At 7:50am ET on Saturday, 29 March 2008, I pulled an ATM slip to mark the end of what was certified as my 33rd Iron Butt ride and 17th Bun Burner Gold, a run of 1531 miles in 23 hours flat. My route was simply to ride from Miami Beach FL to Dunn NC and back on IH-95. This was supposed to be the first leg of a Bun Burner Gold 3000 (BBG3000). But in attempting to log the start of the second leg, I realized I had lost a credit card. I ultimately determined I had left it in the ATM I used at the end of Leg 1. All the drama cost me more time than I had to spare though, so the successful completion of my second BBG3000 would have to wait for another day…
That day was Sunday, 20 April 2008, when at 7:42am ET I pulled another slip from the same Wachovia ATM–this time remembering to retrieve my credit card–to mark the end of what was certified as my 34th Iron Butt ride and 2nd Bun Burner Gold 3000, over which I covered 3071 miles in 46 hours 55 minutes.
The Iron Butt Association’s BBG3000 rules require two back-to-back BBG1500 runs, i.e., riding over 1500 miles in under 24 hours for two consecutive 24-hour periods. The route for my first leg was simply from Miami Beach FL to Dunn NC and back (again) on IH-95, over which I rode 1538 miles in 22 hours 4 minutes. The route for my second leg was IH-75 from Miami Beach across Alligator Alley to Naples, then north to hit IH-10 near Lake City, then west to Daphne (Mobile) AL, then back east on IH-10 to Jacksonville and south on IH-95 to Miami Beach, over which I covered 1533 miles in 22 hours 55 minutes.
According to the IBA Certified Rides List at Ironbutt.com, as of 30 June 2009 less than 80 riders have ever completed a BBG3000, and only 3 have done so on a Harley-Davidson:
Bob Lyskowski Manchester, NH 09/04/99 H-D FLHS 3,072 Pauline Ralston Ft. Pierce, FL 06/01/00 H-D Ultra 3,046 Bruce Arnold Miami Beach, FL 05/28/07 H-D Dyna Conv. 3,056 Bruce Arnold Miami Beach, FL 04/18/08 H-D Dyna Conv. 3,071
Aside from yours truly, only 5 riders have completed 2 or more BBG3000’s, with the legendary Canadian rider Steve Broadhead being the only man to complete 3:
David J. Derrick Califon, NJ 09/10/04 BMW R1100RT 3,063 David J. Derrick Califon, NJ 09/23/05 BMW R1100RT 3,047 Jorma Viemero FINLAND 04/25/00 BMW K75 3,112 Jorma Viemero FINLAND 08/06/00 BMW K75 3,072 Lee Myrah Calgary, AL Canada 05/24/03 Honda ST1100 3,147 Lee Myrah Neepawa, MT Canada 06/17/00 Honda ST1100 3,131 Mike Hutsal Winnipeg, MT Canada 05/24/03 Honda ST1100 3,147 Mike Hutsal Winnipeg, MT Canada 06/17/00 Honda ST1100 3,131 Steve Broadhead Calgery, AL Canada 07/22/05 Honda ST1300 3,074 Steve Broadhead Calgery, AL Canada 08/19/05 Honda ST1300 3,050 Steve Broadhead Calgery, AL Canada 09/10/04 Honda ST1300 3,061
The BBG3000 is a daunting proposition, but it is only the second most challenging endurance ride certified by the IBA. The toughest is the Bun Burner GOLD Trifecta, also called the BBG4500. This certification requires three consecutive (back-to-back-to-back) rides of over 1500 miles in under 24 hours, or over 4500 miles in under 72 hours altogether. In the history of the Iron Butt Association to date, only 10 BBG4500’s have been certified:
Steve Short Fair Grove, MO 06/17/09 Honda GoldWing 4,584 Greg Rice Ft. Lauderdale, FL 03/05/09 Honda GoldWing 4,559 Bruce Arnold Miami Beach, FL 12/12/08 H-D Dyna Conv. 4,567 Derek Dickson Duluth, MN 08/28/07 Yamaha FJR1300 4,672 Curt Gran Pewaukee, WI 07/04/07 Honda ST1300A 4,566 Steve Broadhead Calgery, AL Canada 03/13/06 Honda ST1300 4,512 John Tomasovitch Throop, PA 03/09/06 BMW K1200RS 4,500+ Peter Leap Marblehead, PA 03/09/06 Honda ST1300 4,500+ Peter A. Murray Hackettstown, NJ 09/23/05 BMW K1200LT 4,564 John C. Ryan Roxbury, NJ 10/04/04 BMW K75 4,619
And trust me, folks, there is a very good reason why none of our names are listed twice. I posted a brief report of my BBG4500 run here, and I’m sure I’ll have more to share about it in future installments of “Distance Riding with Bruce”. In the meantime, if you’re considering going after a Bun Burner Gold 1500, 3000 or 4500 for yourself someday, I strongly recommend you read this first:
Until Next Time … Ride Long, Ride Free!
Bruce Arnold aka IronBoltBruce
Co-Moderator, Bruce-n-RC’s Biker Forum
Author and Publisher, LdrLongDistanceRider.com
Mile Eater Gold Member, Iron Butt Association (IBA)
Sustaining Member, Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF)
2009 Chairman’s Circle, American Motorcyclist Association (AMA)
Signatory, 911 Truth Statement & Petition (911Truth.org|ae911Truth.org)