Thursday, August 12, 2010

Hard Miles 2

I was lucky enough to have the flu over the weekend so didn't have to pretend to be hard and go riding in some average winter weather. I did however have plenty of time on my hands so got to watch "Hard Miles 2", the DVD of last year's Iron Butt Rally.

Last year I followed the IBA via their website as I was interested to see how Australian Davo Jones went on his Connie. Davo Jones was an extremely experienced long distance rider with a lot of hugely impressive rides under his belt but tragically he sustained a terrible head injury after hitting a deer (with his Iron Butt all but finished) and passed away. Like a lot of people around the world it was shocking news to hear and it certainly highlighted the dangers of these sorts of events. What I've taken from the accident is that the risks are real and that a badge is not worth dying for, if I have any doubts about my ability to finish the GC or similar rides safely I will pull out and park the bike.

Back to the movie/documentary: it starts off showing some of scrutineering preparation prior to the event and introduces a few of the riders. It gives some idea into the amount of planning that the riders have to do when they pick their routes and decide on bonuses to attempt - the aim of the game is to get as many points as possible in the simplest way. The viewer gets to see the riders making their decisions and basically committing to a route and to how much rest they're going to be able to get.

Eventually we're on the road and the video captures small pieces of the ride: riders arriving at a bonus, bike issues, sleep issues etc. At the end of each leg of the ride (3 legs) we find out who is winning and get to see the riders planning the next leg of the journey. Certain riders are also interviewed about their ride so far. Towards the end of leg 3 they touch on Davo's accident and also how it affected other rally participants ride. Ride over we find out the winner and there's a few comments from the riders on finishing the event.

All in all, it was an interesting watch. It was good to get an idea on how tough the planning is -how easy is it to do route planning when you've been riding for three days straight? What I would have loved to have seen is more of the roads and therefore get some idea of how hard the riding was - I did see them on gravel for a 2nd but I would imagine a lot of Interstate & highway riding occurs. It would be great to know how this all compares to the GC or TT2000 for example. I think on the GC we get sent down some tough roads and we also have to put up with lower speed limits - but, we only do it for 20 hours or so. My hat is off to all Iron Butt riders!

In the DVD extras there is a quick introduction to all the riders and an interesting little documentary on the first Iron Butt Rally - the first of the hard men.

Overall, the DVD was pretty good, it was well made and interesting. I'd certainly recommend it if you're interested in distance riding and certainly if you were considering an Iron Butt ride.

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