The fog was thick when we left at 6am, and I couldn’t see well until around 7:30 when the sun (what of it that actually came out) burned the fog away. I knew then that the day was going to be never ending.
Surprisingly, the first 500 miles went by mostly uneventful. Just a long, boring, interstate ride. Ride for 100 miles, get gas. Back on bike, stand up on pegs after about 60 miles, sit back down, get gas at 100 miles. Repeat…again….and again… Somewhere in there, apply Icy Hot on knees, back, or where ever else we were hurting. Surprisingly, there was no major traffic in Atlanta. Probably wasn’t even as bad as I440 in Raleigh during rush hour.
One thing we did see was a pretty bad accident. We apparently got there just a few minutes after it happened. It was on a section of I20, just 10 miles from the Alabama state line. There was some road construction, and all of the west bound lanes were closed. They moved 1 lane of it to the east bound lane, and separated east from west with a concrete barrier. What probably happened was the driver ran off the road, jerked back on, hit the barrier, and flipped back off to the right side of the road (this is all an assumption….no proof that this is how it happened). Whatever the case, we saw the SUV, a late model Jeep Grand Cherokee, flipped over on top of its roof. There was a lot of smoke and two places where fire was coming off the ugly underbelly, and someone spraying a fire extinguisher on it (see pics). Took us less than 2 minutes to get through the mess. Damn sure glad we weren’t there minutes earlier….or later
Once we got to the turnaround point, a gas station/”café”, we took a break. A long break. Over an hour. This “café” they had there, well…the food was AWESOME at the time. Now though, just the thought of the food, makes me want to puke. Their “fresh” chicken that Justin and I SAW them put out, wasn’t so fresh….cold in fact. The potato wedges….I’m not even sure if they were potatoes. Oh well. Our bellies were full, and we got a little rest at the place. Time to get back on the road…
Now well rested, and back on the road, we head through the accident scene again. No evidence of anything, aside from the crashed cage on the roll back, just leaving. No more trash on the road, no nothing. All of us were still feeling pretty good though. Tired, yes. Joints hurting? Slightly. Overall though, pretty good. Not nearly as bad as we thought we’d be feeling. More of the boring interstate, and everything is uneventful.
Somewhere around mile 700, we really started feeling the ride. We were all definitely getting tired. Around mile 800, I’m talking to myself inside my helmet…asking myself why in the hell did I start this ride. I was getting extremely fatigued, the night was getting pretty late, and I was getting sleepy. Time for another stop….and another Red Bull. We realized that the pain was actually helping to keep us focused, the pain was fighting the fatigue. Strange. By mile 900, I was seriously thinking about getting a hotel, and giving up. I was really having a hard time staying awake. I think we took 2 breaks to cover the last 100 miles.
100 miles later and the end of the ride, we were back home. Or close enough to call it home. We ended up at a Kangaroo gas station where I called Liz to come sign our end witness forms. This was at about 3:30 am. Liz is a trooper. Who else would come at 5:30 in the morning, and at 3:30 the next morning just to sign witness forms? Thanks again Liz! The ride is finally over, and we all went home to go to sleep. Thank God!
I really think the last 200 miles of the ride, was the absolute worst miles I’ve ever put on a bike. It absolutely sucked. I didn’t want to be on it anymore, I was tired, fatigued, and wanted to be at home in my bed. With that said, I, and I think the other guys as well, would do this ride again in the blink of an eye. I absolutely do not regret it, and can say that overall I had a freaking blast. We’re already thinking about doing a Bun Burner 1500 next spring!
It was definitely a learning experience for all of us as well. We should have kept the breaks much shorter. Had we done this, we would have been home much earlier, and probably not nearly as tired. Next time, the time will be managed much better.
Can’t wait to do it again!
-Will (aka – TRaGiK)