“Congratulations! Your application was drawn for entry in the 2010 Iron Butt 5000!”
Those were the words I read with a rush of emotion and excitement that very few understand or comprehend. Heck I’m not even sure how to explain it to others why Long Distance (LD) Riding is so much fun to me and relaxing. Most bikers look at you like you are nuts to ride the distance and non-riders look at you like you must have a death wish or something to ride a bike let alone long distance for fun. So what do you do then? I just live with it and move on. I explain it to my friends and family; some get it, some say they get it, some just nod and move on.
This blog is my attempt to document my first multi day Long Distance Rally preparation and experiences. The blogs and internet seem to be an excellent way to start this type of activity for others to enjoy and follow along. I’ve read a lot of people’s blogs and am always interested in their experiences. In a way it has allowed me to live through others journeys to areas I have yet to see. In this case I hope that others will enjoy my journey and maybe learn a thing or two from me.
I first got interested in the Iron Butt Rally (IBR) in 2001 when I went to the Maine Check point with a group of my riding friends. That experience really hooked me into this small group of riders and I started dreaming of the day when I would be able to join such a limited group. I followed the IBR again in 2003 and 2005 and started to dive more into this group. However I had yet to do the most basic qualification ride, a Saddle Sore 1000 (SS1000), which is a 1000 mile ride in 24 hours or less. I had done some research and had started my plan several times but somehow never got going. Then in 2006 I found out about the Minuteman 1000 rally and the wonderful opportunity to earn my SS1000 qualification at this event. I missed the 2006 event but signed up for the 2007 event. With that June ride, a loop from MA to VT to NH to ME to NH to MA to RI to CT and back to MA, I completed my first long distance ride. When I finished I was exhausted, I was sore, and I couldn’t have been more excited! I learned a lot about myself and my abilities. More importantly I learned I liked it and I wanted more. Since that first accomplishment I have had several other accomplishments I am equally proud of and several failures that I have learned from. I am still pretty ‘green’ in this small group of LD Riders, but I’m learning and looking forward to growing my abilities.
|From MM1000 2008|
The 2010 Iron Butt 5000 is significant for several reasons. First it is the first time the Iron Butt Association (IBA) has done this rally. The IBA is know for qualifying the LD Rides, like the SS1000, and also runs the Super Bowl of all long Distance Rally’s the Iron Butt Rally (IBR). The IBR is the premier rally in the LD world; it is an 11 day rally that runs on odd years only. It is very competitive to get selected for, as there are literally thousands of applications for the coveted 100 spots. The LD world has numerous other rallies that are run by local rallymasters that most people get their feet wet in. But this is a first time for the IBA to offer a shorter rally format. In addition if you finish the IB5000 you get a spot in the 2011 IBR; if you want it! So although it has not been advertised as a ‘qualification’ rally it does serve that purpose nicely to those that have not done a multi day rally before, like me.
With that the stage is set, the event is August 16 - 21, and I’m a registered participant and can hardly wait. The next 8 months should be fun!