Covid 2020 has seriously truncated my riding life. Rallies have been postponed and cancelled. Quarantine rules have limited out of state riding. I work at a Senior Care facility, so I have to be especially careful about outside contact for both myself and the Seniors I help care for. That limits me to riding in New Mexico. Luckily, NM is a big state and there is plenty of riding available, even if I have been everywhere at least once.
This is only my second Iron Butt certificate ride of the year. I completed a Saddlesore 2000 Gold (2000 miles in less than 36 hours) just before Covid hit in March, and now this Saddlesore 1000 (1000 miles in less than 24 hours. This also qualifies as an in-state 1000 as it was all within the borders of one state – New Mexico.
It’s definitely easier to do Iron Butt certificate rides on open interstates. Unfortunately, while New Mexico has 999.89 miles of interstate highways, they are not arranged in a manner to ride them without backtracking.
I wanted to choose a route that avoided Covid hotspots as much as possible – mostly the NW corner at this point – and add in a good amount of two lane blacktop to see what kind of time suck that can be in practice for the Iron Butt Rally next summer.
Starting in Bernalillo near my home, I traveled South on I-25 to Las Cruces, East through Cloudcroft to Artesia, North and East through Roswell toward Clovis then North to Clayton, West to Raton and South again on I-25 to Rio Rancho to close the circle. Click the link for my Spotwalla map: Link to Spotwalla
This ride went off quite well. I woke up at 4am and, having set up the bike the night before, I was at the gas station for my first receipt by 4:30am. For an Iron Butt run, you must get a good starting receipt that has the correct date, time and full address location. I have my favorite gas stations near my home that I know give good receipt. If this is your first Iron Butt ride or you aren’t a premier member, you will need a start witness as well.
I have new auxiliary light locations above the mirrors, instead of below, so I took this opportunity to aim the lights properly so I can see in the dark. I had a couple hours of dark without much traffic on this Sunday morning, so a lot of opportunity to light up the road in front of me. Not one oncoming vehicle flashed me, so I must not be blinding people when I’m running dimmed.
I-25 South was uneventful and a gas receipt was obtained at my corner in Las Cruces. Two lane blacktop from here through the only tunnel on a US highway in NM near Cloudcroft, then some curve straffing for 50 miles to the flat plains around Artesia and another corner gas receipt. Four lane roads with a 70mph limit to the Clovis area, then a mixture of rural two lane to Clayton in the NE corner of the state.
I stopped for a bit extra in Clayton to pick up a slice of pizza as I’d only had a banana, some fig newtons and water all day. A fellow rider from Colorado on his Valkyrie stopped over to chat for a bit and to talk about my farkles. During this 20 minutes, the local constable pulled over and ticketed 3 cars. Don’t speed in rural towns.
I escaped Clayton at the speed limit and ran the newly surfaced four lane at a brisk pace West towards Raton for the final leg South. I was traveling at that speed right on the edge of ticket/no ticket and decided to follow a car around slower traffic rather than lead. Good thing, that car got the ticket, not me.
Raton gave up good receipt for my last corner and I had 220 miles of Interstate home. I head inside for my last receipt which netted me an SS1000 with 1048 odometer miles, 1027 GPS miles and 1024 google miles. Most bike odometers are optimistic and your ride miles will be determined by your GPS secondarily and a mapping program such as Google Maps primarily, so put some extra miles on past the mark. Link to Google Map.
My total time for this trip was 15:34. My moving time was 13:42. I made 5 stops, which shows that I wasted almost 2 hours of this trip by stopping. It’s not about your speed , it’s entirely about your moving time. You will pick up your finishing times by limiting your stopped time. Speed up your gas stops, don’t waste time chatting and eat on the go if at all possible. Have your trip planned and your GPS programmed before you leave, make adjustments on the fly. Keep moving. I still had plenty of time in the 24 hour max limit on an SS1000. I still had time to complete a BB1500 Gold at that pace. As you get into the higher mileage rides, you will want some of that 2 hours I left on the side of the road later in the ride as you get tired.
I had washed the bike before embarking on this ride. The bugs are out in force and I may be forced to wash the bike again.
My 2017 Honda ST1300.