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The Iron Butt Challenge



I thought riding 1,500 in 36 hours would be pretty easy. Wrong! And in my previous post I talked about men doing stupid things... we were a bit stupider than I expected too.
My friends Ofer and Jeff launched from Las Vegas, and a few hours later I hooked up with them in Cedar City, and off we went.
First, a tip of the visor to Utah, with their 80 mph speed limits- God bless you! At 80, one can really put the miles on. We rode through the sandstone cliffs of Utah to the Rock Mountains of Colorado, to the high deserts of Arizona. When the sun set, that's when the wheels fell off- not literally, thank the Lord.
It got cold. Who would have thought? The temperatures plummeted to the forties, then the thirties, and we all had issues. My Gerbing heated suit failed to work. Ofer wore jeans and sweat shirt with a leather jacket, as did Jeff. We rode on, the stars an incredible display. The cold seeped in, the cumulative effect taking place.
We rode with Ofer in front, me center and Jeff in the rear. After midnight, Jeff drifted back. Where was he? Soon his lights got larger, and he caught up. Then he fell back again.
When we stopped, he said he accidentally hit the kill button on his handlebar, couldn't find it, and had to stop and use his cell phone to illuminate it. That seemed weird.


We stopped at 1 am at a Howard Johnson's, a cold brood. At six the next morning I asked Jeff how he slept. "Terribly," he replied, "I took a hot shower, then when I tried to brush my teeth I struggled as I shook so violently. Then I went to bed and shook for an hour." Jeez.
It didn't dawn on me until a few hours later that Jeff experienced hypothermia, a really dangerous situation. He couldn't find the kill switch because he was loopy.
Fortunately,Mr. Sun made an appearance, and what a friend. We rode to Flagstaff and then Sedona, a wonderful winding road that descended like a freshman Congressman's approval ratings. Huge granite cliffs loomed through the trees, an incredible display of beauty.


We looked to be on schedule until Ofer ran out of fuel. He coasted to a stop on the side of I-40, and Jeff ran to Kingman for a one gallon can and some go juice.
We split up and I soldiered on alone, through California, Arizona and Utah. I rolled into Cedar City and fueled, stopped at Panda Express for a quick meal and an authentication from Levi, who worked there. I finished an hour and four minutes before the cut off time, not much time for a 36 hour ride.


We all enjoyed the ride and now we can send in myriad documentation and get our cheap medallions from ironbutt.com.
It was stupid but fun!
Thanks to Ofer and Jeff for a great time, and especially Ofer who actually read the rules and organized the route. Detail? What is a detail?



Thanks to my sponsors, Spark Energy Drink, Milky Way Bars, Diet Dr. Pepper, Libby the Gold Wing, and a very tired Visa card. 
And now... some Numbers.
27      Degrees, low temperature, Brian Head, Utah.
93      Degrees, high at Needles, California.
6        States visited. Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and California.
1,630 Miles.We put a few extra on for margin of error.
34:56  Hours and minutes start to finish.
3:40    Hours of sleep. 
3         Stops for fuel. 

I'll interview Libby (my Gold Wing) on Thursday and see what she thought of the ride. See you then. 

 

3 comments:

Mel said...

NEWS FLASH! Freshmen Congressmen aren't the only ones whose approval ratings are slipping these days, but don't get me started on politics.

On a lighter, um... heavier note, I'm looking forward to Libby's account of the Iron Butt that she's been hauling around most of her life.

................................ Kevin Parsons said...

BOTH of Libby's regular passengers are deeply offended!
KP

Karla Akins said...

I've had the hypothermia shakes before. Not. Fun. It happened after a ride up to Michigan from Indiana when the temps dropped exponentially and unexpectedly in early September. Took me hours and tons of blankets to stop shaking! This sounds like an awesome trip. I wish I was courageous enough to take it, but I think I may be getting too old now. I don't do well on three hours' sleep! Way to go and congrats!