The Iron Butt Association has a series of solstice/equinox rides with special certificates for each one. Combine one each of winter and summer solstice and spring and fall equinox and there is a combination certificate available.
I’ve never done a ride specifically on the solstice. This year, the winter solstice was on Monday, the 21st of December – a day off for me. In addition, the weather in NM was awesome – sunny with no wind. With covid, I haven’t been riding much and this was my last chance this year to put a few miles on.
I set the alarm a couple hours earlier than usual to get out of town before traffic started and to take full advantage of all of the short hours of available daylight.
Here is a link to my trip: https://new.spotwalla.com/trip/2dcf-30f84-afd7/view
Because of Covid and my job, I was unable to leave and return to the state without 2 weeks of quarantine. So, I made a plan to stick to the fastest roadways and corner/end stops that remained within the borders of New Mexico. New Mexico has some 998 miles of Interstate highways, but it is impossible to access them without backtracking. While backtracking isn’t forbidden on such a ride, it is boring and makes it a bit harder to track.
- I started in Bernalillo, north of Albuquerque, getting my start receipt
- Riding South on I-25 to Las Cruces
- Highway 70, then highway 54 to Santa Rosa
- I-40 East to Russell’s Truck Stop, the last gas before Texas
- I-40 West to Jamestown Pilot truck stop, far enough to get my miles upon return with a few extra
- I-40 East and I-25 North to Bernalillo for my end receipt.
The ride itself was uneventful. Sit there, twist that kind of ride. I was cold, but heated gear pushed that away. Toes and fingers needed a bit extra with handwarmer packs coming in handy.
This became an all in state – New Mexico – Saddle Sore 1000 ride.
- 1047 total GPS miles
- Start time of 4:45am
- Finish time of 8:27pm
- Total time of just under 16 hours
- Average speed of around 65MPH