This is a sponsored long distance motorcycle ride to raise money for the Royal British Legion's Poppy Appeal. The event has been running since 2009 and has always had well over 100 riders taking part every year. You don't all ride together, you choose which route to ride and either ride on your own, or with friends.
All routes start and finish in one central location near Leeds in Yorkshire on a Saturday near to the Summer Solstice, meaning that apart from a few hours, the whole route can be ridden in daylight. If you complete a 1000 mile route in less than 24 hours you'll automatically become a member of the Iron Butt Association.
Please read this and other pages in full before entering, to make sure you understand the challenge of this event.
There are three main routes to ride which all start and finish at Squires Cafe Bar, B1222, Newthorpe, near Sherburn in Elmet, West Yorkshire, LS25 5LX.
The main Northern and Southern routes are just over 1000 miles and can be ridden in either a clockwise or anti-clockwise direction. There's also a shorter 500 mile route which also can be ridden in either direction too. This means you actually have six routes in total to choose from:
Look at the routes in detail and choose carefully. People say the Northern route is easier, but there is an element of personal preference.
Once you've decided which route you wish to ride complete the on-line entry form. You'll then be directed to the Registration Payment page which can be made either via a PayPal account or using a debit/credit card. The entry fee is £20 per rider and £10 for a pillion, and we kindly ask that you raise a minimum of £50 in sponsorship (in total), to be collected after the event.
The entry form will ask for your bike make and model as this will be shown on your finishing certificate which we print off just before the event. If you don't have these details, maybe because you're unsure which bike you'll be riding, or if you intend to buy a new bike and don't yet know this information please enter TBC in the appropriate boxes.
Please be very careful when entering email addresses, to make sure they are in the correct upper or lower case, and that emergency NOK (Next Of kin) phone numbers have the correct amount of numbers.
For those of you who've embraced the modern world and use satellite navigation devices on your bikes there are sat nav files you can download ready to transfer onto your mapping programme or sat nav from the website. If you don't stick to the route this won't matter as the locations we've chosen ensure whichever way you go between them you'll always ride over 1000 actual miles. Even if you don't use a sat nav the receipt points are quite straight forward and if you do your research beforehand you should be able to come up with a navigation method that suits you. Note - Learn how to use your sat nav and follow it too!
All riders are advised to read and digest the Iron Butt Association's 'Archive of Wisdom'. This gives some very useful tips and techniques for Long Distance riding:
We're also sure that many of you will understand and appreciate the old military saying of;
This is also very true when it comes to these challenging rides. The link below takes you to the IBA UK forum's dedicated RBLR1000 topic. You can view the posts and register to ask your own questions and make comments. You can discuss your preparations and get help and advice from experienced Long Distance riders which could help you to work out your own strategy for this event. Click below to take you straight to it:
If this is your first ever 1000 miler we strongly recommend that you get some practice in before the big day. Going for a 50 mile blast around your local roads with a 1 hour lunch break won't do you any favours in June. Plan some days or weekend rides where you can steadily build your mileage. Riding a few hundred miles in one go will teach you a great deal about yourself and your machine and will also give you an idea of what lies in store.
Many IBA veterans ride until they need to refuel their bikes. This is often the only time they will stop, but that doesn't mean you have to. It would therefore be a good idea to know what distance you and your bike can comfortably manage without getting desperate for fuel. You can then look at the route you've chosen and calculate when and where you can stop along the way. Stopping for fuel is also a good time for the other essentials of Long Distance riding; eating, drinking, resting, and going to the toilet.
Think about preparing your bike and your kit too. Saddlesore 1000 rides have been completed on all sorts of bikes including mopeds and 125s. In 2019 a rider finished in under 24 hours (just) on a 110cc twist-and-go scooter. As part of your preparations make sure your bike has been well maintained and the tyres and brakes are in good condition. (tip - consider and know how to use a puncture repair kit!).
The same is also true with your riding gear. One popular saying is "There's no such thing as bad weather, only the wrong clothing". You'll be riding all day and late into the night and weather and road conditions can all take their toll on your spirits and stamina, so make sure you've got appropriate clothing to keep you warm and dry. One if not two spare pairs of gloves is a very good idea. Take winter gloves, warm layers, and even consider a waterproof over-suit to put over your normal bike clothing. These will all pay dividends if you have to ride in the pouring rain for several hours late on Saturday night (been there done that!).
Navigation - even if you're using a sat nav it's still a very good idea to have some simple road numbers and directions written down as a back-up.
You could even prepare a different set of directions between each receipt point and swap them over as required. The Northern route is relatively straightforward and a simple route card on your tank or tank bag might be all you need to get around. It's also a good idea to have your fuel stops listed and at what distance and time you expect to be at each one. You can then use this to help check your progress, or lack of it!
Free camping is available on-site at Squires for those that want to save a bit of money and embrace the camaraderie of the event. Please tick the box when you enter so we can gauge how many to expect.
Their top field has electric hook-up points but they charge for this area. If you want to use this field you need to book this directly through the Squires website here:
There's also an abundance of accommodation of varying types and prices within a very short ride of Squires. It's a good idea to book rooms for both Friday and Saturday night so you can get a good quiet rest before the start, and have a nice warm dry bed to come back to late on Saturday night/early Sunday morning.
Registration at Squires will be open from 13.30 hours on the Friday. Please aim to arrive and register before 19.45 hours. There'll be a very short riders briefing at 20.00 hours to give you any last minute updates on roadworks etc, after which you're free to get some sleep.
We do prefer riders to register on Friday but if something happens to prevent this we can register some riders first thing on Saturday morning - If you can't register until Saturday morning please aim to arrive at Squires in good time. Staff will direct you where to park.
Start times for 1000 and 1500 mile routes are between 05:00 - 06:00 hours on Saturday morning with 500 mile routes starting between 06:00 - 07:00 hours. So start when you like within these times. The majority of 1000 mile riders always start at 05:00 to make the most of the daylight hours. Volunteer staff will be on-hand to sign receipt logs before waving you off in an orderly fashion. It only takes a few minutes for everybody to leave so don't worry about congestion. Note - If starting at 05:00 please aim to arrive at Squires around 04:30.
If you're riding the North clockwise route a small team of volunteers will also be in the car park at the westbound Birch Services (1st receipt point) to witness your arrival and sign your logs - look out for them as you turn in off the motorway (follow the signs for CAR PARKING). This will save you having to queue for a receipt, especially as many riders will be riding in this direction. As part of your ride plan if you intend to stop for fuel ride past the volunteers and if waved at point at your tank so they know why you're ignoring them.
The ride does NOT require you to speed. If you return to the finish within 18 hours we know you will have been speeding excessively and you will not be put forward for IBA certification. So if you start at 05.00 hours don't come back before 23.00 hours. It's not a race and there's no prizes for finishing early so take your time; speed just makes you tire more quickly.
As you progress around your route obtain a computer printed receipt with a legible date and time stamp from EVERY listed receipt point. Number each receipt, enter the details on the receipt log we provide and issue when you register, and store the receipts away somewhere safe and dry. When you get to each designated receipt point you don't necessarily need to get a fuel receipt. BUT the receipt MUST have the place name on it.
Even if you don't need fuel still stop to get a receipt. Simply buy a Mars bar or something else to get the required location receipt (for fuel always ask for a VAT receipt as they have more detailed information).
If the designated receipt point is closed or unavailable don't panic. Simply obtain a receipt that has the same place name on it with a date and time. i.e. a receipt from Fort William Morrisons will be just fine. You may also elect to use a bank ATM receipt with a time and date stamp.
Note: If your motorcycle is equipped with a large capacity fuel-tank or auxiliary tank you must stop at least once every 350 miles for fuel (this is an IBA rule). Although we know it's possible to ride greater distances non-stop, we will not accept a claim of this type. Your backside will thank you for it too!
Slow down as you approach the finish and the volunteer staff will wave you in to the parking area and channel you to a controlled stop. They will note your finish time and make sure you can safely get off your bike to retrieve and sign your receipt log. After this, park your bike and take a few minutes to revel in your achievement. Now prepare all your paperwork.
As already mentioned, number and put your receipts in order. Copy the details onto the receipt log. That's it!
The verification will be conducted by the IBA verification team there and then. They will quickly scrutinise your paperwork and will confirm you have successfully completed the ride according to the IBA's requirements.
You will get your Saddlesore 1000 certificate there and then. It may be that you complete the 1000 miles but cannot gain entry to the IBA due to an error or omission i.e. no place name on a receipt or you've lost one because it blew away in the wind. The important point is this won't affect your sponsorship as you will have completed what you set out to do.
If you cannot complete the 1000 miles in less than 24 hours you will still receive a RBLR1000 finishing certificate and there will always be next year. Hand written finishers certificates will be handed over, or, if you prefer your names typed out nicely these can be posted to you after the event. Riders finishing the 500 mile route only need to finish, there's no minimum or maximum time and every rider will receive their own special finisher's certificate too.
Hot food and drink will be available to purchase at the finish.
IMPORTANT - Remember this is for fun and riding (for most) is a hobby. There is no pressure to complete the ride should you become tired or otherwise feel unsafe. While group Saddlesore rides bring with them the safety of group travel, they can also increase your risk by encouraging you to press on when you might otherwise stop. So, be sure the riding styles of others in your group match your own.
Practice riding in your group. Develop a system of communication, either verbal with intercom radios or by flashing your lights. In this way if somebody needs to stop for fuel or a rest they won't get left behind. This is especially important when it's only the person at the front who knows where they're going and how to get there! Also, it makes sense to have a plan should you decide to split up or leave anyone behind.
Motorcycling comes with risk and riding long distances increases that risk. It's imperative you understand the ride you're undertaking and minimize the possibility of an accident by practicing safe riding habits. No one, not even the most experienced Long Distance rider can safely fight off fatigue. If you're tired, the only option is to stop and rest. The Saddlesore rides enjoy a fantastic safety record but to continue this record requires you to do your part. If you are tired or ill, are having a bad day, or facing other hurdles that are impacting your riding skills, please stop and rest so that you may enjoy motorcycling another day!
If you're unable to complete the ride for any reason i.e. mechanical breakdown, fatigue etc, please phone or text to let the organisers know. The number to call will be disclosed when you arrive for registration.
You're asked to raise a minimum of £50 towards the Poppy Appeal as part of the entry conditions. In 2018 and 2019 the amount raised each year was approximately £35,000. Please collect your sponsorship and send in money for the requisite amount to The RBLR Treasurer after the event:
6 Key Avenue
Make cheques payable to RBLR PAO
A sponsor form is available to download from the website and you can either post a cheque off to the Treasurer at the address above. For other payment methods, please email the treasurer.
If you raise funds by Just Giving or similar, please inform the RBL Riders Branch Treasurer so that we can count it in the total, thanks. Riders.Treasurer@rbl.community (not for general enquiries, finance only)
Thank you for all your efforts in undertaking this challenge. We hope you have an enjoyable and safe time. If you are bitten by the Long Distance Riding bug you can find more information about the IBA in the UK here:
The UK IBA also organizes navigational scatter rallies of 8, 12, and 36 hour duration spread throughout the year and these are always great fun as you can end up riding to all sorts of places around the UK to gain points for places you visit.