I have been planning an Iron butt ride since I got back from my big adventure four years ago. For a variety of reasons it wasn’t working out, finally I made the decision that no matter what I was going to do it this year, and I did. Rather than just do the SaddleSore 1000, I decided to do three challenges in one ride, the SaddleSore 1000 (1,000 miles in under 24 hours), BunBurner 1500 (1,500 miles in under 36 hours) and Border to Border (Canada to Mexico) in under 36 hours.
I left my friends place at 4:15am on Sunday, September 20th. By leaving this early I would accomplish two things: 1. Avoid traffic and 2. Cross into Mexico during the daytime hours when it was safer. Getting up and on my way was not a problem as my adrenaline was pumping, I was finally doing it. My first stop was the 24hours gas station just around the corner and that where I had my first problem, the gas pump did not produce a receipt. I needed the receipt to prove my starting location and time. I ran inside and easily obtained the receipt but having the first stop not work proper got me nervous, was it a sign of things to come. I continued on and after another 15 minutes encountered my second problem, the bridge over the Welland Cannel was up, I couldn’t cross, turning around was not an option either as I really didn’t know another way around. There were some people waiting to walk across the bridge and fortunately for me they were wearing Harley jackets, so at least they might understand my situation and the need to get on my way. Just as they were explaining to me that there was really no other way around and I could wait as much as 30 minutes, the ship passes through, the bridge began to lower and I was soon on my way. I have crossed the Rainbow Bridge countless times in my life and even less than a month before this trip but on this day, of course I missed the turn and went at least 1km out of my way.
The border crossing was easy and uneventful and I was hoping that it represented the last of any hiccups. Leaving early was smart, by the time the sun started to come up I was already in Ohio. The sun was to my back and there was an amazing orange glow in my mirror from the sun’s reflection and a warmth on my back.
The next 12 hours were really just a blur, ride, stop for fuel, ride, and stop for fuel. The interstate is boring, there was no really distinction between states and nothing really changes. It wasn’t until I was in Arkansas that something interesting happened. The gas station attendant was very excited to see a motorcycle from Canada and couldn’t believe that I had left only earlier that day. He became very animated in this excitement about wanting to travel and was talking so fast I couldn’t really understand half of what he was saying. Some women at the pump next to me thought this was a great opportunity to expand their hair care product multi-level marketing business into Canada. I took a card from them and quickly got on my way. At least it was a break in the boredom of the interstate. About an hour later I stopped at a hotel in Texarkana Texas where I would sleep for 5 hours before continuing on to Mexico. I had rode a total of 1,200 miles and officially completed the Saddlesore ride.