Road Rally nOOb - Now with more rallies & welcoming more Road Rally n00bs!

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by Boondoggle, Jul 31, 2015.

  1. BasicJim

    BasicJim Been here awhile Supporter

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    This would be a no-brainer if my wife would ride with me, but she is deathly afraid of bikes. She tolerates me having one because the kids are mostly grown and I have good life insurance!

    The good news is I don't think she'd give me too much crap if I tried one on my own. I have to admit, it seems like you sure need to know a lot of stuff before you get started! It seems daunting!

    Since the pros are in here 2 questions and then I'll go back to lurking....

    1. SS1K - Anything like a rally? Will it give me the flavor at all to see if it's something I want to pursue more? Or are they entirely different beasts?
    2. ToH - I see a lot of LD riders talking about that. Would that give me a taste or is it just not close due to the timed aspect / bonuses / camaraderie?

    Not ruling anything out, but trying to gather info and opinions.

    @BkerChuck I love new stuff, new experiences, and traveling. This really fires up the imagination....

    @markar Thanks for the tip about GLMC. I will see if something like that is doable!
  2. Boondoggle

    Boondoggle no good deed Supporter

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    Gonna miss you John. Rest well, thou good and faithful servant. Love you man.
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  3. Patch

    Patch Long timer

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    SS1k is not really like a rally, but it will give you some good exposure to seeing how you do after 12+ hrs riding.
    ToH is much more like a rally if you choose it to be so. Essentially you have all the bonus sites and then you can string together as many as you want to 'try it out' and see how you do. As these are 'stop and document your visit' bonuses it is much more like a rally except for the time factor, but you can always set your own time goals.

    Honestly you might try a short 'sprint' rally ... 10 or 12 hours, starting and returning to the same hotel. The Void in Oct has this option in Fredericksburg VA. Have your wife drive out and hang at the hotel while you're out riding and its a sneaky weekend away for both of you.

    Its not as hard as it seems but yes it can be daunting. Ask away if you have questions as there is no better community out there than the LongDistance Riding folks.
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  4. BasicJim

    BasicJim Been here awhile Supporter

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    Thanks Patch! I really appreciate the info and perspective. I'll take a serious look into The Void in October. Good idea on a weekend away....
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  5. Boondoggle

    Boondoggle no good deed Supporter

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    I’d offer some advice but

    1). I just spent 33 pages typing everything I know, and

    2). I don’t know all that much :lol3

    If you come down for the VOID, holler. Still not sure if I’m gonna run the 10-hour or 33 hour yet, will depend on NIIT Wit schedule, as I have some unfinished business there.
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  6. BasicJim

    BasicJim Been here awhile Supporter

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    You just keep doing what you're doing!

    I am learning tons from your ride reports and am loving them!

    If you did a little worse job it wouldn't hurt. That way I wouldn't be interested in doing something like this!

    Thanks again for sharing your ride reports!!

    Jim
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  7. BkerChuck

    BkerChuck Been here awhile

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    SS1K and a rally are not really related but it is possible to do a SS1K during a rally. Personally I wouldn't want the added stress of keeping that paperwork in order alongside all of my rally paperwork. Any IBA cert ride requires gas receipts, copies of maps, a Spot tracking link if you run one, and start/finish witnesses. I've had rally packets that have run over 50 pages printed and keeping track of that plus your scoresheet is enough for one event! LOL. Just ask any one of us who have f'd up and left points on the table! Seriously, ask ANY one of us because I'm confident we've ALL done it!

    Tour of Honor is a unique event. You can treat it like a rally with the memorials as your bonuses. You can use it to ride a SS1K which actually makes the paperwork a little easier I feel since the TOH scorers after checking you photos will verify that you've visited the required number of memorials and the route you list must have exceeded 1000 miles. You'd still need your start/finish witnesses and your gas receipts but it made it a lot easier when I did one. The IBA/TOH certificate is also different than the regular SS1K cert. so that makes it kind of special. Consider signing up for TOH, it's a great cause and a great excuse to get out and do some riding. I can honestly tell you I've learned so much more about American history through TOH and a few rallies than I was ever taught in school. FWIW all of the memorials are visible on the TOH website without signing up or paying anything. While I would certainly prefer that you pay and get a rally flag and a shirt out of it you can just go visit them without being a paid participant. You can easily see if there is memorial near you and just go check it out and decide if it's something you want to do. Do it once though and you'll be like many of us and become a regular signing up every year just to see what's next.

    Look into the Team Strange grand tours. This year is my second attempt at doing one of those. It's another seasonal rally run all over the US and always has some type of wacky or unusual theme. This year it's "States of Confusion" visiting and photographing your bike and flag at post offices, town halls, universities, etc. with names of states. Example; Indiana, PA. You're looking for a state name within another state. I did their "Love & Merci" tour a couple years ago and learned about the Mercy Trains. Train cars filled with goods and materials sent by everyday US citizens to the people of France following WWII to assist in their recovery and the later arrival of the Merci train cars sent by those same French people back to the United States to say thank you. Look it up. Fascinating story and not many of them left to go see.

    The Void Rally will be coming up in October and registration is open now. Think about trying it! 10 hour mini rally or the whole deal 31 hour tour. Both are a lot of fun. FWIW I find the shorter rallies more difficult to do well because given the shorter window of time there is less room for error and then recovery from mistakes. I like the challenge of the go big or go home 31 hour version. I know my place and that I'm out playing against some of the "big dogs" in the rally game. I plan a route with moderate mileage, escape routes if the weather turns too ugly, and bonus locations I've never seen before or that look interesting to me. I compete against myself just trying to not make mistakes and to get just a little better each time out. Please let us all know if you're signing up for the Void. The banquet at the end is worth the price of admission alone. If you do the 31 hour version each starting location usually has a group of riders meet for dinner the night before the start too.
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  8. BasicJim

    BasicJim Been here awhile Supporter

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    Good Lord, what have I done?

    confusion.JPG
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  9. Patch

    Patch Long timer

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    Nice!! You're sitting pretty in Ohio for some easy to grab bonuses for that tour. I was grumbling to myself overtime I passed a potential GT stop during the RnR. Oh well...
    Don't forget there is also the Team Strange Discussion board you can ask questions on - or you can PM me and I'll try to help best I can.

    https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/teamstrange/

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  10. BkerChuck

    BkerChuck Been here awhile

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    Welcome aboard BasicJim! Let the insanity begin.......Ohio does have several locations that meet the requirements for States of Confusion. I'm actually heading to Ohio tomorrow for a FJR meet up in Marietta. I'll be hitting several TOH memorials, some Team Strange SOC locations and from Facebook visiting a few of the RTE spots. Be sure to print out the rules and start finding your locations. I'll be happy to answer any PM's if you need help or give you my cell number should you need to call.
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  11. Boondoggle

    Boondoggle no good deed Supporter

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  12. BasicJim

    BasicJim Been here awhile Supporter

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    I do have some questions and don't want to hijack this awesome thread.

    The ADVrider forum area for rallies is something different entirely. What is good area to post questions that any noob would have about road rally in general?

    I will jump on the Team Strange board too!

    Thanks Patch!

    Jim
  13. BasicJim

    BasicJim Been here awhile Supporter

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    If this becomes an all consuming obsession, I blame you. :jack
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  14. BasicJim

    BasicJim Been here awhile Supporter

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    You're a hell of a salesman. Thanks so much for the detailed info! And I looked and saw that there are quite a few bonuses (bonii?) within a day trip, so this should give me an idea of if i should sign uo for The Void or not.....


    Thanks again!
  15. BkerChuck

    BkerChuck Been here awhile

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    I've often said at work my business card should just say 'Scapegoat" :lol3

    Feel free to PM me for my cell number I'm more than happy to help put new victims.....I mean ralliers.
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  16. Boondoggle

    Boondoggle no good deed Supporter

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    You are more than welcome to hijack this thread - it’s called road rally n00b, after all- and I and others might just learn something out of the deal.
  17. BasicJim

    BasicJim Been here awhile Supporter

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    I will try not to hijack too much and try not to be a PITA.

    If you don't mind, could you take a swing at a couple of these? Ignore any that seem too pedantic!

    I know there is a lot invested in a good GPS and time spent in BaseCamp to ensure your route is set up....

    Do you also use something like Google Maps or Waze that has real-time traffic info and will re-route you around traffic jams, etc?

    Is there a reason NOT to trust Google Maps / Waze?

    I am curious to know what your typical workflow is for bonuii to GPS...
    • Do you load everything in BaseCamp to plan your route?
    • Plan route in different software?
    • Export route to Garmin GPS?
    • Export to different Map software?
    I know everyone has a different style and different way things work for them. I am just curious as to what are some of the things that people do so I have an idea of what MIGHT work for me!

    What about choosing your route on a rally...
    • Look for the highest density of bonii?
    • Look for largest bonus and plan to hit bonii on the way?
    • Start with looking from a time perspective or from a points perspective?

    Do you mark all your fuel stops before you leave the HQ?

    And of course, the obligatory, "What is the thing you wish you would have known before your first Rally, or the thing that you learned that was a game-changer for you?"

    and lastly, how long will it take to get my flag now that I registered?!?! I am ready to go hit it!!

    Thanks again!!

    Jim
  18. Boondoggle

    Boondoggle no good deed Supporter

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    here's the quick & dirty way:

    A lot of this stuff lives in google drives- some rallymasters communicate that way. Go to google and sign up, you don't need a gmail account. It allows you to create "my maps" into which you can import .xml and .kml and .gpx files with the waypoints, manipulate them, then re-export them into an xml file which you can drop into your GPS via Basecamp.

    The plus side is that you can fart around with routing on whatever computer you happen to be on ( :augie ), and copy it into multiple iterations very easily.

    As for the routes themselves I am plotting them on google maps but still basically writing them on the backs of envelopes (actually using a spreadsheet) with notes as to mileage, time, points, and any decisions or instructions. I don't upload a route into the gps, just waypoints

    HOWEVER the bad news is that I learned this weekend that I kind of need to up my game. It seems the smart folks are routing in Basecamp, I'm curious to hear them chime in (one of the reasons I"m happy to entertain the hijack!).

    I'm using a Zumo 390LM, which isn't a bad tool for the job, but after consulting with the smart folks I plan to add Waze to the process. There are other apps that help integrate waypoints into Waze. Waze will beat Garmin every time, but be warned that it sucks power like crazy so you'll want to have a charger port for your phone while underway. My next gps will have a bigger screen but otherwise I have no complaints. Some of these nuts have a full-size ipad mounted, follow that urge wherever your muse and checkbook take you :lol3

    Don't worry about planning gas stops, but add time into your plan for whatever your range is. I've planned hotels ahead of time in the past, but this time I didn't and it wasn't an issue- I rolled out of Memphis at about 11 and headed toward Oxford, and the first place that looked likely (exit with a few each of hotels and gas stops) I wheeled in, circled the hotel parking lots for signs of suck, looked up hotels on my phone, and called the one that looked most likely to check pricing and availability then got my rest receipt and headed over there. Just as good as doing it on tripadvisor, maybe better because you get to see the physical layout in person,but YMMV of course. It was the America's best in Holly Springs MS, for future reference, but it was basically just a dry place to put my stuff and a blankie to hide behind.

    One thing I do poorly is take the time to have a good mental picture of my route- I got into a couple of long construction zones that, if I had it to do over, I would have passed on that bonus for others. Also, one combo in this rally was in downtown Nashville which was an utter disaster due to the NFL draft- some folks knew about it ahead of time and some found out 13 hours before the start :lol3
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  19. markar

    markar Been here awhile

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    Heart of Texas Rally went old school! No electronics allowed in the planning area.

    "Riders were provided a rally book, a Texas road map, mechanical pencil, map pencils, a ruler, and scratch pad. This is all they were allowed for leg 1 planning. 6a-9a. They'll be allowed 45 minutes to get their bikes ready, then it's go time."
  20. Patch

    Patch Long timer

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    For me, the short answer is yes to all these :lol3

    Every rally bonus plot will be different ... so it really depends on what you're looking on the map. Many have plentiful low-point stops very close together with some big pointers laying far out in nowheresville. There are times that that big pointer is whats referred to as a 'sucker bonus' as in if you go after it, you'll lose time and potential other points that are easier to grab efficiently.

    On longer multi-day rallies, like the Butt Lite and IBR (and HOT going on now) it is generally more efficient to simply connect the big pointers to your start/finish locations and then add in whatever is along the way that time permits. Again, it really depends on what the bonus plot looks like on the map.

    Lastly - TIME over points. A Did Not Finish (DNF) stinks worse than finishing in last place.

    Tomorrow I'll try to post us some screen shots of my BaseCamp bonus plots and my routing so you can see what I mean with how I choose a route.
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