How to Become a Hard Ass

There's a trick to preparing to ride long distance; here's how.

For the barhopper set that might define long distance as a crosstown ride, or the crotch rocket bunch that sees a series of canyons as an all day affair, you might want to move on. Then again, if the idea of clocking 1000 miles or more in a day appeals to you, but you're wondering how the hell you prepare for such a ride, read on.

The Iron Butt Association is the primary entity that oversees the rules and information about these rides. You don't need to go through them to plan yours, but if you want to get credit for planting your backside in a saddle for the distance, you'll have to abide by their directions.

Here's a sampling of some of the long distance rides you can try. The Saddle Sore 1000 covering 1,000 miles in 24 hours. The Bun Burner 1500 which is 1,500 miles in 24 or 36 hours, but if you do the 1500 in 24 hours you get upgraded to Bun Burner “Gold” status. And if you're a deep-seated masochist or just have a high pain tolerance, there's the Bun Burner 3000 -- two consecutive 1,500-mile rides to be completed in just 48 hours.

So what's the secret to finish one of these? A quick scouring of the web and here's what we came away with.

Train for it by building up your stamina. Just like a marathon runner trains with longer and longer runs leading up to race day, take trips of increasing length before the big trip. This will also build up your endurance and physical toughness.

Get on a bicycle. This trains the muscle groups you use in the riding position - legs and glutes -- and toughens up your back.

On the day of the long ride, eat healthy, energizing foods like oatmeal, cereal, and fruit, along with foods that are high in protein, like eggs or yogurt. Pack some energy bars for quick refueling on the road.

Drink lots of water before and during the trip! This not only helps with mental alertness, but it also reduces muscle soreness and cramps -- which you'll have more than you know. Bring a hydration pack so you can drink without stopping. If it's hot outside, force yourself to drink more. Even if you're not perspiring because the sweat is drying faster than it can pool, your body is still losing water.

Finally, stay focused. Bring music. Play mental games on the trip. The first 700 miles are going to be tough, but the last several hundred are going to be damn hard. Anything you can do to take your mind off of what's still ahead and whatever pain you're feeling will help get you to the finish. And when you do finish, and track it accordingly, you can claim something the vast majority of motorcycle riders can't -- recognition by the Iron Butt Association.

Now go make your friends and mama proud. Still plenty of warm weather riding out there to get in that 1000 mile ride!

Here's a video from Motorcycle.com that will give you some idea of what to expect.

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