If you are a regular reader, you will recall that Labor Day Weekend of 2006 was the SaddleSoar 1,000....or Iron Butt Ride. Quite the adventure, but the story continues even as of today.
I have a habit of procrastinating--and yes, submission of the paperwork to the IBA was no exception. I just never got a "round tuit". My friends, whom I know mean well, took it upon themselves to poke fun at me by constantly asking if I sent my paperwork in.
"Yeah, yeah, yeah," I'd reply...."I'm getting it in the mail".
After the newness (and something else to distract them) wore off, the whole incident was forgotten....almost. They submitted their paperwork only to see the checks cashed by the IBA and nothing else. No certificate, no pins, patches or prizes. Oh, the trinkets are really not that important--the acknowledgement of the job being done by an organization that touts a "special" membership that only long distance riders that successfully take on the challenge can become a member of
Quoted from their website: People that succesfully have a SaddleSore or Bun Burner ride certified receive a certificate, an Iron Butt Association pin and a plastic license plate back with our logo "Iron Butt Association - World's Toughest Riders."
Every time I read these guidelines, they seem overly complex. However, they were developed by one of our members involved in record keeping for various sporting events. There is no doubt that the documentation requirements for these certification are tough, but when you hang your certificate on the wall, you can rest easy knowing that we just don't hand these out to anyone. When the ride is over, you have survived not only a very tough ride, but you'll have the documentation to back up your claims. How many riders can say that?
When you read the following guidelines, keep in mind that our goal is to see a well documented ride. If you cannot follow the guidelines exactly, feel free to drop us a line with a proposal. We will be happy to review your plans and possibly accept changes to this format.
Sounds like a challenge? I think so. My friends and I planned and executed this adventure over Labor Day Weekend of 2006.
My friends promptly submitted their paperwork--after all, retaining all recepts, logging mileage, and getting witnesses to certify "I was there" is additional work added to the challenge. Not to mention having to pay a fee to get certified. Me, on the other hand, finally got a "round tuit" some nine months or so after the event and submitted my paperwork. I sent a check, too.
My friends would oft complain about the IBA cashing their checks and sending them....nothing. An e-mail would get a standard canned reply "we apologize, but we are behind". After all, we all jumped through the hoops and did what was requested and what...it's January of 2008???
To add injury to insult, Thanksgiving week found my mailbox full with a thick envelope. I received my IBA certification. It appears that my delay of getting the paperwork to them worked in my favor for timeliness. My friends, however, didn't find much humor in my envelope--after all, they submitted immediately and to this day...are still waiting...AND THEIR CHECKS WERE CASHED!!!
I feel their pain, after all, we all suffered through the adventure and they haven't been acknowledged. It somehow takes away from my reward--we did this as a group and should have been acknowledged at least the same time. Alas, I delayed and somehow I received my certification first. It just doesn't seem right.
The IBA forums talk freely and loudly about the delays. There are many in this same boat, it appears. There is even a thread started, "who has waited the longest". Yes, my friends and I understand that this is an organization that is run by volunteers and the head of the IBA has a full time job on top of this gig. We can understand delays--after all it took me quite a while to mail my paperwork in.
My friend's biggest complaint is that they can't get an answer. They feel abandoned--the check is cashed and no word on when, where, how....and no way to talk to a live person to get a status update. That is just poor customer service no matter how you slice or dice it.
I hope that my friends get their certifications soon. While I think it's quite ironic that the late bird gets the worm, I don't enjoy my certification as much knowing that my friends are still waiting.
Until my next rant,
Keep the shiny side up,
~The Rainbow Wahine