Victory Motorcycle Rider Steve Rolland Rides High & Low to Complete Four More Iron Butt Rides on his Victory Vision
Long-Distance Riding, Victory Motorcycle Style: Victory Vision rider Steve Rolland adds four more Iron Butt rides to his legendary resume.
In the span of seven days in June, Victory Vision rider Steve “Rollin’” Rolland completed four Iron Butt rides, including two extremely rare rides between the peaks of Colorado and the scorching depths of Death Valley.
On the four Iron Butt rides he completed during his seven-day Western trip, Steve rode 4,321 trouble-free miles on his Victory Vision. He rode it through driving thunderstorms in Iowa, to the chilly peak of Colorado’s Mount Evans, to the scalding low point of Death Valley, and back to the breezy summit of Pikes Peak. Plus, he rode additional miles while sightseeing in between Iron Butt rides.
Steve completes at least one Iron Butt ride every summer, and for the third straight year, he enjoyed trouble-free long-distance riding on his Victory Vision.
“I like long, lonely highways, but long, lonely highways also mean you have to trust your ride, and I do,” he said. “I had spare gas and tools along on this trip and didn’t need either.
“This bike has covered more than 2,000 miles in less than 36 hours. It has been to the southernmost and the northernmost points in the country – including hundreds of miles of gravel roads and hundreds and hundreds of miles in the rain. This Victory Vision has also been to the highest and lowest points in the U.S., and six times it has traveled over 1,000 miles in less than 24 hours.
“During all of those trips and in all of those extreme conditions, it has never had a breakdown or needed any repairs.”
Not all of his Victory riding is extreme long-distance riding. A month after he completed his Iron Butt rides, Steve and his wife Nancy were repacking the Victory Vision for their vacation trip to Canada’s eastern provinces.
Steve called his 2013 Western swing “The Peaks and Valley Tour.” His Iron Butt rides were SaddleSore 1000 rides – each one covering at least 1,000 miles in less than 24 hours – and two of them were of extra special Iron Butt significance. Here’s where he rode on his Victory Vision:
Iron Butt Ride 1: SaddleSore 1000, Wisconsin to Colorado
After work on Friday, June 14, Steve left suburban Milwaukee and rode 1,071 miles to Idaho Springs, Colorado. He rode through an immense, violent thunderstorm in Iowa, but since he was on a Victory Vision with a protective fairing and windshield, he was able to keep rolling at a strong pace and stay on schedule.
Iron Butt Ride 2: The “Heaven to Hell” SaddleSore 1000, Colorado to Death Valley, California
Steve loves to be the first Victory motorcycle rider to complete extreme and unique Iron Butt rides, so he undertook the “Heaven to Hell” ride from the top of Mount Evans, outside Denver, to Badwater, the low point of Death Valley.
This 1,044-mile ride took him from the highest point accessible by paved road in the United States (Mount Evans, 14,130 feet) to Death Valley’s Badwater Basin, which is the lowest point in North America, 282 feet below sea level.
According to the latest list of certified Iron Butt rides on the Iron Butt Association website, the Heaven to Hell had been completed by only four riders before Steve completed the ride.
Iron Butt Ride 3: The “Heaven to Hell 1000 Gold,” Death Valley, California, to the Top of Pikes Peak in Colorado
IBA founder and President Michael Kneebone established the IBA’s “Heaven to Hell 1000 Gold” in 2010. Before Steve rode it June 18-19, only five other people, including Kneebone, had been certified as having completed this ride.
The ride can be ridden either direction, eastward or westward, between Badwater in California’s Death Valley and the top of Pikes Peak near Colorado Springs. The reason it’s a special “Gold” Iron Butt ride is because a rider has to go across Independence Pass in Colorado, and through Ely, Nevada – both of which require extensive riding on two-lane mountains and desert roads.
Steve covered 1,044 miles riding from Death Valley to the summit of Pikes Peak in about 19 hours on his Victory Vision.
Iron Butt Ride 4: Homeward Bound SaddleSore 1000, Colorado Springs to Milwaukee
Steve likes to finish his trips with a final Iron Butt run to his home in suburban Milwaukee, and he ran 1,141 miles on June 20-21 for a SaddleSore 1000 that brought him home and capped off a trip that included four distinct Iron Butt rides in less than eight days.
Once certified, this summer’s rides will give Steve more than a dozen Iron Butt rides on Victory motorcycles in the past eight years. The list includes several extreme Iron Butt rides he was the first to accomplish on a Victory, such as: the 48 States Challenge (he rode to all of the Lower 48 states in under 10 days); the 48-Plus! (he rode to all of the Lower 48 states – plus Alaska – in less than 10 days); and the Ultimate Coast to Coast, on which he rode from Key West, Florida, to Prudhoe Bay, Alaska.
He is also the only rider we are aware of who has ridden a Victory in all 50 states.
Steve completed multiple Iron Butt rides on a Victory Vegas, ran several more on a Kingpin, and made the most recent rides, including the Ultimate Coast to Coast and this summer’s rides, on his Victory Vision.
About the Victory Vision
The Victory Vision Tour is an incredible luxury-touring motorcycle that treats riders to a tremendous riding experience. It is comfortable, has numerous electronic convenience features, has copious cargo space for one or two touring riders, delivers a great ride and easy handling, and features impressive power from the Victory Freedom® 106-ci V-Twin. The Victory Vision has outstanding front-end wind and weather protection, heated handgrips, push-button windshield height adjustability, and plush seating – with individual driver and passenger heat controls. The bike has an integrated audio system, linked anti-lock brakes, an adjustable air shock in the rear suspension, spacious side storage compartments, and a roomy trunk.
Learn more by visiting the Victory Vision page of the Victory website.
About Victory Motorcycles
Victory Motorcycles designs, engineers, manufactures and markets a full line of cruisers, baggers and touring motorcycles. Every Victory model delivers industry-leading performance, comfort, style, storage and reliability. The first Victory was produced on the Fourth of July, 1998, in Spirit Lake, Iowa, where every Victory motorcycle continues to be produced today. Information about Victory motorcycles, apparel and accessories is available at www.VictoryMotorcycles.com.
Here’s Steve atop Mount Evans prior to starting his “Heaven to Hell” Iron Butt ride.
Dry, hot Death Valley was the end point of Steve’s second Iron Butt ride, and the starting point of the third IB ride on his summer trip.
On his run from Death Valley to Pikes Peak, Steve had to run on two-lane roads, including the one that took him to Colorado’s snowy Independence Pass on the Continental Divide .
Steve completed the Heaven to Hell Gold 1000 Iron Butt ride at the top of Pikes Peak, overlooking Colorado Springs.
Mapping from Steve’s SPOT tracker shows his route from his home near Milwaukee to Colorado, on to Death Valley, north through Ely, Nevada, and back home via Colorado’s Pikes Peak.