The Iron Butt Rally is held in the United States every two years.
Although we have looked into moving the rally to other countries, only
Australia offers the wide-open spaces without international borders for
the running of this 11 day, 11,000 mile plus marathon.
To completely describe the Iron Butt Rally would take an entire book. In
fact, one of the best sources for information is Iron Butt competitor Ron Ayres's
book, "Against the Wind" available from the
Iron Butt Association.
For a more interactive experience with a wide range of comptetitors, there are two full length DVD's about the rally
Hard Miles and Hard Miles 2 that tell the IBR
story from many different riders prespectives.
Many other unique stories have been written about
the rally and some of the best ones are available right here on our web
site and can be viewed by scrolling through the
Iron Butt Stories sub-menu above.
The Iron Butt first ran in 1984. In 1984, 1985, 1986 and 1987 the rally
started from Montgomeryville Cycle Center near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
in the United States.
The Iron Butt was not held again until 1991 when it came under the management
of the Iron Butt Association. While the basic format of the original
rally remained, two important things have changed; to insure the quality of the
event, the rally is run every other year and the starting and ending
points are rotated to different sections of the United States.
The Iron Butt Rally Concept
The Iron Butt is a fairly simple concept. The rally consists of
checkpoints located around the United States. In order to
be considered a finisher of the event, riders must be present at each of
these checkpoints within a two hour window.
No consideration is given for bad weather (during the running of the Iron Butt,
riders can expect to ride through rain, sleet, snow, severe thunderstorms,
hurricanes and the occasional tornado). Temperature
extremes routinely run 125 degrees or more in the desert Southwest in fact,
in living up to the name, "World's Toughest Motorcycle Competition", event
organizers intentionally route the rally through such places as
Death Valley or the Mojave Desert during the hottest part of the day, to
extreme cold at the top of mountains like Pike's Peak in Colorado where
competitors may have to struggle up a muddy road to reach the peak's
14,110 foot summit.
Riders have the option of boosting their standings in an attempt to win a
Gold, Silver or Bronze Medal by visiting optional bonus destinations located
around the United States and Canada. "Bonus Hunting" as it is called, can be
both fun and mentally devastating. Where else in the world do riders have to
ride 11,000 miles in 11 days, while trying to find odd places like the remains
of the Branch Dividian Compound, or stop by the Los Angeles County morgue
to purchase a toe tag or take a hike in Lava Tube or perhaps visit the
enchanted Guru Lane in the Black Rock desert in a remote section of
Only on the Iron Butt!!
Rally supporters are encouraged to visit checkpoints. The best time to
visit a checkpoint is approximately two hours before riders are due
until about 45 minutes after riders may leave. If your
time is limited, we recommend stopping by twenty minutes before
riders leave the checkpoint. At that time, riders are eagerly awaiting the
next leg's bonus listing. When it is
handed out, watch maps fly open as competitors determine
which route and what bonuses to attempt while still praying to make it
to the next checkpoint in time.