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IRON BUTT UK

Roger Allen

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Profile Roger Allen

My first recollection of a Motorcycle was seeing a Harley Davidson at the age of 9, I was in love and knew one day I would own one,

Several opportunities passed and were missed, and i settled for other machines but my love was for Harleys but I couldn’t get one while I was in the Army, never home to ride it, didn’t have the money when I left so couldn’t then either. Eventually it all fell into place and I picked up my first ever Heritage Softail. Classic, man I loved it and how it felt to ride. I was hooked on motorcycling and Harley Davidson’s. Eventually I upgraded to the Ultra Classic

 I first heard about the Iron Butt Association of America quite a few years ago after attending a HOG (Harley Owners Group) Rally in Aviemore. I decided to pop up to John O’Groats and head on down to Lands End a total of 874 miles in less than 24 hours.

After I got back home to Southampton a friend suggested that I should try the IBA. I trawled their site and loved what I saw, even though at that time they didn’t recognise the End to End ride. I knew that as much as I enjoyed the Harley scene, I needed more

For me, it was always about the ride and actually being on the Harley riding it.

HOG had been good to me; I had done loads of rallies, ride outs and parades including being only one of 6 Harley riders who provided an escort for 50 British bikes on the Queens Golden Jubilee parade down the Mall in front of the Roya Family. I will always be indebted to ‘Snob’ of the Angels who organised it, for the invitation, it was one hell of a day.

I have always ridden all year round, some winter days are as good as any summer day and I clocked my 100,000 HOG miles in a little over 3 years, Butt I needed more and the Iron Butt was the challenge I needed

My first SaddleSore was done to raise money for Dreamflight the organisation which sends terminally ill kids to America, I raised over �2,500 and the one thing I learned, amongst many other riding issues was that I was on my own. My mates just thought I was mad.

I had learnt from my life that I need to be challenged, both mentally and physically and after a bit of a past problem, running up and down mountains couldn’t be done no more so this was it. Perfect

Lots of rides followed butt I wondered if the BunBurner GOLD could ever be done in the UK. I couldn’t find any record of any rider competing it before here at that time. I decided to have a crack at it on 27th August 2005, Bank Holiday weekend was chosen to give me a day off after

Meticulous planning followed and I did it. I was ecstatic although it was the hardest thing I had ever done on a motorcycle (to date) The BB Gold number plate back is my favourite Biker possession

Long discussions followed with Mike Kneebone, I knew we had the capabilities to run a dam good Iron Butt Association here in the UK, it just needed pulling together

The discussions also centred on two UK rides, the End to End and the End-to-End GOLD. New rides that the IBA were willing to authorise, if they could be done.

I decided to have a crack at it and decided the GOLD was the one to go for. I already knew I could do the basic in less than 24 hours

Again, planning was extensive and on 10th June 2006, I completed the first End-to-End GOLD and reported back to Mike.

A trip to Norway to do the excellant Iron Butt Camel Rally followed, sadly with a major accident on the way home from which the injuries sustained are being resolved as each day passes

The good news was this gave me the chance to concentrate on setting up a web site for Iron Butt UK riders with the IBA's full support. Out of every negative comes a positive

It was after that that the Iron Butt UK web site was launched, and since then it has taken off like a rocket

I think that the main aims should be

:

  • The passage of information to Iron Butt UK members
  • A provision for new potential members to learn about the Iron Butt Association and Iron Butt activities here in the UK
  • A focal point for all Iron Butt UK members
  • A place to recognise UK achievements
  • To liase between the IBA of America and the IBA UK
  • To provide links to other useful Long Distance web sites, clubs and associations
  • To provide a platform for ideas and suggestions for new rides in and around the UK
  • For Members to give support, advice and guidance to other members or those who might be planning to do a ride in the future. Potential members in particular
  • For members to provide witnesses and emergency help if required for others doing Iron Butt rides
  • To promote the sport of safe Long Distance Riding

Anything else we need it for, above all, its there for the anyone in the UK who has either completed or is thinking of completing an Iron Butt ride

 

I have no doubt that the UK has a wealth of Iron Butt expertise out there and it would be great if we could tap into it

I have been privileged to meet with some great people. The Ride o Eat in March 2007 was excellant and the fact that thanks to Chris McGaffin, Iron Butt Rally veteran's help, we are now at the stage of running the first UK Iron Butt Rally in 2008, after only a year or so is amazing and promises to be outstanding fun

Sounds dam good to me