Days 7-9 – October 24th-26th, 2018 – Orlando, Florida to Jacksonville, Florida: ~200 miles
Did you miss Day 6? October 23rd, 2018 – Byron, Georgia to Orlando, Florida: ~350 miles.
My work commitment started around 2pm, which meant I had a few hours to take care of one loose end – the H2 SX SE needed new tires! I was paranoid about this on my way out, so I arranged for a new set of tires to be delivered to the Orlando area in advance through Kawasaki and Bridgestone. Kawasaki asked me to go to a dealership just outside of town called Kissimmee Motorsports.
Because KMS was expecting me, they immediately got to work. This was sincerely appreciated.
RIP Alta. I’ve only ridden the Redshift Supermoto before, and I had an absolute blast. I seriously considered picking one up as a commuter when the company announced they were closing and dealers starting hacking prices down.
In the waiting area I saw a copy of Rider magazine. I opened it up and saw a story penned by my buddy Jenny Smith.
Soon, the H2 had new shoes and was ready to tackle the Iron Butt Association 50 Hour Coast to Coast challenge! I requested the Battlax T31 sport touring tire as I didn’t need immense lateral grip, I just needed something that would absorb hour after hour of high speed highway droning without giving up the ghost.
The next few days were spent at the annual AAPM&R (American Academy of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation) convention. My boss is the gentleman on the left – he runs several companies in the world of inpatient rehab, also known as physiatry. I help him with a software company, but in this photo he’s wearing his recruitment hat, as he also places physicians across the country.
While I was in work mode for a few days, my buddy Mike Ngo was riding a Honda Gold Wing out from Los Angeles so that Nathan would have a camera bike to ride back with me. I can’t thank Mike enough for getting the Honda out to Jacksonville safe and sound, because it also would have screwed us if he crashed it or if there was any other sort of problem with the Wing.
Each year, my boss and I are normally at the conference from Wednesday through Saturday. This time around, my boss let me take off Friday afternoon so that I could head to Jacksonville. The plan was for Nathan and I to take off early Saturday morning, that way we could hopefully be done in the wee hours of Sunday night/Monday morning, get a few hours of sleep, and go to work at our respective jobs.
Mike had arrived yesterday with the Gold Wing, and he let me know that he left the Honda in long term parking at the Jacksonville airport. Nathan would be flying in later this afternoon. Before I left Orlando, I downloaded the Rever app to see if it would be a suitable replacement for a Spot tracker. For a ride of this length, it’s helpful to have a GPS tracker running and recording your track when it comes time to showing proof of your ride completion to the Iron Butt Association. I turned on the app, and headed towards Jacksonville.
I got to the airport about 15 minutes before Nathan’s flight landed, which gave me some time to analyze how Rever did for me. There were issues with the settings that could be fixed easy enough, but I was concerned about how hot my phone was getting while running the app. It may have been a fluke with my phone, because I couldn’t find any other mention of this concern when I looked it up online later. I made a note to look up some other options later at night, but I thought this was a good backup. There were a couple of things I’d need that were only offered in the Premium ($5.99/month) version such as GPX file exporting and live GPS tracking, but it seemed very reasonable to pay 6 bucks for those features over the next couple of days.
Once Nathan arrived, he got the Wing packed up and we headed towards our surprisingly expensive hotel room. I was actually shocked about how much I had to spend, but it was all explained when nathan and I got to dinner. We struck up a conversation with people sitting next to us, who informed us that it was the night before a big college football game where the University of Florida was hosting Georgia. Especially when it comes to SEC games, hotel rooms book up early and they get expensive – our dinner neighbors told us a story from the previous year where the two of them and their boss had to share a 2-bed room at Motel 6 for an Alabama game that cost them over $800/night! Suddenly, I didn’t feel so bad.
While enjoying dinner, I remembered that I hadn’t locked down the GPS backup that we’d be using for the ride! A few minutes of searching online led me to Bluelane, an app that claimed to offer everything I needed for free. I tried it out during dinner, and the results seemed simple enough.
My day to day pair of gloves for the last couple of years has been the Velomacchi Speedways – they’re so comfortable that I’m willing to put up with how weird they look. But I had somehow lost my pair after my Royal Enfield Himalayan story, so I asked Velomacchi if they’d send me another pair for the cross country run. With most gloves, I’d detest the idea of breaking them in on a 50 hour endurance run. With these gloves, I wasn’t worried – plus I had the gloves I wore on the route east as backups. I’ve heard enough horror stories from industry buddies that showed up to a launch only to find that a company had sent them two left gloves to know I should have backups just in case.
I went for a quick 3 minute ride to confirm that Bluelane would work while on the bike. Everything seemed to work fine, so I settled into bed to catch the end of Game 3 of the World Series before falling asleep. Problem was, the game kept going! It was tied 1-1 at the end of the 9th…and then the 10th, 11th, and 12th. The Red Sox put up a run in the top of the 13th, so I figured I’d watch through the end of the winning and hopefully catch a Boston victory. Of course, the Dodgers tied it up, so I took that as a sign to just go to bed and stop postponing my sleep.
Well, that’s it. Tomorrow’s the big day!
The gas log ends!
1. Palm Springs, CA
2. Blythe, AZ
3. Tonopah, AZ
4. Tucson, AZ
5. Bowie, AZ
6. Las Cruces, NM
7. Van Horn, TX
8. Monahans, TX
9. Colorado City
10. Ranger, TX
11. Royce City, TX
12. Texarkana, TX
13. Little Rock, AR
14. Braden, TN
15. Centerville, TN
17. Cleveland, TN
18. Helen, GA
19. Forsyth, GA
20. Valdosta, GA
21. Ocala, FL
22. Ormond Beach