MANKATO — Motorcycle buff Dan Larson will be doing this A) because he can and B) because it bears bragging rights.
“It’s for recognition and admiration of your peers,” said the 1979 Mankato West High grad now living in Prior Lake. “Only 89 people have done this in the last 20 years.”
On Saturday June 23 Larson and biking buddy Gregor Moe of Buffalo will embark on an 8,800-mile motorcycle trek with demanding stipulations.
To receive their official acknowledgments from the Iron Butt Association of motorcycle riders they must travel through 49 states in 10 days.
The Iron Butt verification process calls for them to turn in all their dated gas, food and lodging receipts from the “48 Plus!” trip (48 contiguous states plus Alaska) and also keep a daily travel log.
They’ll depart from Sisseton, S.D., traverse the Upper Midwest, head east, then down the Eastern seaboard, then south, then west, on to California, then up to their final destination, Alaska.
Hitting all 49 states in that time frame sounds problematic, but Larson said the route he’s mapped is doable.
Larson, who rides a 2011 Victory Cross Country Tour motorcycle, became an Iron Butt member last year when he completed the group’s basic membership requirement — the Saddle Sore (1,000 miles in 24 hours).
Larson said extreme riding jaunts such as these — he said he once completed 1,623 miles in 23 hours — are a challenge for mind and body.
“You’re tired; you’re worn out,” he said of the endurance rides that leave no time for dilly-dallying along the way.
Riding is done in all types of weather and meals are grabbed on the fly.
“You learn to appreciate roller dogs,” he said of those gas station rotisserie wieners.
The pair will highball it all the way to their end stop in Alaska but plan to throttle back for the ride home. Larson said they’ll allow themselves five days for the return trip to Minnesota.
“We’ll take the scenic route.”
The 50,000-member Iron Butt Association doesn’t have membership in a traditional sense. Membership is earned by going on one of the several rides the organization certifies — the most notable being the 11-day, 11,000-mile Iron Butt Rally.