisa Holbrook Pierson, 
http://www.audible.com/search/ref=mn_anon-h_tseft__galileo?advsearchKeywords=The+man+who+would+stop+at+nothing&x=0&y=0 .
This book is about her motorcycle riding, long distance riding in general, and long distance riding legend, John Ryan. It kept me entertained all the way across Kanasa and north on I25 thru Colorado. This stretch of road was problem free and I only saw one deer cross the road in front of me. He was moving about as fast as I was and neither one of us cared to meet each other. 

After I crossed the Wyoming border just after sunrise, I turned west on I80 and set the cruise a couple of miles over the 75 mile per hour speed limit.  It took a while but it was smooth sailing across the  wide open country with only a little bit of fog and temperatures in the high 50's with light winds.  Just before Salt Lake City, I turned northwest and the temperature started to climb as I left Utah and entered Idaho.  This was my first time riding in Idaho so now I can add that state to my little US map on the bike showing what states I've ridden in. Did I say the temperature started to rise?  It got hotter and hotter and I began to lose both energy and the will to continue.  I kept thinking to myself, if those guys  can ride over 11,000 miles in 11 days, I can finish the 200 miles.  It seemed like the odometer clicked off 1 mile at a time but I grew closer and closer to the magical 1500  mile mark.

I finally made it to Boise right at 4:45 but decided to ride on to Nampa just to be sure to have enough miles for anyone reviewing the ride certification I will submit.  As I pulled into the gas pump it was 4:59 pm local time or 21 hours and 59 minutes after leaving my starting point in Oklahoma City and 1528 miles.  I had made it on my first Bun Burner Gold attempt. After gassing up, I rode back over to Boise, found a motel and checked in.  I took a cold shower, walked over to a nearby restaurant and had a steak.  I was in bed by 8 pm and although I was sore all over, slept better than I do most nights.  All and all it wasn't that difficult of a ride since it was all interstate and good riding conditions for most of the trip.  I can now submit my paperwork and look forward to putting that license plate backer on my bike.  Now it's on to Salem, Oregon for the nation BMW MOA forum, at a more leisurely pace. 


  1. Glad everything went well. I hope to go with you one of these days.

  2. That's a lot of hauling butt, but you've a great bike for it and all the free time to spare!

  3. Nice ride report. You made great time! What app is that in the picture above the spot tracker?

  4. What's the app in the screenshot? Looks like it might be worth checking out. ~Curt