Monday, June 14, 2010

Iron Butt Ride Reflections

It's been a month since completing the Iron Butt Ride. I won't know if the ride has been confirmed and accepted for another month or two. I have been asked a lot of questions about the ride and I've had time to reflect on it. My wife say it was a foolhardy thing to do. I agree with her. So, why did I do it?

Was it to get my "15 minutes of fame?"

Didn't we all want to be famous when we were kids? Some people never outgrow that desire. But, no, I don't think that was the reason. Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy having some degree of notoriety. But, the scooter community is pretty small, so, if it's fame I wanted, I would probably need to try something different.

Because it's there!

This is getting a bit closer. When I was still riding bicycles (I blew me knee out and can't ride anymore.) I was wanting to ride ever longer distances. I finished my first century ride (100 miles) and immediately noted that there were rides of 250 and even 500 miles. I had decided I wanted to work my way toward those. I wasn't wanting to set world records, but I did want to do something that most people hadn't done. I've always been a pretty average guy: average intelligence, average athletic ability, average height, build etc, etc. I did manage to marry a way above average wife, however. So, I guess I saw that Iron Butt ride and decided it would be a chance to do something that the average guy doesn't do.

That Middle Age Crisis thing.

I was a pretty good kid. I didn't take a lot of risks. There were things i wanted to do .....but didn't, girls I wanted to ask out ....but didn't, parts I should have auditioned for .....well, you get the idea. As a young man, I joined the Army. I wanted to be infantry or a tanker, but those skills don't translate well into the civilian world, so I passed. As an adult, I saw an excellent opportunity to start my own business, the need and the demand were there, but ...too risky. These are not things that I regret everyday, or at all, for that matter. They just are what they are. (I did take one huge risk as a young man. I fell in love with a beautiful, intelligent and witty young lady. The risky part was that we eloped when she was only 16 years old! That was over 26 years ago and she's still just as beautiful, intelligent and witty.) What does this have to do with Iron Butt Rides? Well, I knew that there was some degree of risk involved with this ride. Riding at night and on the interstate involved risk. I suppose that drew me to do it as well. Maybe I felt as if I owed myself another risk or two.

So What?
There isn't a lot of "exploring" or "discovery" that can be done by the average guy. It seems, sometimes, that everything has been done. But know what? It hasn't been done by me. I can explore my personal abilities and limits. I don't know that I've caught the Iron Butt "bug" but I will continue to ride. I will ride places to which I've never been. There won't usually be people there to congratulate or take video of me, but it won't matter. I ride because it pleases me and it probably makes me easier to get along with.

Ride on,


  1. Howard, your wife might think of you as foolhardy, and I can't argue with that (LOL), but I am still very impressed by what you did.
    You put it very well in answering the question as to why, when you said because it hasn't been done by you. Very poetic, and answers it all for me. Nuthin else needs to be said!
    Of course you know that you have maybe indirectly inspired a bunch of other scooter riders out there. Your ride has made me think about it and even though I may never try it, there is always the dream and shooting for the stars is what it can be all about.
    In reading your post, about your former bicycling days, it makes me think that we are a lot alike in many ways.
    Darn you, I am already thinking about a possible route for an Iron Butt.

    Premeditated Scootin'

  2. You know Howard...I'm proud of you. I think you did the ride for the "right" reasons.

    The last guy I worked for told me he had decided to be one of the few people on earth that have paddled a canoe down the Missouri River from Kansas City to St. Louis...he did it in 70 hours, and I think it is about 250 miles. I was impressed... for a "city boy" thats quite a feat. He is a lawyer and stays in shape with stuff like this.
    I bet that is something YOU could do, too.

    The the scooter ride was great and the blog was also great...I repeat...YOU DA MAN!!!

    Your Brother kelly

  3. Hi Howard, came here from your link on the Modern Buddy forum scooter tag. Enjoyed looking through your blog