About a month before Born Free 8 Tyler Jones and I decided that we wanted to complete the Ride 1K in a Day challenge. When we showed up to BF8, and met up with some of the other 1K guys that we had known for some time, it was clear that we needed to step up to complete the challenge ourselves. The date was set for August 6th and the planning process began. What started as a three man team turned into a one man team before the ride even began due to an unforeseen move.
Figuring out the perfect 1,000 mile loop was more difficult that I thought it would be. We wanted a route that wouldn’t be boring, that hadn’t been done, and one that would challenge us both physically and mentally. Finally, we found the perfect route. We decided to meet at a gas station off of the 15 Freeway in Ontario, CA to begin our ride.
Four in the morning on August 6th finally arrived and Tyler and I began our trip. From that gas station in Ontario, we rode the 15 north hitting the 395 North. The 395 was by far the most beautiful road I’ve ever ridden on. Maybe because it was just past 5:00 am and no one was out, maybe because I was pumped about the ride, maybe it really was the road and scenery or a combination of all these factors, but it was an unexplainable feeling.
After getting through Bishop, CA and into Nevada, we decided to take our first break in a small town called Topaz Lake. We gassed up our bikes and walked into a little casino next door to the gas station. After grabbing a beer and a cigarette, I threw some money into a video machine, lost $40 bucks, Tyler and I finished our beers, and we got back on the road. We rode the 395 north all the way until it became the 580, and from there, the 80 west towards Sacramento.
Riding past Lake Tahoe and through the mountains surrounding it was almost as beautiful as the morning’s ride off the 395. In fact, it probably would’ve been just as great if the road wasn’t sprinkled with cops all the way through and endless slow driving cars. If it weren’t for the Waze app, Tyler and I definitely would’ve been pulled over that afternoon. Instead, we split lanes at 80 through the mountains only slowing down when Waze would tell us there were police reported ahead.
We got into Sacramento and stopped at the California state capital to walk around, stretch our legs, and to eat some of the cliff bars in our bags. The capital building was an incredible sight but we were in no condition to walk into the building for the tour. I had a knife and some other contraband in my pockets that I forgot to take out so I wasn’t ready to take a chance walking inside. So instead, we drank some water, sat in the shade, and then we got back on the bikes.
This next leg was by far the worst. Now it was time to get on the 5 freeway heading south. No longer did we have the beautiful sights, sounds, hills, rivers, and lake. Now we had to stare at traffic and dead and burnt grass fields and smell of cattle farms. By this point, we were still fired up so the first 150 miles down the 5 freeway weren’t too bad, but it only got worse. We stopped at a gas station and we were greeted by a guy that had only one shoe and was trying to sell us gold necklaces like something right out of a movie. We filled up our bikes, bullshitted with the guy after giving him about $1.50 in change, and decided to get the next 150 miles done. Those next 150 miles down the 5 and into Bakersfield were ruthlessly hot, boring, and full of traffic to split.
Arriving in Bakersfield we took our longest break yet. Both Tyler and I finished a bottle of water, a large gatorade, and a pop tart plus some well-deserved stretching before the last 150 miles we had to do. This may have been the easiest leg of the journey of all of it. Maybe it was because it was ending, but we took it easy and when the odometer hit, we celebrated, gassed up, and we both knew it was time to get home and off the bikes.
I could’ve partied after the 1K, but I’m not sure about Tyler. Maybe it’s because I was on a Street Glide and he was on a Street Bob, but I was ready to party as long as that party didn’t happen on the bike. Regardless, I would absolutely do a 1,000 mile ride in a day again. However, I may never do it in a loop again. If I’m heading somewhere, like Sturgis or a friend’s house that’s far away, I know that I could blast 1K in a Day with no problems and with a smile on my face. But just a loop to do it, I don’t know if I’ll do that again. Regardless, this is an event that I’ll never forget and was an incredible journey. Such a great time! If anyone reads this and hasn’t put 1K in a day on their bike, they need to put their miles where their mouths are and do it, they won’t regret it.