July 1st, 2018 2007 Honda ST1300.
Living in NM has its advantages – year round riding, limited snow, not usually too hot, big state with lots of roads and things to see and do. It’s not Southern California for year round riding, but one can ride a motorcycle every month of the year.
Unfortunately, there is one disadvantage to long distance riders from New Mexico and that is having to go through the state of Kansas anytime you want to go north and east, which is pretty common for me. I have found little in Kansas that breaks up the monotony of having to run 450 some miles from Elkhart to Kansas City just to get to the other side of the state. Even the interstates have something against me by not running in the directions I usually travel.
So, I decided to boycott the state for this run and ride around the entire state of Kansas without once entering or crossing the state. It turns out, for me, that amounts to about 2200 miles. For the Iron Butt Association, that provides an opportunity to do a BunBurner Gold – 1500 miles in less than 24 hours – AND a SaddleSore2000Gold – 2000 miles in less than 36 hours.
My basic route in Google Maps
My actual route in Spotwalla
Most of this route is interstate, which makes long 24 hour runs easier with the higher speed limits and no traffic lights and no slowing down for smaller towns. This run was my first attempt at 2000 miles in less than 36 hours. To do this, I would have to average at least 55.5 mph over the entire 36 hour period, including all stopped time. I would have to average at least 62.5 mph over the first 24 hours to attain the Bun Burner Gold 1500 miles in less than 24 hours.
I decided to try doing the first 1500 miles in 24 hours, leaving 12 full hours for the last 500 miles. I rode clockwise to get Denver out of the way early in the ride with an anticipated arrival at Kansas City in the wee hours of the morning. I would ride into Henryetta, Oklahoma just after daybreak for my first 1500 miles. July 1st, 2018 was a Sunday, which helped with Denver traffic as well. Kansas City traffic at 2 or 3am is manageable any day of the week. The only other potential bottleneck on this route is Oklahoma City, which I would hit mid day on a weekday. It’s about 20 miles of packed traffic and perpetual road construction, but it’s never held me up to any great extent.
I started my run at 6am Sunday morning. Running north is automatic at this point. I usually run I25 several times a year. Traffic through Denver is heavy enough to need to pay attention, but it’s running well over the speed limit. Colorado disappears and my first turn at Cheyenne appears soon after. A quick gas fill and I’m heading East with the sun overhead. Nebraska disappears under my wheels pretty fast. I get a bit tired midway and stop for a half hour of head down and eyes closed at a rest stop. At Lincoln, I take to two lane roads to cut a several miles off the interstate corner which goes well north of the Kansas NE corner. The sun sets over Iowa. Kansas City, Missouri disappears about midnight local time and my next corner at Alma, Arkansas appears out of the late night doldrums.
At Alma, I’m tired. I have 100 miles left to make my 1500 in 24 hours, and about 1 hour 50 minutes to make it. My start receipt shows 6 am Mountain time and my end receipt shows 7am Central time. Just under the wire with a few miles pad to make sure I made the mileage. The sun comes up as I run into Oklahoma.
Since I have 12 more hours to make my 2000 mile run, I take a break at McDonalds for breakfast. I only have to make it to Tucumcari for my mileage for the SS2000, going all the way to Santa Fe is gravy on the miles.
I’m tired and end up stopping a lot more than I usually do. I stop before Oklahoma City, I stop at the Texas state line and I stop in Santa Rosa. At this point, I have the miles I need and a receipt in case I don’t make it to Santa Fe. In the end, I make it to Santa Fe at 4:30pm Mountain time. 2147 total GPS miles in less than 36 hours.
I don’t recall any particular problems with this run other than dealing with fatigue and you cannot ignore that.
I finally submitted my documentation to the Iron Butt Association in October, 2020 and received confirmation that I had indeed made the time and miles for a BB1500 Gold and a SS2000 Gold.