The Ultimate Coast to Coast Challenge 2010

Trip Start Aug 18, 2010
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Trip End Sep 30, 2010


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Flag of United States  , Texas
Tuesday, March 23, 2010

I am plotting a motorcycle trip this summer, called The Ultimate Coast to Coast Challenge. It is sponsored by the IBA (Iron Butt Association) a long distance motorcycle travel association.

The objective is to ride from Key West, Florida to Prudhoe Bay, Alaska in 30 days or less. That is actually a lot of time, as a few riders have done is in less than a week. But, I am not foolhardy or young enough to attempt that. To date, less than 100 riders have been certified as completing the Challenge and even fewer, less than a dozen, have done it after reaching the age of 65. Since I will be 65 in May this year, I plan to join this select group of crazies.

My planned route is not a beeline or the shortest route, as there are several great motorcycle roads I would like to experience along the way. Also to stop in to see various family members in route. My plans are to ride four days, rest the fifth: for laundry, repairs, etc. Camping wherever possible, because I enjoy camping. Except in the rain, then a motel looks pretty good. We'll see how that goes.

This will be my fourth trip to Alaska, the second by motorcycle. The first trip was a black bear hunt with my son, Alan. He got a big 6' 10" bear. Several years after that, Amparo and I did the inland passage cruise from Vancouver, BC to Alaska, with our son JP and his wife, Amber. Then in 2008, I rode from Bellingham, Washington to Deadhorse, Alaska on a BMW F650 motorcycle. This will be my longest attempt to Alaska, 6000+ miles, one way.

So what am I riding? Good question. A 2002 BMW R1150GS Adventure motorcycle with 43,000 miles on it today. Bought this bike last summer when I decided that my regular 2002 R1150GS model did not have the right transmission for the ride I wanted. Is the bike stock? Hardly. I have made many modifications to it for long distance adventure travel. While any regular road bike can make it to Alaska and back, if you want to go to the northern most point, Deadhorse/Prudhoe Bay, an adventure bike with off-road tires is preferred. While the list of all the modifications would be too long at this time, I am sure that as the story progresses, various mods will be mentioned and I will go into more detail at that time. 

So this blog is to introduce you to my planned ride; the planning, the thinking, the modifications, what works, what didn't and the corrections. As I write, it helps me to talk out the preparations and clarify the thinking/reasoning. I will be traveling solo, so there is no one else to bounce ideas off of, except you are the sounding board now.
 
 Finally we will depart in mid-July. Hopefully you can follow along as we face the Utlimate Challenge.
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