Iron Butt

Everybody has their own particular style of travel. I blame my father for mine! As a child, we took the same vacation every year. We drove about 1,000 miles to Nestor Falls, Ontario to fish at a camp on Big Pine Lake. I suppose we made the trip more than a dozen times. Dad’s philosophy was: no hotels (unless they were “fleabags!”), no stopping unless you were literally dying and no wasting time enjoying the scenery along the way. “Stop and smell the roses? Are you kidding? We don’t even have time to stop and pee! We’ve got to get there!” No kidding about the bathroom breaks either. I would ride in the back of the pickup truck in a topper shell with a mattress on the bed…seriously! Dad provided me with a piece of paper and a pen to write notes and a bottle to pee in. The pen and paper meant nothing because he would ignore all requests. The bottle…I used it. Unfortunately, I not only look like my dad, I travel like him. To make matters worse, I have spent the past 25 years in manufacturing on a continuously moving assembly line. I have about 17 seconds to do my job, so I have learned to do everything fast. It is a horrible way to live your life and I always vow to change, but so far I have not succeeded.

I suppose I am making progress, though. After all, it is 7:45 in the morning and I am still in my hotel room in Georgia. Normally I would have left at about 4:00 am. No, that’s not true. I would have left yesterday at 4:00 am and ridden the entire 1200 miles in one day. I tend to travel Iron Butt style. In fact, my first official Iron Butt ride was making this same journey several years ago. I rode from Naples to Bloomington, somewhere around 1,150 miles, in 17 hours.

If I would characterize my riding style, I would say I am mildly aggressive, although I am not a big fan of high speed. Well, unless you consider cruising the Interstate all day at 90 mph high speed! I do love the twisties and, although I have been riding for 42 years, I still feel like my skill level is only average. What I do excel in, however, is endurance. I can rack up the miles. I had no problem running tank to tank on the new GS.

Well, the itch to move is setting in. I am in a very nice hotel that charges way too much for breakfast, so I’m going to head out and stop along the way for some decent breakfast. Heck, I might even go to a real restaurant, rather than grabbing a protein bar at a gas station! It goes against my nature, but maybe it’s time to slow down and stop worrying about time. After all, once its gone, its gone.

If you pass a silver GS with a duffel on the rear seat and a guy in a bright red Roadcrafter in the saddle, give me the ADV Salute! Oh, and thanks to my friend in northern Georgia for offering to put me up for the night. Motorcycle folks are the best!

Take care and I’ll see you on the road.

Shep

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