You’ve heard of the expression “Iron Butt” or “Bun Burner” or even “Saddle Sore”? These terms apply to an endurance ride done by a motorcycle rider who sits in the “saddle” or seat of their motorcycle for an unusually, unreasonable and long amount of time. Well, recently, it hit me that even though I’ve done a lot of long distance riding, I don’t have an official “Iron Butt Association” accreditation under my belt. So I decided to attempt my first “Bum Burner”. On Thursday, 27 August, at the crack of dawn – alone – I’ll begin my ride around Lake Huron and Georgian Bay. I’ll have to complete the ride in 24 hours and ensure a minimum tour of 1000 miles (1610 kilometres) are ridden. If successful I’ll submit my details and hope to grab an official “Iron Butt Association” (IBA) certification for the task.
Endurance motorcycle riding is seen as a form of motorsport as well as often an extreme form of personal achievement. You’re basically competing against yourself. A test of your riding endurance and stamina. The American headquartered “Iron Butt Association” (IBA) – with the tagline “The World’s Toughest Riders” officially support and critique endurance rides and the riders who achieve them. The IBA are dedicated to safe, long-distance motorcycle riding. They have +50,000 enthusiastic members throughout the globe and a long list of documented achievers on their website. With the slogan – “The World Is Our Playground” – you truly get the sense of the fun involved in this form of adventure motorcycling.
Clinton and Back via Hugh Hawkins Park
Part of the criteria established by the IBA and for the “Lake Huron 1000” that I’ll do- is that the route must begin and end in the same location. Though I reside in Toronto, my ride start and finish point will take place in central Huron’s small town of Clinton Ontario – from the “Hugh Hawkins Park”. It’s my grandfather’s park (my mother’s father) named in his honour, and memory. A humble grounds bearing his name within its metal iron archway entrance. He was well-known in the community. I’m told a real man about town. A businessman who ran his own heating and plumbing company from his hardware store. He was also a keen sportsman and did two terms as President of the Western Ontario Athletic Association (WOAA) whose mission then, promoted year round sports in the small communities and rural areas.
The ability to weave the small town of Clinton and my heritage into my personal motorsport goals makes the run all the more meaningful. Unfortunately I was too young to know him well when he passed away. But with each visit to Clinton throughout the years, I get thrilled to listen to the engaging stories from those who knew him.
Integrating my passion for motorcycling and this part of my heritage allows me to preserve a bond to this small but special community.
It’ll be a delightful feeling on the 27th as I sit on my motorcycle, under the arch bearing my grandfather’s name – ready to ride this challenge! And, providing I succeed, it will make for – an equally meaningful finish!
More about Iron Butt Association Visit Website
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