Saddle Sore 1000 is Too Easy

I think the Iron Butt Assocation ought to remove the Saddle Sore 1000 from its list of certified rides. Or, at least reduce it from 1,000 m...

Iron Butt AssociationI think the Iron Butt Assocation ought to remove the Saddle Sore 1000 from its list of certified rides.

Or, at least reduce it from 1,000 miles in 24 hours to 1,000 miles in 18 hours.

I just ripped off another SS1K ride yesterday, riding the same route I did last fall. See, "Iron Butt Ride - Finished", describing the previous ride.

The important aspect of the previous ride is that I rode above the speed limit, riding between 80-100mph for much of the ride. A commenter on the article linked above mentioned that excessive speeds will disqualify me.

I came to realize that he was right. Think about it. All IBA rides are supposed to be tests of great planning and discipline. If you have to ride above the speed limit, it's because you failed in planning, or because you're a wuss.

Riding above the speed limit in a IBA ride is cheating. Plain and simple. Cheating.

So, I did the same ride again yesterday, same exact route. Except this time, I kept it at the posted speed limit. It's tough to refrain from riding above the speed limit. You really want to crack that throttle and at least go 80mph. When your butt is hurting, you want to get to your next gas stop much more quickly. That's where the discipline comes in. That's why they call it an "iron butt" ride. If you have to speed it up to 85 or 90, it's because you don't have an iron butt.

The first time I did this ride, I completed it in 20 hours exactly. That time, I stopped twice for breakfast and lunch (I was with 3 other riders), and we burned two hours total. We also burned another 30 minutes at a gas stop in Yuma, AZ.

But this time, riding at a much slower pace, I chose to skip the breakfast and lunch stops, and pack my food and drink with me. I also took just one riding partner instead of three, to help expedite the gas stops. We also made one fewer gas stop than before. We ended up completing the ride in 17 hours, 40 minutes.

I never submitted the first ride to the IBA for the simple fact that I rode well above speed limit.

But, I don't plan on submitting yesterday's ride either. Even though I feel much better about the second ride, these Saddle Sore 1000 rides are way too easy. Even after doing a better job of planning and being more disciplined in keeping to the posted speed limit, this ride is NO TEST OF ENDURANCE.

Basically, ANYONE can do a Saddle Sore 1000 ride. If anyone can do it, then it's no test of endurance. Being an IBA certified member ought to be a testament to your riding capabilities. It ought to separate the wheat from the chaff.

In fact, I think the IBA is taking way too long to process applications for certifications. And it's probably because there are way too many people submitting applications for SS1K rides.

Either change the SS1K to 18 hours, or remove it from certification. Likewise, the same for the Bun Burner (1500 in 36 hours).

I'll wait to submit paperwork for an IBA ride when I do a Border-to-Border or a Coast-to-Coast. The other IBA certifications are not much to be proud of. All you SS1K riders may now sling mud at me...


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  1. If you don't ride 80-100mph you're a wuss? If you want a Cannonball Run scenario go create your own little Cannonball 2000 and do your 80-100mph in the middle of nowhere. Where most people live (densely populated areas) highway speeds are regulated often still at 55mph. Police stand there with radar guns and take pride in impounding vehicles of you "non-wusses" who feel the need to drive like a-holes. In Pennsylvania you can lose your license for 32 over the posted speed limit. (Something the insurance companies love too) While on your silly Cannonball ride the cops have radios; they will radio ahead.

    By the way, please don't call yourself a motorcyclist. You make the rest of us who try and operate safely look bad. Wish I had the extra time to go do a wussy little SS1k...haha

  2. The ss1k is easy I have done it at the speed limit now about 6 times in 5 years. I was just back and forth to Dallas from LA in four days and I cruised but still logged 750miles each day in just over 11hours.

  3. Anonomous (see posting above) must feel a little silly having posted his rant now that he realizes he misread the original post. The writer said, " If you have to ride above the speed limit, it's because you failed in planning, or because you're a wuss."

    Read it again, Anon, and you'll see that the writer said exactly the OPPOSITE of what you accused him of having said, and what you accused him of advocating.

    Happy to be of service,

  4. I know you are just chumming the water, but if you don't like the fact that a particular ride can be certified, then don't do that ride or don't claim that certificate. Move up to a Bun Burner Gold (1500/24), or to something else where you feel you have achieved something. Try something that takes more than a long day to ride -- like a 48+, or a 10 10ths. Or if nothing is going to make you happy, maybe try another activity.

  5. You're missing the point. The SS1K is not supposed to prove what you are or what you can do. It is supposed to be an easy way to find out if you CAN'T ride long distances. A lot of people start out on an SS1K, and at mile 10 they are still excited and enthusiatic. But around mile 500 they discover they are sick of it and bail. That's fine, they learned something about themselves. If you succeeded, great, now move to something harder. Don't complain that you didn't fail!



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