In March of 2011, Dad, Mike Brown and I attended our first IBA Pizza Party in
On the way home from that ride we decided the next ride would be to complete a SS2000. This ride involves riding over 2000 miles in under 48 hours, basically back-to-back SS1000’s. The figured the hardest part about this one would be waking up the next morning and doing it all over again…
Fast forward almost a year. I had purchased a 2008 Vstrom 1000 from a fellow IBA member in
I did my best to adjust the fuel stops so that each one would have a WH on the same exit. This would eliminate down time, especially if we could take the picture of the WH sitting at the fuel pump. Fortunately, it worked out quite nice aside from one or two stops, each fuel stop had a WH at the exit. Now if you have been following the blog and my Facebook updates I’m sure your thinking, “Wait, 10 fuel stops on a 2000 mile ride? I thought he had a fuel cell?” Yes, I do have a fuel cell, 5 gallons to be exact, and Mike has a 3 or 4 gallon on his Wing. However, Dad does not and his fuel range is around 180-190 miles (on the low side) at highway speed, so I planned the stops around that. I felt pretty comfortable with that range on the FJR so unless the WH up and moved or the location in the locator was wrong (which it has been in the past) I figured we would have this made. Not learning my lesson at all for the last trip, I figured I would double check with the locator and called each store that I planned on visiting to have them verify their address. Those were some fun phone calls…
(Side note, if your every really bored or maybe slightly intoxicated with your buddies. Start calling Waffle Houses and ask for their address. Yes, it’s that entertaining.)
The route we planned to take was similar to last year’s route in that we would leave from
From Terrell, I planned the route down Hwy 175 to
Tuesday, March 13th we met Mike at the Waffle House in
We spent some time stopped in Commerce due to Dad making some adjustments to his base layers and the fact that the coffee we had for breakfast and ran right through us. While waiting I checked my emails and found that my SPOT was not tracking properly. When setting up the bike I had placed the iPod remote on top of the SPOT in order to save space. I was beginning to wonder if this was causing poor satellite reception even though I had tested it before we left the house. On my next OK message I watched as the ON/OFF light flashed red in unison with the green light over the OK button. I had thought that when I lose signal the lights wont flash in unison, so maybe it was the batteries?
Around lunch time we found ourselves riding into
As we got closer to the split of 85 and 285 the traffic picked up considerably but it was flowing quite well. We did our usual thing of flowing with the traffic plus a little just to get through the traffic safely. To non-riders that might sound silly, but I am pretty sure that most of you reading this will agree that it is best to move through traffic at a safe rate rather than riding in it. As we got further into 285 the traffic continued to get heavier but it was flowing well at around 75 MPH. At this point I can’t honestly tell you where we were but while were getting through the traffic I noticed a Georgia State Trooper on the side of the highway. Once I noticed the car I focused my attention on him and realized that the officer was outside of the car and making his way into it quickly. As we passed I checked my mirrors to see where he was going and to stay out of his way. It didn’t take long and he was into the left lane with the blue lights on and coming fast. I got on the radio to warn Mike that he was coming in hot on his left side. About that time I turned back to the mirror to see the officer moving into the lane within the same space that Dad was currently riding in. He had to check up hard and ride into the next lane and avoid another car. I looked up to see where I could go then back to my mirror to see him within a couple feet of my rear tire. So I waved the officer to let him know I acknowledged he was back there and then began working my way over to the right shoulder. This took roughly a half mile due to how heavy the traffic was. Dad and Mike pulled over a few hundred yards up and waited.
I was carrying concealed so I left my hands up on the hand guards with the helmet on and flipped up. I left the officer know that I was armed, I had my permit and the location of the gun and where my wallet and info was. He didn’t seem to really care.
Officer Dawson (Badge #0598) informed me that he clocked my buddies at 78, 79 and me at 80 and he wanted to know why I was going so fast. I politely told him that I was simply going with the traffic and trying to stay out the way. It was safer for me as a rider to safely move through traffic rather than ride in it. Officer Dawson informed me that if I wanted to stay out of the way that I should ride in either the left lane or the right lane. (Never mind the fact he jumped in the left lane at 100+ mph to catch up to me) I gave him a puzzled look repeating the left lane statement. He changed the subject by pointing out my IBA tag backs and said, “Looks like you ride a lot.” My response, “Yes, and by your last statement I am assuming you don’t.” He agreed and asked for my proof of insurance and then headed back to his car. A few moments later he returned with a nice piece of paper stating that I was going 80 in a 55. I had no clue it was a 55. The last thing I was looking for in that traffic was a speed limit sign not to mention there wasn’t a car on that highway going even close to that speed! As you can imagine that set me off and after I got all my things squared away in the box again I set off down the highway and didn’t speak on the radio for a good 50 miles or more.
Now I know he was just doing his job and I guess it was just my lucky day to meet the tax collector but Officer Dawson’s driving put more people in danger than it helped. His attitude was poor and the left lane statement was just plain stupid. At the moment I am waiting to for the ticket to clear the court system so that I can found out what my fine is and what to do next. One of the actions I will be taking is writing a nice letter to the GHP explaining the situation and informing them of his actions. (Off Soap Box)
Also, just want to note that my Facebook status for the day was: “Hell I got to go!” from the movie, Smokey and the Bandit…and I got a ticket from a
After that event it was pretty much clear sailing till we got to
Once the batteries were replaced and the bags sealed we made our way back to I-20 and headed west to
As we neared the river we picked up a fellow rider on a white Gold Wing. We noticed he was set up with a CB and Dad was able to communicate with him to bring him onto our channel. He was a local and was on his way home to
Just before the river Mike remembered something about the area and jumped off the highway. Turns out he really didn’t know where he was going but he figured they only made the roads so many ways around there and we would eventually find the river. Wont lie to you, this had me a bit upset as I was more concerned about the ride than I was seeing the river. However, we found our way onto a twisty road that was in the middle of some battle fields from the civil war. Along the way were some nice plantation style houses and several historical markers that explained the events in the area. We didn’t have time to stay, but it seemed very interesting and it was beautiful area. I will be back there in the future.
Looking at the GPS, I could see that we were getting close to the river and within a few minutes were pulling into a casino parking lot overlooking The Mighty Mississip’. I was the first to come over the radio and apologize to Mike for doubting him.
Since we had started the ride I had been thinking about the pictures I wanted to take at the river. Shots with the bike, myself, etc but when we got to the casino the parking lot I wanted to be in was restricted and blocked by a yellow guard rail of sorts. I rode the perimeter of this fence to find that it stopped next to a curb and a grassy hill. Yea, that wasn’t about to stop me. I hopped the curb, rode up the hill and around the pole and back down. Piece of cake.
Our next stop was in
The employees were very nice and extremely attentive though their speaking abilities left a bit to be desired. Again I found myself walking around with the grip of pistol exposed as I was not wearing my jacket. At one point one of the employees asked if we were under cover police as he pointed to my pistol. Dad and Mike could barely understand the guy and looked confused as I explained that I wasn’t and undercover cop. After explaining what had just happened, Mike suggested that I should have just put my finger over my lip and said, “shh.”
After dinner we set our sights on
Our last stop of the night was in
It was around 2am when the papers were signed and we got settled in for the night. We agreed to a start time of 8am or earlier which left us with about 4 hours of sleep. To keep myself from getting to comfortable I slept on the couch in the room rather than unfolding it to make the bed. It didn’t take long to fall asleep and apparently I slept well even though I woke before my 6am alarm went off.
I think we were on the road sometime around 7:30am after checking out of the hotel and getting gas. When I loaded my route into the GPS something wasn’t done right in Map source as none of my turns were showing up. All I had was a straight line to the final point of that route which was fuel stop in
We started off down 175 towards
Somewhere down 69 towards
While rolling down I-10 I kept noticing signs that had warnings for fog. These included the standard metal signs and the flashing DOT billboards. At first I thought the DOT sign was a sign test or someone had left the sign on since the morning rush. After all it was later afternoon with temps in the upper 70’s and a good breeze. Then we got towards the bays in
I guess it was around 2 or 3 am when we rolled into
After getting our photo and receipt we headed across the bridge into
Once the riders were off I made my way back into the hotel and knocked out for a few hours since Mike and Dad were now quiet as a mouse.
2000+ Miles in ~44 Hours.