Try doing this at the age of 64:
You decide you’d like to do a workout with your good friend who lives out of your neighborhood.
So you hop on your motorcycle in the driveway of your home in Orange County, Calif., and ride 300 miles to your friend’s house in Las Vegas, Nev., where the two of you have a great workout.
Then you ride the 300 miles back home on the same day.
Are you crazy?
No, what you are is dedicated. Because you’re Darrell Rall and you’ve committed to making an epic motorcycle journey that, if you can pull it off, will be one for the record books. Those workouts have helped you shed 60 lbs., and the 600-mile roundtrip rides are practice for the big thing you’re planning: In early June you will depart Las Vegas on a 25-day, 25,000-mile ride that will take you through 49 states and 10 Canadian provinces, and end in Grand Rapids, Mich.
If you’re successful, you will have smashed any previous time/distance record. According to the Guinness World Book of Records, the closest record ride before yours covered 19,431 miles in 19 days, 8 hours and 30 minutes.
To set a new record, you’ll have to average 1,000 miles per day on a series of big v-twin bikes, fighting fatigue, saddle sores, rainstorms, and intense sunlight, eating quick meals on the run. At the end of your 18-hour days, you will have six hours, tops, to rest and refresh yourself.
You’re doing this very hard thing to help find a cure for diabetes. All charitable donations raised from your ride will go to fund research at The Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center at The University of Iowa. In 2008, the FOE made a $25 million commitment to fund the research center, and to date the Eagles have raised more than $15 million toward their five-year goal. You hope your ride will help the FOE hit that goal, and then some.
(People and companies can donate to the ride by going to http://www.ironeagle.org/donations and donating via PayPal. FOE also has a donation button at http://www.foe.com/charities/iron-eagle.aspx.)
“Mobilizing to Defeat Diabetes”
The official name of Rall’s ride is “Iron Eagle 2012 Mobilizing to Defeat Diabetes,” under the auspices of a Las Vegas-based organization, Iron Eagle. Iron Eagle is sponsored by the FOE. Rall, father of five, grandfather of 11, and great grandfather of two, is the CEO and national chairman of Iron Eagle. He joined FOE in 1975, and has held numerous local, state, and national offices within the organization, including the organization’s California state presidency.
Though he doesn’t have diabetes, Rall worked with men who had to retire because of the disease. “They lost feet, legs, and eyesight to diabetes. I’ve watched brother Eagles be destroyed and humiliated by having pieces of their bodies removed a bit at a time until they couldn’t function on their own anymore.”
“The Iron Eagle name,” says Rall’s associate, James Kimsey, “comes from the eagle having always been an important symbol in motorcycling. Many riding clubs have always had eagles as part of their names or logos. As recreational motorcycling evolved, endurance runs led to the creation of the ‘Iron Butt,’ an organization and honorary fellowship of riders who had completed 1,000 to 10,000-mile rides. That led later to the ‘Iron Eagle,’ the elite group of riders who had gone ‘super distances’ of more than 10,000 miles in a single ride and beyond.”
Kimsey says Iron Eagle has a pleasing retro sound. “Our logo, based on old patriotic renderings of the American bald eagle, has a high recognition factor and evokes a sense of nostalgia when people see it. We think it will resonate with all the people we’re hoping will follow Darrell’s ride.”
(Diabetes Health will carry periodic updates on Darrell Rall’s epic ride. Readers can also go to www.foe.com for updates, as well as by calling Iron Eagle organizers toll-free at 1-800-851-6940, or contacting them via email at [email protected].)
About the Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center
The Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center will be housed at the John and Mary Pappajohn Biomedical Discovery Building on the campus of The University of Iowa in Iowa City. The state-of-the-art center will host leaders in the field of diabetes research in an effort to find a cure for the disease. The F.O.E. has pledged to donate $25 million over a five-year period to help with research efforts.
About the Fraternal Order of Eagles
The Fraternal Order of Eagles, an international non-profit organization, unites fraternally in the spirit of liberty, truth, justice, and equality, to make human life more desirable by lessening its ills, and by promoting peace, prosperity, gladness and hope. Founded in 1898, the Eagles fund research in areas such as diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease and cancer, and raise money for neglected and abused children and the aged, as well as work for social and civic change.