What a year 2020 turned out to be. With the most severe riding restriction in place to fight a pandemic, the Iron Hog challenge went from strength to strength.

To accommodate legal restrictions, after the first lockdown a special format was introduced, the COVID-19 challenge. In June, following Andy Gurr’s example, we had 14 Iron Hog rides, I was impressed. But nobody expected that by the end of 2020, we had a total of 86 participants. And what variety: riders, pillions, on 2 wheels, 3 wheels and Gareth Swanson even managed to fulfil the criteria on an electric bike, the Harley-Davidson Livewire.

New records were set, the first group “to reach the moon”, lead by Malcolm Seedhouse. Jean Gazet was the first rider to visit 30 dealerships. This was later quickly repeated by others, as they saw that “30” would be a rare number, not all dealerships survived the pandemic.

Malcolm Bradly, riding with his daughter, set a new record being the first rider to complete 10 Iron Hogs. Amazing, well done.

We do not know what 2021 will bring, but as the virus is still kicking and alive, disrupting our daily life and riding opportunities, the special format “COVID-19”, with its unique patch, will continue to be available in 2021. Of course there is still the “standard” Iron Hog, presently with a maximum of 28 dealerships reachable.

Join next year the growing number of Iron Hog riders in the Roll of Honour, earn the Iron Hog patch, standard or COVID-19, and maybe you achieve a new “first”, like being the first to ride the Iron Hog on the new Harley-Davidson 2021 Pan America.

See you in 2021

Axel Thill
Hogsback Chapter UK, Treasurer, Head Photographer and Road Captain
ROSPA TVG, Treasurer

What an achievement, the COVID-19 version of the Iron Hog has been well received.

After Andy Gurr showed us all how its done without overnight stay in a hotel, 13 riders and 1 pillion completed the COVID-19 Iron Hog challenge in June 2020.

IronHogJune2020Well done to you all, and I hope many more will join this elite group of riders. The COVID-19 challenge version will be with us for all of 2020, though you are of course welcome to do a full Iron Hog with (recommended) 2 overnights in hotels.

Lets see how much sunshine and many miles July will bring us – hopefully not more lockdowns – and how many of you can claim their special COVID-19 Iron Hog patch.

And remember, if this activity continues in the next months, I should be able to award a very special patch: The Iron Hog ride to the moon

During the weekend 6/7 June, Andy Gurr from Rutland Chapter was the first rider to accomplish the “COVID-19” Iron Hog. These special rules (only valid in 2020) were designed to facilitate this ride in a difficult season: only 1 out of 4 mandatory dealerships, total of 19 dealerships, within 60 hours, 1 (optional) overnight rest.

With hotels still in lockdown, I did not expect a Iron Hog ride so early in June, but Andy lives in Nottinghamshire, and he designed his route to take him home overnight. How clever was that, on day 1 Andy covered the dealerships in the North West, on day 2 in the South East. Thank you Andy, what an inspiration in these difficult times, respect and congratulations.

AndyGurr

Andy wrote: … over the weekend I visited 19 dealerships, travelled 987 miles (1060 miles if I include the trip to and from home), spent 12 1/2 hours away from home on both days and had a fantastic time. The Covid 19 Iron Hog allows 60 hours so I had 13 hours spare but you could use all of the time and relax more if you are not working at the moment. Is the Covid 19 Iron Hog a good idea – yes because of the restrictions that prevented most people riding at the start of the season (as a key worker I have been riding to work) and the sense of accomplishment is still amazing. My only other top tip is don’t trust the weather forecast. Ride safe and stay safe.

Highly recommended and very interesting is his full report about his experiences on social distancing at the different dealerships, read it here >> AndyGurr19

After a long lock-down, with weeks of social distancing, with no chance to ride, the dealerships will reopen and we will (hopefully) soon be allowed back on our motorcycles.
To mark the occasion that the Coronavirus has been defeated, many special motorcycle events will be held, like the Band of Blue Appreciation Ride, open to all, suitable for all.
We have therefore for a very limited period, created a commemorative Iron Hog Challenge – with a special Iron Hog badge to earn.
IRONHOG2020
The H-D dealerships will be happy to welcome you back after a long break, but remember, it’s still a challenge! For the few remaining months of 2020, we are relaxing the Iron Hog rules to give many more the opportunity to earn a cherished Iron Hog badge.
Rules and the adjustments:
• You must visit only 1 of the 4 mandatory dealerships (you can include more)
• You must visit 19 dealerships out of 30 (you cannot include more or less)
• You have 60 hours from start to finish, instead of the 57.5 hours (48h + 19x30min)
Rules that have not changed: 
• you must start and finish at the same dealership
• you have to record your progress and take a photo at each dealership (open or closed)
• the photo should include yourself, clapperboard and newspaper of the day
• Fee of £15 per rider/pillion, due after completion for checking, badge & PP.
Any surplus is for our charities, 2019 we donated £170.
Depending on your strarting dealership, this commemorative ride will be about 900-1,000 miles long, with about 20 riding hours you can spread over 2 or 3 days.
Start preparing now while you are in isolation and lockdown, register your interest and request the clapperboard and log templates from axel.thill@gmail.com.
Tip: start planning your route not thinking which 19 dealerships to visit, but which 11 dealership you will unfortunately miss this time. Then connect the dots…
Note that you can still earn the standard Iron Hog badge for visiting more (or less) dealerships with the 4 mandatory ones in 2020. Standard rules apply!! Why not be the first to go for 30!

The Iron Hog admins are ready, the Roll of Honour is updated for 2019, let’s reach the moon in 2020.

If you ride solo or in a group, alone or with your partner as pillion, escape the Corona frenzy and relax in this ultimate ride of endurance.

Best, in 2020, there is a new record to put your name against:

First rider to have visited 30 dealerships on mainland UK, with Watford Harley-Davidson opening just in time, see the full list of dealership postcodes.

Get your documentation templates now, write to axel.thill@gmail.com

As in previous years, we recommend you advertise your route and time plan in advance well in advance on Social Media. Even better if you can offer a tracker link, and you may be greeted and encouraged by one of the 132 Iron Hog riders, two of which have already done this epic ride 8 times, every single year since its start in 2012: congratulations to Robin Seymour and Malcom Bradly.

Stay safe, take care of your bike and documentation, and have a great experience doing the Iron Hog in 2020.

 

Every year I update the Roll of Honour of the Iron Hog, an endurance challenge with many followers and many memories.

Now in its 7th year, 114 rides have been experienced, some did it once, some on an annual basis. In total, over 176,000 miles have been covered, a mind boggling 7 times around the earth.

Help us to reach the moon in 2020, which we achieve with another 40 rides. We reached 23 rides in 2015 and 2017,  and the rider on the 144th Iron Hog will receive a special patch for reaching the moon.

Join the Iron Hog challengers in 2019 and 2020, we all wear our special patches proudly, and always a safe ride.

Axel Thill, Hogsback Chapter UK

Another SOLO by Ken Hall

Posted: August 23, 2016 in Uncategorized

Again he went for the “4 dealership” option, starting and finishing in Maidstone. This helped him to achieve at the same time the Iron Butt Bun Burner GOLD (1,500 miles in 24 hours), something he narrowly missed in 2015.

Well done Ken, his 4th Iron Hog, in 2017 a special patch is waiting for you 🙂

We love to see LOH’s achieving the Iron Hog challenge. 2 lady riders, Liz (meanwhile a Road Marshall of her Chapter) and Josie, started in June, only to discover how bad the weather can be in the 4 corners of Britain. Cutting short their visits, they managed to call on 12 dealerships, in good time. Very well done

liz-and-josie-iron-hog

In May, Derek and Rick from Peak Riders achieved the Iron Hog in May, visiting all 26 dealerships. Our congratulations.

14-rick-southampton-ironhog14-derek-southampton-ironhog

Well done (AGAIN) to Sandra Radford, Membership Officer of Sherwood Chapter, riding pillion to her husband Roy, Director of Sherwood. After their first ride in August last year, in April 2016 they did the Iron Hog for a second time, alone, and they achieve to visit 26 dealesrships (after 22 the first time around). Very well done!!!

roy-sandra-radford-ironhog