Iron Butt Ride
September 6, 2008
Iron Butt Run to El Paso
The Research Riders 2008 ride challenge was to do a traditional Iron Butt ride – 1000 miles in less than 24 hours on your motorcycle. The competition ran until the Annual Picnic on Sept 27th. So, on Saturday Sept 6th a small group of crazy riders met up in an attempt to ride the 1000 miles.
The route chosen was “Head out to El Paso for Lunch”. Interstate 10 is a good road, perfect for an Iron Butt ride – good roadways, wide lanes, no traffic lights, and enough stops to gas up. Steve Clay was the organizer, riding in his pretty new Harley Sportster 1200. Daniel Garcia road his pretty new Honda 1300, and, remarkably, his wife Margie joined us as his passenger for the whole trip! Scott Mullin showed up on his old faithful 1982 Honda Magna 750. Chuck Ellis joined the group for the first part of the ride, but pulled off at Kerrville to see friends – his bike needed some mechanical attention and was not to be trusted for 1000 miles.
The basic plan was this: chop the ride into increments of about 100 miles. Pull over for gas, a drink, a restroom break, and get going again. If you wait too long it’s harder to get back up and going. If you don’t stop enough you get too fatigued riding. The pattern worked great. We started at 5:00am at the gas station at De Zavala & I0, and headed out to Junction. While there we ate a quick breakfast, and headed out towards Ozona. Then a stop at Ft Stockton, one in Van Horn, and the next thing you know, you are already close to El Paso. We actually hit the 500 mile mark a little east of El Paso – we rode a little extra to make sure we got the total we needed, and stopped for lunch at the Horizon City exit. Butts were sore but it was not too bad. Those of us with no cruise control felt the fatigue in your right hand, but nothing killer. It took about 8-1/2 hours to get to the lunch break. Then we headed back home. The route home was the same as the going, just on the other side of the road! The only real tough stretch was the Van Horn to Ft Stockton stretch – the wind picked up and we had to battle that to go along with the afternoon heat and the ache you noticed in your fanny. Scott’s starter made some awful noises a couple times, but the Magna fired up so there were no worries. Overall the weather was warm but not too bad. We averaged about 75 mph the whole way. The scenery is really beautiful out there, wide open spaces where your mind can wander, and the ride was great. There was some traffic, but not enough to cause any problems.
We showed back up at the gas station at about 11pm – so the ride took 18 hours all together. We made sure we filled out all our paperwork for the official record-keeping, took a couple pictures with everyone smiling at getting it done, then headed home for a good sleep!
Photos taken by Art, click on any image to enlarge.