I have been selected for the Iron Butt Rally in 2021.
Rally resumes were due in January 2020 and selection notices went out in March 2020. The rally will be held in June of 2021.
Arguably the ultimate rally for long distance riders, this is a grueling 11 consecutive day rally where riders hunt for bonuses across North America. The rally is normally run in three sections with checkpoints between each third. For 2021, the start and finish are in Utah, but the middle two checkpoints have not been announced as yet. This type of rally takes a lot of effort by the Iron Butt Association and many volunteers to pull off. So much so, the rally is offered only every other year. Many hundreds apply, only about 120 are chosen.
The process for being chosen is wrapped in a bit of secrecy. Each rider who wishes to put their name in the hat prepares a biography of their riding accomplishments and sends that in with a nominal fee to secure their place in the drawings. There are several categories that you can qualify for: returning rider for those who didn’t get enough the last time, rookie riders for those first-timers like me, hopeless class for those who want to ride a low powered or old motorcycle on a 9000 plus mile journey across North America, a second chance drawing for those who are premier members of the Iron Butt Association, and, frankly, there is probably a perennial favorites class for the organizers’ favorite riders or those whose resumes peaked their interest.
My resume goes back a few years. To get your IBA number, sequentially ordered by when you completed your first ride, you must complete the minimum ride which is a Saddlesore 1000 – or 1000 miles in less than 24 consecutive hours. Alternatively, you can complete a few other rides, like the National Parks tour which you have up to a year to complete, or a Bun Burner 1500 which is 1500 miles in less than 36 hours. I completed my first SS1000 in 2001, so my IBA number is a relatively low 16976. I have since completed more ride:
- 12 Saddle Sore 1000 rides. 1000 miles in less than 24 hours
- 4 Bun Burner Gold Rides. 1500 miles in less than 24 hours
- 2 Saddle Sore 2000 Rides. 2000 miles in less than 48 hours
- 2 Saddle Sore 2000 Gold Rides. 2000 miles in less than 36 hours
- 1 50CC Gold Rides. Coast to Coast across the US in less than 50 hours. Gold level is 2900 miles or more in less than 50 hours. I completed mine from Coney Island in Brooklyn to the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.
- Mile Eater. More than one certified ride
- Mile Eater Bronze. 5 certified rides with at least 2 at gold level or more than 48 hours in duration.
- Mile Eater Gold. 20 certified rides with at least 5 at gold level or more than 48 hours in duration.
In addition, my resume includes rallys.
- 4 – 24 hour rallies. The Land of Enchantment 1000 series. I finished one, had two DNFs for a blown motor and a blown transmission, and one DNF for the rider too tired to continue.
- 2 Big As Texas Rallies with one completed SS1000 and one completed BBG 1500.
- 1 Heart of Texas Rally. A multiday rally in which I placed 13th. Pretty good for a rookie.
- 1 How the West Was Won Colorado rally in which I placed in the top half – barely.
2020 has seen most of the rallies get cancelled due to Covid. At this point, the only rally that I signed up for that is still on the schedule is the multiday Big as Texas Rally, which was rescheduled from April to October.
This is the resume that got my name in the hat. I’m also a Premier Iron Butt Association member, so that got my name in the second chance drawing hat as well. It doesn’t really matter to me how I was chosen, just that I was.