Easy peasy....

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  • Gizmo
    started a blog post Easy peasy....

    Easy peasy....



    The Iron Butt Association (IBA) Facebook page has daily requests from newbie/wannabe long distance riders looking for advice on everything from what bike to ride to what to eat, drink, wear and on and on. Apparently, they don't know how to read a map so they ask directions all the time. Sometimes, I get the feeling that some of these riders have very little actual riding experience and they think they can instantly become an "Ironbutter" if they can just do that hallowed 1000 miler with no need to work up to it or pay your dues, so to speak. A certificate for the wall and bragging rights with the buddies is the main goal, apparently. More than likely, the neophyte will be successful as the number of IBA members continues to swell with the one-and-done crowd.

    Of course, the IBA has always been inclusive rather than exclusive but I'm starting to question if it is now too easy to become an IBA member. Essentially, the exclusive part is gone. We cannot ignore fact that the advancement of motorcycles, clothing, roads and highway services has made long distance travel much easier than in the past. There are many reports of people doing their first Saddle Sore 1000 in 14 hours which would have been almost unheard of 20 years ago so, yes, it is easier now than in the past. Oh, I'm sure there are plenty of tough, young long distance riders out there but it's hard to differentiate between them or give them much credit when the bar is now set too low.

    • kwthom
      #7
      kwthom commented
      Editing a comment
      So, one might surmise then, that the whole sum of these changes (bike durability, speed limits, rider gear) along with that burning desire a few of us have (y'know, that 'defective gene') are able to make these endurance rides possible.

      I'll disagree slightly with the last sentence. It is a big deal when a still very small subset of motorcycle riders (~2% of the motoring public in North America...) has that ability, desire, and equipment to be able to move at an average of 42 MPH or faster in order to cover that 1000+ mile distance.

      What's never discussed is the amount of failure - at any stage in the history of long distance endurance motorcycling - to achieve that magic milestone.

      I don't know, I guess I just don't see or read abut the 'agony of defeat' on LD rides. I'm sure they still happen, but people tend to brag on the fact they did it, rather than those that didn't do it, but know that they need to do X, Y or Z a bit better on their next attempt.

      Or, realize this isn't their style of riding and never do it again.

    • Gizmo
      #8
      Gizmo commented
      Editing a comment
      The amount of failure on IBA ride attempts is quite low I would think because of all of the advancements we have been discussing plus one very big thing that we have not mentioned...social media. When I first considered Iron Butt rides about 20 years ago, spreading the word about the IBA on social media was in its infancy. I became IBA member #8*** in 2001. Now there are over 70,000 members and a big part of that growth must be attributed to social media exposure.

      There was an IBA website and an email chain in the old days but most of the previous news and knowledge was kept among a relatively few long distance enthusiasts who participated in various clubs. LD riders were an obscure underground group in the motorcycle world. In other words, a prospective IBA member who was not privy to club information had to actively search; it did not just miraculously pop up on a Facebook account. Need info and advice now? Easy Peasy!

      In the old days, modifying and adapting motorcycles for long distance use was an evolving art with a lot of trial and error involved. Now, just Google it and order what you need online. Easy peasy!

      Because of all of the exposure, social media and otherwise, LD riding and the IBA have become much more legitimized over time. Now there are group SS1000's and group 48/10's taking place where it used to be one rider, alone, because nobody else was willing to do it. Of course, LD riding is still not the norm but it is not nearly so much a secret society as it was a few years ago.

      All of this is a good thing. More and more motorcyclists realize that being a rider is actually about "go" instead of "show".

    • kwthom
      #9
      kwthom commented
      Editing a comment
      The IBA web pages still exist - and the LD Riders email list continues to endure, despite FB and other means of social media bleeding off participation from them.

      I mean, thank Lord K. and his direct minions for passing the word along about all of these very things. After all, it all really started as a newsletter decades ago.
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