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Long distance riding is about achieving a goal, and knowing how to achieve it. If your goal is as many miles in 24 hours as possible, then naps may not be necessary. But if your goal is to ride from Alaska to Florida, chances are you will be napping (hopefully while the bike is stopped).

Ironbutt rules center primarily around keeping LD riding safe. Many LD rallies will have bonus locations that encourage taking time off the bike to sleep. Also, if you look at the sleep habits of sailors who attempt solo around-the-world trips, the way they get by without sleeping for long periods of time (e.g. 8hrs at a stretch) is by napping.
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