The Iron Butt Association has their Archive of Wisdom here:
Sugarcrook's advice about the Camelbak would be at the top of most IBA member's lists. You must find a way to stay hydrated while riding. It is NOT sufficient to drink at stops only. I hate backpacks, so I took the liner out of my Camelbak and put it in my tank bag. It is arranged with the mouthpiece tucked under the map so I can easily grab it, take a drink, and put it back out of the way. If you don't have to "go" at each fuel stop, then you aren't drinking enough.
Here are some other basic recommendations:
1. Stop When It Isn't Safe
One of the things I admire the most in my IBA friends is their willingness to stop when they are too tired or it isn't safe, even if it means giving up the goal. You can always try another day. The goal (SS1000) pales in comparison to the costs of injury or death. I have read a great number of ride reports where the IBA rider stopped within an hour or two of the goal because they were no longer safe. This is a cardinal rule that must never be broken.
2. Plan. Then Plan Some More.
Have everything ready long before your ride. Make a checklist. Have contingencies if something fails. What if your cellphone dies? (Carry a printed list of emergency contacts.) What if you get stuck somewhere with mechanical problems? (Carry a couple days' worth of prescription medicines you may need.) Know the traffic patterns along your route - will you be riding through a large city at rush hour? A forest preserve full of deer in the early evening? When is sunset on your ride? What is the weather forecast? What unexpected weather is common at that time of year? Do you have the right gear? First aid? Flat repair kit (do you know how to use it?) etc. etc. etc.
3. Keep Your Stops as Brief as Possible
Fuel, Washroom, Fill camelbak if needed, Check receipt for date/time/location, Make your log entry. Snack. Safety check. Go.
Simply put, you will succeed or fail based on your stops, not your riding speed. I cannot emphasize this enough. Try a dry-run rehearsal of a gas stop at home. Make sure that the things you need at each stop are the most accessible.
4. Get the Miles Early
Strive to reach the 500 mile mark early in the ride, to leave yourself a cushion of time as the day wears on.
Here are some things that work for me. YMMV:
a. Food - I bring plenty of the following for quick and reasonably healthy eating:
Fresh fruit. A variety of breakfast bars. (I like "Oatmeal to Go", in addition to a mix of other bars). Beef jerky for protein. Eat light, but eat often. Ken Meese buys a Subway sandwich, then cuts it into thirds to make three quick meals.
For drinks, I fill the camelbak liner with ice, then fill it with water.
b. LD Comfort Undergarments - Expensive, but worth every penny. Designed by an IBA rider especially for long distance riding. Many riders wear the longs only, for protection in the coldest AND the hottest weather. I have one set of longs and one set of shorts. Everything about them is special - the fabric, the "outside" seams, seam placement, and even a special "roo fly". http://www.ldcomfort.com/
c. Heated Jacket Liner - This is an Iron Butt necessity. I recommend Warm 'n' Safe. (http://www.12voltclothing.com/
or contact Larry Peterson at [email protected]
). It is lightweight and packs small. Even if the weather is just a little cool, this accessory makes all the difference.
d. Earplugs or Other Hearing Protection
Even moderate wind noise can damage your hearing when you ride 16 or more hours at highway speeds.
e. SPOT Messenger - I didn't have a GPS on my first SS1000, but I did have a SPOT Messenger. Your family and friends can track your progress on the web. I keep mine face up in the top of the glove box on my K1200GT. Others argue that it should be on your person in case you are injured and separated from the bike. You can use it to summon emergency aid even in places where there is no cell phone coverage. Note: A new model just came out.
f. BMWMOA - Their Anonymous book brings peace of mind.
Read the forums on the IBA website, and you will find lots of excellent trip reports and advice. Here is a trip report from my recent IBA B2B ride:
Note that I lost too much time at the stops (changing gear), but I did stop to rest when it was no longer safe. In the interest of safety, I settled for the lesser ride.
Best wishes for a successful and fun ride. You can expect a three-month delay between when you submit your paperwork to the IBA and when you finally receive your SS1000 certificate and IBA membership number.