Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Monday, August 30, 2010
- IB5000 Scores (click on Name)
- Author: Ira Agins 21-Aug-10
- IB5000 Finish!
- Author: Tom Austin 21-Aug-10
- 2010 IB5000 Day 5
- Author: Tom Austin 21-Aug-10
- 2010 IB5000 Day 4
- Author: Tom Austin 20-Aug-10
- IB5000 Leg 1 Scores (click on Name)
- Author: Ira Agins 18-Aug-10; yes, this is the one where I'm in last place :)
- 2010 IB5000 Day 3
- Author: Tom Austin 18-Aug-10
- 2010 IB5000 Day 2
- Author: Tom Austin 18-Aug-10; this is the one with the killer tire picture!
- 2010 IB5000 Day 1
- Author: Tom Austin 17-Aug-10
- 2010 IB5000 Day (minus) 1
- Author: Tom Austin 16-Aug-10
- 2010 IB5000 Day (minus) 2
- Author: Tom Austin 15-Aug-10
- 2010 IB5000 Day -3
- Author: Tom Austin 14-Aug-10
Saturday, August 21, 2010
Kirsten is making her way here and I think picked up another good bonus location early this morning. Riders start to get penalty points by 10:00 a.m. That's about 1.5 hours away. And we'll find out the overall results at this evening's banquet.
Will post some more pictures later. Stay tuned!
Friday, August 20, 2010
Ride is going well - seeing beautiful country. Had a huge rainstorm that flooded the streets in one state as she was going through town. Moving was ok, having to stop and put her foot in water that was over her tire rim was not fun. It's an RT, not a GS, but it's scrappy!
Here's to the miles between Day 4 and Day 5 finish Saturday morning. Keep sending those mental good vibes!
|Kirsten during her Coast to Coast to Coast IBA ride last year.|
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Check out the Leg 2 bonus choices on page 2! Considering Leg 1 covered the blank part on this map, this rally is giving riders the choice - let's say opportunity- to see the USA in 5 days. And Kirsten, back on the road, is doing just that. She's needs 9,200 points on this leg, and needs to make up 1,000 points from Leg 1 in order to finish the rally. For those who don't know, you can ride the whole rally, get to the end, and if you didn't get enough total points, you could still be listed as DNF- "did not finish." Kirsten's goal all along has been to finish this rally. With the number and location of the "OK" messages from her SpotTracker, I think she's on her way to that goal.
Thankfully you also get points for a mandatory rest break bonus!
If you read the IBA report, you'll see how the room cleared in a matter of minutes after handing out the Leg 2 locations. I gave some volunteer assistance to this year's Mason Dixon 20-20 Rally and experienced that room-clearing moment. It's very strange to go from the high excitement and anticipation level of all those riders, to the quiet click of the last coffee cup spinning on its saucer. The best part is at the final banquet when they all return and you hear how this one rally was really like 65 different rallies all rolled into one - because each rider rides their own ride.
Today's photo is of Kirsten and her ride when it was brand new. The RT is now a little more banged up and decorated, but still the seat that will bring her home.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Now that the crisis of Leg 1 is over, I can't really talk about her location or planned route - IBA regulations. I can say that she's doing well and seeing beautiful country. I got an "OK" message from her SpotTracker a little bit ago- which is so much nicer to receive than the "HELP" message. I suggest that you peruse the official IBA daily reports for your entertainment. Kirsten is featured in today's! Certainly not the standing or feature mention she was hoping for, but you'll be impressed with the photo. (And hopefully her skill at staying safe in spite of it all.) Day 2 IBA Report
Her mom, after viewing that photo, sent me this one, saying perhaps it captured the spirit of the RT's experience over the past couple days.
I should remind Kirsten to pack the shopping cart and hand truck next time......
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
I know that she'll post more (and photos - "you won't believe it when you see this tire") after the rally. But I MUST thank several people. The two guys who were on a hay run, saw her on the side of the road and helped her pick up the bike and gave her the name of a tow company. The tow truck driver who got both rider and bike back into Casper and then told the receptionist at the hotel, "This young lady just got this bike to the side of the road with no front tire and didn't drop it! That's impressive!" Bill from Canada pretty much orchestrated the rescue mission I understand. (If you're in SC this weekend, I'm SO giving you a hug!) The BMW dealer took a full front wheel assembly off a used RT, put together tools and instructions, and gave it to an IBA volunteer. He then strapped it all on his Goldwing and made the 4-hour one-way trip up to Casper so they could change her tire. The folks at the motorsports shop in Casper, I'm sure helped in this. And a HUGE Motor Maid thank you to Ruth and Mary who were in Casper and gave Kirsten a cool living room couch and company to await the arrival of her tire saviour. And on the homefront all our FB and rider board friends who posted ideas and support. To all of you and all the others I don't even know - I thank you... and Kirsten's mom thanks you! It's hard to be half a country away when all this is happening.
And this was just Leg 1. Imagine the full 11 day Iron Butt Rally.
Before I close today, I want to give you the post I wanted to blog yesterday. In the midst of traveling, preparation, attending the IBA conference and everything else, Kirsten found time to send me this yesterday!
Monday, August 16, 2010
If you are in the area of Casper, WY and have an idea, or can assist, give her a call directly if you have her number. Otherwise, if you're on FB, send me a personal message - Jennifer Talken-Spaulding. Don't think there's a good way to share personal numbers securely through this blog.
Good news - she's fine. Bummer - she was doing great in the ride so far and this is a real set back. She's still hoping to get a new tire and get back on the road tonight so she can try and salvage Leg 1 and get back to Denver on time.
|Ryan, me, Mr. Happy, Brad, and Javier|
|"Mr. Happy, look up at me!"|
Saturday, August 14, 2010
Official IBA daily report #1 of the 2010 Iron Butt 5000 (pdf file format)
Soon I will be knee deep in the rally and will hand over the keyboard to Jennifer. If it turns out that she is not able to post during the rally, we'll try to provide links to the official IBA daily reports. And hopefully I can give a ride report after the finish.
Thursday, August 12, 2010
With nothing better to do but kill time on my way to Denver, I thought, "Why not? This could be fun."
Slowly we approached the stoic looking rodent. I wondered if we should make some kind of plaintive gesture to ensure the creature knew we meant no harm, but one never quite knows when they haven't seen an episode explaining the intricacies of giant prairie dog behaviour on the Discovery channel.
|Mr. Happy & P-dog|
But this was not MH's first adventure. It started in Olathe, KS when I stopped at the mothership for all Garmin GPS units. But that's a story for another post.
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Meet Mr. Happy
Yes, if you've never been a consumer of Aerostich stuff you might not know him, but he gets around and knows how to travel long distances. So, I'll be sharing my ride reports with him.
As a bit of a teaser, let me leave you with this. Going across Kansas Mr. Happy started to yell at me to stop and turn around. Now mind you, we were travelling at highway speeds on a simple two-lane road, but thankfully there was no one behind us... actually there was no one anywhere to be seen. What could MH be yelling about.
"I want to meet him."
What? "Who are you talking about," I asked.
Sunday, August 8, 2010
With a bit of timing luck, I'll get some nice shots as I travel across country.
Check out the "Ride to IBA" SPOT tracker --->
to see where I am throughout my trip to Denver, CO.
Thursday, August 5, 2010
So, here's the good news:
* Regardless, you'll still be able to follow the "real time" feeds of my travels to/from the start/finish
* I should be able to post the tracker map after the event so you can see my completed (oh please, let me be a finisher at least) ride of the IB5k.
I'm back on the '07 F800ST (shameless plug, it's for sale) today for my commute. Why? Because momma's gettin' a new pair of shoes, fresh Michelin Pilot Road 2 tires. Plus, I made the appointment for the 42,000 mile service once I return! Yeah Morton's BMW :)
Friday, Saturday, & Sunday will be packing. The zumo was updated with the latest maps last night. Things are clicking along.
Monday, August 2, 2010
This weekend included drilling out a water cooler to add a drinking hose. It takes a fraction of the time to fill and will keep me from wearing anything on my back (good safety improvement). While that means I won't be able to blow air into a camelbak, arch my back, and squeeze the bite valve to send a stream of water down my back, I won't be leaving myself to roast. As I did for the 100CCC, I'll strap a cooler onto the passenger seat where I can have V-8 juices iced and at my fingertips. The newly drilled hydration system will also fit so it'll have ice on the inside and out. Then, I can dip my hand into the icy water and then pat myself down to get a little Iron Butt AC going on the bike :)
One thing that will be missing is an auxiliary fuel cell. I got focused on other things to get "the" system I wanted so now I'll just have to go without. Not a killer, but here's what I'll have to add to the mix when I'm routing. A lot of folks say, "Don't worry. You won't really ride 250 miles without stopping anyway." While that may be true (and more often it's not), the real issue is not being able to find a station when it's needed. At ~50mph I can stretch out my fuel to go 300 or so miles. If I'm out west somewhere or in western Canada and am able to actually tank-up at 10pm... (quick bit of math: 300 miles/50 mph = 6 hours) will I be able to find a station open at 4am or even before in order to top up and keep going? So, my routing will need to take into account even more when I'll need fuel, if there are stations there, and if the station will be open when I need it. It's all part of being in rally mode.
Those who followed along on the 100CCC ride will recall the stellar job Jennifer did posting trip reports. I'm hoping to be able to check in with her to share stories along the way, but know that it might not be possible. So, here are a few things to look for.
I've already set-up my tracker pages >>> just over there on the right of the page. Until I start traveling that portion of the ride, you'll get a message that there are no posts if you click the link. That's normal - it's not broken. Also, the association usually does write-ups daily during the rally. I'm guessing they'll be doing them this time and posted on the Iron Butt Rally website, but I'll try to post any updated information I receive on following the event. While I don't expect to see my rookie name anywhere in them (and I don't want it to be listed for all the wrong reasons), it is great reading and I highly recommend it to anyone who's interested in this kind of insanity. The past year's rally reports were listed as required reading for the IB5k.
Finally, I'm compiling a list of folks I can call while on the road. During the 100CCC it was great knowing that Richard was working night shift and I could call him at all hours. And I did, just to hear a friendly voice and to be reminded that I can do it. Sage advice, a listening ear, that kind of stuff is important. So, if you are someone who'd like to be on the call list, drop me a note. Assistance with the rally is prohibited, but me calling to whine, cry, or cuss is not! Since this is an open blog, please don't leave any phone numbers in the comment section. If you think I've got your email, I'll contact you off-blog to get call information and times you're available. If you know I don't have anyway to contact you, please go to my facebook site and send me a fb message with the info.
Thanks for being there and thanks for being a part of my preparations. The wait is almost over!
August 9: Leave for Denver, CO
August 11-14: IBA National Meet
August 15: Iron Butt 5000 Rally check-in and tech inspection
August 16: Inaugural Iron Butt 5000
August 21: Final Check-in, Spartanburg, SCAugust 22; Head home :)
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Monday, June 14, 2010
With Jennifer's reminder not to "take off" at the start and risk burn-out, I tried to find someone who was running at a pace that was comfortable, but not too comfortable. The first time I looked at my watch was less then five minutes into the race. Not good. How could I keep it up if I was already "feeling the run" before I even passed the 1 mile mark?! By the time I did pass the little white sign on the side of the road, I still hadn't found anyone to pace. A quick look at my wristwatch showed just over 9 minutes (~ 6.6mph). Compared to the slightly higher than 11 minute per mile pace (~ 5.5mph) of our April race, this was really good, but could I keep it up already feeling stressed the way I did? Was I going too fast? Was I going to "give up" and walk? The mental gymnastics had begun.
I knew this is where the “mental rubber” was going to hit the road. For the next mile I kept talking myself out of questioning my success. "Just reduce your pace when you feel like walking" I told myself. Despite walking being a good tactic to recover during longer runs, because I've jogged a full 3 miles before I knew, if I walked, I'd be admitting defeat to myself. At the water station between miles one and two volunteers struggled to provide water to runners in the brutally humid morning. I could only manage two sips while running. I poured the reminder of the cup on me in hopes of giving some cool relief. In dryer climates it would have been great, but in the high humidity I was now running with a heavy, soggy shirt.
At mile marker two I glanced at my watch. As predicted my pace was slower. Slower but still going, that’s what I reminded myself. Despite my head requesting that my body walk some, my legs didn’t get the message and I just kept going. My new mantra now became, “Where the heck was the 3km marker? I must have missed it.” This was wrong on two points. I needed to just continue my pace until I could see the end and put everything I had left in the tank into the final yards and… the markers were ticking off the miles and not kilometers. This last bit would come back to mentally bite me badly. By this point I had long given up trying to find anyone to pace. For the past while there was a runner just behind me who sounded like every step was a major effort. The sound of groaning and coughing had me wondering what I was doing.
Rounding the corner I looked down the street to see Jennifer. She stood up and began clapping. A wash of emotions came over me and I just wanted to stop and in fact I slowed to take five steps. Looking over her right shoulder Jennifer shouted and pointed at the right-hand turn in the road, “This is the last corner, you’re almost there.” I gasped back in despair, “It’s all up hill!” In my mind, I still needed to run up the grade we’d all come down at the beginning of the race. Despite Jennifer’s contradiction that it was all down hill, I rounded the corner thinking she’d lied… no, seriously, that’s where my head was… and then I saw the little white marker with the number 3. The two runners just ahead of me looked back and smiled as I let loose a rather colorful expletive, you know the one I mean. Remember, I thought the markers were for kilometers and not miles, so in my mind I hadn’t missed the 3 km marker and now I knew I had a LONG way to go (hence the expletive).
Time for mental toughness and to show my mettle. Instead of rising to the call I began to walk, feeling defeated. But after just three steps I started to think more clearly. Why would Jennifer lie to me? Do I really WANT to give up? No, I could do this. Now a new question came to me, what were all those people doing lining the race route? Grey matter reengaged I deduced my error and realized I really had less then a tenth of a mile to go. Did I have ANYTHING left in the tank? Could I push when I didn’t think I had anything left? YES! Arms pumping, legs kicking I gave everything. The volunteer braced when I warned her that I would need to hold onto her bucket to lean over to take off the race-timing chip from my right ankle. I had done it and had no idea what my time was because, for once, I forgot to look at my watch. Instead I was looking for a place to collapse. But I didn’t even give into my weariness. I had learned a lesson today.
Official Notice of Race Results:
"Congratulations Kirsten you finished the SPCA Rescue Run 5 km on June 13, 2010 with a time of 00:29:42. You placed 213 of 476 runners, 92 of 287 Female runners and 14 of 48 in the Women's 40-44 division" – to all the runners out there, I know this isn’t anything special, but I also know this is a personal best for me. I had hoped to run at least at 6 mph (10 minute/mile) and I did even better!
Thursday, May 27, 2010
The riders, many Iron Butt 5000 Rally entrants, are all hoping to test out their routing prowess and perhaps place well in the pack.
I'm waffling between just wanting to have fun on a challenging ride and really putting it out there to see if I can make the top five. Last year I just rode, enjoying a spirited ride that ended up placing me rather well. Crazy part was, I had NO idea that my route was a good one until it was all over... and even then Jennifer and I kept looking at each other as the Rally Master failed to call my name early on. Fast forward and here I am again, looking at my route and wondering just how I rate in comparison to my companions. There is certainly an air of expectation as many are no doubt wanting to show they have what it takes for the IB5k. We shall see.
What changes have I made to the motorcycle since the 100CCC last fall? Not much really. I deleted the XMP3 satellite radio (it was raining most of that ride so I wasn't using it anyway) and add a used Garmin Zumo 550 with GXM30 antenna, integrated my GPS system and XM radio. I also upgraded my cell phone to a Droid Eris, giving me quick connectivity. Riding gear is staying pretty much the same. Tonight I pack after I pick up the bike from its 36k service this evening.... yeah, I know, you're not suppose to do any major services before big rides. It just worked out that way.
If I've set it up correctly, you can follow along with the ride via my SPOT tracker page. The ride will begin before dawn Saturday and end (if I make it before the penalty points start) at 2pm on Sunday. Please follow along and leave messages. I'll ask Jennifer to keep an eye on the page too (perhaps she might even add to it). And, even if you don't post, please keep me in your thoughts. I really love to do these rides and part of that is being cognizant of the stresses it puts on me and my family.
~~~ More Later ~~~
Thursday, March 11, 2010
The first thousand miles were gone in a week and included a bit of traveling locally. Yes, when I picked up the R1200RT I scheduled the 600 mile start-up service for that weekend :) Next, I had the great pleasure of once again competing in the Mason Dixon 20-20 endurance rally. I still remember the look on the volunteer's face when I went to complete the odometer check before the rally. I don't know that I had the lowest mileage bike in the event, but it had to be close. Beautiful mountain roads in West Virginia (Rt. 50) at 2:00 am included a few deer, light rain and mist rising off the tarmac, and a Bubba in a pick-up truck. And the goal? In part it was to get back to where I'd been less than 24-hours before, but more so, to get safely back to Jennifer waiting at the finish line. In a bit over a month I was at the shop to schedule my first 6k service.
Since then the motorcycle and I have traveled to Canada, been to the top of Mount Washington, sat with family in Michigan to watched the Woodward Cruise, and then we did a little jaunt across country (check the September 2009 archives for more on the 100CCC).
It is in no small part fitting that I rolled the last few miles of my "30,000 or 3 year" warranty out on my way to the Iron Butt Association's Florida "Pizza Party" for 2010... with the man who sold me the bike. It is the people and the places we share on our travels that are the milestones, that make up the cathedrals of our lives.
This is what I will try to remember as I compete in the Iron Butt 5000 Rally this August. But tonight, I'll get home late after a quick ride home from the city, park the motorcycle, put a leash on the dog, and got for another late-night jog for a few miles without wheels.
Saturday, March 6, 2010
But it's time to put some of my IB5k preparation training to the test. The quick down and back to Florida (700 miles each way) confirmed I haven't lost the ability to, "sit there and twist that" for hours on end. Tomorrow Jennifer and I see how our seven weeks of training for our first ever race pans out. Less than two months ago neither one of us felt like we could jog more than a minute... and even then we were out of breath. We're up to 2 and a half miles at a time. So, with a bit of quick stepping in the middle to cool down, we're shooting to finish the race in about an hour.
Yep, tomorrow morning we start the 8k (~5 miles for all those folks who don't remember their metric schooling from back in the 1970's). I just received my replacement SPOT tracker, so I'm going to see if we can get it up and you can follow along. And no, you do not have to get up and run along with us at 8:00 tomorrow morning. I'll post the map if this works. But if you do want to check it out before I get it posted, link to http://jasonjonas.org/spot/tripViewer.do?id=4184
Wish us luck, and legs that won't quit!
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
As I stare out my window at the birds flying like crazy and the gray sky getting more moisture laden, it seems that snowpocalypse is just getting bigger. By the look of the roads yesterday during my jog, I won't be on two wheels for a while longer. Took this video as it began to snow on Friday, February 5th, before I knew we'd get another blast today!