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Great Lakes 100 and Great Legs GOLD Application

© 2001, Iron Butt Association, Chicago, Illinois

Great Lakes 100 and Great Lakes GOLD Application may be reproduced and distributed as needed for personal or club use.

Great Lakes 100 and Great Lakes GOLD

The Great Lakes series of certifications is intended to document a successful ride around the "Great Lakes" of Lake Michigan, Lake Superior, Lake Huron, Lake Erie and Lake Ontario located in northeast area of North America near the border of the United States and Canada.

The Great Lakes 100 must be completed within 100 hours from the start and you must complete the ride on one continuous trip.

The Great Lakes GOLD is identical to the Great Lakes 100, except that you must complete the ride in 50 hours or less. Please note that depending on the route you take, the mileage around the Great Lakes is 2,450 miles. Attempting to do earn this certification in less than 50 hours is not recommended.

In order to obtain your Great Lakes certification, you should be familiar with the rules for a SaddleSore 1000, which basically require that you obtain start and end witnesses, log each fuel stop, and obtain a gas receipt for all fuel purchases along the way.

STEP ONE, Choose a SAFE route

You may pick any route you choose around the Great Lakes and start at any point on that route, however, said route must include a documented stop (usually a fuel receipt, however, other receipts are possible, for example, in Illinois, the Chicago Skyway toll receipt is acceptable for purposes of this ride) in the following cities:

Illinois (any town is allowed)
Superior, Wisconsin or Duluth, Minnesota
Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
Sudbury, Ontario, Canada OR North Bay, Ontario, Canada
Watertown, New York (instead of a fuel receipt, you may use the toll receipt for the bridge on I-81 at the US/Canada border
Cleveland, Ohio

We will accept suburbs located within a reasonable distance of the listed cities, for example, for the Cleveland, Ohio receipt, you could use Wickliffe, Ohio, a suburb located approximately 15 miles from the center of the city.

In addition to standard SaddleSore-style documentation, you MUST start and end in the same city, preferably at the same gas station that you used to start the time clock. For example, if you start your ride in Madison, Wisconsin and ride counter-clockwise (the exact opposite of the list above) at the 24 hour Shell station near I-94, you must end back in Madison, however, we again prefer you use the same Shell gas station.

It is possible to complete both the SaddleSore 1000 and Bun-Burner 1500 on this ride. For example, in the first 24 hours you ride 1,000 miles and then continue on the second day and ride another 500 miles or more. Should you complete both the SaddleSore 1000 and Bun-Burner 1500 on the same ride and want certificates for both, please see the attached fee schedule.

It is possible to complete the ride two-up. In these cases, the Iron Butt Association issues three certificates; one for the rider, one for the passenger and one combined rider and passenger certificate. There is no additional charge for a passenger, however, if they would like a pin or plate frame, you will need to add that in on the fee schedule.

STEP TWO: Get a start witness

In order to document your ride, the Iron Butt Association requires that obtain an eyewitness to document the start of your ride. Witnesses for the basic 50cc Great Lakes 100, Great Lakes Gold, SaddleSore 1000 and Bun Burner 1500 may be a friend (but not one on the ride with you), spouse or even gas station attendant willing to answer a letter from the IBA about your start or end time. However, you may want to use the same rules that apply to more extreme Iron Butt Association rides as outlined below. If a passenger is on the ride with you, please ask your witnesses to sign a form for them also.

Make sure that you inform potential witnesses that the Iron Butt Association may be auditing certain aspects of your ride and may be sending them a letter with a copy of the page they signed asking them to verify the information provided. Keep in mind that a witness who doesn't bother to respond to an audit letter is as good as having no witness at all! To this extent, it is highly recommended that you send a thank you note to all of your witnesses after you complete your ride. Besides, many of them will be waiting to hear how you did.

Try to remember that you must act as a salesperson each time you approach someone to sign your log. If someone doesn't want to provide their home address - suggest they give a business address. According to experienced riders, taking a few minutes to explain your ride to potential witnesses will get them involved. Most people will actually feel honored to sign your witness form. However, attitude plays a key role, if someone refuses to sign your book, don't argue, move on to the next person.

Extreme ride witness rules (included here for reference only, these rules are used on more advanced IBA rides):

Find at least one police officer, firefighter, judge, notary public or authorized Iron Butt Association member (if you are on-line, there is a list maintained at: willing to sign your witness form (sample attached). If you use a Police Officer, or other public official, you may fill out the witness section with the Police Station/Fire House or other business address. Ask the officer/firefighter (etc) to supply his badge number and note it on the witness form. Should you be unable to find a willing police officer (please note that to date, this has rarely been a problem for our thousand-miler - it is easier than it sounds) or you wish to start your ride from a motorcycle dealership, the Iron Butt Association will gladly accept the signature of any two dealership employees. If that is not possible, you will have to find at least three (3) independent eye-witnesses.

STEP THREE: Collect and track receipts

Before the start, you will want to try gas stations to find one that has a receipt with a good time and date on it for the start time.

Fill up your gas tank and obtain a computer printed gas receipt with a legible date and time stamp. NOTE: Many gas stations in both the United States and in Europe are printing an "invoice number" which is actually the time of the transaction for example, you might see Inv# 113557 which means 11:35:57 am. You may also elect to use a bank ATM receipt with a time and date stamp for your start time.


The following log entries and completed witness forms are mandatory:

Log entries must be made at each gas stop (sample attached). A log entry includes the following information; DATE, TIME, TIME ZONE, LOCATION (i.e. Moline, IL) and ODOMETER reading. A receipt must accompany each log book entry (please note, that the receipts from these gas stops, where possible should include a date stamp).

In order for the verification team to account for your time (important for the verification work they do), log entries must be made at each stop longer than 20 minutes (for example you decide to stop at a roadside rest stop for a nap or get a motel room during the ride). Each entry for extended stops must include the approximate length of the stop or the start time and ending time. Meals that take longer than 20 minutes are considered rest stops - where possible please try and obtain a restaurant receipt. Obviously, many types of stops, for example a stop in a rest area, will not generate any kind of receipt - this is acceptable, but please account for the time in your trip log.

If your route includes any toll roads or bridges, where possible try and obtain a receipt. Please NOTE: We realize many tollways have you riding a few miles and then stopping at a toll gate so please do not waste time trying to pick up these kind of receipts or making log entries. Just grab either the first or last receipt and log it along with your other gas or misc. receipts.

WARNING: If your motorcycle is equipped with a large fuel-tank, please note that you must stop at least once every 300 miles for gas (this is purely for documentation for your ride). Although we know it is possible to ride greater distances non-stop, we will not accept a claim of this type.

At the end of your ride, before the 100 hour time period (GOLD - 50 hours) is up, obtain a computer printed gas receipt with a legible date and time stamp.


STEP FOUR: Get an end witness:

After you get the gas receipt, find at least one eyewitness to document your ending time. Like the start, the basic Great Lakes certification, SaddleSore 1000 and Bun Burner 1500 may be a friend (but not one on the ride with you), spouse or even gas station attendant willing to answer a letter from the IBA about your start or end time. However, you may want to use the same rules that apply to more extreme Iron Butt Association rides as outlined above.

STEP FIVE: Prepare, Copy and Submit your documentation.

Find a map (an old, or photocopied one is acceptable) and circle the cities you stopped in (don't forget the start and ending points) for gas/food/etc (a Xerox of a map is acceptable). This map to assist the person verifying the routes. The best map is one that shows your route on one or two pages. Please do not send in multi-page route sheets from mapping programs or an Auto club.

COPY your receipts and number the copies to correspond to your trip log.

COPY your witness forms and log.

* * * Retain your original documentation - only send copies! * * *

If needed, write a short note about any problems with your ride, for example, "The receipt from Cleveland, Ohio does not have the correct date. I had the attendant write the correct date. The stations number is 555 555-1234.

COMPLETE the attached form. Basically, this is information where to send the awards, what name and motorcycle you want on the certificate and the basic route you would like the award to note.

CALCULATE the fee. We offer several options. You can just get the paper certificate for the ride, or in combination with Iron Butt Association pins and "World's Toughest Riders" plate backs.

FINALLY, send it to:

Great Lakes 100 (or Great Lakes GOLD if that is the ride you completed), Iron Butt Association, P.O. Box 9450, Naperville, IL 60567-9450 USA Please make your check payable in US funds to the "Iron Butt Association". Please note that we do not attempt to make money on this ride, this is our approximate cost of administrating the certification programs. NOTE: If you are located outside the United States or Canada and obtaining a check in US Funds is difficult please send e-mail to for possible alternate payment methods.

Please try and avoid Federal Express, UPS or Certified mail - although it may seem faster to use these services, we are at our full-time jobs during the day and sometimes it can take weeks to take time off from work to pick up your "speedy" package.

When we get your ride documentation, one of several people will start the verification process. Due to the extensive work involved (keying data into mileage spreadsheets, map verifications, witness contacts where needed and certificate preparations) and the fact that approximately 60% of the labor involved with producing these awards are performed by volunteers, it will usually take a minimum of five to six weeks before your certificates will be ready for signature and mailed to you. We realize this is a long time to wait for your certification. However, our certification process is very thorough. In fact, the certification process is what gives your certificate value. It would be very easy for the Iron Butt Association to simply take money and print up a certificate, however, the value of the entire certification program is in the fact that not just anyone can get the SaddleSore certification. The downside is this process takes time... We can only offer that when you receive your certification you know that not only you earned it, but so did any other rider that you meet with the same certification.

Before we can issue your certification, you may be asked to clarify certain aspects of your ride and/or documentation by either e-mail, phone or letter. Additionally, certain aspects of your ride are subject to audit by yet another set of IBA volunteers charged with insuring only people that rode the miles get the award. Should your package get tagged for that audit, it too may delay the final determination of your claim for the award.

We strongly caution that all the rules you have just read are guidelines. Out on the road it may not be possible to follow these rules to the letter. If that happens, please explain any problem you encountered and we will do our best to work out a solution. For example, 23 hours and 35 minutes into this ride, one person could not find a gas station with a computer generated receipt (obviously, our favorite type), so he got a few locals to witness the time he arrived. His other documents clearly supported his claim of riding the distance in the time-frame he claimed so we did not hesitate to process his award.

If you have any questions about this ride, you may write to the Iron Butt Association at P.O. Box 9450, Naperville, IL 60567-9450 USA or send e-mail to

                    EYEWITNESS FORM for START of RIDE

Date: ______________________            Local Time:______________ AM/PM

License Number: ____________            Odometer Reading: _______ Miles
License State:  ____________            Make & Model: ___________

This witness form is for:    _____________________________            


                             (Riders Name and address)    

The location of this stop is: ________________________________________            




              First Witness (Please Print)  Second (optional) Witness

Witness Name: ___________________________   ___________________________

Address:      ___________________________   ___________________________

              ___________________________   ___________________________

              ___________________________   ___________________________

Phone:        ___________________________   ___________________________
(Note: Obtaining a phone number where we can contact your eyewitnesses
       will speed up the issuing of your award)

Signature:    ___________________________   ___________________________

EYEWITNESS FORM for END of RIDE Date: ______________________ Local Time:______________ AM/PM License Number: ____________ Odometer Reading: _______ Miles (Kilometers) License State: ____________ Make & Model: ___________ ___________ This witness form is for: _____________________________ _____________________________ _____________________________ (Riders Name and address) The location of this stop is: ________________________________________ ________________________________________ ________________________________________ ________________________________________ ________________________________________ First Witness (Please Print) Second (optional) Witness Witness Name: ___________________________ ___________________________ Address: ___________________________ ___________________________ ___________________________ ___________________________ ___________________________ ___________________________ Phone: ___________________________ ___________________________ (Note: Obtaining a phone number where we can contact your eyewitnesses will speed up the issuing of your award) Signature: ___________________________ ___________________________
LOG Great Lakes 100 or GOLD __________________________________________________ (Fill in Name and Address above) DATE TIME LOCATION ODOMETER READING (include zone) _________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________

Checklist of documents needed for Iron Butt Association Great Lakes 100
and Great Lakes GOLD certifications:

___ Copies of Witness forms (starting and ending, others)

___ Copies of Receipts (do not send originals!)

___ Map (may be photocopy) showing route with towns stopped in circled

___ Explanation of any problems encountered, for example, "In central
    Illinois, at my third gas stop, I was unable to get a dated 
    receipt.  I asked the attendant to sign his name on the back
    but he refused to do so. The phone number of the station is
    (555) 555-1212 - he will verify that I was there at 10 a.m. 
    on August 4, 2001."

Also, please complete the following information for your certificate
(it goes to the person that does the certificate and not the verification 

Ride you are applying for (circle): Great Lakes 100, Great Lakes GOLD,
SaddleSore 1000 or Bun-Burner 1500, Bun-Burner GOLD


Please use the following fee schedule to calculate the cost of awards: 

Great Lakes certification                                      $40.00

Great Lakes GOLD pin (must be under 50 hours)                   $7.00

Great Lakes Challenge pin (must be under 100 hours)             $7.00

If you have completed both the SaddleSore 1000 and
Bun-Burner 1500 on the same ride, there are some savings 
for us in postage and administrative costs that we can 
pass on to you. 

Additional certification (only if completed as part of this
ride!) Circle: SaddleSore 1000, Bun Burner 1500, BB Gold        $20.00 (each)

SaddleSore ride pin if desired:                                 $ 7.00

BunBurner ride pin if desired:                                  $ 7.00

World's Toughest Riders plate back if desired:                  $ 5.50

Total Enclosed:                                            ____________

Have you ever completed an Iron Butt Association ride before? ________

Address to mail certificates to:





Contact phone number(s), best time to reach you: 



If you have one, your e-mail address: ___________________________

Name you want on certificate: ___________________________________ 
(for example, Jonathan J. Smith, SR or John Smith)

Your age (only used for statistics): _________

Circle One (only used for statistics):  Male   Female

Did you do this ride with anyone else?  Y/N  If so, who:


Date of start:  ___________________  (for example, January 5, 2001)

Motorcycle make/model ridden: _______________________________
Note: this is used on your certificate.  For example, do you want 
us to list your Honda Gold Wing as a Honda GL1500 or do you want
us to list it as a Honda Gold Wing.  You may also include a 
model year if you want, for example; 1993 Honda Gold Wing.

Name of start AND end city (must be the same city): 


Note: for the **certificate** you may substitute a large city nearby 
if you want); for example, if you start in DesPlaines, Illinois,
(a suburb of Chicago), it is acceptable to put Chicago as the starting 
point for the certificate.

NOTE: If you are applying for both a SaddleSore and BunBurner, please 
indicate mileages for both rides and start/end and mid point cities 
for both rides (you can do this on this part of the form or duplicate
this page with the information).

Miles Ridden according to your odometer: _______________________
Note: These will probably be changed by the verification team.

If you used a GPS (Global Positioning Device) and noted your
mileage, please enter that reading here: _______________________

Time: _________ hours _________ minutes

Send the package, along with a check for US funds to (PLEASE DO NOT 

Iron Butt Association
P.O. Box 9450
Naperville, IL 60567-9450 USA

Finally, should you decide to tackle the Great Lakes 100, we wish you
the best of luck and look forward to hearing about your ride!