It is never a good idea to call someone an Iron Butt, unless you are referring to a group of motorcyclists that have earned the right to be called that. The minimum commitment to wear that badge is the SaddleSore 1000 which requires riders to cover 1,000 miles in 24 hours or less. Sure it sounds easy, 41.67 miles an hour, but there is a lot more to it. Safe, long-distance motorcycle riding is what the 50,000+ members of the Iron Butt Association dedicate themselves to. Despite being based in the United States, thousands of enthusiastic members are located around the globe. One of the groups more popular slogans is, “The World Is Our Playground.” Hosting several rides annually, the most notable is the 11-day, 11,000+ mile Iron Butt Rally. Additionally, the Iron Butt Association hosts:
*The Saddle Sore 1000 – a 24 hour 1,000 mile ride.
*The Bun Burner 1500 – a 1,500 mile run completed in 36 hours.
*The Bun Burner Gold – 1,500 miles in 24 hours.
*The 50cc Quest – Cross Country in 50 hours or less.
*The National Parks Tour Master Traveler Award – visit 50 parks in at least 25 states.
*The coveted 10/10ths Challenge – 10 consecutive 1,000 mile days.
*The 100k Club – 100,000 miles or more in one year.
The Iron Butt Association (IBA) doesn’t have membership in the traditional sense, no yearly dues, formal meetings or even a monthly newsletter. The IBA is a little more loose knit than most clubs. Generally speaking there are several ways to earn membership. The most notable is to be a finisher of the Iron Butt Rally or a successful finisher of one of the other rides sponsored by The IBA, such as the Saddle Sore 1000. Endurance riding not your thing, rally workers and supporters are granted membership status.
According to The Iron Butt Association, “A great Long Distance rider can do very well on a mediocre motorcycle. “It’s the rider, not the bike” is a romantic notion within the Long Distance Riding Community, but reality suggests it is really both. A well-prepared, well maintained motorcycle can make a huge difference in the outcome of competitive riding events. That’s why most top Long Distance riders use motorcycles that are designed specifically for long distance riding, and then perform modifications to their machines to better handle 1,000+ mile days. Auxiliary lighting, increased fuel capacity, more comfortable saddles, heated clothing, GPS navigation systems, modified windscreens, hydration systems and many other modifications can increase the comfort and efficiency with which long distances can be covered on a motorcycle.”
So if you are looking for membership in a club that has no walls, prepare yourself for your first 1,000 mile day and all the adventure it will have to offer. Maybe, just maybe, you might even work your way into The 100k Club. Until then, get out there and ride.