I previously posted a note about the Iron Butt riders and the association that houses their chatter, rides, history and such. The group is defined by those who do long distance “endurance” rides like their Saddle Sore 1000 (1000 miles in under 25 hours) or the BunBurner 1500 (1500 miles in under 36hrs) and a bunch of other rallies, rides and gatherings. Although the names of the rides are not that innovative, they do offer a challenge that has been accepted and completed by an amazing number of riders. There are a bunch of books out there that romanticize the adventure ride like “The Man Who Would Stop at Nothing” by Melissa Holbrook and “Against the Wind” by Ron Ayres, who by the way appears to be the major commercial/marketing component of the Iron Butt Association.
Yesterday, the day after Thanksgiving, was forecast to have nice weather and my wife gave the Ok for a day off from the domestic stuff, so I thought I would give it a shot, 1,000 miles in under 24 hrs…
The day started at about 4am with quick attention to domestic duties, getting the dogs walked and the bike packed-up. Was out the door and on the road by 5:10am. I walked back through the door about 10:30pm the same night with about 1,034 additional miles on the bike (17 hrs later). Aside from the cool weather at the start (31 degrees F), it was a beautiful ride. Schwenksville to Pittsburgh to Charleston, WV to Cambridge OH, back to Schwenksville. The bike ran flawlessly and the weather cooperated. Tried to follow all of the rules to get the ride approved by the association, submitted the paperwork – have to see what happens. I have to admit a bit of Zen crept into the ride as I cruised down the highway (I won’t mention speeds for fear of jeopardizing the certification of the ride) with a starlit sky and nothing but open road before me. Gave me a taste of what is to come on the Alaska ride and only served to increase my anticipation and longing to get on the road. Added this to the SPOT Adventures site and seemed to work out well. Click HERE to check it out.
To anyone considering trying such a ride, I’d say go for it. It was not as big of a challenge as I thought it was going to be. If a novice like me can do it – it can’t be all that tough… Not to take the allure from the guys who do 11 days in a row of the same – getting up the next day and doing another 1,000, then another, etc… would be a lot different. For me, the main motivation was to get comfortable with what a long distance day feel like – all preparation for the Alaska ride. I am pretty sure that I could do a couple of 1,000 mile days back to back if I had to (i.e.: return trip from Fairbanks in 3-4 days).