I just finished a brilliantly idiotic extreme Iron Butt ride to benefit the National Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society!
I first received an invite to a gathering of motorcycle long distance riders, called a RTE, or ride to eat. Riders are invited to a restaurant most likely very far from wherever they call home to kick tires and break bread with other long distance riders. Boasting rights went to rider who rode the longest distance to get there of course!
Sponsored by the Iron Butt Association, they named this one the MEAT LOVERS RTE. The email boasted a famous Chicago entrée of “an obscene five pounds of ground sausage, pork and beef mixed with spices and wrapped in a weave of brown sugar bacon, slow cooked on a pig roaster.” The rest of the menu was carnivorous. as well.
My keyboard shortcircuited from the au jus drool, and I was using my iPad. Never ever, read emails when you are hungry.
The event also had a special Iron Butt certification for anyone who documented riding 1,000 miles or more in under 24 hours to the event… Hmm, a quick check on my mapping program found Chicago was precisely 1,040 miles from my house.
It was like the bacon was taunting me.
I checked my schedule. I could ride through Friday night and arrive in plenty of time for the 6:oo pm dinner in Chicago on Saturday. Another 1,000 mile push on Sunday and make it home in time for work Monday morning. It would be tough, but I figured I could make it. If it had been in the middle of the summer when my multiple sclerosis symptoms are affected by heat, I may not have registered. But,it was in May, so I sent my registration in and looked forward to diner in Chicago.
Unfortunately, the first invite was just a hook, a cruel bait and switch tactic used only by rogue CIA operatives, used car salesman and Rally wizards like Evil Lord Kneebone, the grandmaster of all that is motorcycle endurance riding. Mike is a great guy, a friend, and the President of the Iron Butt Association; the worldwide organization dedicated to safe, long distance motorcycle riding.
A day after registering for the Meat Lovers 1000, I saw Mike’s real challenge.
Coincidentally, by no rhyme or reason, a second slightly frightful challenge just happened to take place over the same weekend; called the International Scooter 1000 Insanity. The rules were quite loudly simple.
Called Scooter Insanity, because most normal riders wouldn’t attempt a 1,000 mile day on a motorcycle, never mind doing it on a scooter. Well, the title of the challenge is justified. And may I remind you, I know a guy who rode a Russian Ural in the 11 day 11,000 mile Iron Butt Rally. Scooters are fun to zip up and down the beach roads and on sidewalks and across college campuses, but they are not suited for long highway jaunts for 18 hours at a stretch. They don’t even have a clutch for God’s sakes!
Long Haul Paul