‘Iron Butt’ bikers off on next adventure

Louise Oleson, Editor
They may be slightly hunched over after their long ride, but this pair - one an EMT and the other a police officer - are two of the “World’s Toughest Bikers.” Ross Hunter (left) and Jim Frank are members of an elite group, the Iron Butt bikers.

One day while visiting Iron Stallion Cycles in Valley City, Ross Hunter was intrigued by a plaque he saw hanging on the wall.

“World’s toughest biker” the plaque proclaimed, so he asked about it and learned about one unique way to raise funds for charity - long distance, endurance motorcycle riding.

The martial arts instructor/EMT from Devils Lake decided this was right up his alley so he got more information about the world-wide organization known as Iron Butts. He teamed up with a dozen other motorcycle enthusiasts to do their first ride, that would initiate them into the organization, but as the date got closer and closer that number dwindled to only two - Hunter and Devils Lake Police Seargent Jim Frank.

It was 1,000 miles in 24 hours, but it was enough to initiate them into a unique form of fundraising.

The riders take pledges and donations for their chosen charity - Hunter’s and Frank’s is the Devils Lake Lions Club.

Their second ride was last summer. They’d lined up about six others to accompany them, but again as the date got closer it ended up being just Hunter and Frank. This time the trip was 1,600 miles in 33 hours.

Now they are planning another trip leaving July 26 - weather permitting - and they are hoping to find benefactors to donate or pledge for this next trip.

This trip will be a whopping 2,084 miles in under 48 hours.

They will leave Devils Lake and travel to Sioux Falls, S.D., then head to Casper, Wyo., Billings, Mont., back to Fargo, and home again.

“We wanted to avoid the roads and heavy traffic in the west from the oil fields, so we planned this route,” Hunter said.

The route taken is up to the rider, they have to save all receipts along the way to prove they’ve done what they said they’d do.

All the donations these two raise go to the Devils Lake Lions Club which provides a scholarship to LRSC, eye exams and glasses to those in need, donates old glasses for re-use in third world countries, works with the North Dakota Eye Bank and helps supply leader dogs for the blind.

If you would like to donate to Frank’s and Hunter’s latest adventure call 739-7203. If you’d like more information on Iron Butt Association go to ironbutt.com or www.ironbutt.org.

For a gallery of photos from their last Iron Butt ride, go to Photos on this website after 2 p.m. (Central) June 29, 2011.