Saturday, July 13, 2013

The Iron Butt Rally -- 11,000 Miles in 11 Days

IBR Full View Spotwalla Map    See:  IBR Daily Report

Mission Accomplished! -- Gold Medal Finish, 16th PlaceThe result are in and I achieved my goals. I rode 10,484 miles and scored 77,051 bonus points.  See the official 2013 IBR Final Results.  I'll post all the details after I arrive back home. 

The Current IBR Weather  (hat tip to Travel_Man)   FUN ALERT:  Drag the Orange Man icon, above the map scale ruler, to my location to see the Google Street View.   

Rally Leg Profiles:  There are 3 legs for a total of 242:00 hours on the rally clock.  The table contains my preliminary planning numbers for each leg.  The initial planning estimates will probably change once I receive the Rally book with the actual bonus locations and other requirements.  These estimates are based my known ride pace and moving average MPH experience.  Compare to an analysis I did of several past IBRs using the OA and MA MPH applied to the 2013 IBR clock hours.  See:  2013 Ride Pace Analysis 

Leg 1:  82:00  Start July 1 1000 EDT in Pittsburgh.  Checkpoint 4 July 2000 EDT in Pittsburgh
Leg 2:  65:00  Start July 5 0600 EDT in Pittsburgh.  Checkpoint 7 July 2000 PDT in Sacramento CA
Leg 3:  95:00  Start July 8 0600 PDT in Sacramento.  Finish 12 July 0800 EDT in Pittsburgh

GiddyUp!  1000 EDT Monday, July 1 -- I will not have time to blog during the rally.  Only private, password protected, maps allowed during the rally.  But you can find my last known location by looking for rider 415 (my IBA number) on the Spotwalla map above.  You can also check out the IBR Daily Reports blog for the latest on the progress of the Rally. 

Rally Check In: 
  • Thursday - Friday -- Rider comradery and general hanging out
  • Saturday -- Document check, waiver video, technical inspection of MC
  • Sunday -- Banquet and Rally theme announcement

Deploy to Pittsburgh:  Thursday, 6/27 -- Left Memphis this morning around 6am for the final leg into Pittsburgh.  Weather was good with just a couple of wet spots from recent showers.  The bike is running great and NO audio issues with my zumo 665.  Reinforcing the RAM mount seemed to solve the problem.  Arrived at the Marriott in Cranberry Township just north of Pittsburgh.  Great hotel with all the amenities. The fun begins tomorrow....or maybe Saturday.  I forget....

Tuesday, 6/25 -- Departing for Pittsburgh.  Going to make an enroute stop in Memphis for an overnight stay.  It's about 1,450 miles from my home near Wimberley, TX to the start hotel just north of Pittsburgh.  This will be a final shake-out ride with hopefully no MC or gear issues.  

Prologue:  I'm riding in the 2013 Iron Butt Rally which is being held starting at 10:00 am, Monday, July 1 and finishing 8:00 am Friday, July 12.  The start and finish are in Pittsburgh, PA.  I'll be one of around 100 long distance riders from around the world.  The IBR is the premier long distance riding event held every other year.  More individuals have gone into space than have finished the Iron Butt Rally.  

My goal for the IBR is to reach the finishing check point in one piece, on time and with enough points to finish better than 23rd place.  But, I will consider a safe finish a worthy accomplishment, even without exceeding my 2011 23rd place Gold Medal IBR finish.  Having said that I'm planning on doing my best in "The World's Toughest Motorcycle Rally."

While I'm planning for a trouble free ride things just seem to happen.  The worst case would be a crash.  Followed by a DNF, or Did Not Finish, status.  This can happen if I'm over 2 hours late to a mandatory check point or do not accumulate enough bonus points to be considered a finisher.  Mechanical breakdowns are a common DNF reason.  I've been riding my GSA hard, without abusing it, since acquiring the bike in October 2012.  So, hopefully any mechanical issues would have exposed themselves by now.   The IBR rules spell out in detail how riders earn points or are penalized points for not following the rules and specifications.  Riders compete for finishing positions:

Finish Position
  1. Podium -- Top 10 riders
  2. Gold Medal -- Top 20-25 riders which includes the Podium finishers
  3. Silver Medal -- Next group to about 35th place
  4. Bronze Medal -- Next group to about 45th place
  5. Finisher -- All remaining riders who secured enough points
  6. DNF -- Did Not Finish

There are no magic formulas, no perfect rally bikes, and no jealously guarded secrets to being successful in the IBR.  Each rider is challenged to apply their skills, knowledge and abilities, using the tools of the long distance motorcycling sport, in a balanced way among several interacting and interdependent performance categories.  See:  Long Distance Riding on the Clock


  1. Tim,

    good luck from Germany. I hope to see you in the top10. You are perfectly prepaired and trained. So you only have to ride...


  2. Tim,

    did they change your Spotwalla Map number? I can not see number 415, but number 148 uses the same status messages as you normaly do.


  3. Tim,

    Congratulations on your 16th place finish. You had a great second leg (jumped 33 places).

    I have been following you since I found the youtube video about your 2011 equipment list for the 2011 rally. THAT led me here to your writeup about installing FLIR on your new bike. I am guessing that you are the first to use FLIR on an IBR. With the way new technology drops in price, you undoubtedly will not be the last.

    I am currently working in Saudi Arabia, but I will be returning next year when I retire for good. I would like to come by for a visit.

    John Casteel
    North Dallas
    U. S. Army, ret.

  4. Congrats on a great ride and finish. Will be looking forward to the post ride report / analysis. Travel safe back to Texas.

  5. Congrats on reaching gold. I'm hoping to hear a report from you on this. I enjoy your writing style and am hoping to hear more about how the FLIR performed under these conditions.