The Journey Travel

I Am a Glutton for Punishment

More than 2,200 miles in 64 hours. What could go wrong?

There is real potential for disaster here. Despite a documented dislike for Iron Butt rides I have decided to do something even more exhausting, on a bike that isn’t really designed for such a thing.

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The bike, of course, is the Harley-Davidson Street Bob the MoCo loaned me for the summer. With our time together drawing to an end (still more than a month, though) and the days beginning to cool, I feel a powerful need to take it on (at least) one more great adventure.

Back in July I put some 2,000 miles on the clock riding the Street Bob to Prague and back over the space of a week. Now the plan is to do more miles in less time: more than 2,200 miles in less than 64 hours. I’m doing a Harley Butt.

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Well, that’s not what they call it. The folks at the Hogsback Harley Owners Group (HOG) in Guildford, England, came up with the idea; they call it an Iron Hog Ride. It’s a take on the Iron Butt, with a twist.

The basic idea is simple: visit four Harley-Davidson dealerships in mainland UK within 48 hours, those dealerships being Swansea, Edinburgh, Maidstone, and Plymouth – ie, the four dealerships furthest away from each other. But you can add to the challenge by throwing in more. For each dealership you tick off the list, you can add 30 minutes to the allotted time in which to complete the task.

RELATED: Iron Butt Rides Are Not as Bad as Chris Would Have You Believe

There are some 32 Harley-Davidson dealerships in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Visit them all and that gives you an extra 960 minutes (16 hours) to play with. The Hogsback HOG chapter’s rules focus only on the 28 dealerships in mainland Britain, because to visit all 32 requires spending some time on boats – to Ireland and the Channel island of Jersey.

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I’ve decided to drop Jersey from my list because a ferry there takes upward of 11 hours and costs up the wazoo, but I’m keeping the planned count at 32 by including Cardiff Harley-Davidson, which is set to open in the next few weeks. It will serve as my start and end point. In between, I’ll be aiming to hit the following:

  1. Swansea
  2. Waterford (Ireland)
  3. Dublin
  4. Belfast
  5. West Coast (Glasgow)
  6. Edinburgh
  7. Jennings (Gateshead)
  8. Leeds
  9. Bowker (Preston)
  10. Chester
  11. Manchester
  12. HarleyWorld (Chesterfield)
  13. Robin Hood (Nottingham)
  14. Wolverhampton
  15. Birmingham
  16. Sycamore (Uppingham)
  17. Norwich
  18. Newmarket
  19. Lakeside
  20. Maidstone
  21. Warr’s South East (London)
  22. Warr’s (London)
  23. Shaw
  24. Guildford
  25. Reading
  26. Oxford
  27. Southampton
  28. Plymouth
  29. Riders (Bridgwater)
  30. Riders (Bristol)
  31. Cheltenham

I’ve listed them in the order I plan to visit. Having plotted a route, I have to admit I’m concerned, especially since I’ve foolishly put Southeast England – the most densely populated area in Europe – toward the end of my adventure, when I’ll be the most tired. Usually you want to be alert when filtering through traffic…

But, hey, we can but try. The adventure starts Wednesday; you’ll be able to keep track of my progress by following TMO on Instagram or Facebook. Wish me luck!