So we are less than 8 weeks away from the official 10AM EDT start of the IBR on July 1. When I stop and think about this for a minute I realize in just 8 weeks I’ll be on a road probably within 300 miles of the east coast hunting for a bonus. I might be headed to Key West, FL or Madawaska, ME. Both are certainly reachable within the 82 hours of time I’ll have on Leg 1. Going in either direction is completely achievable although going to both locations isn’t, at least not for me. So how do I figure out what is possible? With a spreadsheet of course.
By laying out the entire 11 days in a spreadsheet I’m able to plan my rest on a per day basis. From that I can then calculate the number of hours I’ll have for rally activities, i.e. bonus collecting, riding, fueling, drive-thrus, etc. That’s basically anything that I’ll be doing when I’m not in a hotel room sleeping.
So if I know the number of real hours available to me I can start to plan what my mileage possibilities are. For instance, assuming I can keep a 50mph average for the 67 hours that I’ll be active during Leg 1, I should be able to cover 3,350 miles while still getting 15 hours of rest. Going to Madawaska, ME and back is only 1,850 miles so that’s something I could build a larger route upon. Probable adding some miles into Canada. Going to Key West, FL and back is only 2,700 miles. That’s also a plan I could build a larger route upon. Now Pittsburgh to Madawaska to Key West, FL and back to Pittsburgh is 4,408 miles. Nope!!!! That won’t work for me. It’s almost 1,100 miles more than I think I can do in the first Leg. I would need to achieve a 65.8mph average for the 67 hours I’d be active. I’m sure there are some who may try and even succeed at such a pace. But I won’t be among them. It’s well known that east of the Mississippi one’s rally pace is slower.
Since my GPS isn’t smart enough to use my “Activity” hours when calculating it’s Overall Average I added in the Overall Average field which is calculated from the possible miles divided the total hours for the leg. For Leg 1 I’m only shooting for an overall average of 40.854 miles. That seems reasonable.
For Leg 2 I’ll be heading west. And because of that I’ve upped the average by 10mph. I can always change this at the end of Leg 1 if I feel like I can achieve a higher or lower average based on performance. There’s a total of 65 hours in Leg 2 of which I plan to rest for 10 hours. That leaves 55 hours of activity resulting in 3,300 possible miles. The Leg’s end point is in Sacramento, CA which shows to be 2,467 miles from Pittsburgh. A couple of fellow LD riding friends believe Death Valley will be among the bonuses listed for Leg 2 and/or Leg 3. No problem. Dropping down to Death Valley on Leg 2 only raises the mileage to 2,725. That still means there’s plenty of room to build more of a route. My guess it that there will be a northern route and a southern route for Leg 2. I’ll likely take the one that keeps me out of stormy weather.
Leg 3 will take me back to Pittsburgh, PA. If I had time to make it on Leg 2, then I’ll definitely have time on Leg 3. With an additional 30 hours (95 hours for the Leg) the possibilities start getting interesting. Traditionally Leg 3 is where the big points are and it’s likely going to be where I’ll be able to rack up the highest mileage. Again keeping my Active MPH Average at 60mph I should be able to cover 4,740 miles while still getting 16 hours of rest. Sure I’ll push it during the last 26 hours but I’m planning a 1 hour rest period during my normal cycle for rest. That should allow for a quick nap at the Iron Butt Motel.
To put things in perspective, I could leave Sacramento, stop in Death Valley and head down to Key West, FL before heading up to Pittsburgh. That would cover 4,645 miles. That is achievable according to my spreadsheet. But it doesn’t factor in for the possibly slower pace coming up along the East coast. Hmmmm.
Another possible route might be to go north to Hyder, Alaska and then head to Pittsburgh. The route shows 4,768 miles which is at the edge of what I’m currently projecting I can do. But if the bonus points are large enough…???
By nailing down my planned rest/sleep schedule I can even break down the route for each Leg by day to determine if I’m ahead or behind at the end of each day. Ahead of schedule and I can use the time to collect extra bonuses or get some extra rest. Behind schedule and I can decide what bonus(es) I’ll drop to make it to the end on time.
This is really just one big puzzle. But I don’t get to see what the pieces are until the evening of June 30th.