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Tuesday, September 05, 2006

The Saddle Soar 1,000….Rising to the Challenge

Ever have an idea that sounds good, make a plan and then in the middle of the plan decide insanity? That is this story….

Earlier in the summer my friend Karla asked me a simple question: “Christine, how about doing an Iron Butt?”

My response was, “YES”.

If anyone does not know what an Iron Butt (IB) ride is, it is a 1,000 mile ride in a 24-hour time frame. It is NOT a race, only a challenge of the distance in the time frame…

This was mid June and the idea was set in motion. Plan the trip, do the trip.

The planning: the route, the date, timing, and the people who might be interested in taking the challenge on.

The route: 1,000 miles east. We knew that riding west was not an option. The weather is too iffy and the passes were just not a good idea. We wanted straight line riding for several reasons: riding the twisties is just too fatiguing, the unpredictability of the weather and the time factor. As much interstate as possible simply because of the speed limits and traffic factor. Being on the interstate is not really a “fun” ride, but I think it is safer simply because of not having to worry about passing on a two lane road with oncoming traffic and the speeds are fairly consistent.

The date: Labor Day Weekend. With it being a holiday, that gave the riders one extra day of recuperation before heading back into the real world. We talked about the traffic on the holiday weekend, but determined that most folks would be traveling on Friday and Monday, so the middle of the weekend should be fairly quiet. So, Saturday, September 2, 2006 was the date chosen.

The timing: Breaking the mileage down, we knew that riding in the dark was not an option. We talked about the best time to leave and debated on different time frames. Ultimately, we decided on leaving early in the morning—at 3:00 AM—just to be back at decent time and not span over two days. So the time was set: to leave at the meet point at 3:00 AM.

Yes, my friends all thought it was crazy.

The riders: Karla and I talked about the riders—who would be interested and who would have the experience to endure the undertaking. Jeanne: certainly could do the riding—but felt that it was beyond her capability so she passed. I totally understood. Chris E.: certainly capable, but had other life issues to deal with. A few others: had something going on or were not interested. Then Sandy: she asked to go.

Sandy has only been riding for a year—and her longest ride was about 200 miles. She just endured a few life changes and was ready to take a challenge on. She asked if she could come along. I felt she could handle it, Karla wasn’t as confident. The three of us debated the issue and then she was given the green light to join us.

So we had three riders: Karla, Sandy and me. At the last moment, Karla’s dad decided to ride in with us. We had our riders.

The weeks ticked down and I was looking forward to the event. Talking to my friends about the upcoming experience was an opportunity for them to warn me: the time in the saddle, the fatigue, the distance….did they think I was not up to the challenge? All the warnings were well meant, however, the week before the event all the well-meant warnings started to erode on my confidence. The demons of “what-if” and “doubt” settled in and started questioning my decision. I had seriously thought of backing out.

Although I knew this was an individual challenge, I also knew that I played a part of the team. We all had to support one another if and when the time required. Besides, Karla said she would kick my butt if I backed out…..

So my mind was made up….I’m going to do the ride.

Heaven help us all..

Next: The preparation………..

Keep the Shiny Side Up…

~The Rainbow Wahine


Giest said...

don't back out christine! me and the wife recently got back from a 3400km (2112 mile) round trip to niagara falls, ontario.

when it got down to the last week before we would leave, i was actually thiking about backing out of it and just doing something simple. i pushed through though and we left early one morning on a stock Honda Shadow Sabre.

we had our encounters with pain, weather and a nice nail in our rear tire, but we endured and we don't regret a single minute of it.

go for it christine. you can do it.

KT Did said...

Christine--if the name "Wonder Woman" wasn't already taken,'d have it. Hope you had/having a safe and memorable ride! Looking forward to hearing about it, since lately my rides aren't that enterprising I am living through everyone else's at this point.

Lucky said...

Christine - Go for it! I'm sure you'll have a great ride with plenty of stories to tell after. A non-biker friend of mine once asked me why I did long-distance riding; how do you respond to such a question? It's like asking an athlete why he trains to run a marathon, or why climb a mountain... It's there, and it sure beats staying at home and just thinking about it!

Some people dream their life, while others live their dreams. I'd rather be part of the latter group.

My favourite latin saying? Memento Vivere - Remember to live.


Biker Betty said...

I can't wait to hear the details of the ride. I had no doubt you could, and would, do this! "Challenge" is your middle name, lol.

The Snark said...

Bikerwannabe and I wanted to do an Iron Butt ride for charity this July, but we couldn't get off our butts. He's getting a major life change (a baby), and I changed jobs. Gah. Have fun Princess. I'll be looking forward to the ride report.