When I’m not implementing the latest comp plan, GTM strategy or process improvements for a software company I enjoy riding my motorcycle. I used to ride when I was in high school and college but put it on hold for some number of years while the kids were young. It wasn’t until I took a job in Silicon Valley that it emerged as a viable commuting alternative for the 120 mile round trip from my home in El Cerrito. There are HOV lanes which allow motorcycles on most of the routes between home and SV. California also allows motorcycles to navigate between cars (called lane splitting) when in congested traffic. I bought a BMW K1200LT; a very large touring bike because of its comfort and protection from the elements.
A year later that I discovered the motorcycle model I picked was a favorite of long distance motorcyclists. Yes, there is a group of folks who ride just for the challenge of covering large distances and they are appropriately called the Iron Butt Association. To qualify to join this group you need to ride 1,000 miles in 24 hours and document the ride with witnesses and time stamped gas receipts. Worldwide there are over 75,000 members in the IBA.
I remember thinking that 1,000 miles on a motorcycle would be a daunting task but the challenge was irresistible! I spent weeks planning my first 1,000 mile ride with 2 long rest stops at family’s homes along the way. Since then I have been successful in several IBA certified rides: Canada to Mexico in 24 hours, San Diego to Jacksonville, FL and back to San Diego in under 100 hours, and the most difficult was two 1,500 mile days in a row (3,000 miles in 48 hours), called a Bun Burner 3000 Gold. I call it crazy brutal.
I have also been on the board of a 501 c 3, charitable organization that holds annual motorcycle conventions at resort venues in the United States offering great riding opportunities while raising money for nearby youth focused organizations. This has allowed me and sometimes my wife to ride through some of the most beautiful “fly-over” country most coast dwellers never see. It’s been over 10 years since my return to riding and I have now ridden a motorcycle in all 50 states and 3 Canadian provinces covering over 300,000 miles. I rented a bike in Hawaii but I rode to Alaska!
Please enjoy the photos of a few of my exploits below…