Tales From The Trifecta
Letting It All Hang Out
March 2 to March 5, 2009
Well this was one ride I have wanted to do for a couple years as it really intrigued me. I had been working up to the BBG Trifecta ride over the years doing harder and harder rides. Just in case you don’t know a BBG is 1500+ miles in less than 24 hours. A BBG Trifecta is three BBG’s in a row, you know back to back to back. You must ride 4500+ miles in less than 72 hours and complete each BBG in less than 24 hours during the 72 hour period. I had completed seven BBG’s, a BBG3000 ( Two BBG’s in less than 48 hours ), three 100CCC’s ( Jacksonville Beach to San Diego and back to Jacksonville Beach in less than 100 hours ), 50CC The Hard Way ( Coney Island to San Francisco, 3000 miles in less than 50 hours ) and the B2B ( Nuevo Laredo to Emerson Canada, 1650 in less than 24 hours ) in the last four years along with some other easier rides. I was about as ready as I could be for the Trifecta. Iron Butt rides require the ability to solve the time – distance – stamina equation. The Trifecta compounds the difficulty by forcing the rider to be able to solve this equation over multiple days in a high stress environment.
I started the planning the Trifecta eight months prior to the ride. I sought out a lot of other riders to talk about it. I decided to attempt the Trifecta during the IBA Pizza party week since no other ride was planned and I had done a BBG3000 during that week in 2007. I have been doing a ride during that week for the last five years. I also knew that many other riders would be doing rides to the party and it would be easier to find IBA approved witnesses for my ride.
I checked out the IBA certified ride list to see who had done the Trifecta before and noticed that over all of the years there had been only seven others who had successfully completed the Trifecta so it was a pretty small list and thought I would like to add my name to it also.
I knew attempting the Trifecta was going to be hard and I thought about it for a long time before I threw my hat into the fire. J
I knew this ride was going to need a lot of planning so I started planning many months in advance. I looked over the maps and played with a lot of different route ideas trying to find a good route that would give me a good chance of success. Since I was going to do this ride in early March during the IBA Pizza Party week I knew I did not want to head north so as not to run into the possibility of snow and severe cold. The time of year really played a big part with route selection. I could ride I-10 from Jacksonville to the Texas state line and back three times and was pretty confident that I would not hit to severe of cold weather during the ride. I am not bragging but that route seemed to be a little too easy and I did not want anyone to think I took the easy ride. Another option was to ride around Florida three times and this would surely keep me out of the cold and any possible icing conditions. Again that seemed to be a little too easy and not worthy of a Trifecta. My thinking was if I am going to do it lets do it for real.
I decided that I was going to start my Trifecta attempt on Monday March 2 around 3:00 AM and finish by 3:00 AM March 5. This would give me a day to rest before the IBA dinner on Friday. I also was taking only three days vacation and would have to work Thursday and Friday from the hotel as much of my vacation time is being taken up later in the year for the IBR. I figured I would get in by 3:00 AM and get a few hours sleep get up and start work by 9:00 AM Thursday morning.
I have ridden I-10 and I-8 to California many times over the last six years and really like that ride. I knew attempting a ride like the Trifecta using I-10 across the country would be pretty hard since you have to pass through some pretty busy cities along the route. I would need to pass through Jacksonville, Tallahassee, Mobile, Baton Rouge, Beaumont, Houston, San Antonio, El Paso and Tucson both ways. This was a lot of traffic I would need to navigate through and surely I would hit a few of these cities at rush hour.
Well I decided on I-10 / I-8 route pretty early on in my planning. All along I thought I would end up with this route. I know the road pretty well and have found that I can make pretty good time on this route.
Now I needed to spend some time looking over my selected route to review the possible places I could run into some trouble. I reviewed my gas station list that I put together a few years ago when riding the 100CCC with the MTF to be sure they were all still valid. I had to remove a few and add a few new ones. I looked at the construction websites for all of the states I would be passing through and noted the locations in Mapsource. I also marked a few known locations for heavy LEO enforcement. I made a Speed Camera file for my Zumo with these locations with the proximity set to one mile. This way I would be notified of these locations when I get within one mile of them.
I never really plan my gas stop locations on my LD rides as many things can happen during the ride. What I do is to try and locate many gas stations on my ride and load them into my GPS as favorites so they show up on the map without having to search for them. This makes it real easy to see where the next gas station is when I start to look for gas. For the Trifecta I had over three hundred gas stations loaded as favorites along I-10 and I-8. Knowing where the gas stations are helps keep the stress level down.
With the gas station and construction information taken care of I know needed to focus on timing. I really needed to come up with an optimal start time so as to put me in the major cities at non rush hour times. There were four cities that I knew could be a problem during rush hour, Baton Rouge, Houston, San Antonio and El Paso. I also needed to pass through these towns twice on my ride. Working with Streets & Trips I came up with a start time of around 3:00 AM. This would get me through Baton Rouge, Houston and San Antonio before rush hour if I was able to keep the wheels moving and not dilly dally too much at my gas stops. I would then be passing through El Paso before rush hour the next morning. The return would pretty much work the same way but in reverse. So I settled on a 3:00 AM start in Jacksonville Beach.
With my timing settled I needed to work on the gas stop range. I found that I would need at least four stops during each 1520 mile leg since IBA rules require to stop at least every three hundred and fifty miles. So I found I do not need to stretch my stops too much past three hundred miles between gas stops.
Now I had my route, timing and gas stops planned I needed to work on me. I needed to get myself in good shape mentally and physically to have a good shot at being successful on this ride. I started to do a little exercise about two months out from the start. I ran, lifted light weights and road my son’s bicycle. I tried to take vitamins for a couple months also leading up to the start. I am sure the exercise I did helped me be successful.
When I first started planning the Trifecta attempt gas was over $4.00 a gallon. The week before the ride it was down to less than $2.00 a gallon and it saved me over $250 in gas cost on this ride.
The route I finally decided on was three 1516 mile legs. Leg one was Jacksonville Beach to Van Horn, TX. Leg two was Van Horn, TX to Ocotillo, CA and back to Van Horn, TX. Leg three was Van Horn, TX back to Jacksonville Beach. I did not see the need to make the legs any longer than needed to be successful.
After I had selected my route I needed to find a gas station in Ocotillo, CA that I could use to get a gas receipt to show my turn around point. There are no gas stations listed shown Ocotillo in Streets & Trips or the latest maps from Garmin. I had to do some Internet searches to find a gas station called Desert Fuel Stop. It turned out to be a good location for the turnaround point.
I plotted the route in Mapsource and downloaded to my Zumo about a week before the ride was planned. I also downloaded the gas station favorites to the Honda on board Navigation along with my route waypoints.
While planning my ride I found out that Steve Short was attempting back to back 100CCC during the same time starting on the first 100CCC four days before my Trifecta was going to start. I also found out the Bill Thweatt was attempting a 100CCC at the same time. We exchanged emails and decided to stay at the same hotel in Jacksonville Beach and to meet up Sunday evening.
The Wing Preparation
Normally I keep my Wing in LD riding condition except maybe to mount the AUX tank, oil and tires. So I did not have a lot to do to be sure my Wing was ready to go. A week before the ride I changed the oil, filter, rear end gear lube and tires. There is a story with my tires. I really did not need new tires. I bought a new 2009 Wing and had the original tires on them with 7000 miles. I was going to ride about 5500 miles during the next week. This would only be 12,500 and not near what I had been getting on my tires for the last four sets but I just wanted to be sure so I would not have to worry about my tires. I had new tires on other rims from my previous Wings but my 2009 Wing had tire pressure monitoring with sensors mounted on the tires. If I put on the tires that I had on the extra rims I would not have the tire pressure monitoring and I had just paid big dollars to get this feature. I took the rims off the bike and over to the local Honda shop to put on a set of new tires on the rims with the tire pressure sensors. I reminded the service person of the tire pressure sensor on the rims. I decided to wait for the tires to be mounted. After about two hours I was beginning to wonder what was going on. They finally said they were done. I took the rims home and mounted them back on the bike. I went for a quick test ride and wow my tire pressure monitor light was on saying the system was malfunctioning. L Well to make this short I found they had broken the front sensor and put on a new sensor but did not have the hand held computer to link the new sensor to the on board computer. Man was I pissed. After a lot of back and forth I had to take the Wing to a different Honda shop to get it fixed. They billed the first shop $300.J
Loaded and Ready
One week before the ride I tested SPOT and Accutracking devices so I could provide tracking to my family and friends. I also signed up for the professional level of Jott which is my voice mail service that transcribes my messages and post them on my blog.
The planning was done and now was the wait. Man it was hard waiting until the day for me to ride to Jacksonville for the start. Planning this ride was a lot of fun for me.
Can I Get A Witness
Once my route and dates were picked I needed to arrange for a witness out in west Texas. I posted a couple messages on the MTF forum and a few people responded that they may be available. Then Barb Smith responded that she would be glad to be my witness and that she would incorporate a ride of her own so that she was not just riding thousands of miles just to be my witness. Barb really stepped up to the plate for me and I am very appreciative. We communicated a lot during the three months or so leading up to the ride.
Heading To Jacksonville
I planned to ride to Jacksonville Beach the day before the start of my ride which was Sunday. I took my wife out to dinner Saturday night and got home by 10:00 PM. I got to bed by 11:00 PM and got up around 8:30 AM Sunday morning. I had packed the bike the night before ( really, the bike was mostly packed for days as I could not wait J ). I had a light breakfast put on my gear and kissed the wife and said goodbye to my son and hit the road. Well the day finally came and I was on the road headed to Jacksonville Beach. I had an easy ride to Jacksonville and found the hotel pretty easy. About an hour after I checked in Bill arrived and we found a good barbeque place for dinner. I ate a little more than I thought I should but it was good barbeque so what the hell. Steve arrived shortly after we had dinner completing his first 100CCC and he looked in good shape.
We took care of the witness stuff as I witnessed Steve’s end of his first 100 CCC. We talked for a little while before we headed for our rooms to get some sleep. It was good to spend a few minutes with Bill and Steve as we talked for about an hour or so. I was planning to leave a couple hours before them and maybe would not see them again until back in Jacksonville. Man was it hard to go to sleep, I was so wound up. I was still awake at 10:00 PM which is about the time I finally fell asleep. I had my alarm set for 2:00 AM. This would give me four hours of sleep before I get ready and head out for the start receipt before 3:00 AM. This was not much sleep though.
Well I woke up early as it was about 1:45 AM EST. I decided to get ready and head for the starting gas station which was a Gate as the Shell we normally use was not open 24 hours any more. I put on my gear and packed the bike and headed out a little after 2:00 AM EST. I arrived at the gas station at 2:15 AM. I checked my paper work to be sure I had the required signatures. I filled up with gas and got my starting receipt at 2:45 AM EST.
Finally, after eight months of dreaming, thinking and planning and more dreaming, thinking and planning, I'm on the road for my BBG Trifecta. I was headed out for my attempt of riding more than 4500 miles in less than 72 hours. After a few miles on the road it hit me I was finally on the road. At this point I did not know how hard this ride was going to be.
I road RT 202 over to I-95 north and then to I-10 west bound. It was pretty windy at the start. After about thirty miles I was out of Jacksonville and trying to figure out what the hell had I got myself into. J
It was now about 3:30 AM EST I was starting to settle in for the ride. I was feeling good and making good time. Around 5:00 AM EST I was passing through Tallassee and the construction zone with no problems. It was 35 degrees here and I had my electrics turned up pretty high. I had put my electric socks on when I geared up at the hotel thinking I may need them. I was waiting for the sun to come up and warm me up a little as I felt cold.
I road through Pensacola when rush hour was just beginning around 7:00 AM EST and it was still pretty light traffic. It was 30 degrees just east of Pensacola and I was felling damn cold. I was running about twenty minutes behind my very aggressive schedule and I was a little pissed off. A little before 8:00 AM EST I crossed over into Alabama the sun was up and it was 36 degrees. I hit Mobile at its rush hour and there was a lot of traffic on the Mobile Bay Bridge. The wind on the bridge was fierce out of the northwest knocking me around pretty good. Once I went through the tunnel the traffic eased up as it is four lanes in each direction there.
I crossed into Mississippi at 8:35 AM EST and it was 37 degrees. Still cold but with the sun up it was not too bad. I am still twenty minutes behind and need to find a way to recover that. The ride through Alabama and Mississippi was pretty easy.
I entered Louisiana at 9:30 AM EST and its 40 degrees. It is slowly warming up from 30’s. I crossed the Mississippi river bridge in Baton Rouge at 10:43 AM EST. Bill, Steve and I all have a Bluetooth setup where we can send and receive calls while riding. I talked to Bill around 10:30 AM EST and he had a battery problem again in the morning when he was trying to head to get his start receipt. He had to buy a new battery and then hit the road. This put him five hours behind and he is trying to decide what to do. He is on the road, but he is not sure if he is going to continue the 100CCC since he is so far behind his start.
I stopped for gas in Grosse Tete just west of Baton Rouge and just before the beginning of the long swamp bridge. My gas stops have been running a little slow. I have been leaving my helmet on and trying to keep them less than ten minutes.
On the Louisiana swamp bridge, LEO’s were enforcing the 60 MPH speed limit with laser. Thank you Blinder as it worked as advertised. Up until then I had not seen much enforcement.
I made good time all the way to the Texas state line. I crossed in to Texas at 12:55 EST and its 55 degrees now. That’s a good temperature for me to ride. Soon after entering Texas I-10 construction starts and goes almost to Houston. It was still early in the day and there were no problems. I did see some enforcement around Beaumont but they seemed to be after cages mostly and left me alone. The traffic was a little heavy at times but not enough to slow me down.
The construction on I-10 in this area is pretty intense as they are putting in new lanes of traffic and keep you moving back and forth across the construction. I had to pay attention and turn off the movie. J
I arrived in Houston at 2:15 EST ( 1:15 Houston time ). Traffic was moving well and I was zipping right through town. I stopped for gas just west of Houston at a Love’s. They have a Arby’s there and I was hoping to get a sandwich. When I pulled into the station it was packed as it was lunch time there so no Arby’s for me. I bought a honey bunn and ate while filling up. The weather was sunny and 60 degrees. I got back on I-10 headed for San Antonio and the 1604 Loop around the city.
I made it to San Antonio around 5:00 PM EST just before rush hour there. There was some traffic but I was able to move along at the posted speed limit. I now had 414 miles to Van Horn and was looking to arrive around 11:00 PM EST. A little past San Antonio it was 70 degrees and sunny. I had turned off all of the electrics a little while ago. It felt real nice.
I made my last gas stop in Sonora, Texas. It was 7:26 EST. The temperature was still 70 degrees. It was still daylight here as it's 6:26 Texas time. I had to slow down the last thirty miles to Sonora as there is no gas stop between Junction and Sonora. I had decided not to buy gas at Junction as I still had what I thought was plenty of gas left. I regretted that about thirty miles out from Sonora. My fuel gage needle was way below the E mark. I slowed down to around 60 MPH to be sure I could make it to Sonora. I went 342 miles between gas stops and since the wind was blowing a little ( like always in west Texas ) I was using more gas than normal. I was pretty pissed at myself right about then. A funny thing happened at the gas station. Since I had slowed down it took me longer to get to my gas stop and man did I have to go to the bathroom. I bought gas and went inside. The men’s bathroom was locked and the person in there said it was going to be awhile. I had to go so bad I saw that the women’s bathroom door was ajar so I went in. I was doing my thing when I heard some noises coming from the next stall. I apologized and she said don’t worry it’s pretty common out here. I did my thing and got the heck out of there. I was laughing about it for the next 200 miles.
I got back on the road and had 255 miles to go to get to Van Horn the end of my first BBG. At 8:15 EST, 7:15 in Texas and it's getting dark. I had already seen some forest rats ( Deer ) on the shoulder. The speed limit drops to 65 MPH at night in Texas and in some places they are very protective of the 65 MPH so I needed to back off a little. I was not to thrilled about slowing down as I wanted to get to Van Horn to get the most sleep I could before the next BBG.
At 8:25 EST I saw a BIG BUCK in the right lane. That was a big boy, scared the crap out of me. I guess my deer whistle keep him out of my lane ( joke ). I had been riding in the left lane as it is a little smoother and I wanted to stay away from the shoulder to keep some distance from the deer and me. Did I say that was a BIG DEER!!! If I would have hit him, he would have made me break my promise to my wife of not buying another Wing for two years. J
I had called Barb about 100 miles out to let her know about what time I would be arriving.
I arrived in Van Horn, TX at 11:00 PM EST. I made pretty good time from Jacksonville Beach. I bought gas went inside and bought a Wendy’s hamburger and took it back to the Wing. I headed for the Motel 6 which was my staging area for the next couple days. I called Barb and told her I would be there in a minute. She was waiting outside for me in front of the lobby and took my photo.
BBG One In the Books
Wow the first BBG is done and I felt pretty good. I had about three and a half hours to sleep before starting my next BBG. I checked in went to the room and grab my GO bag. I had put everything that I would need while in the hotel room in one bag and left everything else on the Wing. I called this my GO bag. I took a shower and then ate my Wendy’s hamburger. By now I was down to two and a half hours as I took a long shower and ate slowly. I checked the weather on the Weather Channel and then hit the sack. I had decided to sleep into my next BBG’s time a little as I was sure the second BBG would be my fastest since it was mostly open road. Things don’t always work out like you think.
BBG One went pretty good and mostly as planned. I did have a little traffic and it was a little cold but no real issues.
I expected BBG Two to be my quickest as it was mostly open highway with only two big cities to pass through, El Paso and Tucson. I got my starting gas receipt at 3:45 AM EST and hit the road. I had sleep into my second BBG time so I only had twenty-three hours for the second BBG. I did not think this would be an issue.
It was 48 degrees and no one else was on the road but me. It was pretty quiet out. I did see some deer but no to much. I was running a little slower than I wanted but it was still night and the speed limit is 65 MPH. The temperature started to drop the farther west I went. It was 37 degrees around 4:30 AM EST. Man was it dark out there. I felt like I was the only one on the planet.
I finally had a car pass me and I tagged along for a while. The V1 saw a Texas State Trooper heading east bound who gave me a quick flashing of his lights, I guess to say hello. J
At 5:34 AM EST I crossed the New Mexico state line. It was 48 degrees and I had no traffic in El Paso. I was waiting for daylight so I could pick up the pace. I stopped for gas early as I had a bad headache and was tired. I wanted to get some coffee and a little something to eat hoping that would make me feel better. I stopped at the Savoy Truck Stop in Deming, NM. It was only 222 miles from the start. I gassed up, had some coffee and food and took some Advil hoping this would do the trick. Otherwise it was going to be a long ride to Ocotillo, CA.
The second BBG is kicking my butt already and, I'm only 250 miles into it. The stop really helped but I knew it was gonna be a damn hard ride. I needed to get to Ocotillo and then haul ass back to Van Horn so I could get some rest that night.
It’s just as dark in New Mexico between Deming and Lordsburg. Fortunately, I have eight lights up front and all with 100 watt bulbs in all of them. When I turn them all on it's pretty nice out. I can see ants crossing the road. J
I'm riding alongside a train out here in New Mexico, just east of Lordsburg. These trains out here haul butt. I think this one was running about 90 MPH. I like to see the trains along the highway out here. Sometimes I see them on both sides of the highway.
I crossed into Arizona at 7:57 AM EST it was 37 degrees and my feet are cold. I did not put on my electric socks when I geared up in Van Horn hoping I would not need them. I had about another 450 miles to the turnaround point in Ocotillo.
100 miles East Tucson, Arizona it was 8:18 AM EST, 6:18 AM there and I can see the sun rising behind my shoulders coming up in the rear-view mirror. It was 40 degrees and I was riding in the mountain area here in Arizona. I was probably going to hit rush hour in Tucson. I was calculating my time to get to Ocotillo and the Desert Fuel Stop. It looked like I was going to be there about 1:45 PM EST in the afternoon that would be 10:45 AM California time.
I called Steve and Bill to see how they are doing. Both of them are doing great on their respective 100CCC’s. Steve is about four or five hours ahead of Bill since he had the battery problem at the start, yesterday morning. They were trying to find a way to share a hotel in San Diego. Bill is going to be arriving about the time Steve is going to be leaving. They both seemed to be doing well. I hoped to pass them on the road at some point on my return back to Van Horn.
About 75 miles south of Phoenix on I-10 I went through one of those photo enforcement zones. They have a sign saying you’re in a photo enforcement zone so you know to slow down. Then I came upon a pickup truck with a camera mounted in the back end along with some other equipment. I guess they move it around and take pictures that way. Very interesting. I was going slowly so no big deal.
I turned onto I-8 headed west. I call this road the Yuma Express as its pretty wide open and cars pass me all the time even when I think I am moving at a pretty good clip. I stopped at Gila Bend for gas and to get out of my electrics as it was warming up. It was a long stop, about fifteen minutes or so. I really like the gas stop here. It is a big station with all the amenities you could need even showers if you want them. I try and always stop here on my 100CCC’s.
At 12:04 PM EST I passed Dateland, AZ. This is a popular stop for MTF members. Many like to get a shake made out of dates. It reminded me about Alan Leduc and his recent changes in life.
I entered California at 12:52 PM EST I had about another eighty miles to go before my turn around point. Just yesterday I was in Florida and here the heck I am all the way in California. Just before my turn around point there is a sign that says High Winds Possible Next 63 Miles. There is also a electronic sign over the highway and it said High Wind Warning. I was glad I did not have to pass over those mountains heading into San Diego. In years past I have been knocked around pretty hard from those winds.
I arrived at the Desert Fuel Stop at 2:10 PM EST. This was a good choice as it was a good clean place with good receipts. It is a Texaco on the south side of the highway. I had a quick snack and got back on the road. I was stopped about fifteen minutes.
I called Steve to warn him about the high winds going over the mountains and we found that we would be passing each other around Dateland, AZ so we agreed to stop and say hello. I pulled into Dateland looking for the Exxon gas station and found it was closed for construction. I was hoping to get gas while at this stop so as not to make it just a visit stop. We talked for about fifteen minutes and then I hit the road. Steve looked good to be in the middle of his second 100CCC.
I had a strong tail wind now and was getting around 39 MPG’s between this gas stop. It was a welcomed thing as I had only been getting around 31 MPG’s.
Right about now I realized why others I had asked to attempt the Trifecta with me said no. Man I was feeling it. Who the hell talked me into this?
I was in New Mexico where there is construction and traffic in both directions are using the east bound lanes. They are ripping up the old pavement and putting in new. Since I was already going pretty slow I decided to go ahead and stop for gas. I saw a Loves coming up on my side of the road so I decided to exit there. I was going about 60 MPH when I turned off for the exit and then all of a sudden the bottom fell out. The pavement was gone. It had been ripped up. There was no sign. I was airborne for what seemed like a few seconds. Then back on the ground it was a very rough road way with about a eight inch drop off. Man my ass puckered. That was fun. It sure woke me up. I gassed up and found the entrance ramp back on to I-10 to be the same. Now I was ready for it.
I crossed back into Texas at 10:40 PM EST. I had about 130 miles to Van Horn and the Motel 6. It was 8:40 PM El Paso time. There was a lot of traffic still and it took a long time to pass through El Paso. It wore me out. Good thing I only had another 100 miles or so.
I pulled into the Pilot in Van Horn at 12:34 AM EST. About an hour after I had wanted. I had called Barb to let her know I was running a little late. This BBG took twenty-one hours. I only had two hours to eat, shower and sleep. I knew that would not be enough. I bought a Wendy’s hamburger again and stuffed it on the bike.
I arrived at the Motel 6 at 12:45 AM EST. Barb was waiting outside her room since I was already checked in from the night before. She took another photo and she signed my paper work. I signed her witness forms as she was going to ride a SS2000 to Jacksonville. I went to go into the room and the plastic key did not work. I had to go to the office and have them reprogram the key. More wasted time that I did not have.
BBG Two Done!!
I grabbed my go bag and went in the room to take a shower and eat. Again I took too long in the shower but man it felt good. For me it is better to get a good shower than to get more sleep. A shower washes away all of my tired miles and refreshes me. I ate my hamburger and found I only had one hour before the start of my third BBG 24 hours. I decided to sleep into my third BBG time so I could at least get one hour of sleep. I set the alarm on my cell phone for one and a half hours ( yea my cell phone ) as usually that is all I need to wake me up. Man that time passed quickly.
I was expecting the second BBG to be a good fast time but it turned out to be the longest of the three. It was good to see Steve along the way. It sort of picked me up for a while.
I was back on the road at 3:45 AM EST for my third BBG with only one and a half hours of sleep. At 4:38 AM EST I had been on the road for 70 miles. Man was I tired. I only got an hour and a half sleep last night and now I'm going to be riding half way across the country. Hopefully I'll get in before the twenty-four hour time frame. It was damn dark again and nobody out here on the road but me.
At around 5:00 AM EST it was 52 degrees and I have no damn idea where I am at except that I am on I-10 and I just had a coyote run out in front of me. Surprisingly I have not seen too many animals so far this morning. I have seen a few jack rabbits and now the coyote.
At 7:15 AM EST I just got back on the road from my first gas stop of the third BBG in Ozona Texas. I only went 225 miles and it was a slow 225 miles. I did start to see a lot deer on the last 100 miles before this gas stop. I know I was tired as I think the world was coming to an end since was swinging along with Madonna. I still had 1270 miles to go on this BBG.
At 11:00 AM EST I was east of San Antonio. Traffic was pretty heavy passing through San Antonio as it was rush hour. The winds were blowing pretty strong starting just east of San Antonio. I have about another 1020 miles to go and fifteen hours to do it in.
All the way into Houston the winds were blowing. It was very strong coming out of the south. On my 2009 Wing it has traffic and weather including radar and weather warning pages. One of the weather warning pages is for the winds. I had been monitoring it for a while and noticed the winds was moving east with me.
At 2:18 PM EST I was finally out of Texas and in Louisiana. Riding across Texas sure takes a loooooooong time. I think it is 887 miles across and takes a whole day to go from one side to the other. I was headed for Baton Rouge hoping to beat the rush hour there. It can get pretty ugly in Baton Rouge with the Mississippi river bridge as it is a bottle neck crossing over the Mississippi river. I passed through Baton Rouge at 4:17 PM EST just before their rush hour east bound on I-12. I have another 617 miles to go.
I crossed into Mississippi at 5:39 PM EST. I have 526 miles to go. I had some rush hour traffic in Mississippi and I knew I was going to hit rush hour in Mobile. I entered Alabama at 6:57 PM EST. This was 5:57 PM Mobile time so rush hour was on. It looks like most traffic was west bound on the east side of the tunnel though. Exiting the tunnel traffic picked up on the Mobile Bay bridge. I have around 440 miles to go and eight hours to do it in.
I entered Florida around 7:45 PM EST heading for Pensacola. I was hoping rush hour was over there. I had 380 miles left. I passed through Pensacola with no problems and was in the Florida Panhandle. I like riding this stretch of road so I was feeling pretty good at this point. I was watching the miles tick off as I was getting closer and closer.
I had to make one more gas stop near Marianna and then I was headed for the east coast. When I passed through Tallassee I was feeling pretty good about my chances of completing the BBG Trifecta. The closer I got to Jacksonville Beach the better I was feeling. I did stop making Jott calls as I was only thinking about getting to the Gate gas station and getting my final receipt.
I got a call from Charles when I was about 100 miles out. Charles was going to meet me at the Gate to be my end witness. I had slowed down some now as I did not want or need to take any chances the rest of the way.
I arrived at the Gate gas station around 1:20 AM EST. Wow, I completed the BBG Trifecta with about an hour and a half to spare. I felt real confident the last 100 miles. Charles was there took my photo and signed my witness form. Now I have to ride about twenty miles to the hotel and hope they let me in so I can check in.
The Finish – I Made It!!!
I arrived at the hotel and like in the past the lobby is locked. I am not sure why they do this as I have stayed in some pretty iffy places in the past and they do not lock the lobby doors. The lady finally answered the buzzer and I had to convince her I had a reservation. Once inside I got my key and headed for the room. I unpacked the Wing and then took a shower. I got in bed around 3:00 AM EST and had to wake up by 9:00 AM to login to work.
This was one hell of a ride. I am not sure if a human should be able to do this. J I only got a total of three hours of sleep during the seventy-one hours I was on the road. I will say I was not as tired as I thought I would be. I was pretty alert and even mentioned to Charles that I had a blank BBG witness form in the trunk and should I do another. J
Thank you to Barb Smith for riding thousands of miles in west Texas to be my witness!!! Thank you to Charles for coming out at 1:30 AM to be my ending witness. Thank you to everyone else who provided me with me with the confidence that I could do it.
Copyright © 2009 – Greg Rice