My Iron Butt 5000 Rally

This is the blog that I started for friends and family to follow my Long Distance Riding preparation and competition in the inaugural Iron Butt 5000, a 5 day 5000 mile motorcycle rally. In May 2011, Mike Kneebone for the IBA announced there would not be an IB5000 in 2012, but instead that the IBA and Team Strange would be sponsoring the But Lite 6IX in 2012. So that makes this blog a bit of Long Distance History, so I've decided to leave it as it is for historical purposes. I will create other blogs as I have new adventures and rally competitions.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The First Time

To say it has been a long winter would be putting it mildly.  I've had projects and objectives for the Wing this winter which have taken some time, so the lack of riding hasn't been that bad.  But this weekend just looked like it was too good to pass up, so I had to take a short shake down ride for the new Aux Tank.  I thought I should try and see some areas of RI that I hadn't been to before.  I found some interesting references to the Scituate Reservoir and did a quick route plan in Mapsource to practice.  I found some interesting roads in Google Maps that didn't show up in Mapsource, which probably meant they were dirt or restricted access.  Either way it was worth a look and some practice finding weird locations would probably come in handy this June and August. 

I also talked Tom into the ride too, which really didn't take much convincing since he too was looking for an excuse to get the bike on the road.  We decided to meet at the reservoir and do the loop around together.  We arrived about 10 AM to be greeted by light traffic and ice free roads, sand was another thing but it is February after all. 
The loop was actually pretty short, and as I figured, the roads I saw in Google Maps were restricted access only as they all had locked gates.  Too bad since a few of them looked pretty good and would have taken us right down to the water's edge.  I guess since this reservoir serves Providence they don't want people going down to it for some reason. 
After a nice ride, we stopped at a Dunkin Donuts and decided that the day was still good and to head to CT for checking out some bikes and gear.

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We headed for the dealership formally known as Excalibur, but seems to be known now as only Motor Sports Nation.  On the way to the dealership I was finally down low enough in gas to try a transfer.  Since I had only a small amount of fuel in the aux tank I wasn't sure what to expect.  I flipped the valve on and within a minute the gas gauge started to go up!  What a cool thing, the first time I transferred fuel and filled my tank while riding.  When we pulled into the parking lot I checked the aux tank and it was entirely empty and there were no leaks, success!

Surprisingly, we were the only riders there, go figure, so we went in and checked out the inventory.  Pretty nice selection, they had quite a few GL1800s and a ton of sport bikes.  We asked a sales "kid" about the new VFR and he wasn't sure what a VFR was, so that wasn't exactly a good sign, oh well.  Upstairs was a nice selection of gear including the new Scorpion Flip Helmet.  I tried on the large and it was way too small, unfortunately they didn't have any other sizes.  About that time a young parts manager came over and started to ask as about our gear.  He was interested to hear what we thought about our riding pants as he was looking to stock up for the summer.  After a few minutes of talking we gave him some ideas and recommendations.  He then said to make sure to give him a call when we needed anything and he would beat all internet prices.  I told I would since I would need some tires and brakes this summer for my rides.  Tom and I took our separate ways home, and I swung into a gas station to top off both tanks for the first time.  I did notice the extra weight from the additional four gallons of fuel but soon was used to it by the time I pulled into my driveway.  It was a short ride, around 130 miles, but it proved out the first fuel transfer and first fuel fill up.  No leaks and no issues...a successful ride and awesome day.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Dang This Long Winter

Winter is firmly in place in New England and it has been long and cold.  I haven't had a proper ride in over a month so I'm not happy.  This gives me some additional time to check and finalize some details with my bike that I might have put off.  With that I decided to review and overhaul my First Aid Kit. You have an endless amount of options and approaches to a first aid kit, mine started out as a medium hiking kit that has grown with recommendations and experience.  Unfortunately, I have experienced the scene of several motorcyclist accidents over the years, from minor crashes with cuts and road rash to compound fractures and major head trauma.  It sucks to be in those situations, and in the extreme cases there is very little a first responder can do except stabilize and wait for emergency help.  My approach has been to have the basics covered with wound dressings and pain killers in the past.  My kit is fairly compact since my trips for the most part have been along the east coast, but the IB5000 is sure to be a bit more.  With the start in Denver I am sure to be covering some pretty remote, sparsely populated areas of the country so I decided to expand it.
I started with my original kit and added to it a large automotive kit and some additional supplies.  This is really a lot of stuff and is probably over kill.  I decided to go a bit larger than in the past, because there are a lot of unknowns for me on this trip.  I broke this super kit into 3 kits, one that will be on my person in my jacket, one that will be primarily a wound kit to grab and go to a scene, and one that will be wound and other medical issues.
Kit 1 is something new to me that I learned about from the LDRider list.  If I am hurt and unable to reach my bike I might need a way to signal, call attention at night and stay warm, so I put a whistle, an emergency blanket and a chemical light in a small bag that will go inside my jacket.  In addition, my cell phone will be in my jacket.

This is what I packed for cleaning and medicating minor wounds.  Gloves, antiseptic wipes, first aid creams and Q-Tips for applying them.  Note that I put everything in plastic bags to keep them dry.
This is what I packed for medicine.  It is a small supply of emergency pain killers and insect sting relief.  I carry this only for emergencies, so it is in a bag to grab and go.  Everything went in a plastic bag to waterproof it.
This is a shot of bandages, tape and wraps.  I split this up into the two kits and of course put everything in plastic bags and discarded the boxes.  
These are some basic tools to have, scissors, pen light and tweezers.

These are some extras, hiking boot laces always come in handy, water proof matches ensure being able to have fire and a small bottle of hand sanitizer for cleaning.

Here are the three kits, note that the orange chemical light is actually in my small bag on my person.
All packed up and ready to go.  The small red bag fits in several of my jacket pockets, the Large Red Bag is only bandages, matches, hiking boot laces, and sanitizer.  This bag goes into my left saddle bag.  The Black Bag is more bandages, plus the additional medical supplies as outlined above.  Right now it is in my trunk for quick access.  In reality, the Large Red bag could be consolidated into the black bag, and I may do it in the future.  I split them up to reduce the size and to have the two in different locations in case something happens to one of them.