October 2, 2001 Volume 1 Issue 19
The Iron Butt "Attitude"
This is a story I want to tell ... because I'm a small part of it.
And yep, the phrase IS "Iron Butt". Referring to your rear. Seat. Buns. Backside.
There is such an Association. "Dedicated to the Sport of Safe Long Distance Endurance Riding" is the title on their letterhead. Their slogan, wrapped around a world globe logo, says ... "World's Toughest Motorcycle Riders". Meaning those bikers who enjoy truly long rides. Called endurance riders.
It's a "funny" Association. There are no dues. Or newsletter. Or meetings. Or membership card. The closest thing they have to an ID item is a license plate back, which says "World's Toughest Riders".
They do issue membership numbers and PINs, so you can access their web site, and "legally" buy things from the Iron Butt online store - available only to those who actually complete an Iron Butt ride.
Okay, what IS it these fine folks do? Iron Butt offers rides for recognition that begin at 1000 miles in 24 hours ... called the SaddleSore ride. Then 1500 miles in 24 or 36 hours ... the BunBurner. And the most famous 50cc Quest; Coast-to-Coast in 50 hours. Translation; Atlantic to the Pacific (or reverse) in just about 2 days. Truly endurance.
The club has been around for over 2 decades. A couple of the original names for rides were "original", too; Mile Eater, the name for any ride over 1000 miles in a single day. And Odo Heads, referring to your odometer. As more and more riders began to enjoy long rides, more were created. One being the CCC Gold, also known at the "100cc Insanity". It's simply coast-to-coast-to-coast in 100 hours. West to east to west in 4 days. Yes, true insanity.
Some say riding a motorcycle at all is "nuts". When these same folks hear about Iron Butt rides they frequently ask "why?". Good friend Gene got me interested. We began with the 1000 in 24 ... really quite easy. We started at 4 o'clock one morning - I was back in the sack that night. The ride was about 17 hours. And it was fun.
Fun? "Yes", fun! The day was clear. The weather cool to warm. The group of guys had ridden together before ... everyone was comfortable with everyone else. And ... it was a grand accomplishment. "Accomplishment" is the word.
So, Gene and I talked about doing more. Still, friends, family, others talked about the dangers, the risk. A few wanted to know more - and to hear reports of "what happened". "How did you stay awake? Did you stop to eat?" And, of course, the "why" question again and again. "Why do you do this". Few recognize doing an Iron Butt ride is "more a state of mind".
The Iron Butt Association is a loose organization. Their web site (www.ironbutt.com) says there are 8500 members. There are pages and pages and pages of stories about long distance riding. About those who "know" the ride is the adventure - not the destination. Much of the writing is sub-par ... still, all of the stories are outstanding. Surf over - you will gain a different perspective of what this group is all about.
For example, Don Arthur goes 7000 miles in 9 days. There is a large collection of SaddleSore 1000 mile stories. A special report from an English rider in Turkey. And several dozen more.
Every couple of years there is a "rally". A rally for the "insanely hard-core" (their description). A truly outrageous ride ... 10/10ths is the name ... 10 consecutive 1000 mile days . Bottom line; ride in the neighborhood of 10,000 miles - do it in less than your normal 2 week vacation time. And, do it on your motorcycle.
Oh, don't plan on riding in and just making this run. It is by registration only - for control and safety reasons the numbers are limited. And ... the event is always sold old! Always. Plus, there is always a long, long waiting list, too. You see, there is a dedicated core of Iron Butt riders.
All this long distance riding reminds me of a saying from Charles Kuralt of CBS Sunday Morning fame ... and a superb writer. His on the road travel reports are legendary in America. Kuralt commented one time on the interstate highway system in the States with this statement; "It's now possible to go coast-to-coast without seeing anything".
Some say Iron Butt rides do not allow you to "stop, and smell the roses", to see anything. Yet, and here I speak from experience; a bike is totally unlike a car. There you're wrapped inside. On a bike you do "see things". The smells of the roadside are very evident. Your observations of what is about you goes way, way up. It is beautiful.
i.e., a couple of weeks ago, by myself, I rode 1118 miles non-stop. Not an "official" Iron Butt ride ... I got going and just kept going. The weather was warm during the day, cool at night. The day was sunny with a few light clouds. The night sky was bright by a half-moon and stars. It was a perfect time to ride. So I did. And it was wonderful. I loved it!
That's probably a key ... thoroughly enjoying what you're doing. The 1118 miles was a business trip. I was riding because I wanted to, vs. flying. Rarely does anyone talk about the last great airplane trip. Yet, frequently, people do talk about a memory they have of biking in another era. At services stations everywhere I'm asked "where're you headed?". And then I hear a story about "my last bike was a Panhead (ancient Harley). Or a true "little ole lady in tennis shoes" shares "in 1957 my husband I rode our Indians across the country". Sometimes I hear nothing more than "nice bike".
There is a comradeship in biking, too. On the open road we wave at one another ... just like the VW owners of the 1950s and '60s honked. Another unwritten rule is we stop to help a fellow biker. When a single motorcycle is stopped along side the road, another rider will stop to make certain all is well. This is true of Iron Butt riders, too.
These are things our speed of light lifestyle and "hurry" to get to just about everywhere does not allow us to do - when we're in an automobile. It just doesn't happen. On a bike it does. Even the Iron Butt rider pushing on hour after hour, mile after mile, is experiencing the road, and the countryside, in a truly different way.
Well, enough. This is a report - not a sales job. Yes, I'm prejudiced ... because I've completed - in 46 hours - the coast-to-coast ride. So I'm also an Iron Butt member. If you ride and want to talk about this, send me an E-mail. If you don't ride, and want to talk, ditto!
Every E-zine issue will include a quote from the world's most famous philosopher ... Anonymous.
Here is the choice for this week;
"It's a bad bargain where both sides are losers."
If you like quotes visit my quotation archives ... "Quotes with Direction" ... (www.rayjutkins.com/quotes/). There's a new batch up "live" every 4 weeks.
Over the next couple of months I've got a number of speaking engagements. Maybe you can join me at one or more of these dates.
October 1 & 2 I'll be in Fargo, North Dakota with buddy Mac McIntosh. Microsoft Great Plains is his client ... Mac has invited me to be a part of his presentation team. This closed event is gonna be a good 'un!
This is a good place to tell you about my special BONUS: when you invite me to speak at your special event, conference, corporate meeting or association gathering, you get your choice of 100 FREE copies of either my book, or the audio/booklet direct mail package titled Magic Marketing Minutes!
For details E-mail Ray@RayJutkins.com, fax +1+928+244-6148, or phone me at 1+928+785-9400.
Thursday evening, October 4 in southern California, for the Los Angeles Direct Marketing Association, I'm on the program for their annual "school". Bob Armstrong is the man ... firstname.lastname@example.org. Bob has a second job making this learning session happen each year - it is good to be going back.
Tuesday-Thursday, October 23-24-25 I'm in Central Europe with Vito Komac and his team, doing direct marketing and web marketing seminars. In Croatia, Slovenia and Bosnia. Yep, marketing is alive and well everywhere around the world! For more E-mail contact email@example.com.
For the 13th consecutive year I'll be presenting at the Direct Marketing Association Annual meeting - this year in Chicago. October 27-31 are the dates - visit the DMA web site for details; www.the-dma.org.
Next stop is Dhaka, Bangladesh ... not a regular stop for most. Yet, this is my 4th visit. What we've learned in the west is welcome in this still developing nation. The dates are November 1-2-3 ... for more send an E-mail to M.Mosharraf Hossain; firstname.lastname@example.org.
by ROCKINGHAM*JUTKINS*marketing, all rights reserved.