Iron Butt Riders even use the Stadium Pal
The so-called Iron Butt Rally, held every two years in years with odd numbers, is along distance motorcycle rally with a difference. Usually staged in August, this rally is spread over 11 days. During this time, riders typically cover around 11,000 miles, or 18,00 km.
Entrants are awarded points for riding to a range of bonus locations, which could be anywhere within the US or Canada, usually well away from interstate highways. Each bonus destination has a specific point value and riders must not only reach these destinations within a pre-set time frame, they must also provide evidence of actually having been there.
This evidence is collected by taking photographs of certain scenes or objects, making a specific purchase or via some other means the organizers have specified. The rally usually consists of at least one, sometimes more checkpoints. These checkpoints could again be located anywhere within the US. Each individual leg of this rally has a list with bonus locations, varying point values and availability times, where applicable.
Only the list for the current particular leg is made known to the riders. Each list contains more bonus locations than the riders can actually reach during the allotted time frame. This makes it necessary for the riders to strategically decide which bonuses to go or and what will be the best possible route to reach them all and still be at the next checkpoint within a specific, pre-determined time window.
In order to be ultimately considered as a finisher, riders have to reach all checkpoints in time and earn a minimum of bonus points within that time. Gold, silver and bronze achievement levels will be handed to finishers that have earned points above the required minimum level.
Riders make use of a whole array of aids assisting them in reaching their goal.
This may include multiple GPS units or other mapping software, radios, cell phones, basically any kind of gadget they may consider useful. Many riders are also taking advantage of male external catheters, which allow them to keep riding without having to stop to use a restroom, thereby saving them valuable time and allowing them to gather those precious points.
It is a hard ride by anyone’s standards, but the amount of riders taking part year after year proves that it is also a most enjoyable, thrilling experience few riders would wish to miss.