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Old 10-19-2018, 06:22 PM   #1
Texas T
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2019 Iron Butt Rally

I'm creating this thread so that we can keep IBR related topics in one spot.

The IBR is run only on odd numbered years, perhaps because we're an odd bunch?

If you are interested in how you can be selected to participate, here's a copy/paste from the IBA Forum from Ira Agins, one of the senior Big Dogs of the IBA. Some of the names you should know in the IBA would be Mike Kneebone (President), Lisa Landry (Rally Mistress - and a Texas resident), and Jeff Earls the evil mind behind all the locations and the theme of the Rally.

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The Iron Butt Rally takes place every two years, in the odd-numbered years. Lots of folks become addicted to the daily reports from the rally scribe and other sources. And when it’s over, lots of folks ask me “How can I be selected for the next Iron Butt Rally?”

Many apply but few are chosen. In past years, we have received more than a thousand applications for nominally 100 positions on the starting line. The odds can be pretty long, but there are things you can do to improve your chances of being offered one of those golden tickets.

There are two basic ways to be selected for the IBR. One way to gain entry is to win or place highly in one of the single- or multi-day rallies held in the two years before the IBR that offer entry. For example, the top ten finishers in the 2016 Butt Lite were granted no-draw entries (i.e., selected but still required to pay the rally fee), with the winner getting a paid-up entry courtesy of Team Strange, the Butt Lite organizers (see http://www.teamstrange.com/2016/butt_lite). They may or may not make the same offer for the 2019 IBR, but it’s something for which to be on the lookout.

The other basic path into the rally is via a drawing. Announcement of the opening of the application process for the 2019 Iron Butt Rally will likely be in early 2018. It will be posted here on the Iron Butt Forum and to the LD Rider email list. It’s normally re-posted on many other motorcycle lists as well.

The draw is internally subdivided into several categories. An allocation of spots is set aside for Iron Butt Rally finishers who submit an application to ride it again. There are also a few spots for prior IBR competitors who did not finish (DNF) for one reason or another - the "Unfinished Business" class.

Another allocation is reserved for the "Hopeless Class", the most insane of a nominally insane bunch who want to take on one of the toughest motorcycle rallies you can find on the most improbable motorized two-wheelers: scooters, very small displacement bikes, pre-WWII Indians. The craziness eventually went so far off the dial the rally instituted performance standards for safety’s sake. No one wants to see a 125cc moped mowed down by a semi. But there are still intrepid souls who insist they can finish on old rotary-engined bikes, motor scooters, or forty-year-old BMW airheads. We like it!

A few entries are also reserved under the heading of “Rallymaster’s Discretion”. Special circumstances can prompt the rally management to add a rider or two who doesn’t fit in the other categories

And finally, there is the allocation for everyone else. This is the way in for most riders who haven’t been selected in the past. It accounts for half to two-thirds of the field.

Although the draw is random, the Rallymaster and staff is would like to believe those drawn have a reasonable chance of safely finishing the IBR. So one thing you can do to improve your chances of selection for the starting grid is to establish a riding resume.

How, you say?

Having a record of IBA certificate rides, especially some of the more difficult ones, can help. The Bun Burner GOLD, Ultimate Coast to Coast, the Border to Border Insanity, and the 48/10 are examples of such rides. It demonstrates one of the two major skills needed to complete the Iron Butt Rally – the skill to safely ride a motorcycle under trying conditions and time constraints. Even failed rides can help by demonstrating the good judgment to stop if mechanical, physical, or other conditions make it unsafe to continue.

That’s the easy part. It’s a given that everyone in the IBR can ride the wheels off a motorcycle. But there is a big difference between being able to ride long distances and being a competent rally competitor. Knowing where to ride is at least as important as knowing how to ride. So participating in competitive events, especially multi-day rallies, is important for both the experience and visibility it provides.

The primary difference between IBA certificate rides and rallies is that competitive aspect. The days of being successful in rallies by using a “brute force” approach, where riding lots of miles can overcome poor routing skills, are over. More than ever, one needs to understand the structure of the rally as well as possess the ability to evaluate the rally bonus pack. To do that, one needs to master a set of software tools (e.g., routing software, spreadsheet or database programs, etc.) and be able to load the planned routes into the bike’s navigational system. I’m not aware of any commercial rally-analysis products, but several have been developed within the rally community.

Although “bench running” a previous IBR or other rally by obtaining the bonus listing and waypoint files from the Internet can help hone the mechanical skill to manipulate and evaluate data, there is simply no substitute for actually participating in the real thing. It’s one thing to be able to enter information in your analysis software in the comfort of your living room. It’s quite another to do it on Day 4 and “on the clock”. It’s also another opportunity to strut your stuff and show you can “plan your ride and ride your plan.” The IBR staff is paying attention.

Finally, participation in the long-distance community provides another opportunity for the IBR staff to get to know you a little better. Two popular discussion platforms are the Iron Butt Forum and the LDRider email list.

You can register for the IBA Forum, go to

https://forum.ironbutt.org/index.php

Subscription information for the LDRider email list is at

http://ibdone.org/mailman/listinfo/ldrider_ibdone.org

Participation in these two platforms help your chances to be drawn for the IBR in multiple ways.

These are places to ask questions and get answers. The competitive riding community is generous to a fault when it comes to sharing hard-won knowledge. Former IBR riders, in particular, are happy to provide advice, especially to those new to the sport. Becoming a better rider and competitor can’t hurt your chances.

Although one can learn a lot from just lurking on these sites, posting also provides the staff some insight into the kind of person you are. The Iron Butt Rally is as mental an exercise as it is a physical one. The ability to maintain one’s composure and good judgment under trying conditions on Day 9 of the rally is critical. Character counts when it comes to being an IBR finisher.

In summary, although there is no guaranteed way to be selected for the IBR, having a record of accomplishment in terms of IBA certificate rides, participation in single- and multi-day competitive events, continuous improvement of your competitive skills, and involvement in long-distance community can certainly improve your chances.

Ira Agins
Iron Butt Association
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Old 10-19-2018, 06:26 PM   #2
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Re: 2019 Iron Butt Rally

When the IBR begins, SpotWalla will be hammered so be considerate and only check it once in a while and not every 30 seconds. Jason had over 25,000 page views (which pulls from Google Maps) in about the first 12 hours of the last rally and obviously got a phone call or email from Google wanting to know what was going on.

There will (usually) be an official daily recap from the IBA team, but if you want more minute by minute, sometimes behind-the-scenes type info, then the FJR Forum is the place to be. Here's a look at the last event's stuff... http://www.fjrforum.com/forum//index...alysis-thread/
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