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It was a worrying time – I had heard nothing for about 30 hours. I knew Jan was planning to try to do the thousand miles needed to qualify for the Iron Butt Association, but he hadn’t actually told me he would start the attempt from as far east as he was. I had hoped he would wait until the comparatively emptier roads out west. Also, the weather was bad in the midwest. Fires are raging in areas of Colorado and there were severe thunderstorms over much of the region further east.

It was a relief to get home from work and see the answerphone flashing. Jan was in a place called Wamsutter, Wyoming and it was 0500 hours. So he had been on the road for more than 24 hours and passed the 1000 miles needed, but the first three towns after that he passed through – Laramie, Rawlins and Wamsutter didn’t have a motel with a vacancy. So he had no alternative but to keep going. Finally, he found a motel in Rock Springs. He is close to the border of Utah now.

Shortly after the I heard his message, he came online on Skype. He was exhausted, obviously, but couldn’t go straight to bed because his head was buzzing with all the coffee he had drunk to help him stay awake.

‘dunno if it’s all the coffee or the cold trip and the coffee but I am buzzing all over; sounds like loads o birds twittering away in my ears’

Over the whole period, he had only stopped to fill up, grab a coffee or two and a Snickers bar to raise his blood sugar.

[14/06/2013 17:01:26] Not eating a burger or the like en-route; hunger stops you feeling tired. Also it was cold as soon as the sun went down, so no warm balmy night to doze off while riding

The rain gear is crap – no good for a bike; the lining just shakes out. Also  the seams where the reflective tape is sewn lets water in.

He had left his 6-year-old bike waterproofs behind after buying a bright yellow, highly reflective set off E-Bay.

Another problem was his helmet:

[14/06/2013 17:14:11] Yes, that’s one thing. If I see a scarf somewhere, I will have to get one or find something to use as one, cos the cut of that helmet seems to draw the wind around my neck. SO YOU HUNCH UP WHILE RIDING AND IT HURTS LATER WHEN YOU DROP YOUR SHOULDERS TO NORMAL POSITION. ALMOST LIKE PINCHING A NERVE

A starling flew into his helmet – because he is still tired, I can’t seem to get an answer to my questions on that; ‘Did it splatter?’

But he did say he isn’t doing it again:

[14/06/2013 17:17:23] I DON’T THINK I WILL BE DOING THE SAME ON THE WAY BACK THOUGH; BE MORE OF A SEDATE PACE
[14/06/2013 17:17:45] Christine: I should bloody think so! You are my hero – no need to end up my dead hero – you’ve done it now!

I expected Jan would sleep for a solid 24 hours, but no:

ITS 1451. HERE I SLEPT FOR A GOOD 2 HRS, THEN THE WIND WOKE ME UP
SUNNY DAY BUT SOME HOWLING WIND OUT THERE NOW N AGAIN
BUT I AM GOING TO STROLL AROUND THE TOWN & SEE  IF I CAN FIND A BAR AND BURGER OR WHATEVER. THEN GONNA STUDY MAPS AND SEE ABOUT AIKEN’S LODGE IN KANAB. CHECK PRICE ETC, COS NOW I NEED  3 – 4 DAYS SOMEWHERE CHEAP LIKE THE SUN & SAND TO SORT PAPERWORK AND DO SOME WASHING. OH AND THERE IS A WALL MART BY THIS SUPER 8 SO MIGHT WANDER IN AND SEE IF THEY HAVE A LIGHTWEIGHT RAIN SET TO GO UNDER THE STUFF I HAVE. RIGHT, OFF OUT, OH AND I HAVE SENT YOU THE PICCYS AS FAR AS I TOOK ANY COS ONCE IT GOT DARK, NO POINT, ALSO I WAS COLD AND DAMP.

However, once he had eaten and had a beer, he came down a bit and slept until 5am this morning.

The mileage on the Guzzi today is 55,298. When he left Dwight in Illinois, it was 53,725. So he covered 1,573 miles in just over 24 hours.

All the photos he sent are from gas stations – so here is a selection of Jan’s stops – but not all of them 😀

Dawn and time to leave the motel in Dwight, Illinois

THE NICE MOTEL IN DWIGHT

AT TRUCK STOP IN MORRIS, FILLING UP N GETTING PAPER IRON BUTT SIGNED & WITNESSED

AT TRUCK STOP IN MORRIS, FILLING UP N GETTING PAPER IRON BUTT SIGNED & WITNESSED

MORRIS WATER TOWER

MORRIS WATER TOWER

FIRST STOP, DARENPORT, IOWA

FIRST STOP, DARENPORT, IOWA

SECOND STOP, COLFAX FOOD STOP, IOWA

SECOND STOP, COLFAX FOOD STOP, IOWA

P1110441

THIRD STOP, NEOLA, IOWA

THIRD STOP, NEOLA, IOWA

FOURTH STOP AURORA, NEBRASKA

FOURTH STOP AURORA, NEBRASKA

FIFTH STOP BRADY NEBRASKA

FIFTH STOP BRADY NEBRASKA

I haven’t got the total number of times Jan filled up. Once he is recovered, he has to send all the fuel receipts (witnessed) to The iron Butt Association.

He has taken off this morning for the next town along I-80, Evanston. That is only 104 miles away. We found a small motel at a reasonable rate so he may stay there a couple of days and get his laundry done and the fuel receipts sorted and sent.

If anyone is interested – here’s a link to the IBA (‘World’s Toughest Motorcycle Riders’ it says on their logo). Some interesting stories to read on the site…..

” Welcome to Iron Butt Association’s web presence!

The 53,000+ members of the Iron Butt Association are dedicated to safe, long-distance motorcycle riding. Although based in the United States, we have thousands of enthusiastic members throughout the globe! One of our more popular slogans is, “The World Is Our Playground.”

This web site is home for hundreds of excellent stories about long-distance riding. One will also find a vast amount of technical information regarding the art and science of long-distance riding. Our most famous document, the IBA “Archive of Wisdom”, contains the collective wisdom and knowledge of some of the most experienced, seasoned long-distance riders in the world!”

http://www.ironbutt.com/about/default.cfm?CFID=24097055&CFTOKEN=18197287

Ride safe

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