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About to start another Route 66 road trip,  I have started a new blog to record it – see Route 66 Father and Sons.

At Christmas, my two sons – Conall and Kevin – invited me to join them in a Route 66 road trip and offered to pay for my flights – my Christmas present!

So next Thursday, 15 May 2014, I fly from Cork, ireland, via London Heathrow, to Chicago, where I will join Conall – who will have flown from Sydney, Australia via Los Angeles and Kevin, who flying in direct from Manchester, England. Our road trip will start the next morning and last 9 days. We plan arrive in Santa Monica, California on Saturday, 24 May, in time to catch planes that evening back to our respective homes.

Read about it all at Route 66 Father and Sons and / or follow us on twitter @route66FandS.

Butt Seriously coverMy Route 66 adventure wouldn’t have happened – or gone so well – without the support of my friend, Richard Keegan. I have known Richard for over 10 years as an author – of books on Benchmarking, World Class Manufacturing and Lean Processes. So when he approached me to publish his account of the Iron Butt Rally as an ebook, I was delighted to do so.

Run every two years by the Iron Butt Association (www.ironbutt.org), the Iron Butt Rally is regarded as the Olympics of long-distance motorcycle-riding. Riders are given a long list of bonus locations and they have to decide which ones they can get to while still making it back to St Louis within a strict time-frame. Points are awarded for each bonus location ‘captured’, with higher points for more difficult / distant locations. Capturing the location usually consists of photographing a personal Rally flag at the location and recording certain details such as odometer reading and time. More points are awarded for keeping detailed fuel logs and taking defined rest-periods. A rider must achieve 190,000 points over the two legs of the Rally to be classified as a finisher. No consideration is given for bad weather or poor road conditions.

Riders in the Rally are selected from thousands of applicants from all over the world. A rider needs to be able to show a record of long-distance riding before being considered for a place on the start-line. On 20 August 2007, Richard Keegan was on the start-line in St Louis, Missouri, a rider from the island of Ireland. Eleven days and 8,906 miles later, with 194,071 points, Richard was placed 58th out of 64 finishers, from 97 starters.

Butt Seriously is Richard’s story of the Iron Butt Rally. It is available as a Kindle ebook here or as an ePub ebook here. It’s full of photos, maps, and advice on long-distance biking. Enjoy!