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Old 04-15-2009, 02:18 PM   #1
TallPaul
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Default My Longest Day!

-CAUTION-

Don’t try this ride on your own before first reading how to ride it safely: 29 Riding Tips. It takes a lot of planning and preparing to do a ride like this. With that said, here is my ride…

Sorry, but I didn’t take any pictures on this ride until the end. It was strictly riding. Time and distance was so important that every stop to take a picture could have made the ride impossible to complete and taking pictures while riding “tired” is very dangerous. If you don’t like reading a long winded ride report loaded with details of the ride, then stop right now and click on my Alaska Adventure below. It is loaded with pictures for your enjoyment.

After reading this report come back and take a look at my Alaska Adventure.




My Bun Burner Gold 1500 (BBG1500) Ride Report - July 6, 2008
Distance: 1,542 miles from Red Bluff, CA to Rapid City, SD
Time: 22 hours 32 minutes
Average Speed: 68.4 mph (including stops)
My Bike: 2007 BMW 1200RT


My Route



My Cheat Sheet



My Proof of the Ride!
Certified IBA Ride Finishers



My Licence Plate Back
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Last edited by TallPaul : 04-20-2009 at 05:29 PM.
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Old 04-15-2009, 02:19 PM   #2
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I planned leaving at midnight on Sunday, July 6, 2008 at 12:00 am PST. I planned riding my Bun Burner Gold 1500 right after my Alaska Adventure. That way I was already used to riding all day. I was not sure where to ride to and my wife suggested riding somewhere that everyone knows about. Not just somewhere obscure, turn around, and come home. I planned my ride to Rapid City, SD to see Mount Rushmore and wanted to try it after the 4th of July holiday was over figuring the roads would be pretty empty. I also wanted to leave at midnight so I can end my ride before dark the next day. I got up Saturday morning the day of departure around 7am as I normally do. I spent the day going over my bike, rechecking my GPS gas stops, making sure everything was ready and packing my food/water for the ride. I took along with me 10 bottles of water, 4 bananas, 2 sandwiches, hard candy, grapes, jerky, and candy bars. I went to bed around 6pm, but couldn’t sleep. I laid there for hours trying to sleep, but couldn’t. I was too excited thinking about the ride. I will find out later I wasted valuable riding time waiting until midnight to leave. About 10pm I told my wife I hadn’t slept at all since last night and maybe I should wait to leave. I set the alarm for a couple more hours to try to get some sleep. More time went by, still not sleeping and the midnight departure time was approaching. I had to make a decision now or wait until tomorrow. I told my wife I was leaving. My wife and daughter saw me off from the house at 12:00 midnight to go get my fuel receipt. At 12:16am I got my gas receipt at the gas station on Main Street, recorded the date, time, location, O.D. reading in my log and I was off. The ritual of collecting my gas receipt and writing in my log would repeat itself 12 more times.
-Stop 1: 12:16 am PT; <st1:country-region>USA</st1:country-region> Gas, Red Bluff CA; OD 25290-


Before the trip I made myself a little cheat sheet to remind me where and when my next stop was. I even listed locations along the way and what time I should be there. That way I could see if I was going to make it or not. My first stop was the Chevron in Vacaville, CA. I chose this stop because it added more miles to my route. A direct route from my home to Rapid City, SD was only 1385 miles. I needed to make a few detours along the way to add necessary miles. The ride to Vacaville was hot and uneventful. As I remember, traffic was almost nil and the stars were out.
-Stop 2: 02:06 am PT; Chevron, Vacaville, CA; OD 25420; 130 miles; 1 hr 50 min; 71 avg. mph; 39.6 avg. mpg-


Before I left Vacaville, I put on my Gerbing's Heated Jacket Liner in preparation for Donner Summit (Elevation 7,227 ft.) which was along the way to Reno, NV and I knew it would probably get chilly. Between Vacaville and Sacramento the traffic picked up a little and I was concerned about drunk drivers. I tried to stay away from everyone else, but tried to stay five miles above the posted speed limit. I began to wish I hadn’t put on my heated jacket liner. Even though I didn’t turn it on it was really hot. I had to pull over just outside Sacramento to strip off the liner. A little while later, I found myself getting cold and had to put it back on. As I was going over Donner Pass I encountered deer on the road. I had to slow down and decided to stay behind a pickup while doing this portion of my ride. When I finally pulled into the gas station it wasn’t in Reno, but Sparks. In Reno, I didn’t see my preplanned gas stop and didn’t want to waste time trying to find it so I kept going to find another. I planned 10 minutes at each stop and I was already 15 minutes behind schedule. I know this doesn’t sound like much, but I told myself if I lose 15 minutes every stop I won’t make it.
-Stop 3: 04:45 am PT; Chevron, Sparks, NV; OD 25587; 167 miles; 2 hrs 39 min; 63 avg. mph; 40.98 avg. mpg-
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Old 04-15-2009, 02:19 PM   #3
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Sparks, NV to Winnemucca, NV was cold, but the long stretches of open highway allowed me to make up some time.
-Stop 4: 06:56 am PT; Jim’s Chevron, Winnemucca, NV; OD 25746; 159 miles; 2 hrs 11 min; 72.9 avg. mph; 36.79 avg. mpg-


My next stop was supposed to be Wells, NV but as I approached Carlin, NV I noticed a gas station right off the freeway and I didn’t want to chance not being able to find one close to the freeway as I did back in Reno. My preplanning included gas stations right off the freeway, but as I found out sometimes the trip planner is wrong. Or, maybe it is me that is impaired. I figured seeing is believing! No sense in taking chances.
-Stop 5: 08:25 am PT; Pilot, Carlin, NV; OD 25851; 105 miles; 1 hr 29 min; 70 avg. mph; 35.56 avg. mpg-


Carlin, NV to Wendover, NV had long stretches of open highway and again I was able to make up some time. The morning cold was turning to a nice warm day. I took off everything I had on for cold weather. I made even better time on this leg. However, with the changing time zone I just lost an hour of daylight.
-Stop 6: 11:11 am MT; Chevron, Wendover, NV; OD 25980; 129 miles; 1 hr 46 min; 73.7 avg. mph; 43 avg. mpg-


Wendover, NV to Lake Point, UT had more open highway and it was really getting hot! I thought about stripping down to a t-shirt, but everything I read says to stay at least in your riding jacket and pants. I wish my Olympic AST Jacket didn’t have so much Velcro to undo and wished I only had to open zippers. Finally, with my jacket opened to let air in, I was off. The ride across the Great Salt Lake was fast! The speed limit changed to 80 mph and of course I did a little above that.
-Stop 7: 12:37 pm MT; Top Stop, Lake Point, UT; OD 26079; 99 miles; 1 hr 26 min; 69 avg. mph; 35.4 avg. mpg-


Leaving the desert and riding into the mountains on the way to Little America, WY was great. I was finally out of the hot desert and it felt good. At least I have a few turns to keep me occupied. I turned on my new music CD and cranked it up! The turns are great to help me stay awake. As I approached Little America I came upon a Supercell with rain and lightning. I mean the kind of rain you pull over for and the kind of lightning that makes you afraid. I pulled over for a few minutes and didn’t feel safe just sitting there. I couldn’t turn around either so I thought it would be safer moving on than sitting around waiting for lightning to strike me. I got behind a trucker and into his tracks and let him pave my way to Little America. After about 10 minutes I arrived at Little America and the gas pumps were invaded by bikers! There were bikes everywhere! They completely “Hogged” up the middle section of the pumps keeping out of the rain. I had no choice but to get gas near the edge where rain might get into my fuel tank. I filled her up while leaning over the fill hole as best I could. After filling up the tank I took advantage of the rain storm and I headed inside to go to the bathroom and make a call to my wife. Not long after, I headed back to my RT. Just before I left a few guys came over and said I could push my bike next to theirs until the rain stopped. I told them what I was doing and off I went back to the highway.
-Stop 8: 03:06 pm MT; Little America, Swee****er, WY; OD 26244; 165 miles; 2 hrs 29 min; 66 avg. mph; 53.3 avg. mpg-
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Old 04-15-2009, 02:21 PM   #4
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As I left Little America for Rawlins, WY, I could feel them all staring at me as I headed for the interstate. I know what they were thinking and maybe I am crazy; but, I figured, if I don’t speed and stay behind a trucker like already did, I should be fine. The downpour only lasted another ten more miles or so. Then, the sky cleared and I was back in my groove. As I was riding I was thinking about the other riders seeking protection from the rain. I am glad I chose to ride. That’s what I’m here for.
-Stop 9: 05:03 pm MT; Conoco, Rawlins, WY; OD 26387; 143 miles; 1 hr 57 min; 71.5 avg. mph; 38.8 avg. mpg-


From Rawlins, WY to Casper, WY is the only two lane road on the entire route. Everything else is freeway. The two lane highway starts out with no passing and then opens up. I was lucky there weren’t very many cars on the road. It would have cost me a lot of valuable time. About 20 miles outside of Casper I was hit by a fierce crosswind. It was so bad I couldn’t manage anything over 40 mph and be safe. By the time I got to Casper all the cars I passed on this darn two lane road had caught up with me. I slowed down even further and let them all pass me. At the fuel stop in Casper there were a lot of teenagers hanging around looking at me so I decided not to leave the bike unattended. This stop was strictly gas and go. Normally this would not bother me but I was by myself and far from home.
-Stop 10: 06:44 pm MT; Loaf N Jug, Casper, WY; OD 26500; 113 miles; 1 hr 41 min; 67.2 avg. mph; 45.7 avg. mpg-


As I left Casper, WY on my way to Buffalo, WY I had to ride in 2 inch deep hail. I pulled over a few times until a truck went by and then followed in his tracks until he was too far ahead and had to wait for another truck to go by to do it again. I repeated this for about 15 minutes or so. By the time I got out of it I was getting quite good at it. After that the sky semi-cleared and I got to watch the sunset with its glowing red/orange colors. By the time I got to Buffalo it was raining again. At this point in the ride it was getting dark out and hard to see the road. I was wondering where all the reflectors were on the highway.
-Stop 11: 08:32 pm MT; Kum & Go, Buffalo, WY; OD 26617; 117 miles; 1 hr 48 min; 67.2 avg. mph; 44.9 avg. mpg-

Buffalo, WY to Gillette, WY is known as my ride from hell. I was getting tired and I didn’t want to be riding after dark. I thought I had left Red Bluff at the right time to avoid this. This is when I realized I should have left a lot earlier than midnight. If I had to do it over, I would leave about 7 pm. That way I would be ending my ride in the daylight hours. Anyway, the ride to Gillette was horrible. It was raining so hard I could hardly see the road. I stopped in the middle of nowhere to put my heated jacket liner back on and my cold weather gear. I sure missed the California highways and all their stupid safety reflectors, bright paint, and stupid signs. The only way I knew I was on a road is because it was flat and a guard rail would appear from time to time and, of course, the two cars going the other direction.
-Stop 12: about 10:09 pm MT; Flying J, Gillette, WY; OD 26687; 70 miles; No time on receipt; ? avg. mph; 31 avg. mpg-


From Gillette, WY to Rapid City, SD was the worst and best time of the ride. It was still raining, I was getting really tired, and I thought I was going to have to quit. If I would have come up on a town at that moment I would have. I was definitely in the middle of nowhere! But, I did know one thing, I was on schedule and I made sure I had two hours to spare… just in case. I knew that Rapid City was somewhere ahead of me and I could take it easy the rest of the way and still make it. As I approached Sturgis, SD, I knew I was close. At this point, I was so tired, I started yelling a few times to get myself motivated. I already ran out of songs to sing and the yelling was keeping my blood moving. As you probably know, the last 100 miles is always the hardest! Now, I found myself standing up on the bike watching the water shoot out from the tires. I was trying to enjoy the last of my ride, no matter what. It was at that moment that I knew I was actually going to make it!
As I pulled into my last gas stop I could see the Hampton Inn across the street where I already had my room reserved. I didn’t realize it at the time but my wife in CA was also watching out for me to arrive. She had the night clerk on the phone for the last two hours asking if I had gotten there yet. The last thing the night clerk told my wife before I showed up was given the rain he figured I would be hiding under a bridge somewhere. He said no one would be out in this. Needless to say, I arrived at the gas station, got my receipt, my witnesses were also amazed I would be riding in the rain, and headed to the hotel. I was so close to my final destination and wouldn‘t you know it, they were doing construction on the road leading to the motel. The road was blocked off and I had to take the back way in… after I found it I rode to the front door and parked my bike. It turns out the phone calls my wife made to the clerk served more than one purpose… the clerk was ready for me with my key, pizza and a soda on the counter. He even opened the indoor whirlpool for me and made sure it was heated up ready to get in. I ate the food, talked a bit on the phone with my wife, thanked the clerk, and changed in my room for a visit to the hot tub. It was all worth it now!
-Final Stop 13: 11:48 pm MT; Exxon, Rapid City, SD; OD 26827; 140 miles; 3 hrs 16 min since Buffalo; 64 avg. mph since Buffalo; 43 avg. mpg since Buffalo-
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Old 04-15-2009, 02:22 PM   #5
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The next morning I rode to Mount Rushmore for my photo to be taken.








This will give you some idea just how big the monument is...












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Old 04-15-2009, 02:23 PM   #6
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Looking back on the ride what would I do differently:
Depart around 7 pm.
I should be more flexible in changing my route when the need arises... If I ever encounter lightning again I would stop and take a long break (if possible) or simply turn around and go back the other way. If I would have turned around when I first saw the supercell I could have had my BBG before I got back to Reno (or down to Las Vegas) and had perfect weather to ride in.


Looking back on the ride what would I do the same:
The rain didn't bother me.
I couldn't do anything about the hail on the roadway. There was no place to stop and following a truck was the best thing to do.
I brought the right amount of food and water. I ate and drank while riding. I cut my food into small portions before the ride so I could just reach in and grab something in my tank bag. I divided my food into four plastic bags with a little of everything in each bag. I started off with one bag and as I emptied it I replaced it with another. As for water, I drank about 3/4 of a bottle of water on every leg. I know from previous experiences not to get dehydrated.
I made a new CD to listen to with upbeat hits for the twisties.
I stood up and let my legs hang before I was tired.
My 10 minute stops worked out well. Gas, record information in my log, go to the bathroom, and leave. It worked most of the time unless there was a line for the gas pumps or the bathroom.


Also, I know my report mentioned I encountered some extremes… lightning and hail. Each lasted only minutes, not hours. They just seemed to last forever.


You may be wondering why I did it… First off, I want to say, I don’t do this on a regular basis. My last was back on Nov 11, 2005 when I did 1,075 miles on my 2003 Honda Shadow VT1100. Since I bought my 07 RT I wanted to do another long ride, but since it is an “RT”, it needed to be something well over the last one with the cruiser. I have always been a high achiever and when I first heard about this ride I’ve always wanted to do it. So, I planned and planned and made sure I was ready for it. I chose to do my 1500+ mile ride right after my Alaska Adventure. That way I would already be used to being in the saddle for long hours. It worked!


Thank you for reading and letting me share my MY Longest Day ride report with you!
Paul Smith
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Old 04-15-2009, 06:21 PM   #7
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Oh, I can't wait for LongRide to check in!

He is not a fan of 'endurance rides'.

TallPaul - another great post! You're crazy, but Thanks!
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Old 04-15-2009, 07:06 PM   #8
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Seems to me that the hardest part was staying awake between Little America and Rawlins. I've driven that highway many times and even thinking about it makes mezzzzzzzzzzzz....................
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Old 04-15-2009, 07:33 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pushrod View Post

TallPaul - another great post! You're crazy, but Thanks!
Thanks Pushrod. Not everyone is cut out for rides like this. Nor is everyone cut out to run marathons or ride their bicycle across the country, but I've done all of these. I won't be doing this long a ride ever again. I've been there, done it, and had enough. I'm sticking to enjoying my rides like I did on my Alaska Trip. Thanks again Pushrod!
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Old 04-15-2009, 07:46 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seruzawa View Post
Seems to me that the hardest part was staying awake between Little America and Rawlins. I've driven that highway many times and even thinking about it makes mezzzzzzzzzzzz....................
Jeff, Little America to Rawlings was a hard stretch. I stayed awake by keeping myself occupied, eating, drinking water, hard candy, etc... The lightning only lasted a few minutes, but it kept me alert for hours!
Thanks for taking the time to read it Jeff. It will be my last long ride! I'm sticking to a more traveling mode for now on.
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