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.

    • RoadRat
      #2
      RoadRat commented
      Editing a comment
      I've done plenty of 1000 mi rides in the allotted time before I even knew that their was an IBA. It was more by necessity than anything else and once I heard about the IBA I still never sent in any documentation. Wasn't my cup of tea to get a certificate. Not knocking the folks who do it for the certificates and bragging rights.

    • kwthom
      #3
      kwthom commented
      Editing a comment
      So many topics to poke at here...and that's okay.

      Has equipment or rider skill made the exclusive SS1000 possible? Hard to tell, but even in the seven short years since I got my first SS1000, one must agree that the equipment (bikes / gear / technology) may very well have made doing the "sit here, twist this" for 17+ hours a bit easier to accomplish.

      Oh, 14 hours SS1000? For a newbie?? C'mon - ain't buying that. Overall average speed of 73.5MPH, meaning a moving average around 85MPH. A 15 hour SS1000 is overall average speed of 68.6MPH, a bit more reasonable, especially here in the west.

      You've got to think that 80% or more are the "one-cert-and-done" riders. Those that are looking for the "certificate for the wall and bragging rights with the buddies is the main goal" are able to achieve it and move on.

      Out of the 60,000 or so that are members, how many are truly hard-core riders? I've estimated 10,000 or less - and probably closer to 7,500 or maybe even 5,000. Now, this number probably fluctuates, but ya gotta think that many of those four-digit IBA members may have since retired from riding - especially if they got those qualifying SS1000's in the late 80's or early 90's when they themselves were in middle-age - or later.

      Long-distance endurance motorcycling does take a bit of financial ability to achieve. Yeah, might only be $150 for the gas and entry fee for that first SS1000/BB1500 certification, so the younger crowd is drawn in.

      Think of the recent costs associated with the little jaunt I just took (have yet to add those values...) and this can become a somewhat expensive past-time to chase a dream of entry into a fairly exclusive club of riders.

      Those "tough, young long distance riders out there" will indeed differentiate themselves from the pack, when they start cert chasing like mad (like Greg Rice, the king of the BBG) or become rally wizards (Josh Mountain, Eric Jewell, Gerhard Memmen-Krueger, Jim Owen...) and replace the grizzled veterans.

      Check this out:

      https://www.ironbutt.org/ibrfacts.htm

      Look at the early records from the IBR. These guys were in their 40's and 50's in the 80's and 90's. Thus, serious LD riding doesn't happen until you have some years of experience.

      The young pups you're reading about on FB? Hey, we were *all* that way at one time, we just had to pester our colleagues at work who did this to get them to give us more information - or go by the bike shop and see the poster (remember those??). Maybe we learned a bit from dial-up computer resources in the late 80's and 90's (BBS's, AOL, Usenet message boards...), but you had to be exposed to it somehow.

      Today, social media & web pages of information make finding out information about IBA rides easy. Knowing if YOU have the capability to do it? Still inside each and every rider.

    • kwthom
      #4
      kwthom commented
      Editing a comment
      I'm gonna amplify two of my points here...

      Originally posted by kwthom
      You've got to think that 80% or more are the "one-cert-and-done" riders. Those that are looking for the "certificate for the wall and bragging rights with the buddies is the main goal" are able to achieve it and move on.
      The "Mile Eater" is for those with two or more certs.

      Originally posted by kwthom
      Out of the 60,000 or so that are members, how many are truly hard-core riders? I've estimated 10,000 or less - and probably closer to 7,500 or maybe even 5,000. Now, this number probably fluctuates, but ya gotta think that many of those four-digit IBA members may have since retired from riding - especially if they got those qualifying SS1000's in the late 80's or early 90's when they themselves were in middle-age - or later.
      These are numbers that the Association possibly protects, so I'm gonna preface it by saying 'my complete estimate of membership purely for discussion purposes only'. A hard-core member of this esteemed group? Well, seems like the Mile Eater program has been designed to identify those that may fit that definition.

      Yes, membership numbers are now in the 70,xxx range, but there's intentional gaps in the structure left for fill-ins, as people that have chosen to submit long-ago rides are able to get a membership number somewhat chronologically.

      Done. :D
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