Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Iron Butt

The term Iron Butt refers to long distance motorcycle rallys. I didn't attend a rally, but I feel like I did. We drove the car to Edgewood last Friday to bring the new motorcycle back to Texas. It was a drive of just about 600 miles, and we drove into the teeth of a horrendous wind the entire way. I don't recall ever driving in such strong wind for such a long distance.

We stayed with Diane Nolen with whom we were worship leaders at Valley View. It was great catching up on her life. She works five jobs to keep a roof over her and her daughter's heads so we had to sneak visits in in between jobs.

Saturday morning we went to Weavers, where the scooter had been stored for the past month, and I prepared it for the trip. I installed a larger windshield than the stock one, a backrest for the front seat, a cup holder and a GPS holder. In the afternoon we visited with Errol and Joyce Stepp, our pastor when we lived there, and his wife. We also went to Sadie's for dinner with them, and had some great New Mexican food.

Sunday we planned to go to church and then leave for Texas, but we woke to spitting snow flurries. By the time church was over, there were two inches of snow on the ground. I don't mind riding in some light rain, but snow is another matter. We decided to stay, which gave us the opportunity to get together with some old friends and play cards and visit all afternoon. Much of the snow melted off during the day, but there were still patches around. All the roads were clear by days end.

Monday morning was bitter cold. I bundled up and we left at about 9 AM when it was 34 degrees. Dianna led in the car because it has cruise control, so it was easier for me to follow her than the other way around. We headed east on I-40 to Clines Corners where we turned south toward Roswell. By the time we got there it was above 40 and my hands were finally beginning to thaw out. We turned onto US 380 and headed east, finally stopping for the night in Post, TX after traveling over 350 miles for the day. That is by far the most miles I have traveled in one day on a motorcycle. I was pretty much sore all over. There is no question where the term Iron Butt comes from! We traveled the final 250 plus miles to Denton on Tuesday, and arrived about 3 PM. It sure felt good to get off the bike.

It is hard to compare this bike with our old one. They are completely different. This bike is a lot heavier, much more powerful, and more comfortable at high speeds and in the wind. It does not get nearly as good fuel economy as the 400. We stopped every 120-140 miles for fuel, getting on average around 45 MPG. I think it will get better when the weather is not so cold, and when we are not traveling at such high speeds or in such high winds. We ran 70+ most of the time, which is something I rarely did on the 400.

When we got home I installed the Givi topcase on the back. It is similar to the one we had on the 400 except it is a little larger. I also looked for a way to power the GPS. The installed cigarette lighter plug will not work because the glove compartment door will not close with the adapter plugged in. I found a hard wire kit on the internet that will let me make a very neat install. It should arrive in a few days.

Today Dianna got her first ride on the new bike. We had to make a trip to the post office. She immediately noticed the different sound of the twin cylinders, the power, and the greater stability of the heavier bike, even in the wind. I think we are really going to enjoy it.