The Grand Rally

Discussion in 'Racing' started by HogWild, Jun 8, 2011.

  1. Stagehand

    Stagehand Imperfectionist

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    :yup. Gimme 2! :D
  2. Flanny

    Flanny Flanny-it-up!

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    Unbelievable!

    Thqat is some amazing looking terrain. :norton
  3. ArthDuro

    ArthDuro quarantined

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    what an update Scott!!!

    :clap :clap :clap
  4. tehdutchie

    tehdutchie Long timer

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    Man, I wish I had a backyard like that!!
  5. hilslamer

    hilslamer 2XRedheadedstepchild

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    +1
  6. Gumbeaux

    Gumbeaux The Chameleon

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    For many riders, this is "bucket list" kind of stuff. Heck, for many riders just getting out west to ride a few days is a lifetime goal.

    And for racers, or wannabe racers, it represents a totally different value.

    Something like this can help people acheive their dreams either way.

    Of course, the naysayers will say "get out there and explore yourself..."...and I get that point of view too.

    I am curious if you have evolved your thinking to the final deliverable of all this awesome effort?

    Is it an event? A series of events? or just a "click here and buy the roadbook" product? Do you intend the target to be strictly those training for Dakar style rallys or would you open this up to the "dreamers" and their bucket list? (granted, it is for "experts only").

    Either way, I am intrigued and compelled. :lurk
  7. wrk2surf

    wrk2surf on the gas or brakes

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    if you need a hand doing recon I would jump at the chance ..ready willing and able! Great looking stuff Scott! Looks like Mike rebuilt his KTM !
  8. HogWild

    HogWild Scott Whitney

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    My thinking is continuously evolving. It's still planned as a roadbook navigated ride, but the routes and overall length keep growing. And some of the most recently created stages have some very difficult navigation and more challenging terrain on average. In other words, it's getting longer and harder.

    As far as "events", I'm leaning away from the idea of a big organized event. In my view, an excellent rally route doesn't have 30 sets of fresh tire tracks ahead of you to follow. Fewer is better. So, if I don't know you, you might have to get the roadbooks and plan for your own group on your own schedule.

    I still don't know how roadbooks will be made available. Maybe some stages would be available to a wide audience, and others might be held for the small group of hardcore rally racers.

    About the only way to help me with the recon is to buy me a better computer that runs Google Earth better. Everything is planned on the computer at home before we go ride it. The only time we depart from the planned route is when we encounter a locked gate or other blockage. And even then, I almost always have a workaround preplanned. We rode a bit over 500 miles in this past prerun. I can only remember one place about a mile long where I rode off the planned route or a planned alternate route. I know it sounds a bit strange, but it is absolutely the best way to get this many stages and this many miles proven out while maintaining a high level of unique and challenging terrain. I find 100 times more cool stuff by using the computer than I could possibly find by searching on location on a bike. The bad part is that I have a pretty good idea what’s coming before I actually ride it. That takes away a lot of the surprise and fun discovery for me while riding. But I think it provides the best final result for everyone else who follows.

    Now, I suppose you really meant you want to help with the prerunning. I really appreciate all who have offered to help. But it’s clear to me now that fewer helpers is better. Two helpers is best (safest), three is maybe acceptable, and more is trouble. One helper spot is permanently taken by Russ, because he’s super sharp and reliable and he lives close so we can drive out together. That leaves one or two openings, and I have about a dozen close friends who want in. So, please hang in there and wait for me to get the first roadbook completed and released. You’ll probably like that more anyway, since the prerunning is slow and frustrating at times.
  9. drc42

    drc42 Rally Dreamer

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    Hmmm..... need to find something good to bribe you with :evil I know you are not a drinker but certainly there is a weakness there someplace I could exploit :wink:

    As far as getting a better computer. If you set up a web page with some pics and talking about what you are doing I suspect a "donate" button would get some hits.
  10. WildTurkey

    WildTurkey Beast Master

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    Pepperoni Pizza:deal
  11. HogWild

    HogWild Scott Whitney

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    Yesterday another of the regulars in this forum offered to donate $ to this cause. I turned him down, and said I'd be happier if he just came out and enjoyed the ride when it's ready. And just because I don't know someone doesn't mean they can't ride the Grand Rally. They just might not be able to ride it with me. Now who wants to ride with a guy who rode with a training wheel for 30 years, doesn't drink, is sort of anal, knows secret shortcuts so as to always be in the lead, and only eats pizza? Man, it’s more of a challenge fighting you guys off than developing the ride!

    p.s. I’ve known that WildTurkey guy for 50 years, so he and his pizza are in!
  12. HogWild

    HogWild Scott Whitney

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    In addition to the standard roadbook holder and odometer, I've got a few extras on the bike to help with the prerunning and roadbook making. Here's a little rundown of those tech tools.

    [​IMG]

    While prerunning, I have a standard Garmin 76CSx GPS with tracks showing our planned path (in green), plus hundreds of alternate tracks (usually red) that I draw while scouting the area on Google Earth. The roadbook defines the planned path, and the green GPS track helps us stay on it. When the roadbook has a mistake or is missing a key intersection, the GPS shows us the right way to go. When we run into some type of roadblock, the alternate tracks show various ways we might get around that roadblock. After the preruns are completed, the GPS tracks will not be available. Those riding this adventure have to navigate it by following the roadbooks.

    The GPS screen is too small for dealing with the roadblocks and workarounds, so I create and print paper maps across 10 to 20 sheets showing my GPS tracks, all the roadbook waypoints, plus lots of other helpful info such as nearby gas stations and emergency bailout roads. Since I have to refer to the paper map a lot in the preruns (because nothing ever goes as planned), I made a sort of “Office Depot” clipboard dash below the roadbook so I can keep the paper map right where I can see it. This saves tons of time on the preruns. Occasionally I write notes on the map while prerunning.

    Since there are dozens of mistakes in the roadbook and helpful added information that we discover while prerunning, writing notes was taking too much time and slowing us down too much. So, next to my SPOT tracker I’ve got a voice recorder on a RAM mount. Now I make most of my notes on that recorder. When I find a roadbook mistake, I place a waypoint on my GPS at that point and record a voice message identifying the waypoint number and what needs fixing at that point.

    I’ve also got a high-resolution GPS recorder beside the voice recorder. That gives me a lot more detail of my exact path than would fit into my Garmin 76CSx. Sometimes I can see where I fell down or made some other very slight maneuver that could be important for the roadbook. When I see that track overlaid on Google Earth, I have a pretty good memory of the terrain and what happened there, so I can add a lot of stuff to the roadbook before I even listen to the voice notes.

    Some of us have VHF radios with helmet speakers and mic so we can communicate while riding. At least one of us has a Sat phone, and several of us have SPOT trackers. I carry 4 to 6 gallons of gas depending on the distance we expect to ride. I generally have a lot more gas than what should be needed because lots of things go wrong when we’re riding all these crazy places we’ve never been to before.
  13. rufus

    rufus We're burning daylight...

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    What are you recording your mileage with? GPS? ICO?

    Do you go back and ride a section after it is finished to check that the mileage and GPS and roadbook all agree?
  14. HogWild

    HogWild Scott Whitney

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    The mileage is all determined from Google Earth way before we ride anything. The whole roadbook is created (except the tulip drawings) at home before we ride. The prerun is to verify the route is passable, and that the roadbook has the correct info (including mileage, compas headings, text, etc). After the prerun is completed, I make the needed corrections in the roadbook and draw the tulip diagrams. Then I consider it ready for others to use.

    When prerunning, I use an ICO to verify the roadbook mileage is correct. About 98% of the time it is exact, or within a hundred meters or so. When it's wrong it's often a typo mistake on my part, like 1.20 miles instead of 2.10 miles. I also created a software tool (Excel macro) that does a rough mileage check before I print the prerun roadbooks. That catches most of the major mileage mistakes.

    I almost never ride anything twice before the final roadbook is released. A couple of routes I've only ridden once in my life, and that was on the one prerun (Primmo, parts of Dumont-to-Vegas). I tended to get tied up with other tasks when we had the rally schools, so sometimes I miss the real ride. Actually, there are parts of my Afton Loop route that I have never ridden, even in a prerun. That one I ran out of time and couldn't prerun a long section, so I decided the roadbook as created at home on my computer "had to be right". Many others have ridden that one and I guess the roadbook was ok is because they always make it back to the bivouac! There's a hillclimb in there that I'd really like to see in real life, but never had a chance.
  15. LC4Dakar

    LC4Dakar Been here awhile

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    You just need to keep him from flying :lol3
  16. WildTurkey

    WildTurkey Beast Master

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    These are not the WildTurkey's you're looking for (wave of the hand):augie

    I doubt there will be any flying sections in this event. HogWild will ensure your bike wants to lay down and rest now and then...no flight plans will be scheduled.
  17. Flanny

    Flanny Flanny-it-up!

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    Good stuff Hogwild.

    When I was planning a Rally up here in Canada a few years back, I came to the same tool-set-up conclusions as you. Full route on computer, Paper map print outs, gps with many alternate routes, and voice recorder for correcting tulips.

    Funny how the "best way" just evolves organically from necessity..

    Whatever way you make this available, I'm fairly certain that lots of folks will dream of riding it, and a relative few will make it all happen.

    Here's to being patient and waiting for it to fall into place.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
  18. dashmoto

    dashmoto Serial Tinkerer

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    Just wanted to say, while I'm incredibly unlikely to ever see any of these routes in real life, I'm loving the insight into your planning process, and the photos. Thanks for posting. :clap
  19. LKN4DRT

    LKN4DRT Mended

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    HP through the dunes somewhere in Az.

    <iframe frameborder="0" scrolling="no" width="425" height="240" src="http://api.smugmug.com/services/embed/1709641277_pbJG32H?width=425&height=240"></iframe>
  20. HogWild

    HogWild Scott Whitney

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    Nice vid Russ!

    Here's the GE view of that section, starting at the rock at the bottom of the image, and going to the rock at the top of the image. Track colors are as follows: Russ=cyan, Mike=yellow, Me=blue. It's 0.62 miles from the bottom rock to the top rock, at a compass heading of 260 degrees.

    [​IMG]