I did a 50CC last year in mid-September and since I finished that ride I have been looking at riding a Bun Burner Gold in order to get a Mile Eater Silver certificate (5 Certified rides, 2 of which are Gold or Higher within one year).
I have spent a lot of time researching a Bun Burner Gold during this time. I did the math and read ride reports. Most everyone that I talked to would bring up that this one of the hardest rides that they have done. After all the research, I found myself intimidated by this ride. It was a ride that I wanted to do but I wasn’t quite sure that I wanted to ride it.
Do I really need this ride for a Mile Eater Silver certification? Couldn’t I just do another Heaven-to-Hell Gold ride? Maybe a Scooter 1000 Gold instead?
No. I have to do a Bun Burner Gold, I cannot call myself a Long Distance rider and not have a BBG under my belt.
It wasn’t the mileage that intimidated me, it was the fear of timing out. I looked at different routes online and found one that should be just shy of 23 hours. The route was on familiar roads and the more I looked at it and compared it to other routes that were potentially shorter in time, I just liked this one better. Pending some future date, I filed it all away and waited. Months would go by…
. . . . .
Two weeks ago my air conditioner broke so I took 3-days off to deal with the home warranty folks, when I came back to work I found that I was “voluntold” to cover on-call for a co-worker who had some family issues to attend to and I still had my normal on-call schedule in two weeks. So with one free weekend between me being on-call and it was time to ride.
I e-mailed my riding buddy Larry on Monday morning and told him I was thinking of doing a Bun Burner Gold ride, leaving 4 days from now on Friday night.
His only response was, “What’s the route? and what time do you want to leave?” … I love this guy.
I met Larry at the designated start point which was the SpeedeeMart by the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. As I usually do lately, I arrived within minutes of our agreed upon leave time, so I am already feeling rushed and behind on time. Not the relaxed and comfortable feeling that one would want to start a journey like this.
Ear Plugs in? Check!
Helmet on? Check!
Gloves on? Check!
Zero out GPS and bike odometers? Check!
and with the removal of the Credit Card from the gas pump, the clock started… Game on!
My receipt shows 11:08:59pm. Crap! Did I just effectively loose a minute of time to one second at the pump? No time to think about that.
Date and time correct? … damn you 11:08 and 59 seconds!
I continue to go through my normal gas stop procedures and were on the I-15 heading to Utah.
Our first gas stop was in Cedar City, Utah, while going through my gas stop procedures, I notice the time is one hour off on the gas receipt. I make a note of it, get my picture and we are back on the road.
The second stop was in Nephi, Utah and their gas pumps are an hour off as well. Thinking it was kind of odd to have two pumps an hour off, I mention it to Larry and he checks his receipt and it’s OK. I look at the Garmin and my phone…. The Garmin is off one hour! I double check the settings on the Garmin 660 and everything is fine, it’s configured to poll date/time from the satellites and update itself automatically, but it’s one hour off. I’ll have to deal with this later but at least it worked the brain a little trying to calculate our arrival time back in Vegas.
The temperature has been dropping since we entered Utah, and it continued to drop the farther north we went, it was early morning near Snowville and temperature was now 45 degrees, a 51 degree temp swing from when we left the 96 degree evening air of Las Vegas.
Also somewhere in Utah, I start to notice that my bike wasn’t running like it used to, it just seems sluggish and lacking power. She wouldn’t maintain speed going up just a slight incline, and getting the bike over 85mph, even on level ground seemed like it was a chore. Gas mileage was also suffering at 31mpg highway. Something is wrong. It’s not making funny noises and it’s under warranty, screw it… I keep going.
First half of the ride was all Interstates, 80Mph speed limits with little traffic on the road. At Nampa, Idaho we pull in for fuel with 768 miles completed in only 11 hours. I’m feeling good about the ride, even with the more frequent gas stops because of my bike, we are making good time and our gas stops are smooth. I wouldn’t call them fast but just enough time to get gas, stretch legs, empty wrappers and such from the tank bag, replenish items from the tour pack and on the road again.
Once we Leave Nampa, we also left the interstates and started to travel on 2-lane highways. Speed limits drop to 65 and 70 mph and we now have to deal with a traffic, and with a bike that doesn’t want to get out of its own way.
Middle of nowhere, Nevada…. We stop for gas just across the state line in McDermitt at the only gas station in town. After waiting to get to the pumps, the credit card machine is down on the pump… just the one that I pulled up to mind you, the others are working fine. I go inside and pay cash,
“30 dollars on pump # 1 please.” I say
Guy looks out the window and see’s the bike, “Do you think it will take $30?” in broken English
“No, but I have to come back for change either way, so might as well be safe.”
Guy shrugs it off, punches some buttons, stops and looks back up and stares at me.
Taking this as his look of ‘OK, your set.’, I go and pump my gas… $16.79. Well I guess he was right.
I go back inside and after waiting in line, “Change from # 1 please.”
He hands me my change without saying anything
“Oh, I need a receipt as well, thank you sir.”
He hands me the receipt and I go outside and move my bike so the next person can deal with the guy inside.
Stop # 7… Hit the SPOT OK button, write odometer on receipt, write GPS mileage on receipt, check the date and time … wait! Where is the date and time? Is that it at the top? No that’s part of the last receipt that was printed, so mine should be right here at the bottom…. Right past this jagged edged where he ripped the receipt off the printer just before it finished printing.
I go back inside and wait behind a small line of people, “I need a receipt with the date and time on it please”
He pulls out a pair of scissors and trims the receipt….
“No, I need a receipt WITH the date and time on it.”
He has this look and body posture of ‘What the Fuck!?’ all over him as he reprints the receipt.
“Thanks, have a good day!” I say as I grab the receipt and double check it for a date and time.
30 minutes after pulling into this town, we are leaving it. Remind me not plan a ride through here again.
We get onto the I-80 for about 90 miles riding towards Reno, with the head winds and hills, my bike is having a hard time. Drastic speed changes even though cruise control is on and my gas mileage plummets.
We pick up US-95 again and head south towards Las Vegas and home. Hey if were going south, that means were going downhill and my gas mileage will improve, right? Just a little juvenile humor. Kind of like riding to the top of Pikes Peak and asking, “Why is it getting colder if we are getting closer to the sun?”.
The universe is a mystery indeed.
My gas mileage did not improve though but at least it wasn’t getting worse. I did have to continue to make more frequent stops than planned, a total of 12 stops by the time the ride was done but we did it! 1,526 (GPS) miles ridden in 23 hours and 2 minutes.
It was a good ride and I don’t know why I kept putting it off but I still want to do a Scooter 1000 Gold. Looking at my ride spreadsheet I have enough for my Mile Eater Silver once this ride is approved and I am only one more Gold ride away from a Mile Eater Gold, so it looks like another BBG is in my near future. Maybe Las Vegas to Denver before the snow starts to fall.
Oh, make sure you unplug your in-ear-monitors before you step off the bike, nothing like having a tug-a-war contest between your bike and your ear canal.