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Iron Butt Challenges

Being a goal oriented person, I like contests and other similar events.  I've read a few times about the Iron Butt Rally, which is an extreme 11 day ride that covers 11,000 miles (17,700 km).  Being a new rider, that's more than double the mileage I have ever rode.  You also have to be a member of the Iron Butt Association, which currently has 30,000+ members world wide.  The only requirement to become a member is to complete one of their smaller certification rides.  These certification rides can be done at any time, and by any one.  It's one of these rides that I'm considering done. 

The minimum ride is 1000 miles in 24 hours, or as we say in Canada, 1600 km in 24 hours.  This is known to the IBA as the SaddleSore 1000.  Since you can choose any route, I've been considering a circle that takes me from the GTA to Owen Sound to Sudbury to Ottawa and back again.  By doing some more reading I discovered the IBA also has a Lower Great Lakes 1000 ride which goes around Lake Erie and Ontario.  This struck me as more interesting and safe, since I'll be able to stay on the major roads and if I feel I can't safely continue, I can always abort as I make my way past Buffalo.  Below is the route I'm now considering.

  • Tank up at my local gas station for the first receipt.
  • Head onto the QEW westbound.
  • Take the 403 heading towards London, Ontario.
  • Near London this will eventually become the 401.
  • Follow the 401 to Windsor.
  • In Windsor the 401 turns into Highway 3.  Follow this to the Ambassador Bridge to the US.
  • In Detroit, follow Ambassador Bridge Street which will circle around back to West Fort Street.
  • Follow West Fort Street to Clark Street and then get on the 75 Highway.
  • Follow the 75 through Toledo and get onto the Ohio Turnpike (Highway 80 and 90)
  • Follow the Ohio Turnpike towards Cleveland and then get onto Highway 480.
  • Take Highway 271 North.  After Cleveland this will become Highway 90.
  • Keep following Highway 90 to Buffalo.  This is the point of no-return.  If I feel I can't continue for another 8 hours then this is the place to call it quits.
  • Keep following Highway 90 as it goes past Rochester.
  • In Syracuse, NY, take Highway 81 North.  This goes all the way to the Thousand Island Bridges.
  • Follow the Thousand Island Bridges to 401.
  • Follow the 401 back to Pickering.
  • In Pickering, judging by the traffic, either follow the 401 back home or take Brock Road north, then turn onto the 407 and head home.
Total driving time should be under 18 hours (according to Google Maps) and over 1600 kilometres!  Now I just need to flesh out this route with gas stops.  I'll be riding a VTX 1300 which can generally get 200km to the tank, but I figure it's probably more safe to fuel up every 100km and stretch a bit too.

For this ride, I'll be traveling fairly light.  I figure my regular set of riding gear along with a full helmet should be good.  I can bring a small pack on the back cargo rack with some snacks, water and my raingear.  I would like to get some sort of tank pack where I can store my iPhone, as well as a USB charge for the iPhone.  (The whole purpose is that the iPhone has a GPS tracker that I'd like to use, as well as Google Maps if I get lost.)  Which reminds me, that I should bring along some good'ol fashioned paper maps.  Of course, I'll need something to carry all my receipts in (something waterproof in case of rain), and a log book to document my stops.  Since I'll be taking some toll routes, I'll need to bring some American coins and cash.  I've calculated the cost of the Ohio Turnpike at $4.25 USD; New York Toll Highway at $9.20 USD; Ambassador Bridge Toll at $4.75 CDN.  If I decide to use the 407 near the end, that's another $20 CDN!

Timing-wise, I figure I'll do this somewhere around the end of June when there is the most sunlight available.

My fuel stops:
  1. Esso near home.
  2. Canadian Tire Gas Bar in Woodstock (get off 401 at the Norwich Avenue exit) 503 Norwich Avenue, Woodstock, ON - 92km
  3. Esso in London (get off 401 at Wellington Road and go north) 1251 Wellington Road, London, ON - 47km
  4. Esso in Tilbury (get off 401 at Highway 2 before Tilbury, follow Mill Street westbound to get back on 401) 53 Mill Street West, Tilbury, ON - 130km
  5. Westside Esso (turn right onto Tecumseh Road in Windsor, from highway 3) 2625 Tecumseh Road West, Windsor, ON - 55km
  6. Dixie Highway Shell (get off Highway 75 at North Dixie Hwy and turn left, go over bridge) 1488 N Dixie Hwy, Monroe, MI‎ - 59 km
  7. BP (Get off Ohio Turnpike at highway 53) 3428 3430 N OH-53, Fremont, OH‎ - 85 km
  8. Lehigh Gas (On Ohio Turnpike just after Pyle South Amherst Road) 46402 Middle Ridge Rd, Amherst, OH‎ - 84 km
  9. BP (Turn south on Highway 44 from Highway 90) 7515 Auburn Rd, Painesville, OH - 100km
  10. Shell Convenience Store (Exit south onto Perry Highway from Highway 90) 8030 Perry Hwy, Erie, PA - 113km
  11. Kwik Fill (Take Camp Road south from Highway 90) 5466 Camp Rd, Hamburg, NY‎ - 130km
  12. Citgo Gas (Take exit 48 to Park Road, from Highway 90) 8204 Park Rd, Batavia, NY‎- 77km
  13. Sunoco (after exit 43 on Highway 90) Clifton Springs, NY 14432 - 90km
  14. Sunoco (exit 32 to East Avenue going westbound, from Highway 81) 3016 East Ave, Central Square, NY‎ - 110km
  15. Sunoco (exit 45 to westbound Arsenal St, from Highway 81) 1255 Arsenal St, Watertown, NY - 83km
  16. Four-O-One and Division Gas Bar (exit southbound onto Division St, from the 401) 1213 Division Street, Kingston - 100km
  17. Shell (exit 519 to service center on 401, after Trenton) 17278 Hwy 401, Brighton, Ontario - 97km
  18. Esso ( exit 444 to service center on 401, before Newcastle) Newcastle - 76km
  19. Sunoco (exit 401 to Brock Road northbound) 1800 Brock Road, Pickering, ON - 45km
  20. Esso near home - 91km
Figuring an average fuel price of $1/litre and getting 7L/100km, I'm figuring about $117 in fuel.  Add on the tolls and I'm looking at anywhere between $140 and $160 CDN for this little trip.
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