By Mark “Buck” King — It seems impossible to fathom that this Big Ride was the fifteenth time we have hit the road on an annual quest for adventure on two wheels. Time has a way of moving so quickly that it catches us unaware of just how many years have passed. In the early days we were proud of ourselves for riding 500 miles in one day. Now we are all accomplished Iron Butt members who don’t bat an eye at a 1,000 mile day. Even though physically we have more aches and pains, we have learned to ride longer by learning how to make the ride easier. Bigger touring bikes with back rests, cruise control, and multiple foot and leg positions are a big part of increasing our endurance.
Clearly we cannot keep doing Big Rides forever. There will come an end to this, for some of us sooner than others. But that only makes each ride from this point forward even more precious. Most of us know that there are more miles behind us than lie before. So every mile counts more now. Now it is important to check the things off our bucket lists that we have always wanted to do. That’s why this year we decided to do the Big Ride just a little differently.
Instead of a ten day ride with every night in a different place, this year we decided on a destination ride where we could stay for a few days and do things out of one location as a hub. The best place we could come up with was Jackson Hole, Wyoming. With the Tetons, Yellowstone, and the Beartooth Highway close by it was a natural choice. We also built in a day to go fly fishing on the Snake River. Fly fishing was on that long list of things that we all wanted to do, but to this point in our lives had never made time for.
Initially we were planning on seven riders, but three succumbed to the pressures of life and responsibilities. Obviously, they need to reassess their priorities. So this year the Big Ride would be four riders: Buck, Stinky, Smokey, and Road Dog.
I hope you enjoy this account of another spectacular Big Ride.
To read the rest of the story please download the PDF file here: JACKSON HOLE Big Ride 2014