This international organization offers membership to motorcycle riders who complete distance rides within preset time limits and then meet all the certification requirements of the organization.
Long Distance Riders president Jack R. Powis Jr. recently certified the ride, which was completed by the pair on Sept. 1, 2012.
Long Distance Riders certified two separate “rider distance accomplishments” for them.
The first accomplishment was for riding 500 miles in 12 hours. This is the “Easy Rider” category.
The second certification is for riding 1,000 miles in a 24-hour period, and is called the “Full Throttle” category.
Wylie is only the 485th person to be certified in this category by the organization. Reynolds’ certification is pending.
Their journey began from Gilmer at dawn on Aug. 27, 2012.
Wylie rode a 2006 Harley Davidson Road King, and Reynolds rode a 2005 Harley Davidson Electra Glide Classic.
“It was a clear but cool morning that was punctuated by Rolling Stone songs blaring from Mr. Reynolds’ motorcycle stereo,” Wylie said.
Their route took the two north to Sherman, then west on Hwy. 82 until it merged into Hwy. 287 near Wichita Falls. On this first day, the route continued west through Texas into the northeastern part of New Mexico, ending only after crossing into Colorado near the town of Trinidad.
“When you cross Texas, you see drastic changes in terrain, going from Piney Woods, through rolling hills into the desert plains,” Wylie said. “Texas is just an awesome state to see from the back of a motorcycle.
“In some ways, it is the same view seen by early settlers. The further you go, the fewer people, and the further between gas stations,” he said. “Then in northern New Mexico, you get to beautifully rugged country and into the mountains.”
Wylie said there was a contrast between heat-and-drought-stricken Texas and New Mexico’s lush, green hay meadows.”
The two had traveled about 700 miles when they rolled into Trinidad that first evening. This part of the journey qualified them for the 500-mile-in-12-hours or “Easy Rider” certification.
“A funny part of this adventure is that I had ridden in a bicycle ride in Wichita Falls (the HHH 100) with my friend Rodney Lindsey, and only arrived home the afternoon before we left on the motorcycle ride,” Wylie said. “In hindsight, that was probably not a particularly smart thing to do before starting on such an adventure.”
The next morning, the temperature was in the 40s, while the previous day had been dominated by the 100-degree Texas temperatures.
“On trips like this, you must pretty much carry everything you need within the limited space on your cycle,” Wylie said. “Large changes in weather can complicate both the packing and the travel.”
Wylie and Reynolds completed several days of work on a cabin in Colorado before their return trip.
Beginning early on the morning of Sept. 1, they started back to Gilmer.
Morning temperatures were cold, since the trip started at an elevation of 10,000 feet.
“When we left that morning, it was cold. When you add the wind chill, you have a pretty challenging start to your day,” Wylie said.
The trip started about 40 miles west of Denver, and then carried them due east on Interstate 70 through Colorado and Kansas, before turning south at Salina, Kan. From there, they traveled south through Oklahoma and on home late that night.
In all, they rode some 1,030 miles in about 17 hours.
This met the requirements of the “1,000 miles within 24 hours” challenge set by Long Distance Riders.
“It was quite an adventure,” Wylie said. “We can say we did it, and we are proud of our accomplishment, but it was hard. It took both of us several days to physically get over that trip. But when is is all said and done, we will probably do something like it again some day.”