Friday, September 18, 2009

And the winner is....

the Kids !!!

You all are amazing. I just worked up my donation totals and you were so generous. Figuring I rode over 4,700 miles between Florida and California, the donation is over 10 cents a mile. Quick math will tell you... $500 even is the grand total.

And here's another ride story for you. So we all dribble in Saturday evening. Tony (the other 100CCC rider) and I come in within about 15 minutes of each other, but about two hours before any other riders. Eventually we all get to the hotel and begin doing our ride paperwork. I’ve got a bunch of receipts and forms for four different rides (100CCC, 50CC, Bun Burner 1500, and Bun Burner Gold) so I go up to the front desk to borrow the stapler. A woman checking in asks if I was on the ride too (I'm thinkin' the stink and road grim on the one-piece riding suit might have given me away). Before I can answer, one of the other riders declares that I did not just ride, but spanked everyone while riding twice as much as everyone else. At this point, I'm blushing, but also grinning at the generous words of my fellow riders. After finding out that the woman checking in is a new rider, we talk a bit and the inevitable question comes up, "why?" One thing I've learned, some folks will get the idea of the challenge and experience, but others will not. For those folks, I've found that telling them that it's for charity helps it make sense for them.

After saying our good nights and heading our separate ways, the woman literally turns around and comes halfway back down the hall. "Can you take a check?" Heck yeah! And the next thing I know I'm adding another amount to the donation total. Folks from both coasts donated to the kids. I cannot tell you how proud I was to have you all riding along with me. What an honor.

More ride stories to come (like how I ran out of gas ... twice) and pictures too. So, don't go too far away.

Cheers everyone :)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Like a Mule to the Barn

She's home! An hour and 15 minutes early.... pulled in the driveway at 5:45 p.m. Guess she got the scent of home. What do women who wait do? Cook of course! Kirsten's mom and I have been prepping and cooking this afternoon - Thai chicken spring rolls for dinner, and for desert, her mom has made not one or two, but THREE kuchen (German cakes - butter, plum and apple).

So Kirsten is hooking up the camera to the TV so we can see the shots she took while riding. Promise to post more later. But for now, this is your proxy-blogger signing off. Thanks for reading. It's been fun!


Sunday Morning and a New Name

Today is the first morning in 4 days that Kirsten hasn't seen the sunrise from behind the handlebars! Slept in today! On the road at 7:30 a.m., heading out of Jacksonville in a light drizzle. More rain is predicted through Georgia, but then, sun and in the 80's as she heads north to Virginia. As we were talking (9:50 a.m.) she rolled past the welcome sign for South Carolina, now at mile marker 1! ETA for home tonight is between 7-8 p.m. Her mom and I will be waiting with dinner ready.

Kirsten wanted me ask you all for some advice. She needs to name the bike. What is the perfect name for this bike that has taken all she's thrown at it and carried through like a champ? Post your ideas in the comments. It's a blue and silver (yes - one might say Motor Maid blue!) BMW 1200 RT...which gave her a reminder light this morning that it needs service in about 400 miles. Hmmm, it just had it's service a week ago Saturday. But you know, there's been one or two miles under the tires since then.....

Saturday, September 12, 2009

There and Back Again

Kirsten arrived back at the beginning about 20 minutes ago. Thanks Sue for sending the photo! Thus completes over 4300 miles in 93 hours. Add that to the 1400 miles between home (tomorrow's ride) and FL, and you've got one heck of a ride in 7 days. I promise I'll keep posting until she walks in the door. :)


At 3:00 she was 210 miles out of Jacksonville at her last gas stop. Wringing out gloves and saying hello to friends here at the house as I passed the phone around. You folks meeting up with her in a little bit - give her a big hug for us! (And bring a towel, she's dripping.)

:) Jennifer


12:30 eastern time - Kirsten is in Pensacola. About 360 miles out of the Jacksonville. Plans to arrive between 6-6:30 p.m. She has one more gas stop (not sure if she'll call at that point), and then will pull her soggy self into the Shell! She's decided that she's definitely a mariner - nothing's dry and her joints are achin' like an old sea dog. First order of business - Alleve!

A Fresh Pair of Socks Makes All the Difference

First off - Kirsten says THANK YOU to everyone who has been reading, re-posting, leaving messages and commenting. It has been so good for her to know you're out there! Secondly, she notes that a fresh pair of socks, after 1500 miles in the rain, is like a new lease on life. The weather band radio occasionally would put out an alert through the evening saying "mariners and motorists should take cover." Not sure which she was at that point. BMW should make pontoons as an accessory for the RT!

At 7 a.m. Eastern time she was in Baton Rouge, LA, about 700 miles outside of Jacksonville. She rode through the night, stopping for a rest here and there, and then ended up leap-frogging with another rider. At about midnight, they pulled off and she found out most of the group was at the Motel 6, so she decided to go ahead and stop for a few hours too. I think this was a good decision because apparently she had been having conversations with the bite valve of the Camelback, which had started to look like a little mouth and said things like, "hey, why don't you have a drink of water?"

For those tracking the arrival in Florida, it will probably be early evening, between 5-8 p.m. Her 100 hour limit for the overall trip is 1 a.m. this morning, but I know she doesn't want to come in that late. The arrival point is the same gas station as she departed: Shell at 1539 Third Street South, Jacksonville Beach, FL 32250. For the GPS-watchers: N 30' 16.431 and W 081' 23.327

And yes - she knows she made the Butt Burner Gold - 1500 miles in less than 24 hours. She just hopes that the receipts will hold up. When she finally stopped for the time stamp, she just got into the station and all the power went out. And she wasn't able to get a witness, but did get a receipt. I told her she has a pile of e-witnesses who have been following along!

So - she's in the 7th inning stretch! I'll update later this afternoon when she's in the panhandle!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Butt Burner Gold

If you read Larry's last comment, you'll note that Kirsten passed through San Antonio and kept right on headin' for eastern Texas. Sorry Larry! She got a scolding for not stopping, but she assured me she slept for an hour on a picnic table somewhere in New Mexico. The reason for the push - to get her time stamp receipt at the correct hour to make a Butt Burner Gold! A ride within a ride....

Then, a hotel room to dry out and warm up. The Weather Channel shows crappy weather across the south, and Kirsten confirms. She's soaking wet, couldn't get her dry left glove on despite lots of cussing, and hydroplaned the rear tire for a little bit. Head up, eyes straight, and keep a constant speed. And thank goodness for the new tires!

For those of you awaiting an ETA in Florida - she will call me first thing in the morning and I'll make a post. Sue, I'll pass on your number. Jan, thanks for the call tonight. Richard, thanks for talking her through the evening hours. What a team we all make! :)

Oh - and her mom is here for the weekend. So she got an encouraging motherly word as well, now 3/4 of the way through this trip.

New Mexico Morning

7:07 a.m. Morning call from Kirsten as she rolled into New Mexico. Had a good start last night and rode a good bit of the way with several of the other riders before splitting off to go at their own paces. The shadows in the night were not desert mirages, but saguro along the road. Very cool! Ok, actually hot - 99 degrees and a blinding sand storm whipped up just to keep you humble. Gerbings not required.

I read her some of your comments this morning - thanks for posting! Sue - she'll give you a call sometime tomorrow morning when she'll know what the entry time to Florida is looking like. It would be great if the timing worked out. Larry - she's back on her way to you. Feels a little ping pong like!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

California Dreamin'

Noon, Eastern time - Kirsten arrived in San Diego, completing the 50 CC in 39 hours!! Bought $3.69 worth of gas to time out her ride (get it- multiples of three to go with her 39 hours.... really how does her brain work?) and checked in with Hoagy and others. Then off to sleep and then a real meal.

There's a few more folks planning to ride the 50 CC from San Diego to Jacksonville. Kickstands up tonight at 8:00 p.m. California time. And then (insert audio clip I couldn't figure out how to load - I'll be working my way back to you babe!).

Keep those positive vibes flowing!

From the Cockpit

View from the cockpit this morning (3:30 a.m. where she is, 6:30 east coast): joshua trees, desert boulders, a shooting star, and lots of lightning. She's about 80 miles outside of Phoenix, and less than 400 from San Diego. Seems like a really small number now to the half-way point! Started out Monday night at 15,999 on her odometer, now rolling over 18,000 (on this 4 month old bike that's just getting started!). Took a break last night for an hour or so and is looking forward to some sleep to reset the clock for the trip back. Thanks to Leslie and waiting friends in CA! She'll probably roll in around 10-noon CA time.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Water Cooler Reactions

At work today, I had the opportunity to talk to several of our mutual friends and colleagues about this ride. Gave them the blogspot, so WELCOME if you're checking in for the first time. For some smiles, here are the top ten water cooler reactions (and don't think I, and our family, haven't said similar at one time or another!):

10. "She's going from where to where?"
9. "Why?"
8. "Is this one of those Iron Butt things?"
7. "How many points does she have to get?"
6. "Oh it's for charity, ok."
5. "Is she on a bike, or a motorcycle?"
4. "Why?"
3. "But how is she sleeping?"
2. "Tell her - 3 cheers for you girl, but you're loopy!"
1. "Once she gets back to Florida, how is she getting the bike back home?"

9:20 p.m. - Kirsten rode her way out of "one of the scariest storms I've ever ridden through." Black cloud bigger than some East coast states, temperature dropped 30 degrees so fast her face shield instantly fogged up, and it was pitch black, but light as day for the lightening. But, her shield of protection (and those balls from Richard) helped bring her through! Currently about 150 miles to the Texas/NM border and will probably be in San Diego between 10-1 tomorrow (east coast time).

Honorable Mention

6:30 a.m. - Call from Kirsten as she's driving over the long bridge in Louisiana. Rode with Tony most of the night, until about 2 or 3 a.m. when some of Alabama's finest wanted to talk. She was going a smidge over in a construction zone, but only received honorable mention. Whew! Looks like she might be in Texas by about 2-ish this afternoon.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

I Feel Like Frodo

9: 05 p.m. and Kirsten just called to say she's putting on her helmet and getting ready to take off. The GPS futzed out at first and she said, "I feel like Frodo asking at the gate, which way to Mordor?" Um, left. Luckily, Mrs. Pennyworth (aka GPS lady) didn't desert her and popped back on. Quick call, and she's really on her way.

I must send a big thank you to Calvin who fed her dinner tonight with family and friends. Thanks for sending her off with some nourishment before the next several days of dried fruit, fiber bars and beef jerky! Also thanks to the several people who came by to see the 100 CCC riders off tonight. Nice to be off with a wave. She really appreciates all you who have been following the blog and reposting. Gives her more wind for her sails!
You'll notice a small yellow rubber ducky in the photo of the bike this afternoon, packed and ready. This is the pirate duck who traveled with her last year on her first organized long distance ride - the Mason Dixon 20-20. He's tagging along this ride too - always good to have an extra set of bills...ah, eyes.
Thunderstorms predicted for the south tonight, so dream happy, clear sky dreams while Kirsten makes her way to her first stop... Texas.

Indecent proposal... what, already?

Okay, for all you folks hanging on to hear the latest, you’re wait is over.

This morning included a rather fruitless call to a local dealership who was listed as an Arai dealer to see if they had a clear shield for me. After I repeated to the sales gal for the third time that the helmet is made by Arai and she responded with, “Well, we sell Harley helmets. Do you know if Arai makes them?” I chose to end the call and saddle up for Daytona.

Here’s my shout out to the folks at Cycle Gear in Daytona (thanks for your help Kelly). They hooked me up with a new clear shield and a rain suit.

All you people giving me stink-eye thinking I didn’t bring a rain suit, just stop it! I brought one, but I figured one that didn’t have duct tape on it might be better :)

Jennifer was sorry I had to drive all the way to Daytona for the shield, but I explained that if I hadn’t made the 180 mile journey, I would have missed my opportunity to be propositioned at Florida highway speeds.

Riders will recognize this roadway behavior right away. You pass someone and in a matter of miles they pass you slowly or pull up and ride along for a moment. So, I casually looked over at the truck and the two men inside and returned their wave. Miles, more miles, and we continue to trade spaces. Next time the passenger had his window down and he was signaling me with his cell phone and then pointed to his buddy. “Do I know these guys?” I wondered. I’ve had the great pleasure of meeting folks all over the country, it’s possible, but they didn’t look familiar. So I give them the “wait a minute” signal and pull into the second lane. They pulled into the slow lane and pulled beside me, the driver with his window down this time. He signaled with his cell phone again and mouthed, “What’s your number?” and “Let’s talk.” Ah, now I know I don’t know them. Both of the guys were smiling like idiots and I couldn’t help but smile myself. I shook my head and then the driver held up his left hand and pointed to his naked ring finger mouthing, “I’m not married.” I promptly responded by pointing to myself and nodding. Looking a bit dejected the driver and passenger threw up their hands, smiled even more broadly, and pulled ahead. I’m guessing somewhere along the passing back and forth the guys in the truck figured out I’m a girl, ‘cause Florida isn’t known for being too gay friendly… thanks Anita. But then, Jennifer might have wished that I met up with the guys. The truck was pulling a beautiful boat and I’m not talking about no bass boat.

Okay, I’m back in Jacksonville and the bike is packed. I’m off to dinner soon and will not be posting until… well, hopefully when I get back to Jacksonville after a successful run. There’s one other rider trying to make the CCC100. He just did his first SaddleSore last month and is on a bunch of new equipment on a new to him FJR. Please add Tony to your well wishes list. We’ll both need it :)

Cheers y’all!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Stories of the road to Florida

Hi Everyone – Kirsten here.

After leaving Virginia a little before 8:30 pm, I was just past Richmond when the GPS gave me my next marching orders, “Travel 562 miles and exit right” – easy enough. It wasn't until somewhere in North Carolina that the Sandman tried to mess up my plans. So what does any reasonable person do? They head for the Iron Butt Motel.

I took the next exit and began looking for a likely spot to rest as Mrs. Pennyworth (the voice of my GPS) repeated over and over, “Off route, recalculating.” Have you ever noticed how things look different in the wee hours of the day? The houses were all dark, but I didn’t want to just pull into anyone’s driveway. So, I found a place that looked abandoned and pulled into the sand and gravel lot. I put down my kickstand and turned off everything but the GPS (I use it to keep track of my average MPH to help me keep on pace). I then cracked my face shield and leaned forward to rest on the tank bag. For those not familiar with long-distance riding, this might sound uncomfortable, but think about when you’re on a plane. You put the dropdown tray in the lowered position and then lean forward to rest your head. Well, the bike is much more comfortable then that.

There were the usual night noises, or so I guessed. With the helmet and earplugs in I couldn’t hear much. Despite having done this a number of times, I found myself popping up like a hedgehog to look around. However, I did get the needed rest and was back on the road headed south. The rest break scenario was repeated one more time in Georgia before I crossed into Florida at 6:30 this morning. By 7:30 am I was rolling into the hotel parking lot.
“Good morning. Can I help you?” asked the front desk clerk.
“Yes, thank you. I have a reservation for this evening, but I’m a little early.” (Understatement?)
She didn’t say another thing besides confirming my reservation before asking, “Do you mind a second floor room?”
“Not at all,” I answered.
“Then we have a room ready for you.”
Hotdog! After a quick call to Jennifer to let her know I’m here and safe it was time to sleep.

Last night’s ride confirmed the advice I’ve received to take it one mile at a time. It also confirmed that I need a new clear faceshield. Unfortunately, my home shop didn’t have one and the shops open today didn’t either. But, it sounds like I’ve found one that I can get tomorrow. I hope to find one closer though. I’d rather not drive an extra 180 miles the morning before I head for California.

Got a call from Calvin “no socks” from the board. Tomorrow night he's hosting a dinner before I head out. This is going to be nice.

I’ve been getting requests to repost the departure information for folks who want to send me on my way. We leave tomorrow evening at 9 pm. I plan to be at the Shell gas station at 1539 3rd Street South, Jacksonville, FL 32250 at about 8:30 pm.

Thanks for all the notes and comments – I am very lucky to have such great folks around me!

And you all should help Jennifer. She took a video of my departure and tried to post it, but couldn’t get it to go. I think she just needed to let it sit for a while (one time it took over an hour to upload).

More later…..

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Confucius say...she's on her way!

Jennifer, proxy-blogger here. Well - Kirsten rolled out of the driveway about an hour ago (8:23 p.m.) on her way to Florida. We had a nice dinner at our favorite Chinese restaurant, during which she informed me that my blogs must be witty and fun. So I turn to the age-old wisdom of... our fortune cookies! Tonight, in honor of the ride, we add "on the bike" to our cookie-isms. Hers: "You have a deep appreciation of the arts and music, on the bike."
Mine: "He who hurries cannot walk with dignity, on the bike."

So- I guess this means that her XM radio and multiple hours of audio books (The Hobbit, NPR's pet driveway moments, John Grisham novel...) will keep her entertained and focused during those many miles. And that I may not always be quick with my proxy-posts, but I will be dignified.

On a personal note - thanks to everyone who is looking out for her on this ride. You all in Florida, Texas, California.... it's a blessing to know there are angels along the way. I packed her some homemade peanut butter cookies this afternoon, but really, those will only go so far.

And that's the news on this eve of the 100 CCC. Stay tuned.....

Are you one of my co-riders?

I wanted to give a shout out to all those folks who I'll be sharing my miles with... thanks for the pledges/donations for the kids. Some of the 6,000 plus miles I'll be riding will be done in your honor :)





Newest co-riders: Ellen, Jan, and Sandy! Thanks!

It's not to late to join in too. I'll be able to accept donations until I have to turn them in on the 18th.

Cheers everyone!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Gauntlet thrown?!

New rubber and fresh oil ... the bike is ready to go. Now it's just up to the mental preparation.

While at Morton's BMW I ran into Paul Taylor (2003 Iron Butt Rally champion). He asked how I planned to run the 100CCC. I must be a bit slow, 'cause it took me a second to realize he was asking me how many hours I plan to take to ride from FL to CA. When I paused, Paul suggested 35 or 36 hours. Um, WHAT?! Not wanting to look too off, I said I was planning on a more leisurely ride and would shoot for 40 some odd hours. At that Paul gave me, dare I say, a bit of an evil smile. "You know, so-in-so rode it in 36 hours. If you take more than 36 hours, you're a wimp!"

Okay, I'm mentally set now too. No WAY am I shooting for 36 hours - it's a sucker bet :)
Nice try Paul.

Leaving Sunday evening headed to the start in Jacksonville, FL.