Monday, July 29, 2013


Post IBR Stress Syndrome:  A milder form of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) where the rider experiences continued stress related to performing in the Iron Butt Rally.  There are four symptoms:

Reliving the event

Memories of the event can come back at any time. You may feel the same anxiety and tension you did when the event took place. You may feel like you're going through the event again. This is called a flashback. Sometimes there is a trigger: a sound or sight that causes you to relive the event. Triggers might include:
  • Seeing a motorcycle on the highway
  • Getting gas in your car or truck
  • Instantly look at your speedometer at the sight of LEO, even when you know you're not speeding
  • Waking up in the middle of the night feeling like you must dash out and ride to some vague destination
Avoiding situations that remind you of the event

You may try to avoid situations or people that trigger memories of the IBR. You may even avoid talking or thinking about it.
  • When asked about your participation in the IBR you may minimize the exciting or uncomfortable details
  • You are reluctant to bring up the IBR in conversations with friends and family
  • You procrastinate dealing with post IBR issues regarding your motorcycle
  • You dread looking at the leg routes you did while on the clock for fear of seeing what you missed.
  • The sight of a Cliff bar makes you want to rush out and get a double Whooper with cheese, super-sized fries and a large shake
Feeling Numb

You may find it hard to express your feelings about the IBR. This is another way to avoid memories.
  • You may not have positive or loving feelings towards your motorcycle, other peoples motorcycles  and may stay away from the bike dealership
  • You may not be interested in riding, planning a trip or anything to do with routing
  • You may forget about parts of the IBR that hold valuable lessons or not be able to talk about them.
  • You haven't touched your rally flag, plaque or opened your rally book since getting home
Feeling Keyed Up

You may be alert and on the lookout for things that might cause you a delay. This is known as increased emotional arousal. It can cause you to:
  • Suddenly become excited or irritable.
  • Have a hard time sleeping.
  • Have trouble concentrating.
  • Fear your actions are not optimal or experience efficiency anxiety.
  • Have racing thoughts (but not at excessive speed)

Other symptoms?

Treatments may include but are not limited to:
  • Exposure therapy -- Go for a ride, no plan, no schedule, no route
  • Equipment recovery -- Detail your motorcycle, riding gear and equipment
  • After Action Report -- Do a thorough ride report detailing all lessons learned on the IBR (Working on it)
  • Physical training -- Start or continue a physical training program (IBR 2015 is just 750 days away)
  • Accumulate fund$ -- Open a IBR15 savings account

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