You say what? Yeah, I have an Iron Butt!!
If you’re wondering what an Iron Butt, it is a motorcycle ride of 1000 miles or more within a 24 hour period. It’s really not that difficult if you are manage your time efficiently. However, most people don’t manage their time and assume they have plenty of time to get 1000 miles in under the 24 hour cutoff. There is actually an organization that “certifies” true Iron Butt rides provided you can show them proof (through receipts with date and time, your route, and a beginning witness and an ending witness. Once you have satisfied all these requirements, you are eligible to receive a certificate, a medal and a patch.
My first Iron But was with two of my other buddies (and also a female passenger on one of the bikes) and myself. So it was me, my buddies Horny Toad and Squirrel, with Sondra riding with Squirrel. Our plan was to ride from Searcy to New Orleans…have supper in the French Quarter and then head back…shouldn’t be a problem (NOT).
We left on a Saturday morning early, but within the first 50 miles or so, one of the guys (I won’t mention any names)…had to pee. So there’s an unscheduled stop. Next we get into Memphis and we decided to stop for breakfast (another stop) at the Waffle House (that had a waiting line)…We get back on the road and finally start to make some pretty good miles and time and finally work our way down to Baton Rouge…next thing we see is this big DARK cloud coming right at us, it was a huge storm, so we took cover under an awning at a service station (another stop) and waited for that to pass. About 30 minutes later, another motorcycle rider pulled in under the awning with us and said that going towards New Orleans would be a HUGE MISTAKE because of the storm.
We got our map and started to try and find a route that would avoid the storm and started riding…but it didn’t work, the rain caught us anyway, so we stopped at a restaurant to eat (another stop) and wait out the rain (again). We wasted another hour or so there and finally got back on the road again. It’s at this time that I’m thinking we are gonna have to REALLY push hard to make our time. As night falls and the interstates are dark…we’re riding…probably around 1-2am in the morning I could see one of my buddies ahead of me swerving from side to side…I knew we had to stop as we were all getting tired. So we stopped for awhile (another stop) and all of started drinking those 5 hour energy drinks. Finally back on the road…we make it to Shreveport and are heading back to Searcy…but the way I calculated it, there was NO WAY we could make it back to Searcy in less than 24 hours. We stopped in Shreveport (another stop) and I told the guys…lets abandon this, call it a failure and not take any chances. They finally persuaded me to continue on…
As we left Shreveport, we were doing 90 mph (no, not almost 90…we were REALLY riding 90 miles an hour) in the wee hours of the morning, no street lights and you could see GREEN EYES and deer along the ditches we rode by…I was skeered for sure.
We rode like bats outta hell…finally got to South Little Rock and pulled in a gas station…we all had 1005 miles on our odometers…at the 23 hour 45 minute mark. We DID IT!! Luckily, there was a Sheriff Deputy there that became our ending witness. So there you go…that’s what an Iron Butt consists of…
However, I was never satisfied with that time…I love to drive and I love to ride long distances. I knew I could do it much faster and I got my chance a couple of years later when I was coming back from Virginia by myself on my motorcycle.
I did the trip, a total of 1034 miles in 18 hours…and I really wasn’t even trying that hard…also I wasn’t going 90mph…I was doing a stead 75-80mph and keeping my STOPS to a minimum. It was pretty easy really. The following year, I did the same trip (1035 miles) in 16 hours and 35 minutes. I smiled all the way home…had a blast. But the more people riding with you, the harder it is to complete such a feat.