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Motorcycle Diaries

Caroline Purtell

Patrick Mogavero left his Hebron, Ky., home in the dark, cool morning hours of Sept. 3, mounted his silver and black 1986 Kawasaki Concours and headed toward Charleston, W. Va. Eighteen hours and 1,072 miles later, the 1979 graduate returned, tired and a bit stiff, but with a sense of accomplishment that comes from overcoming a difficult physical challenge. With the mental endurance required of a marathon runner, Mogavero completed the SaddleSore 1000,” a motorcycle ride of more than 1,000 miles within a 24-hour period.

Sanctioned by the Iron Butt Association, fewer than 1 percent of all motorcycle riders in the U.S. have successfully completed this endurance ride. Although he had completed 600-mile ventures in the past, this was his longest one-day ride to date.

“It’s an endurance challenge that gets you no prizes, no trophies and certainly no money, but will certainly leave any successful participant with a great feeling of accomplishment at the end,” says Mogavero, a commercial sales manager at Pep Boys and the national benefits director for the Honda Sport Touring Association.

To make riding more comfortable, Mogavero lowered the footpegs and raised the handlebars on his motorcycle— nicknamed “Shadowfax.” He also equipped it with hookups for XM Radio and wears an electric vest in cold weather. His ride took him to Charleston and along the southern border of Kentucky. Finally, he turned northeast and headed toward home, a little saddle sore, perhaps, but triumphant, nonetheless.

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