For lots of riders, summer weekends mean long rides on the bike.

For some riders, that’s a nice weekend cruise  … for others, it’s a road trip with a specific destination and length in mind.

Whether you belong to a long distance club with its own challenge like the Hoka Hey Challenge, prefer twisting the throttle on your own, or set your sights on achieving one of the milestone Iron Butt Association challenges, careful planning will improve your ride.

Here are some resources that long distance riders may find helpful.

moreThe Iron Butt Association

If the thought of finding new long distance challenges is appealing, check out the Iron Butt Association.


The IBA is a motorcycle club whose members to complete extremely long distance rides in a specific amount of time. 

You may be thinking of the 1000 mile Iron butt challenge, but this group actually sponsers many different long distance rides.

Like the Iron Butt Rally  which runs every other year. It consists of a staggering 11,000 miles in just 11 days … definitely not for the weak at heart. Or the National Parks Tour Master Traveler Award that for riders who visit at least 50 national parks in 25 states, and more.

But not every requirement is that intense.

You can start with the shortest of the challenges first so that you can get a feel for the endurance and timing needed to complete longer rides.  A good challenge is the SaddleSore 1,000 (1,000 miles in 24 hours) or the Bun Burner 1500 (1500 miles in 36 hours).

The rules are rigorous and exacting … but if you comply, you will have joined the ranks of more than 50K members who claim similar “Iron Butt” status … and build memories that can last a lifetime.

The next 11K mile Iron Butt Rally isn’t scheduled to run in 2015. But there are plenty of other rides to challenge you in the meantime.  Check out their event calendar.

Resources for Long Distance Riders

Whether you plan to qualify for official “Iron Butt” status or not, check out the Iron Butt Association website  — it’s well worth a read for anyone tackling long distance rides.

1. Iron Butt Website Highlights:  Especially check out:

The Tech Section:  A wealth of info on mods to your bike, to help you handle 1000+ mile days. Great info on fuel tanks, auxillary lighing, more comfortable saddles, GPS, heated clothing, windscreen mods, hydration systems, exhaust noise standards … it’s all there!

The “Archive of Wisdom” section, with 28 tips and techniques from Iron Butt veterans — like these long distance riding tips from the experts:

– Upgrade your tool kit; carry a flat kit and know how to use it. 

 Carry at least one half gallon of water.

– Join a towing service.

– Use a tracking device.

– Separate gas stops from food stops … and more.

2.  Other helpful articles before your ride:

Check out this 3-Part series from expert rider Marilyn Elmore:


               Part 1: Long Distance Motorcycle Riding Tips-Planning 

               Part 2: Long Distance Motorcycle Riding Tips-Comfort

               Part 3: Long Distance Motocycle Riding Tips: Route, Rest & Refuel 

Tips from competitive long distance riding pro Jeff Kohn:

               6 Expert Tips for Long Distance Motorcycle Riding


 Inspiration from million mile plus rider Voni Glaves:         

               Each Glove Tells A Story: Long Distance Motorcycle Riding ~Voni Glaves

Does long distance riding sound like a great idea or a miserable road trip? Have you ridden any of the Iron Butt challenges? Let us know in the comment section below.

Gloves and Gear for Long Distance Motorcycle Riding

Whether you are an experienced rider in search of a new challenge, or new to the sport, the right gloves will keep hands protected and comfortable no matter what Mother Nature and the road throws at you.

Long distance riders should especially consider:

     –  gel palm gloves for shock absorption and anti-vibration qualities,
     –  waterproof and windproof
 styles for comfort in all weather,
     –  mesh or vented styles for cooler summer rides
     –  features like flexible hard knuckles and high density foam for protection, and
     –  touchscreen gloves for added convenience on the road.

If you need a fresh pair of gloves in your saddlebags, we make over 70+ styles of gloves, some with free shipping. Visit a local OLYMPIA dealer or our online store: