01 April 2010

Ride Report: Twisty Butt Ride Part One

26 Mar 2010:  Meeting Mr&MrsTwisty

After I got back from Savannah, I expected to be exhausted but Sunday came and went without me feeling tired.  I checked all the forums and found out the ride for next week was going to be a Twisty Butt ride.  The simple definition of a Twisty Butt Ride (TB) is 500 miles of twisty roads completed in less than 12 hours.  It is a take on the Iron Butt Saddle Sore 1000 (SS1000), which is simply 1000 miles in 24 hours.

I first learned about the Twisty Butt on Sport-Touring.net last fall when the Arkansas All Day was announced in the regional forums.  It sounded very interesting, except for the fact that it was all the way in Arkansas and there was no way I could get there.  Every since I started riding, the Iron Butt was an award I thought I wanted.  The easiest way is the SS1000.

The best way to complete the SS1000 is on the interstates however the longer I ride a motorcycle, the less I like the interstate.  It is the perfect tool to get you from point a to b quickly, but rarely is it interesting.  The interstates all smell the same and the view is the same no matter where you are in America:  various gas stations and endless chain restaurants.  None of that is for me.  I walk off the beaten path and prefer to ride that way too.

When Bobby posted that they would be doing the TB in Georgia, I was interested but thought the timing was all wrong.  Surely theWolf would raise its head and start howling any minute now.  I discussed it with my mother who said I should do it if I thought I could.  The problem was I wasn't sure.  I vacillated all week until late Thursday when I decided  I wouldn't know if I could do it until I tried to do it.

Mr. Twisty (Mike) on the FJR Riders Forum, and one of the organizers, sent me a pm letting me know Bobby and Teresa would be staying at his house and there was room for me.  Cool.  I spoke with Bobby and we arranged to meet on Friday so we could ride up together.

Friday morning found me fighting the excitement.  theWolf dictates I not get too high or too low.  My recent activities were making that hard but I was doing my best.  I had to meet my brother and was forced to push back our rendez-vous time but I still missed it.  A few phone calls later and I had a route plugged into the GPS.

Because of all the trouble I'd been having with the GPS, I decided to take the first route it suggested and ended up on the dreaded interstate.  After I missed the rendez-vous time, I would have been better off waiting a couple of hours before leaving rather than getting stuck in traffic.  Either way, I made it a little after 7 and had a wonderful dinner of stir shrimp and chicken prepared by Mrs. Twisty (Michelle).

Once we got the details for the morning's departure and the waiver forms signed it was off to bed for an early rise.  I would be joining Mike and Michelle, JamesK from FJR Riders Forum, Bobby and Teresa, Tony on the first Twisty Butt ride in Georgia.  Kick stands up at 7 a.m.

27 March 2010:  Calhoun to Suches
I am not a morning person.  Here I am eating breakfast and trying to wake up before we leave.

Here we all are getting ready to go:
Pulling out of the Garage:
Bobby and Teresa
Mike (Michelle is taking the pictures)
James K
and Tony
We planned to go to the gas station so I could top off my tank and get the receipt to document the official start of the ride.
While I'm getting gas, Mike discovers he forgot to do something to his bike when he changed his tires in preparation for our ride.

He went back to the house to get it fixed and we met up with him a little later.  He fixed the problem while we were trying to find his house again.

After a missed turn, we arrive:
All right, let's try to start this thing one mo' 'gin.  Mike and James gas up and get the start receipts while Teresa takes pics of our odos to mark the beginning of the ride.
My starting mileage:
Mike and Michelle with starting documentation:
Teresa documenting my starting mileage:
And we're finally off!!
Sunrise along Hwy 52

I would see a lot more of this all day long:
We passed the Chief Vann House, the first of many historical places on our route:
Some how, I don't remember seeing this when we passed it.
Riding on sun dappled roads as the sun begins its sprint across the sky.  This was going to be a perfect day for this ride.
According to the thermometers it was in the high 30s when we started the ride.  I chose to wear my Fieldsheer Flex leather perforated jacket with the liner and leave my heated gloves at home on Thursday night after I checked the weekend weather.  By the time these pictures were taken, I was beginning to wish I'd kept to the Monarch textile jacket and bothered with the heated gloves.  I was thinking about the expected high temps in the low to mid 60s and not morning temps when I made that decision.

By the time we reached our first stop in Suches, I was comfortably cool.
Teresa waiting for me by the road so I'd know they were stopped.  She did this every time we stopped.

Here I come:
We topped off our tanks in Suches at the intersection of HWY 60 and Wolf Pen Gap Rd.  Our breaks wouldn't be long, just enough to get gas, use the bathroom, and stretch a little.

Our progress so far:

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