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What it takes to be an Iron Butt!

Last updated on: April 27, 2013 15:10 IST

What it takes to be an Iron Butt!

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Like riding long distances on your bike? Be part of The Iron Butt Association.

If you consider yourself a true biker, where is your Iron Butt? Youth Inc tells you about the extreme biking group which calls themselves The Iron Butt Association

The result of any long bike ride is an uncomfortable, aching backside. Perhaps in an attempt to glorify this endurance undergone by bikers, the Iron Butt Association was formed and thus named. The Iron Butt Association is located in the United States but is accessible to bikers around the globe. The association promotes long-distance riding and sports a number of endurance-testing rides.

The Different Rides 

Depending on your endurance abilities, the Iron Butt Association offers various rides for biking enthusiasts to choose from. As a word of advice, the Association suggests you try one of the easier rides first to assess your abilities and prepare yourself for the more demanding rides. The major rides offered by the IBA are:

  • Saddle Sore: 1,000 miles in 24 hours
  • Bun Burner: 1,500 miles in 36 hours
  • Saddle Sore 5,000: 5,000 miles in 5 days
  • Bun Burner GOLD: 1,500 miles in 24 hours
  • BBG 3000: Two back-to-back Bun Burner GOLD rides; 3000 miles in 48 hours
  • 100k club: 100,000 documented miles in one year

What are the rules?

Choose a suitable route

You know the distance you have to cover, so the next step is to choose a suitable route. Most riders select scenic, familiar routes as it is an advantage to ride on familiar roads.

Choose a witness

If you want your ride to be verified by the Iron Butt Association, you need to get a witness to check the beginning and end of your ride. The witness could be a friend or acquaintance who is willing to be present during the start and finish of your race and also be willing to answer questions about your race to the IBA.

Keep Your Receipts

One of the ways the IBA verifies tour rides is by checking your fuel receipts. Therefore, you need to submit these receipts as proof as they contain details such fuel amount and time. The date, time and location on the receipt is what will be used for the verification process. There are a certain number of stops you need to make along the way for receipts and one towards the end of your journey. You also need to log your odometer readings.

Submit and Wait

After you complete your ride (within the distance and time requirements), you need to submit all the required documents to the Iron Butt Association in the USA. This includes a map with the cities you've travelled to marked on it, your fuel receipts, the declaration form filled by your witnesses, etc. Once your ride has been verified and approved, you will receive a certificate from the Iron Butt Association, which is yours to flaunt! So, can you handle a saddle sore?


Photographs: Courtesy YouthIncMag.com
Tags: Butt , IBA , GOLD , USA , Youth Inc

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The Extreme Rider

Melroy Alphonso, who successful completed the Saddle Sore ride, shares his experience and offers tips for future Iron Butt riders

Melroy's ride

Route: Mumbai-Udaipur-Mumbai (National Highway 8)

Distance covered: 1,650 km

Time: 24 hours

Bike: Yamaha FZ16

What motivated you to attempt an IBA ride? Were you successful in your first attempt?

It took me three attempts to get it right. The first attempt, I rode my TVS Apache150 to Belgaum but wasn't successful due to improper time and distance calculation. Second attempt was on my FZ16, where I travelled from Mumbai to Indore and back to Mumbai.

But while returning to Mumbai, I had severe back pain and wasn't able to complete the ride. My third attempt was the final attempt at doing the Ironbutt Saddlesore ride after which I would give up attempting it.

I rode my FZ16 from Mumbai to Eklingji (North of Udaipur) and back to Mumbai, this time everything worked out fine and I was happy to have finally successfully completed it.

The most challenging part about your ride was...

The most difficult part was night riding, where insects started hitting my helmet visor and frequent stops needed to be taken to clear the visor. Also, temperatures in the night drop dramatically and the cold wind starts hitting you even harder.

What routes would you recommend to people (in India) who wish to attempt the IBA ride?

The best routes are the ones where you can do a turn around and come back to the place you had started for completing total distance required. I would advise people to do their rides along NH4 and NH8, as the roads there are in good condition.

Tips for people who wish to attempt the IBA rides

  • Do a small trial to cover 400-500 km to see whether you and the bike are up for the challenge.
  • Everything has to planned before starting the ride – where you will be  heading and how much distance you will cover.
  • Be ready for uncertainties. You may come across problems due to which completing the ride will not be possible. There is always another day to attempt the ride again.
  • Carry snacks and refreshments for the 24-hour ride. Also carry caffeinated drinks like coffee/Redbull which will help you stay alert.
  • Don't waste time clicking photos during the ride.Take few important ones which have signboards displaying distance and places covered.


Photographs: Courtesy YouthIncMag.com

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