Wednesday, September 20


Here are some of the things that keep me awake at night. Now they can keep you up too. I've read as much as one can about this woman. When I grow up, I want to be Ardys Kellerman. This 70+ year old great-grandmother still rides many thousands of miles. She's an Iron Butt Rally veteran and frequent winner of her BMW club's high mileage award. Before I draw my last breath, I'd like to do the IRB biggie--10,000 miles in ten days!

Next, this is one of those dream jobs--except it's not a dream to Carla King. I would look forward to work each day if this were my job. I swear, I wouldn't complain if I had my own daily misadventures on a motorcycle. Yes, it would probably become routine. But so what. Even routine would be fun on a bike!

This is the beauty of the Information Age! Before Al Gore discovered the Internet (haha) it would take forever to amass data that is now literally at the press of a button! Here a nice list of motorcycle relevant spots to bookmark.

For motorcycle touring, I repeatedly return to this site. It hasn't be updated in years. Still, IMHO, it is one of the best spots to learn everything you need for getting into touring. The author is humorous, sometimes stern--even grumpy-- but clearly has your best touring experience at heart. You can sense that he wants you to have an excellent adventure. So he's not messing around. You can just hear him yell in that Robert Duvall, "Great Santini" voice: "TOE THE LINE AND LISTEN UP PEOPLE!"

Okay. I'm announcing it here. Next summer, I'm doing AND completing an Iron Butt Rally ride. Planning for this will carry me through the winter doldrums--let's hope. Last year I didn't have a bike and it was tough getting through the winter thinking about riding. Thank goodness the search for a bike kept me sane. The IRB...Don't know how the little SV would do on the 10,000 miles in 10 days ride but she could handle some of the other rides in a blink. Right now, the SaddleSore (1000 miles in under 24 hours) sounds fun. This may sound like a lot or imply the need for excessive speed. Not true! These timed rides demand strategy and consistency more than speed. (sidebar: Read Against the Wind: A Rider's Account of the Incredible Iron Butt Rally--book review soon). I just need to figure out which ride and how to execute it. At minimum, I believe I could do the National Parks Tour, which requires a visit to at least 50 national parks and monuments in at least 25 states in one calendar year. Now that just might be the best one to start with. Hmmm...

Finally, I'm actually going to get into an advanced training class that I thought was closed! Turns out there was a posting glitch and the course isn't until October. Hooray! Ride Chicago (amazing teachers!) is the only school that offers the SRTT (Street Riding Technical Training) course.

You know, I think motorcycle schools could really do a needed service AND make money if they offered courses throughout the winter. For those of us who will face serious withdrawal in a few weeks (I can't be the only one), it would be a great way to keep skills sharp too. With an indoor range, how difficult can this be? The schools already have the bikes. I for one am not looking forward to the ticks, being strapped to a bed, the sweating, the heaves, the heebee-geebees...I don't need a twelve step program...I just need a year 'round riding fix!