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Iron Butt Association - Great American Eclipse

AUGUST 21, 2017

Date last revised: August 4, 2017

The Great American Solar Eclipse will take place on August 21, 2017. During this event you may qualify for either a special Solar Eclipse 1000 or Solar Eclipse 1000 Gold certification.

Solar Eclipse 1000 logo designed by IBA Mexico President Marco Almaraz.

Almost any North America IBA ride (1,000 miles in 24 hours, 1,500 in 24 hours, 50cc, etc) taking place on August 21, 2017 during the eclipse qualifies for the Solar Eclipse 1000 (Solar BBG 1500) certification.


Standard SaddleSore 1000 documentation rules apply but you must show you rode at least 200 miles to an area to view the partial eclipse in what ever location matches the peak time the partial eclipse took place (and then of course if you did not ride 1,000 miles to the viewing area, you must complete the rest of your 1,000 mile day after the eclipse). We do encourage you to stop and view the actual eclipse (with the appropriate safety glasses to shield your eyes) and not actually ride during the few minutes it will peak in your area.

An example from the certification above shows our mythical rider stopping in the Omaha, Nebraska area. He should be ready to observe the peak of the partial eclipse at 1:04 pm central time (a zip code finder showing exact times are located in the Gold rules below).


Solar Eclispe Gold logo designed by IBA Mexico President Marco Almaraz.

Although the partial eclipse can be viewed from Mexico, Central America, Greenland, extreme western Europe and Canada, there is only a small approximately 70 mile wide path of the United States from Oregon to South Carolina where you can view the total eclipse, called the totality - the area of 100% of the moon blocking the sun.


Details maps for basic totality planning can be found at

To qualify for the Solar Eclipse Gold levels:

You must ride to an area to view the totality. We consider a Gold level ride to be at least 300 miles to the viewing point. So yes, even if you live inside the totality area, you will have to go for a ride in the morning and then go back to view the area - no one said this ride would be easy or even make sense... A good tool to determine if your target location is inside the totality area, and the time you want to be there, is located at

Solar Map locator by Zip Code Give the site a few seconds to load, in the yellow Zip Code box, you should see a pre-filled in zip code (it might change depending on where you were computer thinks you are). Type over that default zip code for the area you are going to stop to view the peak eclipse. And finally, not every zip code will work, you may have to try other area zip codes.

An example from the certification above shows our mythical rider stopping in the Nashville, Tennesee area. He should be ready to observe the peak of the eclipse at 1:28 pm central time.

A graphical location map is located at Graphical Solar Map locator Click on location (you can zoom in using controls on the left).

Keep in mind with the minimum 300 mile ride requirement before getting to your viewpoint of the eclipse, you could conceivably break down and not make it to this special event. And it goes without saying, if you rode 300 miles before the eclipse, you have to ride at least 700 more miles after it to reach the 1,000 miles in 24 hours to finish your ride. Additionally, media reports are reporting eclipse viewers can be facing traffic, lack of hotel rooms (less an issue for us) but more importantly, a lack of gas due to the anticipated number of people traveling to see the Solar Eclipse - you might have a chance to see how Iron Butt Rally riders feel chasing a bonus in downtown New York City at noon if those reports are true. Just in case, it might be worth having a back up plan to a viewing area located off the interstates on small backroads and to traffic maps before you get close to any viewing area.

Our goal is to not compel you to ride during the totality, in fact, we encourage you to stop and view the eclipse (with the appropriate safety glasses to shield your eyes). A good plan would be to arrive at least 1 hour before the total eclipse occurs.

Early Questions and Answers

Q: Can I ride my 1,000 miles before the eclipse to the viewing point?

A: YES! The entire object of the ride is that you are riding to view the eclipse. As long as you cover at least 200 miles (partial eclipse) or 300 miles (total eclipse GOLD level) before the eclipse you are good. BUT the total time including viewing the eclipse must not exceed 24 hours. So if the peak eclipse at your view point is 1 pm local time you would have had to start no earlier then 24 hours before that, so 1 pm on Sunday (adjusted of course for time zone change if any).

Q: If I leave on Sunday (August 20), can I ride and stay in a hotel, then ride some more, do those miles count from Sunday?

A: Yes, but only the miles within the 24 hour window to the peak eclipse. So if you start Sunday morning at 9 am and the peak Eclipse is at 1 pm, those miles before 24 hours before the eclipse would not count. So you would want to claim your start time with a good receipt on Sunday after 1 pm (adjusted for time zone changes if any) and make sure you get your 1000 miles in AND view the peak eclipse before your 24 hours are up.

So the base answer to all of these various routing questions is this:

Start the ride clock - you must ride at least the 200 miles (partial eclipse) or 300 miles (gold level total eclipse) AND VIEW THE ECLIPSE AND then ride any miles needed to make the 1,000 miles and then stop the clock with your end receipt before the 24 hour clock is up.


As they should have taught you in grade school, viewing a solar eclipse can cause eye damage. You will need special glasses to view the eclipse but you must order them now! to insure you get them in time. Beware, most of the ones sold on eBay and Amazon are FAKE knock-offs. If you read the Amazon reviews, they will point to vendors that sell the certified ones, although more expensive (the company I purchased mine from charged $12 in shipping for what could be mailed in a simple envelope as this are nothing but flat pieces of cardboard with a film strip in them), how much are you eyes worth to know you have a set of certified lens? SPACE.COM recommends: The following four companies sell eclipse glasses that meet the international standard (ISO 12312-2) recommended by NASA, the AAS and other scientific organizations: Rainbow Symphony, American Paper Optics, Thousand Oaks Optical and TSE 17.

Order yours now, don't wait. While there will be other solar eclipses, none will be as easy to view as this one for the next 27 years! viewing tips

For those that use satellite tracking, you can use those tracks to show you were in the eclipse area at the correct time via your tracking. For those without tracking, you should submit a good business receipt showing location, date and time to show you were in the eclipse area before the start of the eclipse (you can be there early and we encourage that).

On your ride application, please indicate the ride type you are applying for, for example,

Solar Eclipse 1000

Solar Eclipse 1000 Gold

Solar Eclipse 1500 Gold

If your ride took place in Mexico, you must apply via IBA Mexico, details are located at Mexico Eclipse Information

North American rides should use standard SaddleSore 1000 application located at SaddleSore 1000 app

Have a safe ride!