Kelly Quinn, our TG, comes from an action sport background. Growing up, she was a ski racer and has skied some of the biggest, most adventurous mountains of the world. It’s no surprise that Throttle Girl fell in love with the competitive side of riding her motorcycle, nor that she rides as hard as she does. Don’t let her femininity fool you, growing up in Alaska and having the diverse background she does, she is no stranger to playing and competing with the boys. Throttle Girl is one of the few women participating in the ‘sport’ of Long Distance Riding (LDR) as an Endurance Challenger. LDR is an up-and-coming, emerging sport that is growing in community size daily. In between touring America, filming Throttle Girl WebTV from the Urban Bike Barn, supporting causes and/or hosting events, this is where you’ll find Throttle Girl.
The sport of LDR is not new, organizations such as the IBA (Iron Butt Association), the revered authoritative voice amongst the community (as well as highly respected world-wide), have been supporting and pioneering the sport since the early 80’s. There are several other recognized organizations, events and challenges being organized across the country that cater to the community of LDR, including the AMA (American Motorcycle Association) which has started sanctioning specific rides and is endorsing chartered group events who are positively supporting this demographic of riders.
The LDR community is a tight-knit group that is bonded by the passion of riding motorcycles and addicted to riding hard. The sport of LDR is typically based on endurance in some manner. Basically, it’s riding long hours and logging lots of miles in a certain time frame. There are some formats that riders are able to check off points of interest throughout their travels over a longer period of time. These are more like scavenger hunts, best roads and county signs/ABC formats, which gives riders more time to do so. However, if you are into the competitive aspect of the sport, you have to make the best usage of your time and cover a lot of miles all over America to get the number of points and/or POI’s you need to be rewarded. Each event rewards individually how they see fit, trophies, certificates and bragging rights included, and many are organized around charitable efforts and giving back. It’s exciting to see that there are more and more people participating in any number of these events, not only to merely ride but to raise awareness and money for causes they support.
To be very clear, LDR is NOT about racing or how fast and out of control you can go, it is not a Canonball Run. It’s about riding smart, minimizing down time, training to do so and using technology (when permitted) and strategy to beat your own ‘last personal best’ and/or accomplish something you never thought you could do. Safety is always first and those who participate know and give this the respect it deserves. In fact, many members of the LDR community are some of the safest, most aware, and seasoned riders on the road.
Examples of LDR Challenge format(s) may include but not be limited to:
- Distance vs. time: IBA Bun Burner Gold of 1500 miles in 24 hours, IBA 50 CC aka Coast to Coast in under 50 hours and the SCMA USA Four Corner Challenge are examples of endurance based formats.
- Scavenger Hunt: Challengers are given points when they ‘find’ checkpoints, coordinates, monuments or whatever other POI’s (Points of Interest) that are defined by the rules of the organizing challenge sanctioned. He/she who tallies the most at the end of the time frame given, are at the top of the class and ranked as such. Each event rewards individually, these are great formats to break into the sport as well as an amazing way to experience history all across America.
- Geo Point Format: Challengers are given 24 to 48 hours to accomplish obtaining points based on a list of geo checkpoints. Challengers are given these coordinates at a riders briefing, typically hours before an event. It is then up to the rider and their navigator (if the challenge allows one) to build a strategy of the best way to accomplish collecting as many checkpoint values as possible with the goal of making it back to the finish line in time. If the rider does not do this, they are disqualified. There’s lots of strategy involved in this format.
- Multi-Day LDR Rallies/Challenges: These typically consist of events anywhere from 3,000 to 15,000 miles in multiple day formats as riders zig-zag their way around America, from POI to POI.
Throttle Girl finds likes to think of the time spent riding in these events as her meditation time. No behind the scenes work, no computers, emails or deadlines, no calls, no need to-be’s. Just her, her bike, the road and the wind. If you ask her, she’ll tell you that this is the time she grounds and is the closest to her maker. Throttle Girl has been known to pound out 7 IBA’s in a two week period off the couch to let off some steam and in the May of 2015, she rode the IBA 50CC in just 41 hours, nevermind monsoons, flooding and tornados standing in her way. This is the passion and tenacity she if built on that spills over on to anything and everything she invests in, including her purpose.
Interested in finding out more about LDR? Throttle Girl will be addressing the sport, giving tips, and documenting her rides, so make sure to subscribe to Throttle Girl WebTV on Youtube and all of her social media platforms. Here are some other great resources to start learning about the sport: