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THE CALGARY MOTORCYCLE RIDERS AND EVERYTHING ELSE GROUP Message Board › Iron Butt 2,500 kms in 24 or 26 hrs

Iron Butt 2,500 kms in 24 or 26 hrs

A former member
Post #: 41
There has been some discussion in a few spots on the site re doing this run in 2013 so it seemed like a good time to open up a dedicated thread to the concept.

In essence the run is 2,500 kms in either 24 hours or 36 hours. It is the equivalent of riding from Calgary to LA, plus about 200 kms, in one shot. The ride can be done straight through in 24 hours or split by a longer rest break, finishing in under 36 hours, to be certified by the Iron Butt Association. It can be done as a big loop, so you finish back at home, or in a straight line away from home. No restrictions on crossing the border, either, other than the time it potentially adds to the trip.

Routes that have been brought up so far are a loop consisting of east from Calgary to approx. Winnipeg, west to Edmonton, south to Calgary (or the reverse); Calgary to LA and slightly farther; Calgary to Whitehorse+ or Dawson Creek. Nothing definitive at this point, just discussion, so more ideas are welcome.

Timing would be late June or early July to maximize sunlight and weather.

Feel free to jump into the discussion if you're interested in the run, have some route ideas, have some long distance riding ideas, etc.

Note that this is not for the faint of heart and really shouldn't be considered if you've never done over 1,500 in a day previously - a 1,600 in 24 hours Iron Butt run is good training for this one. You also need to make the commitment to the group you are riding with that your bike will be in top-notch mechanical condition - no questionable tires, etc.

So... let the discusion and planning begin, maybe we can make this happen in 2013 biggrin
A former member
Post #: 42
So much for proof reading... the title should say "24 or 36 hrs". *sigh*
Calgary, AB
Post #: 6

Thanks for starting this thread. I'm adding my proposed route for consideration....­

As was pointed out the speed limit in Manitoba is only 100km/hr. So for the couple hours we'd be in that province we might loose a bit of time. However, I think it's reasonable to assume you can safely speed by 10km/hr without risking a ticket. So we could still maintain 110 at least.

I like the idea of doing the run across the praries. The roads are flat, and straight which means fast. Compared to muontain roads through BC for example, you're forever getting stuck behind slow traffic slogging up hills or winding through the twistys. It's imperitive that we maintain a moving average of 110 to 114 km/hr depending on how many minutes we stop. I found when I did my 1600 km iron butt it was very difficult to maintain that average speed due to slows going through towns, construction zones, or traffic.

Regarding a Whitehorse or Dawson city one way run. This is good in concept, but I have no idea if the roads are conducive to the average speed that we will need to maintain. Maybe someone who's driven the road can offer an opinion, also an opinion on gas availablility.

Check out this site. Sunrise/sunset Moonrise/moonset tables...

On SATURDAY June 22, which is the longest day of the year. The FULL moon will rise at 9PM and set at almost 5AM. The Sunrise at that time of year is 5AM to 10 PM. This is perfect conditions for light. Longest daylight of the year and a full moon all night. We couldn't have ordered that any better. So if the weather cooperates I propose that we make that our target weekend for the ride.
Calgary, AB
Post #: 7
Here is the math computing the necessary average speed..

It's a 24 hour run, average speed has to be 104 km/hr including stop time. Computing stop time... 9 gas stops at 15 minutes each, which includes food and bathroom break is 135 minutes (2 hrs 15 min). Which leaves 21hrs 45min riding time. So the average speed while moving has to be no less than 115 km/hr.

If can manage shorter stops then the average will drop slightly. I said 9 stops, we'll start with a full tank, plus the 9 stops so 10 tanks of gas works out to 250 km per tank. Maybe we can reduce this. I can stretch my gas stops to 400km but depending on how hard I am on the throttle it might be sucking fumes.

A former member
Post #: 44
The date sounds like a good one to aim for, pending weather and life schedules that are unpredictable nine months in the future.

I'd agree heading straight west into the mountains is off the table in order to minimize road/traffic delays. The Manitoba route you're suggesting, or some variation of that, is probably the best choice if the ride is going to stay on the north side of the border. Not the most exciting roads but as you pointed out the best chance for maintaining good speed averages.

Range-wise I'm getting pretty thirsty at 325 to 340 (which can be an issue heading way north) so I'd be looking at a minimum of 8 stops not counting the starting and final fill - assuming conveniently located gas stations precisely every 300 km's smile

ugh.... it's only October
Calgary, AB
Post #: 8
ugh is right. I don't know if I want to wait 9 months. Are you busy this weekend? lol.

I guess we don't have to wait till the first day of summer, but I think it's a good idea to do it on a night when we have a moon most of the night. It's probably safer to have some light. I just hate riding in those total pitch black nights. Makes me feel way too vulnerable. Maybe it's just me, I don't know.

I like the way you guys had all your gas stops planned out when you did your 1600 a few weeks ago. Damn good idea. When I did mine, I just took off and figured it out along the way. So it seems like we'll have loads of time to plan, so we can figure it out for this ride too.

Hey, what do you think about a loop like this...­

A former member
Post #: 45
That loop looks interesting too, but adds a second border crossing to the equation, which might be an issue. I have no idea what the crossing in SK is like (fast, slow, limited hours, etc) so we'd need to look into that prior to using it.

Date-wise I think it's important to get some decent km's down before attempting this so personally I don't think much earlier would be smart. In a normal winter, I'm usually riding again by March, but nothing with any real distance. I would want to try and get a couple of long ones, maybe even another 1,600, down before this attempt so late June/early July is good timing. My weekends are a little goofy at that time of year, too, so it can be hard to find the time to "practice". Plus it's warmer then than earlier in the season... in theory.

I am going to look at adding some additional lighting on my bike before this ride. Koby had some good LED's on his when we did the 1,600 and it definitely made a difference. Prior to that ride I felt my headlight was adequate - not super bright, but adequate - however after seeing Koby's set up I think some additional light is in order. Any way you slice it, there is at least 7 or more hours in the dark, so decent light is critical. Winter project.

Yes, the pre-planned gas stops was definitely the way to go!! For our 1,600, Koby planned all the stops ahead of time, which was excellent; if left up to me I would have been winging it beyond the basic route. Pre-planning took the last minute and possibly bad decisions out of the equation before we even left. I took the stops he planned and estimated our arrival and departure times for each stop, based on legal speed limits +10% roughly, so we'd have an idea if we were starting to get behind or if we had time for a slightly longer stop. I find on long trips I'm bad for thinking early in the day I have all the time in the world, then realizing late in the day I don't, so planning the times seemed like a good way for me to avoid that mental trap.

On a positive note it really helped to know if we were on schedule or not. We found ourselves hitting all of our stops early, which was nice. Our mistake was not staying on schedule with the time allotted for stops; we tended to just stop a bit longer than was planned since we were "ahead". It didn't hurt us in the end, as we had tons of time, but had we have stayed on track with allotted stop times we would have finished a good hour or more earlier. Building up a time "credit" with earlier arrivals and sticking to the allotted stop time gives you flexibility at the other end when you are really tired and need that longer break or if something unplanned happens on the road.

So taking that bit of learning from the 1,600 I think any IB attempt should have the gas stops planned in detail, with the actual gas station where possible, then the arrival and departure times calculated. Any early arrivals, particulary in the beginning, get "banked" instead of being used for longer stops.

So.. winter projects - source out and install additional lighting; install heated grips I already own but have been to busy to put on; decide on the route and start planning the stops!!!
Calgary, AB
Post #: 9
I'm totally on board with the planning ahead, and banking the extra minutes. I like the idea of figuring out gas stops ahead of time. When I did my 1600 I would fill up 1/2 a tank sometimes because I had no idea where the next good gas stop was. So I lost some time with extra gas stops.

I am interested in diving lights as well. I looked online a bit and see prices all the way from 50 bucks to 500 for a pair of lights. Maybe you can post back when you have some info to share. I'd like a pair that would clamp onto my crash bar. I like that location better than on the brake calipers or fork legs like some are.

Well, I'm off on a mini holiday to a wedding out on the east coast for a week and a bit (flying, no bike). Maybe one day we could meet up on the Thursday night gathering or Sunday morning breakfast meetup and share some BS stories.

Calgary, AB
Post #: 12
I have a new idea for an Iron Butt run next summer. This would be an extended trip, rather than a one day loop.
Lets say, hypothetically we were to do it on the Canada day long weekend, which is only a week following the longest day of the year, to maximize daylight.

- Thursday after work we ride north to a town called Valleyview just shy of Grand Prarie, 643km.
- Friday we Iron butt ride the Alaska highway. Valleyview to Whitehorse 1646 km.
- Saturday is a leisurely ride from Whitehorse to Fairbanks Alaska through Dawson City. 1150 km
- Sunday rest and relax.
- Monday is an Iron Butt all the way home Fairbanks to Calgary, 3233 km.

The nice thing about going north at the end of June or beginning of July, it's effectively light all the time. For a couple hours in the night is twilight but not totally dark.

Calgary, AB
Post #: 13
Ok, I just realized I made a mistake on the 3200km on the last day. I was thinking of the 2500 iron butt. 3200 is too far for a day.

Well, anyway, that's my concept. It's a proposal up for consideration, and modification.
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