Norra 2013

Discussion in 'Racing' started by Strong Bad, Oct 7, 2012.

  1. LC Garage

    LC Garage On Any Sunday

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2011
    Oddometer:
    943
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    Columbia County
    So my comments on navigation are mostly for other desert newbies like myself, just to try and lessen any concerns regarding navigation, based on my one and only trip to Baja. If I can manage it, anyone can.

    The 2012 MK1 was my 3rd desert race. I've always been a track racer (roundy-round on bikes and cars), with the occasional motocross or hare and hound. It is also true that in our family, my wife is the navigator and I am known to get lost (in cities anyway) fairly easily. So with that background, I headed south last April with my team mates for a 1200 mile off road race, what could go wrong??

    The original plan was for our team to use a road book with GPS back-up, but the used road book holder we bought turned out to have stripped gears, so we fell back to using just the GPS. The night before the race started in Mexicali, we took one of the big bound road books and tried cutting it up into sections so that if we got lost we could stop and pull it out of the tank bag and use it to get our bearings, but after the first day we were mostly consumed with keeping the mechanical bits together and the map efforts gradually dwindled away. I can't speak for the other riders on our team, but whenever it was my turn to ride, beforehand I would study the map and then basically head South and navigate by dust, tire tracks and use the GPS as an indicator for when I'd blown by an intersection, and see the little indicator needle start rotating to 90 degrees in either direction. Time to turn around and head back to the last intersection and look for tracks, something I did repeatedly.

    Another important bit of info is that in general, 99% of the time the locals will be a big help, often when you are in the middle of absolutely nowhere a local will be standing at a corner pointing in the correct direction. Only heard of one instance where a local sent someone in the wrong direction.

    Anyway, the MK1 IS the FUNNEST race and the greatest people, I would highly recommend it to anyone with adventure in their heart! We were just a bunch of unknown poor boys from the Pacific NW and got treated like royalty by the NORRA folks as well as the longtime and famous racers of Baja. Best adventure ever!
  2. az45

    az45 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2007
    Oddometer:
    45
    Location:
    Tucson
    Every time I read "road book" I assumed you were talking about the full size book they handed the car guys, I wasn't thinking it was a roll chart. Told you I wasn't a rallier!
    I'll look into one, it would make nav easier when at a glance you can see a turns and dangers. On the GPS, its hard to tell a curve in the road from a turn off of a road.
  3. JeffS77

    JeffS77 cheap bastard

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2006
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    Location:
    Riverside , CA

    See now that loop looks pretty damn doable for a guy like me with little budget... With that loop logistics look like it would be fairly simple and not require too much of a support effort..I am thinking two dudes in a truck with some spare parts and fuel...tent camp that bad boy .....
    Hmmm I will keep my eyes on that one..only thing that sounds sketchy to me is the merging of two event on day 3.


    Now time to rebuild the suspension on my '79 Kawi and start riding more desert :D.



    Actually the more I think about it this seems totally do able.... The wheels will start turning...looks like they may have a new vintage lites bike ready to sign up. Shit won't be able to sleep tonight.
  4. beechum1

    beechum1 Dandole Gas al Burro

    Joined:
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    Not home in Tijuana

    did he say with or without crash and his speedos?
  5. HogWild

    HogWild Scott Whitney

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2003
    Oddometer:
    3,102
    Location:
    SoCal USA
    Last year the bikes and cars got the same roadbook "book" (the rolls are called roadbooks too). The bike guys who used it last year cut the pages out of the book and taped them together into a roll for each day. That's a common approach for a budget rally. The width of the roadbook is determined by the standard size that fits into the motorized roadbook holders, 6". For Dakar and some other top events the bikes get the roadbooks as continuous rolls, one roll for each day. If NORRA will let me this time, I'll try to get the bike roadbooks printed as rolls. No promises though!

    Here's Jonah Street taping sheets together for a nav training ride in Pahrump:
    [​IMG]

    This PDF tutorial gives an insight into rally navigation, as done in a cross-country rally. Don't worry, for NORRA most of the tricky stuff isn't used:
    http://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0061/7252/files/Rally_Navigation.pdf?16
  6. roadracer

    roadracer Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2004
    Oddometer:
    345
    Location:
    San Francisco
    Y'all need to get out of the house and go do some riding! It smells like cabin fever in here.
  7. GalacticGS

    GalacticGS 1200 GS Rider

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2006
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    3,534
    Location:
    Camas, WA
    That would be really nice!!!
  8. juice

    juice Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 22, 2005
    Oddometer:
    22
    No worries, this race is fun. Last year we drove out from IN and had never seen sand on a dirt bike or had any navigation experience and still had a blast. I only made it 2 days before my bike gave up but myself and the guys that came with me driving the support truck still had a blast.

    I had planned on using only gps to make it easy and just enjoy the race but somehow(stupid me) managed to fry my gps the night before the race. I navigated like others have mentioned by heading south, following people/dust trails, and duct taping road book pages to my tank. Not ideal but it worked until my bike quit.

    My advice would be to come as well prepared as you can afford with a good attitude.

    Oh and I'm selling a new patent pending roadbook holder. Only $19.95 a piece!

    <img src="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-6oRrKaOP9aE/UP3JJpwFT8I/AAAAAAAAAtQ/z2Z4s6iTcoA/s640/image.jpg"/>
  9. johnson357

    johnson357 Bad Monkey Racing

    Joined:
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    Indpls, IN
    You don't live in Columbus by chance do you? If so it was me that sent you a msg through Facebook? I'm driving out this year to the Baja Bound World HQ and then hooking up with them and thier sweet pkg deal.
  10. juice

    juice Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 22, 2005
    Oddometer:
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    Yeah I'm in southern, IN but it wasn't me you contacted through facebook.
  11. az45

    az45 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2007
    Oddometer:
    45
    Location:
    Tucson
    I made a road book cheat sheet last year, reminded me of high school history class-

    [​IMG]
  12. Maineroot

    Maineroot Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 6, 2012
    Oddometer:
    144
    Location:
    Austin Texas
    @ johnson357 we lost you on the second day- I still thought you were down there!

    Good to hear you will be racing again this year. I smashed the piggy bank and signed up yesterday.

    It's going to be great!


  13. johnson357

    johnson357 Bad Monkey Racing

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    I wasn't down there last year it was Juice......I'll be there this year though....hopefully I won't get lost and be there at the end.:evil
  14. LC Garage

    LC Garage On Any Sunday

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2011
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    Location:
    Columbia County
    just go south, you'll eventually hit water! :lol3
  15. wrk2surf

    wrk2surf on the gas or brakes

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    THE exact center of California/Bass lake/Yosemite
    any way you go.. you hit water.. ask JN Roberts
  16. johnson357

    johnson357 Bad Monkey Racing

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    I want the water and the BEER :freaky
  17. juice

    juice Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 22, 2005
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    22
    Oh yeah, alive and kicking.

    It is 5 deg right now so April can't come soon enough.

  18. crankshaft

    crankshaft Guns are for pussies

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    Burlingtron,VT

    Agree 100%, supposed to get down to -20 here tonight :lol3
  19. D-RAIL

    D-RAIL Adventurer

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    Jun 4, 2006
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    63
    Location:
    New Mexico
    Race bike change of plans,... ...Im looking for a good used xr650R, resonable price, low mi,...never raced & only ridden on Sundays, lol

    pm me if any leads, thanks!
  20. johnson357

    johnson357 Bad Monkey Racing

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    I thought there was a nice one in AZ a few weeks back in the Flea Market