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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Oops I did it again!

Since last month's success at the BBG (1500 miles in 24 hours) I couldn't stop thinking about doing another IBA ride while the weather was still good. I had some time off work to burn so I took off and decided to try another ride. I weighed my options and decided to try something different again, this time I was going to plan and execute an Instate Pennsylvania SaddleSore1000.

An instate SS1000 ride involves riding 1000 miles in under 24 hours, while staying within the borders of the chosen state at all times. Depending on the size of the state this can be easy or rather complex, especially considering the need to document the route with receipts from gas stations, as well as a tracking system. In Texas you can provably ride 1000 miles in a straight line, in Rhode Island I think you'd have to do 20 laps of the perimeter :). Both have been done.

Pennsylvania falls between the two extremes, it's a good size, but I quickly realized that a perimeter ride wasn't really practical, there isn't an East-West highway at the top of the state other than Route 6 and that is a SLOW local road, very scenic and great riding but not the kind of road I was looking for at all. Just a quick dash east west on the two main routes i80 and i76 wouldn't be enough miles, and doubling that would be too much. I looked and looked and finally came up with a plan, somewhat loosely based on a route that someone else had used and posted online. It came close to reaching the 4 corners of the state, and crossed the scenic but mostly empty center of the state twice on different routes. A perfect way to see all the Fall foliage of this beautiful mountainous state in all it's glory.

I decided to start out at home, head West on Rt 22 then South on the PA Turnpike extension ( i476) until I was in the Philadelphia area, then head West on the PA Turnpike ( i76) across the state, taking the i70 split and then heading South on i79 until I reached the border with West Virginia, then head north on i79 all the way to Lake Erie, then back south to i80 then head west until I reached i81, then head north to the Scranton area to accumulate enough miles before heading back home.

My chosen day was 10/23, the weather looked good, all systems were go for a 0300 start. I got up, had a small breakfast and a small coffee, dressed warm including y electric jacket liner and rolled out of the garage and rode about 2 miles to the closest all night gas station. I filled my tank, got the picture of the receipt next to my odometer, and headed down the road, I didn't bother to plug in the jacket, I was warm and comfortable, I figured I could always plug it in at the first stop if I needed it. The day before had been heavy rain, but it had ended as promised by midnight, the sky was clear but the roads were very wet, so i kept the speed in check, no need to rush on this ride, I had plenty of time, anticipating about 18 hours to complete it.

The temperature was about 50 degrees, going up to a wet and foggy 58 as I made my first stop in King of Prussia, PA, at a turnpike rest stop. I didn't really need the fuel, but I needed the receipt to document a corner of the ride. This stop was quick, the only small glitch was the receipt didn't print at the pump, but that was OK, I went inside, the woman at the register printed me one with a smile and a happy good morning. The temperature was 58 degrees, I decided I wasn't going to use the heated gear so I unplugged the controller a wiring harness and put them in the trunk and rolled off into the fog on i76 west.

The fog was thick on this stretch, and I saw antlers lurking in it a few times! PA is famous for it's deer population, but they were well behaved today and stayed on the side of the road. What wasn't well behaved was the weather...remember that nice warm 58F? Well this stretch soon headed up into the mountains and I was also headed into a cold front, the result was that in an hour the fog cleared as the air dried but the temp kept dropping, the lowest I saw was 38F just before dawn. I didn't want to add any more stops, so I kept going through the shivers, though I admit that I found myself really wishing my heated jacket controller wasn't locked in the trunk 2 feet behind me. The heated seat and grips were on, and I survived, but I was really happy when 200 miles had gone by and my planned stop allowed me to take 3 minutes to reconnect my heated liner, it stayed on the rest of the day and kept me comfortable.

During this leg the sun rose behind me as I climbed a set of beautiful curvy mountain ridges, the sky was a beautiful salmon color, and the Fall foliage seen in this light was absolutely stunning. Anyone that says the PA Turnpike isn't scenic hasn't looked around, it climbs some of the mountains, goes around some and even punches through others in a series of majestic tunnels, it's a great ride. We climbed up through the mountains into a beautiful area known as the Laurel Highlands. This area is stunning by any light, but the fall colors by dawn's early light are beyond description, I will never forget what I saw that morning.

The next section was south on i79 towards Mount Morris, PA, and the border with West Virginia, this short run was uneventful, before long I was at exit 1 for my planned stop and turnaround. This went well, the lady in the gas station had that cute West Virginia accent even though we were still a couple hundred feet inside PA. I got to talk with her because once again the gas pump receipt failed to print, in total I think I had to get 4 or 5 reprints, not a big deal on this 1000 mile ride but if I had been in a rush doing a 1500 it would have been much more of an issue.

Headed back north on i79 I now was on a longer leg, headed all the way across the state, up through Pittsburgh to Erie, PA, an outpost perched on the shore of Lake Erie. This was a nice straight run, fast and smooth, it would have been uneventful except for the gusty wind that started blowing. I've ridden across the great plains, this was just as windy as that, and actually much gustier and turbulent. This was not a relaxing stretch, the wind kept me working hard, I felt it in my arms and back by the time I reached the end of the road in Erie. Erie is a remote outpost of Pennsylvania, miles across empty, flat land from most of the rest of the state, more closely connected with the other lake front towns like Cleveland, OH and Buffalo, NY. I had been to Erie before but passed through on the way around the lake, I recall thinking it didn't feel like a Pennsylvania town at all.

As I rode down the hill into Erie where the highway literally ends because anything further north is water I got a glimpse of the angry, white capped lake Erie with wind whipped waves breaking all over the surface, it looked just as rough as the ocean on a stormy day. I got my fuel, again got a reprinted receipt, and almost lost the receipt trying to take a picture of it in the gale..I was actually worried that my 900 pound bike would blow over while I went inside for the restroom. I had originally though I'd take a quick trip down to the lake there and find a shoreline spot to take a picture but the wind was so bad I decided to just get moving instead. I headed back South on i79, and by the time I got to i80 the wind was gone, it must be driven by the lake somehow.

This was another long run, all the way across the state headed east on i80, but this section was very uneventful and somewhat relaxing since I know the route well, I've ridden it many times. This road is beautiful too, the mountains are endless here and i80 climbs them all, no tunnels here unlike the Turnpike. The sun was getting low behind me (good planning on which way to run a loop pays off), the Fall colors lit up again in all their glory. This part of the state is very remote, much of it is state gameland, not a lot of towns or people out there at all. The miles rolled by, I made a fuel stop, no receipt at the pump again (did the receipt paper delivery truck not make it's run to PA this week?), and then at Hazleton I took the ramp for I81N to head up through the Pocono Mountains towards Scranton, PA.

This was a short leg of the trip, intended to get me closer to the last corner of the state and also to add about 100 miles to the total so that I would finish up with enough miles back at home. The time was 5:30 PM, the sun was setting, and the busy Scranton area proved to be a mess of commuter traffic, bad road construction, a truck accident and just not much fun at all. I actually changed my plans on a moment's notice, Instead of taking the gridlocked i81 further north from Scranton I headed off on I380 onto I84e and went that way instead, mentally figuring out another way to get the amount of miles I needed. I headed down i84 into darkness as my head spun with juggling mileage and time, I finally found the magic number had been reached and got off at Lake Ariel, PA at a spot I knew had a gas station to get gas, a receipt (which had to be reprinted!) and head back west and south to i80 again.

Th final stretch was i80e, from Hazleton to Tannersville, PA in the heart of the Pocono region, then i33 south to a local road to home in Forks/ Easton, PA. This is a route that I know very well, it's often busy and chaotic but I wasn't anticipating any challenges. Oh was I wrong....

I totally underestimated the amount of deer that were out on that stretch of road just after dark, I live in Pennsylvania, I'm used to deer, but for the 20 miles either side of Whitehaven, PA I swear the deer were lined up shoulder to shoulder watching me go by... this was not a relaxing ride to say the least, my neck was tired from keeping my head swiveling around as I debated running with high beams on or off since all they did was show me more of them watching me, not a thing I could do anyway other than concentrate and use my Jedi mind control powers to will them to stay in place. The Force was with me and it worked...Finally as I got closer to civilization the deer thinned out and I was able to settle down a bit.

I was going to finish up around 8PM as planned, and as long as it was before 9 I had a tiny luxury planned, there is a gas station 2 blocks from my home, I could get the final fill up receipt there and not have to ride very far at all to get home. Not a big deal but I had planned it all along and it made me smile to think that I had made my planned time despite a few challenges. I pulled off into the gas station, smiling, and noticed that it was VERY busy, full of pickup trucks, at all the islands, and in fact there were people at all of them, taking the pumps apart??? After a baffled minute and a chuckle I rolled back out, rode less than a mile to another station that was open, and ended the ride at just after 8PM.

1053 miles in 17 hours, all within the borders of the Great State of Pennsylvania, pending verification this should earn me an instate Pennsylvania SaddleSore 1000.

That will look nice on the Mile Eater Silver Award that I'm working towards :)
 

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Zip
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A great recounting of a successful trip. Congratulations!

My wife and I stop in Erie pretty much every time we're traveling to Niagara Falls. Actually we go out to Presque Isle (which is a peninsula, not an island) to walk around and look at the lighthouses. It's always windy and cold. Glad you survived it.

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well that was quick, I just got the email saying my ride was verified!

I wish I was still on vacation rather than going to work in the morning, this makes me want to do another ride.....

Uh oh. I think I’ve caught the IBA virus.


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Yep. You and Rollin' are sick puppies for sure. I think I would be too if I were younger. Wife and I used to 30K a year in California but I never heard of IBA back then. That was mostly commute miles but every weekend we were riding somewhere. I'm sure I would have caught the bug if I knew it could be caught. The big www was still on the drawing board back then though. And GPS, what was that? I never heard of it at least until a few years before we moved back to Texas. Just be careful guys. The award isn't worth getting hurt. EVER! :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Mail call!
I love the in state Pennsylvania pin and logo on the certificate.







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Are you ever going to try a dual Iron Butt ride with both of you guys attempting one together? Or is there just too much of a chance for accidents has both might go zipping through some towns? Solo only kind of thing?
 

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Retired twice: Navy and as a govt contractor
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Larry, I think they did one on his and hers first ironbutt
 

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Larry, I think they did one on his and hers first ironbutt
Yeah, I remember that one but not since. Was really wondering if they felt it too dangerous for 2 to be doing it since. Although I did forget about that first on until you reminded me here.:cautious:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Solo is best and now that I've done a few by myself I see why but a group of 2 works OK for an IBA ride, especially if the two ride together a lot and know each others habits.

When Candy and I did the SS1000 together despite all the time we spend riding together there were still times that we took longer than necessary because of minor issues, to start with she has about 40 miles less range ( but still plenty, she gets about 200 miles, I can go 240-250) so we need more stops, different internal clocks for when to make a restroom break, when to be extra careful due to fatigue, etc. Not a huge problem on a SS1000 with some time to spare but on a BBG 1500 it could be frustrating or worse. I DO NOT know how people manage bigger groups on these rides, some do it successfully but that's not for me. The biggest reason we haven't done another one together though is simple, after the surgery her knee still gets stiff after about 8 hours on a bike, and needs a bit of rest and stretching. It's still getting better, by next year I'm sure she will be 100% again, and we already have a ride planned that she wants to do, the SS1000 instate Ride around New York., which looks like a really nice ride. I've ridden all of the route at one time or another and it will be fun stringing them together in one day.
http://www.ironbutt.com/themerides/nys/
 

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Sounds good Mike I figured exactly what you stated but want to be sure or if it was purely a safety issue. I have enough trouble taking care of myself. I'd be too frustrated trying take care of my wife's things as well so it would never be an option for me. And I think she would agree. Same issue with fuel range only different bikes. That one gets me when we take rides. We have CBs so she lets me know it's time. Ticks me off when we just passed 18 stations and the last one is now 5 miles behind me.:mad::mad::mad:
 
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