My guess is that most people who ride to Alaska (and all the other places I plan to go on this Epic Ride) are detailed planners. Not me. Since my retirement (it’s been two whole weeks now since I’ve worked for the Fort Morgan United Methodist Church and my official retirement is now nearly a week in duration), I’ve got time with no pressing events that I have to fit into a schedule.
The closest thing to time pressure I’ll experience will be after I get back into the lower 48 at Blaine, Washington, where I will begin the Southern California Motorcycle Association’s “Four Corners Tour.” The Four Corners gives a rider 21 days to document his/her presence at the post offices in Blaine, WA, San Ysidro, CA, Key West, FL, and Madawaska, ME.
I think it’ll take me about five days to ride good portions of the Washington, Oregon, and California coastal roads and get to San Ysidro. Leg Two, to Key West, FL, gives me a chance to attempt an Iron Butt Association Coast-to-Coast 50. Just like it sounds, a CC50 gives a rider 50 hours to get from one ocean to another. I’d like to knock out a BunBurner Gold on the CC50. The BBG is 1500 miles in 24 hours. I came close to achieving that ride last summer on my way to Spearfish, but the 24 hours ran out at about 1435 miles.
I’ll be hoping to make contact with members of the NT-Owners Club along the route, but won’t have time to fit my schedule to theirs. If they can meet me along the way, which shouldn’t be too hard since they’ll be able to see where I am by looking at my SPOT track, I’d be delighted to talk a few minutes and have them ride along.
When I first envisioned the ER, I imagined I’d be doing it by myself. I like to ride long distances by myself and feel confident in my ability to do so. I’ve done several multi-thousand mile trips solo, including part of my 3800 mile ride in Europe in the summer of 2008.
But last summer, Rick Ryan, a friend from the NT-Owners Club, asked about riding along with me. I like Rick and our riding styles and appetites are very similar. So, we’ve been planning on doing this together since last summer. But things change. Rick has had some family issues come up that are going to require his attention for at least a few weeks. So, I may be doing at least the Alaska and Canada portions by myself.
But maybe not! Jim Rau, another member of the NT-Owners Club, who I met and enjoyed talking to in Spearfish last year, is considering joining me. I’m hoping that will work out.
And, if we’re lucky, Rick will be able to reconnect with me as I begin the Four Corners portion of the ride.