For those attending the National Rally in June, the MOA and Iron Butt Association are hosting the Wander Farther Ride-In. The goal of this fun and unique contest is rather simple: Participants need to ride 1,000 miles—in 24 hours or less—from one of four pre-determined locations to Springfield, Missouri.
The beauty of riding in an organized long-distance challenge is that it is an achievable goal you can safely complete with a minimum amount of effort. As it relates to your bike, for example, you don’t need to do anything special beyond what you’d normally do to prepare for a trip. In other words, it is not necessary to install sophisticated electronic accessories, auxiliary lights, or a fuel cell—just make sure your bike is properly serviced and that you have plenty of tread on your tires.
Riding 1,000 miles in under 24 hours is also not the Herculean feat many think it is since you only need to average 42 mph. However, by riding on the interstate and maintaining an average speed of 65 mph, a ride like this can be accomplished in about 16 hours—a safe and realistic pace for most BMW riders. To put this into perspective, if you depart before the sun rises, chances are you won’t miss The Real Housewives of New York City before going to bed.
Although the internet is chock full of useful information to help newer riders (or riders new to IBA challenges) achieve their goal of successfully completing a SaddleSore 1000, the best source is the IBA’s Archive of Wisdom (ironbutt.org/25tips.html). It is a collection of tips from some very seasoned and experienced long-distance riders and covers a variety of topics like knowing your limits, preparing for a ride, eliminating distractions, and planning gas, food and rest stops, to name a few. Regardless if this is your first IBA challenge or your 20th, it’s worth following any advice offered from Iron Butt veterans.
Since these tips can also be applied to virtually any ride of any length, motorcycle touring and participating in the Wander Farther Ride-In are not as mutually exclusive as you might think. For instance, continually making micro-adjustments to your seating position throughout a ride will help alleviate aches and pains. Similarly, eating four or five light snacks throughout the day instead of a large lunch and dinner will keep you alert while at the same time preventing fatigue.
The most important thing to remember, though, is to stay hydrated. Lack of water impacts mental and physical performance, causes cramping, headaches and can lead to mental mishaps that could result in a crash. Plan to drink plenty water throughout the ride and to do so well before you think you’re thirsty.
Finally, get plenty of rest the night before your departure, get off the bike if you’re tired, and never, ever, ride beyond your limits. While the appeal of something like the Wander Farther Ride-In is typically lost on most motorcyclists, unlike vegemite or garlic ice cream, it is a dish worth savoring.
Have fun and ride safe. We’ll see you in Springfield!
For more information on the Wander Farther Ride-In, please refer to the May 2022 issue of BMW Owners News or visit the Wander Farther 1000 page on the Rally site. You’ll be able to get the link to register online from there; registration does require setting up an account with the IBA eStore and you must be registered for the Rally to participate in the Ride-In.