Making a rally video from all my phone and Sena footage took me forever, because however ruthlessly I cut things, there was still way too much. After hours of trimming, splitting and cutting, it’s still twelve minutes – but I hope it’s at least entertaining. There are hills, swearwords, thumbs up, mumbling, and roadbook puzzles.
You can find the full rally report here. For those who prefer video, here it is, featuring my Inner Dork, some steep hills which for some reason look almost flat in videos, and some mud.
And for those who just want the short version, here are some bullet points:
- cross-country navigation rallies are stupid fun.
- roadbook navigation isn’t as complicated as it seems.
- if you don’t have the speed, at least unleash the inner dork.
- don’t book flights just hours from the rally finish day, especially if you’re too cheap for checked baggage and are going to wear your wet, mud-splattered, cow-doo-doo-smelling gear on the plane.
- eat rally breakfast. Black coffee and a croissant is for poets. Rally breakfast consists of a mountain of bacon, scrambled eggs, and muffins (you’ll thank me later when it’s 12pm, you didn’t pack any snacks, and still have 80 miles to go).
- what goes down must also go up, even when it can’t.
- rally people are a friendly bunch.
- wear clear goggle lenses – you’ll hit less holes and puddles and your hands and wrists will hurt less after the rally. (I borrowed a pair of clear lens goggles from the rally organizers on Day Two and my wrists and hands hurt because of my crappy riding, but I’m just saying).
- like Dirt Bike Jesus said, rallies are basically trail riding but with different navigation and you gotta get moving.
- Other than that, they are very accessible and doable, even when you’re just a lowly adventure minion. If you dream of doing cross country rallies, stop dreaming and start doing. TransAlenTejo is an excellent one to begin, especially when you’re unsure about roadbook stuff.