For those of you who may not know the SaddleSore 1000 is a motorcycle
endurance run hosted by the Iron
Butt Association. This run consists of riding 1000 miles in 24 hours or
less including concise documentation which is then reviewed before membership
is awarded. Rules and other information can be found on their web site.
To get an idea of or route check out the maps.
A nice vacation to visit family in Alabama was in the works and making
a SaddleSore 1000 out of it was joked about. As the planning continued my Dad
and I became more serious about riding 1000 miles in 24 hours. Since the trip
down would be roughly 1300 miles or so the stage was already set. Are we
We planned to leave on Saturday June 15 and of course mother nature
thought it would be quite funny if it were raining that day. I was not amused.
I woke up that morning and as I looked at the puddles, the rain and the dark
clouds I muttered to myself and turned on the weather. Any sane person might
have postponed leaving or just gone in the car. I guess my Dad and I are not one
of those people, we were determined. One last look out the window and I began
getting ready for the ride to the meeting spot for breakfast a few miles down
the road. What a great way to wake up....sitting on a wet seat. We all had
a good breakfast and set out on the road.
The first few miles we didn't much care about a little rain, we were
too excited by now. Cruising on down the MA Turnpike behind the safety of our
windshields. Okay, so we were getting pretty wet but the windshields made it
a lot less painful when you're doing 70mph. Things were going pleasantly
uneventful even given the wet travel. Then came time for our first gas stop
of the trip. By this time we were in Danbury, CT and I was looking forward to
stretching a bit. Ironically, Connecticut does not have a helmet law but we
were too wet to even consider talking off our helmets. Well, the gas station
was a bit busy and the pavement was not exactly as smooth and level as one
would hope. Sure enough while maneuvering my bike to a pump that had just
opened up she started to go down. Try as I might I was caught by surprise and
unsuccessful at keeping the bike upright. Down she went, all 650+lbs. I won't
leave you in suspense, this was the only mishap during the entire trip. I was
also very pleased that I didn't even incur so much as a scratch.
We pressed on.....still raining. We rolled on through New York...still
raining....crossed into Pennsylvania.....still raining. By this time it was
becoming miserable and I wondered if I would ever see the sun again. My Dad too
had a look of disgust on his face. Could mother nature really be so cruel?
Alas, our pleas were finally answered as we rolled into Carlisle,
PA. Finally a break in the clouds and a little bit of sunshine. We had a bite
to eat and headed back out on the road. My outlook on the trip began to
brighten somewhat as the sun began to warm my leathers and dry my boots.
Passing through Maryland and West Virginia made it seem like we were really
starting to get somewhere.
Then we hit Virginia......Travelling along I-81 through VA seemed
like an eternity! At times I thought we would never get out of there.
Now I'm sure all this seems to be rather boring. No pictures (other
than those in my head), no funny stories. But it's important to remember, not
only were we on vacation but my Dad and I were determined to make 1000 miles in
24 hours, this doesn't leave much time for "sightseeing". Rest stops
took time as there were also two cars with us...a total of 7 people. We also
kind of wanted to make the whole trip in one shot unless of course we decided
we were too tired to go on and needed sleep.
We continued through Virginia, N. Carolina, S. Carolina......rest stops
began to take a little longer. Admittedly we were getting tired but neither
one of us was ready to quit. S. Carolina doesn't have a helmet law either but
by this time (about 1am or so) the temps had gone down a bit and the helmets
helped keep the chill off. We kept on rolling. Somewhere in Georgia along I-85
we were getting tired and stopped into a Waffle House for a rest stop and
coffee. This stop probably lasted a half hour or so. We did finally decide
to continue on as we were feeling more alert again but also agreed that either
one of us would just take the lead and grab an exit if we felt we needed to
stop, safety is of top priority.
In LaGrange, GA we had about 1,100 miles and were at the 24 hour mark!
We did it! We found the nearest place to eat and had a relaxed breakfast,
walked around in the parking lot, etc. We hit the rode again with a renewed
Twenty-eight hours after leaving from breakfast in MA we pulled up the
driveway to my cousins house in Skipperville, Alabama. I was soooo happy to be
there! Not only had we accomplished the Saddlesore 1000 but we even made the
entire trip non-stop!
The paperwork has been filled out, sent in and verified. We are now
members of the Iron Butt Association.