48 in 10

Left to right, Steve Peacock, Grant Sumsion and daughter, Cami Sumsion, Marc Menlove and Jared Hansen at their final destination -- the Oregon border. The group was able to bike the 48 contiguous states in 10 days, more than 7,800 miles.

PLEASANT GROVE -- Steve Peacock recently joined an exclusive group, one he referred to as including fewer than the number of United States presidents and Supreme Court justices combined.

“Smaller than the amount of husbands of Elizabeth Taylor,” the Pleasant Grove resident joked.

This small group of people -- slightly more than 100 -- have completed what seems to be the impossible. Known throughout the motorcycle community as the 48 states in 10 Days Ride, those on the honor roll for completing the challenge have ridden through the contiguous 48 continental states in 10 days. 

Peacock tells a story about the inspiration for starting such a journey. He started riding big motorcycles in 2005, and found a motorcycle magazine titled “Rider.” There was an article written about a trip called the SaddleSore 1000.

“I researched and found out a bit more about an association called the Iron Butt Association that certifies long motorcycle rides,” Peacock said.

Peacock discovered the rules to become a certified 48 in 10 rider on the association's website at www.ironbutt.com, and the flame was lit.

“We started with the SaddleSore 1000, which involved riding 1,000 miles in 24 hours, and then moved on to the Bun Burner 1500, which was 1,500 miles in 36 hours,” Peacock said.

He said he realized three years ago the 48 States in 10 Days Ride had to happen.

“I’m 68 years old now, and I knew if I didn’t start planning then, I would never be able to finish this bucket-list item," Peacock said. "More people have walked in space, won the Super Bowl … I looked at it as an extreme challenge."

And so, after three years of planning, he and a trio of friends met up at a gas station in Springville and drove down to St. George, officially beginning their journey at 4 a.m. May 13.

Ten days and more than 7,800 miles later, the group of five — Peacock, Jared Hansen, Marc Menlove, Grant Sumsion and his ride-along daughter, Cami Sumsion — finished their trip in Oregon.

Hansen kept a blog during the trip at 48states10days.blogspot.com.

His last entry on May 22 left no doubt as to how the group was feeling on that day.

"We did it! I can't believe it, but after 10 days and 48 States we just crossed into Oregon, our last state," Hansen said for his last entry.

Peacock said the ride was a life-changing experience.

“We had three hot meals the entire time we were riding … but I was deeply touched and came to appreciate even more my heritage, religiously and patriotically," he said. "The diversity of the geography and geology of this great land continuously astounded us.

"The feeling and emotion and sensations of finishing the ride far exceeded anything that we could have imagined."

Peacock said his willingness to try such a grueling ride was rooted in its difference from any other journey made by car, train or plane.

“When you are driving in a car, you are remotely experiencing the drive through a TV screen," he said. "When you are on a motorcycle, you get to feel the weather, smell the smells … when you are in a car you are trying to get from place to place.

"When you are on a motorcycle, traveling is the experience."

Cathy Allred is north Utah County reporter for the Daily Herald and can be reached at heraldextra.ca@gmail.com.

Daily Herald journalist Cathy Allred covers north Utah County news and events, and acts as a community watchdog.

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