Days to the 2023 IBR


It’s been a fairly busy and full on start to the year so far; work was busy through Jan and Feb for both Stella and myself, leading up to leaving for the South Island on the 16th Feb for 2.5 weeks to attend the TT2000 Long Distance Motorcycle Rally.

We had 16 fun packed days away down there doing all sorts: Rallying, Off-Road MC riding in Otago, an Otago In-Province SaddleSore 1600K, and some further touring to get home.

Here’s our track link for the whole trip, all up it was just over 7,000km.

The TT is worth its own write up which I’ve been meaning to do and I’ve also got 7 SD Cards full of high res video footage which I’ve been meaning to try to make some time to edit.

I’ve had little luck doing that so far, because in three weeks we’ve been back from the South Island we also fitted in a trip to Rotorua last weekend and used it as a base for our NZDR North Island 1600K ride. So things continue to be busy.

All of this has been with something big in mind; I want to continue to improve my LD Riding resume; I want to get my Gold Mile Eater awarded as soon as possible.

I’ve got it set in my mind that a Gold Mile Eater ought to be the minimum standard for me to have achieved before I contemplated putting an entry in for the Iron Butt Rally. – The thing is, these things only come around every two years, and there’s never going to be a better time than the present to start working towards that goal. (I’m getting older, things are getting more expensive, blah, blah, blah…) A Gold Mile Eater requires 20 certified rides, 5 of which need to be extended or Gold level rides. I’m currently on 18 and 5, only two left to go…

For those who don’t know much about the Iron Butt Rally, it is the pinnacle long distance motorcycle rally event run by the international group, the Iron Butt Association. It’s held every 2 years, during the odd-numbered years. The Rally’s tagline is 11 days, 11,000 miles. That’s indicative of what the higher order finishers are riding in order to achieve their bonus point scores. It’s also pretty much at the limit of what people can continue to ride safely (with significant practice, skill and acquired learning). Last year’s top placed finisher rode over 13,000 miles in his 11 day period which was an amazing overall effort and show of endurance.

For a lot of participants, it’s a bucket list thing to be able to get an opportunity to try to complete. So this year, Stella and I found ourselves discussing this and looking at it long and hard, giving it a lot of serious consideration before we decided to put our hat in the ring for the IBR in 2023, we had to put our entry in before we went South for the TT.

Yesterday, along with fellow ridding buddy Julian, we got an incredibly exciting email from Lisa who runs the rally, saying that we have been accepted into the Rally. What an exciting, exhilarating prospect this is; and one which has also filled us both with a degree of anxiety while we start to work through some of the initial logistics.

We have 15 months before we’ll be rolling out of the carpark somewhere in the North East of the USA; and we’ve got one heck of a lot to do before then. So, follow along as we prepare, and continue to tune up our approach to LD riding, we’ve got a heap of further rides in mind in order to condition and to learn how we perform and handle extended periods of continuous riding; we need to find out what works best for us, and how we are best to manage a prolonged riding effort, balanced with routing work. This is both a physical and mental challenge, coupled with significant endurance requirements. It’s going to be about being really well disciplined, being able to come up with a good plan, and then being able to have faith that if we stick to it, that we’ll be able to execute it well. – Then of course, hoping for some pretty good luck throughout, to help us along on our way.

How exciting! We are ecstatic, and a little bit scared. 🙂