Saturday, 11 February 2012

Iron Butt Association UK. (IBA UK)

When and how did I get involved with the IBA UK? Now that’s a couple of good questions.

Luckily for me the answers are quite a simple,

I joined the ranks of the IBA on Saturday the 20th of June 2009 by participating in 

As ever the idea to do the ride in the first place came from Ron’s my best mate from so long ago I hate to think about it. 

“But first of all, what is the Iron Butt Association (IBA)?”  

Well in my opinion and that’s all it is an opinion, the IBA is all down to one man promoting his dream “The Sport of Safe Long Distance Riding” Mr Mike Kneebone.

If you would like to read more about this amazingly dedicated man and the Iron Butt Association you will find everything you need to know on the IBA Website

You know, when a web site introduces its self like this:-

Welcome to Iron Butt Association's web presence!

The 50,000+ members of the Iron Butt Association are dedicated to safe, long-distance motorcycle riding. Although based in the United States, we have thousands of enthusiastic members throughout the globe! One of our more popular slogans is, "The World Is Our Playground."

This web site is home for hundreds of excellent stories about long-distance riding. One will also find a vast amount of technical information regarding the art and science of endurance riding. Our most famous document, the IBA "Archive of Wisdom", contains the collective wisdom and knowledge of some of the most experienced, seasoned Endurance Riders in the world!

Enjoy your visit!

You know you are in the presence of true long distance riders. There is so much to be discovered about the IBA on the site that I am not even going to try and explain but invite you to have a good look at everything there is to see. It’s an amazing site and one in which you can lose yourself for hours at a time.

However, pulling myself screaming and shouting back to this side of the pond.......

Well today is a good day for me to have a think and recollect, why even I became involved at all with the IBA UK? Prompted by the arrival of my BBG1500 (Bun Burner Gold 1500 miles) Back Plate, so called as it is mounted behind, our number plates and a number of “patches” from rides, I successfully completed.

How to cheer me up "Big Time"
Many thank's Phil your "The Man"

To answer the question “Why did I get involved?” I really do need to step back, way back to when I was serving as a chef in the British Army in fact no, even further back to 1977. I’d always ridden motorbikes bikes from the age of 14. Blasting about on my friends Honda 50 in the fields around the farm where his family lived and worked, but it wasn’t until 1982 that I really went for it.

Riding from Chesterfield to Skegness on my Suzuki 125cc Stinger in 82, aged 19, was in all honesty the first truly “Big  Ride” I ever undertook. No sat navs back then and with 90 miles in front of me I was over the moon when I arrived some 2 hours later much to the total shock of my poor Mum who instantly described me a “Bonkers”. Something she would remind me of some years later when I appeared on the drive in Temple Normanton astride my brand new gleaming Honda CBR1000 in 1986, having ridden from Munster in Germany some 580 miles just for a Saturday night out with Jaqui my sister. Something I did repeatedly over the next few years. And again when I rode from Rinteln in Germany on my Kawasaki ZXR750 L1 in 1993, a mere 632 miles-just for something to do. A tour around Europe on my Triumph Dayton 675 followed much later in 2008 and so as you can see jumping on a bike and heading off with little or no planning is something I have been doing for 30 years now.

Back to 2009 when Ron rang to suggested we sign up and get involved to raise upwards of £50 each in sponsorship money for the Royal British Legion  I jumped at the chance. Finding out I would get an SS1000 patch, certificate and automatic membership to the IBA UK was the added incentive to get involved. I completed the RBLR 2010 but had to cancel my entry into the 2011 event due to sciatica but I plan to do the ride again this year.

This is where the insanity begins

Only once I had filled in the on line form, and agreed to raise £50+ did I then realise that I had to ride 1000 miles in under 24 hours. I remember telling Jeannie what I was planning to do and yes you guessed it she thought I was “Bonkers” too, story of my life it seems.

The first SS1000 (Saddle Sore 1000 miles) was a real eye opener and heading south on the M6 from Glasgow down towards Preston at 1am, having already visited John O’Groats and Fort William I was really feeling the strain. Luckily I was not tired but just having been on the road since that morning was taking its toll on my muscles. Seeing so many riders asleep in the service area have made me realise I was not the only one. Being happy to lead quite a few riders back to Squires start / finish point was a real up-lifter and made the whole experience worthwhile.

I really got bit by the Long Distance Riding Bug from that moment on; pushing myself to attempt a SS2000 in November was a massive low point when I had to call the ride off a 1000 miles in. Again Ron was there on the phone to guide me along the right course of action “Sack it and get some sleep”. Stubborn as ever, I rode the 186 miles home and successfully claimed an SS1000 for my troubles.

2010 I really pushed the boat out attending RTE’s (Ride to Eat) all over the UK and Europe accumulating a fair amount of certificates, patches and best of all new friends from around the world.

Product of a very miss spent 2010

Throw in a couple of SS1000 in 2009, an IAM in 2010
Land's End to John 'O' Groats x 2 plus an
IOM TT1000 in 2011 and that's date!

Back in 2009 our UK President was Rodger Alan who had introduced the IBA into the UK in 2005; he was succeeded by Pete West who in turn passed on the President’s position to Phil Weston in 2010. I have had the pleasure of meeting all of them and to work with both Pete and now Phil as the IBA UK Ride Verifier. This means any rides submitted to the IBA UK for approval be it by new or current riders are verified by myself to ensure all the rules and regulations attaining to the issuing of the certification by the President are correct including mileage completed in the allotted time span and witnesses contacted as and when required to do so.

This is just my way of giving something back to the IBA UK and something I love doing. If you are interested in becoming part of the IBA UK please have a look at the IBA Forum.

IBA UK Members Patch

Saddle Sore 1000

RBLR 1000 2009 + 2010
Grim Riders National Parks Challenge
1000+ Miles in under 24 hours

End to End Gold with Ron
John 'O' Groats to Lands End via London
1000+ Miles in under 24 hours

End to End Gold with Dan, Philip and Steve
Lands End to John 'O'Groats via London
1000+ Miles in under 24 hours

SS2000K Return trip from Gibraltar
Saddle Sore 2000+KM in under 24 hours

BBG1500 Solo Trip round UK
Bun Burner Gold 1500+ Miles in under 24 hours

SS2000 with Ron
Saddle Sore 2000+ Miles in under 48 hours

BB2500 Ride to Eat in Gibraltar
Bun Burner 2500+KM in under 36 hours

2010 Mile Eater award for completion of
4 IBA Rides 1 of which is classed
as "Extreme"

Dam Busters Ride to Eat Patch

BB1500 Ride to Eat in Germany
Bun Burner 1500+ Miles in under 24 hours
(including ferry / tunnel closings)

Lithuania Ride to Eat Patch

SS1600KM Returning from Ride to Eat in Lithuania
Saddle Sore 1600+KM in under 24 hours
(never verified due to loss of paperwork, now found in being verified)

Colditz October Ride To Eat
(update - just found this in the garage)

IBA UK Back Plate
Available to riders after completing SS1000

Bun Burner Gold
1500+ Miles in under 24 Hours

So other than the IOM TT1000 in 2011 that's me............ I spent 2011 riding and visiting / touring Scotland, Normandy, France and Germany plus "Farkling" Mr. T and re-building Trinity. On the rides I could not be bothered to collect all the documentation required to apply for any IBA rides and so missed out on a number of verufiable oppertunities but had a ball all the same (sorry IBA UK I promise to be good in future).

Best I get out and do something this year........... now just what, I have no idea or do I......?

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