Lake Michigan loop 1000
Archives- 8 June 2007
1, 005 miles About 20 hours
Shortly after realizing that Capital Harley Davidson in Lansing, MI was organizing an Iron Butt Association sanctioned ride I visited and registered for it.
My friend and co-worker Ken Koren came along and signed up to attempt his first Saddlesore 1,000.
Ken would ride his 2003 100th Anniversary Gold Key Package Electra Glide Classic and I would be riding my 2003 100th Anniversary Ultra Classic Shriner with 34,131 miles on it.
The ride leader and organizer was Herm Bushnell. He was 74 years old on this ride and was riding a 1984 Evo Tourglide with 250,000 miles on it.
Ward Blanchard was also on this ride and he was 84 years old!
There were approximatly 50 riders participating.
Glenn Pancoast of Lansing was also on this ride. He is a big time long distance rider having rode and finished in multiple 11 day 11,000 mile Iron Butt Rallys, and a pile of Certificate rides.
Kenny and I rode the 85 miles from my house to the dealership and signed in for the 8:00 pm start. These late starts are tough though, as I would rather start early in the morning.
Shortly after pulling out of the dealership we were hustling down I-69 South towards Fort Wayne, Indiana.
We stopped in Fort Wayne for a mandatory Fuel receipt at about 120 miles into the ride.
From Fort Wayne we hammered across US-30 to Frankfort, Illinios for our second mandatory fuel receipt. At this point it was 11:33 pm central time and 265 miles into the ride.
During this section on US-30 we were trying to stay with Glenn Pancoast on his BMW 1200 GSA, and did so for awhile but he could pull away at will on that bike. We saw him at the gas station in Frankfort, Ill, but that would be the last time on the ride. (A few months later while Glenn was participating in the 2007 Iron Butt Rally(11,000 miles, 11 days) his final drive blew up and knocked him out of the rally.)
I also had a close call with a car pulling out in front of me on US-30.
I momentarily had to lock up the rear brakes to avoid him. The Harleys front brakes were always weak so I usually ended up locking up the rear to Scrub Speed.
Now we turned North and rode through the West side of Chicago.
At one of the lights in Chicago, Herm Bushnell and a couple of other riders pulled up alongside of us.
Herm looked over at us and said, "There's no Butt like an Iron Butt."
Just over the Wisconsin State line we stopped at a gas station in Bristol at 2:11 AM Central time to have some coffee and put on some cold weather gear as the temps were dropping.
As we sipped our coffee and chatted we could hear the occasional Harley roar by and knew it was some of the riders from our group.
It made the ride interesting as you kept leap frogging each other and meeting up at different times throughout the ride.
Back on the road and just before entering Milwaukee we came across one of our riders on a 1984 Honda Goldwing 1200 on the side of the road. His transmission had gone out and he was out of the ride. He had already made a call so with help on the way we rolled on Northward.
Milwaukee passed quickly as there was virtually no traffic in the middle of the night but shortly after Milwaukee my headlights went out and I cautiously pulled over to the shoulder as we were in a completely dark stretch of road with no lights.
Ken held the flashlight as I pulled my Sidecover and replaced the fuse for the headlight circuit and we were back in business. I had a high power headlight bulb in the bike (like an 80/60 H4 bulb) and the flipping back and forth from high to low beam along with the passing lamps burning must have spiked the system and popped the fuse.
Somewhere in the vicinity of Green Bay we witnessed the spectacular sunrise to our right over Lake Michigan.
This was pretty much the half way point at around 500 miles and 10.5 hours.
The rising sun gave us motivation as we ground along up into the Upper Penninsula of Michigan with stunning views of Lake Michigan and before we knew it we were rolling into Escananba.
As we continued along the North Shore of Lake Michigan on US-2 I was battling the sleepiness I always encounter a while after the sun has risen and I've been up all night.
Even though I had quit smoking years ago, occasionally I would have one and was craving one right now, so the next stop I bought a pack and burned a few during this stretch of road.
Along US-2 we stopped at some nice sandy pull offs along the lake and watched the choppy water crash upon the shore as we had a southerly wind pushing the water and the cold air from it towards us.
It was also along US-2 that I remember a rider purring by us on his GL1800 Goldwing and thinking to myself thats the bike to be on.
I also had to lock up the brakes because I was following Ken too close while gawking at the lake at the same time he was stopping to enter a pull off, but I avoided him.
Eventually the mighty Mackinac Bridge loomed in the distance.
We payed our $2.50,saving the mandatory Bridge receipt with the date and time along with our written odometer reading and started off across the bridge to the Lower Penninsula. It was 12:30 Eastern time in the afternoon and we had knocked down 750 miles at this point.
We hustled down I-75 to US-127 and the final blast into Lansing and the finish at Capital Harley Davidson with approximately 4 hours to spare.
After turning in our paperwork we still had a 85 mile ride home. So counting to and from the start it was an 1,175 mile day.
27 gallons of fuel consumed
$3.40 gallon (premium)
$93.97 fuel cost
37. 2 mpg average
32.8 mpg Low
43.5 mpg High
KEN KOREN - Worn out but victorious !!!
GAS GUY - Ready for bed !!!