Go to my ALBUMS from my HomePage to view these photos and movies in a different way or to download the entire folder.
The following is a short look into my mind as I plan and execute a rally. Nothing special.
The Teal Lyle New England Rally (TLNE) is an 8 hour Ironbutt style rally. Since I hit a deer in the 2009 Ironbutt Rally I have only ridden two rallies. Both were the TLNE. Last year and this year. These are also the only short rallies I have ever done.
During the week prior to the rally we recieved a list of bonus locations, with GPS coordinates and point values. I have a spreadsheet set up that allows me to sort them and assign icon styles and colors based on value and other characteristics and export into a GPX file, which can be input into my GPS and my mapping program.
I am using a somewhat broken Garmin 660 for navigation and Basecamp for planning. I also have an old Garmin 2820 for backup, and for seeing the big picture. The 2820 is old, flaky and the screen is getting yellow. The screen has become a self-touching screen which can be fun. The biggest advantage to the 2820 is that it can be set to show ALL waypoints no matter how far out you are zoomed. The 660 only shows them when you are zoomed in so far you can practically walk to them. Why does 12 year old technology so often trump new technology?
We do not know what the actual bonus requirement will be, and we do not have any restrictions or other details. What we do know is that things will change once we get the bonus sheets with the descriptions.
The boni names started with either a W- or a V-. This meant something for sure.
Here is a pic with all the boni. Flags are W- boni and Pins are V- boni. Red is high value, green is mid value and blue is low value. The purple line is one of my plans prior to getting the details, the green line is my actual plan on the day of the rally.
The rally book was handed out at 7am. The ride started at 9am. As expected, the W & V did mean something. Maine is considered Vacation Land. The W's represented work days, and the V's represented vacation/weekend days. If you got 5 W's in a row, then two V's, the points for the V boni were increased by 50%. This was interesting. My original plan was to go northeast as I had never really been to that part of Maine, and I hate riding near the coast when time is a factor. Coastal roads tend to have very low speed limits, few passing zones, and drivers that seldom even go the speedlimit. Not to mention, this was after normal vacation season and the police have nothing much to do. This new requirement for V's and W's changed things.
My original northern route had a ton of boni to stop at and would yield around 34,500 points. There were not a lot of options if things went poorly. No Bail points, as I call them. Places where if time becomes an issue you can just bail out of your ride and head to the end. With the new WV requirements I could actually go to fewer boni and get more points. Something around 39,000. Still no bail points though.
None of the original coastal routes I put together would have yielded as many points. BUT, with the WV's I was able to put together a route with a few bail points as well as more potential points than the northern route. Fewer miles as well, but lower speeds.
Below is my actual track, extracted from the GPS after the ride.
This route yielded 39,639 points. I was incredibly inefficient at stops. I am far too rusty, and need to practice some more before I get into any big rallies again.
There was one last stop on my potential route. It was worth 1,000 points, which would have brought me to 2nd place rather than 3rd. I had to pass rally headquarters (the end of the rally) to get there. It was about 2.5 miles past it. When I passed the headquarters my GPS said I had 5 minutes to spare. I still had to find the bonus and take my photo. The lights slowed me down some and at about a half mile away the GPS was saying 3 minutes to spare. On this rally, if you were late, you were penalized 200 points per minute. If I was 5 minutes late I would lose all the points I gained by getting the bonus. It was close, but I thought I could do it without losing more than a minute or two. Then the GPS said to veer left. I turned left instead. Now my GPS said I had 0 minutes to spare. I chose to bail at that point and head to the end. I got there with 2 minutes to spare. Bare minimum, if I had gone for the boni after missing my turn I would have been 3 minutes late losing 600 points. That was best case scenario.
My final score of 39,329 was 831 points below 2nd place. Even 1 minute late would have had me in the same finishing position had I gotten my 1,000 point bonus. Glad I bailed.
For what it is worth, I placed well on this rally partly due to the bad luck of some other competitors plus the fact that another rally was going on farther south, taking away some potentially heavy competition. A few riders had a northern route where their GPS was sending them down a dirt road that ended up having a gate that apparenlty is closed once vacation season ends. It really messed up thier routes. I am not sure how I would have placed if that had not happened, but I am sure I would have been a few spots lower.
This is a great rally to ride. Well thought out, something for everyone. Beginers can have a fun ride, big dogs can be competitive. I would like to do more of these. There are very few rallies in the New England area. Too bad there are not more.