Diabolical Rally - 10 questions
I’m working on a plan for a new cross-country rally in Northern Mexico, currently named the Diabolical Rally. It's a big-time real race, not another of my typical practice/training rides. I’m trying to decide a number of things. What do you want in a rally? What are your thoughts and opinions on these questions?
1. How many days of racing would you like? Remember there’s also a registration/tech day ahead of the first race day, and probably a half day after the final race day for awards.
2. How many hours of racing per day (assuming moderate to extremely challenging terrain)?
3. How difficult should the navigation be? Different difficulty on each day?
4. How difficult should the terrain be? Different on each day?
5. Would you like zero, one, or two optional short non-timed “practice” stages to get used to the roadbooks, unique navigation, and unique terrain in the area? Would you come one or two days early to do the practice stage(s)?
6. Would you like to camp in a bivouac, Dakar style, or pay for hotel rooms a ways away from the start/finish?
7. Are paved liaison sections a major pain, or a minor inconvenience? How far is too far if you have a morning and evening paved liaison?
8. Which would you prefer:
...a. Moving bivouac (i.e. Dakar and NORRA Mexican 1000, more liaisons, more taco stands).
...b. Fixed bivouac (stationary camp, no need for chase crew, no long drive back to the border after you're done).
9. Would you be willing to pay 3 times more if it was in Western USA instead of Northern Mexico?
10. What could be done to attract traditional Baja racers without turning it into another SCORE race?
How many of you would want in on the Diabolical Rally (assuming Mexico)? We’re aiming for no limits on entry numbers, but we need to get an idea how much interest there is.
I am in!!
1. For your first rally I would like to see 3 1/2 days of racing + 1 Pre rally day before the start day
2.hours per day? depends I would say 250-300 miles per day Start at 6:00 am (6-8 hours)
3&4.Varying difficulties of terrain and nav each day. When the terrain is ass kicking the nav could be easier and vice versa.
5. yes on the Pre rally day
6.Depends where the Rally would be ( I would camp, Tent or Motor home )
7.Not a big deal but not over 60 miles ( = 1 hour ride time)
8.Fixed would be bets for the first year Rally
9. depends ? I think You would have a LARGER turn out with a lower fee. $1000-$2000 ( But you can always have add on. ) Support Packages Fuel,Tires /Camping/tents, food/Showers
10. I think you could draw the traditional Baja and Local Bike racers easy, I would hold a few CHEEP roadbook “practice" days in So Cal,AZ,NV to help Draw riders in.
the car and truck guys maybe a few. But I would keep iy Bikes only the first few years.
2. 6-8 hours of saddle time a day. Then things go wrong and the day gets longer.
3 and 4. Varying difficulties of terrain and nav each day. When the terrain is ass kicking the nav could be easier and vice versa.
5. I think one practice stage should do.
6. Bivy. It's a rally.
7. Minor inconvenience. keep them less than 50 miles or so?
8. Probably prefer a fixed bivy, again at least for the first year.
9. If the entry is $500 I would pay 3 times more to ride in the western U.S. If the entry is $5000 I'm riding in Mexico!
10. No idea. Do you need to attract traditional Baja racers? Racers are racers.
I would be interested in putting this on my ride list. What month, what year?
Regarding the traditional Baja racers, it seems many don't understand or are not interested in roadbook navigation and the rally format (especially the car gang). I'm looking for ways to help them see a different kind of challenge, and want to go for it!
I'm interested. Some of my answers depend on time of year/weather conditions and what the cost of each additional race day has on the entry fee as well as how many you want to enter. The simpler and cheaper you can keep it the more interest you'll get.
1. I'd like to see five to six days of racing depending on the entry fee cost of each additional race day.
2. Length of race day depends on the terrain and total length of rally. If a three day event I'm up for three eight to ten hour days. If longer, 5-8 hrs with a long stage thrown in somewhere depending on terrain and liaisons.
3. Navigation that is challenging but not intentionally misleading or a rabbit trail from two years ago works for me. Degree of difficulty could limit how many entrants you get if too challenging.
4. I'd like to see terrain suitable for full on Rally bikes. Terrain difficulty should depend on the type of bike you want to show up to your event and how many entrants. If you want Rally bikes then the terrain should be set according to what can be handled by a good rider with out bashing the bike up. If it's to difficult you'll loose peoples interest from fear of rider fatigue or equipment abuse. Check with the guys that did the Tuareg, I think there were sections not suitable for full on rally bikes though small bike had no issues. With that said, a mix of terrain would be great. The variety of what I road with you over the three days at Dumont a few years back was great.
5. An optional practice stage or two in one day would be good. Maybe two short stages. The first, 1-2 hrs, so those who have difficulty navigating can get help or a chance to tune to the bike before moving onto a second of 2-3-hrs. Varying terrain representative of the overall course would be nice if accessible. If doing this then I'd say a five day race maximum and make it optional for an additinal fee.
6. Camping depends on length of race and time of year and how cheap hotels are. The shorter the race, <3 days, and the more favorable the weather (not to hot) camping works. A longer race, 5-6 days, it would be nice to have a hotel night or two mixed in. I could see a six day race with the fourth day ending early at a hotel. Kinda of like a "rest afternoon". Could even be turned into a parc expose for the town, sponsors etc.
7. Paved liaisons are minor inconvenience. Liaison length is relative to time. Keep the specials 5-8 hours and the overall day 7-10 hrs accordingly.
8. I'd like to see a stationary bivouac with maybe one move if a longer rally. Stationary bivouacs are definitely more cost effective and fewer people are needed to support a rider or multiple riders. This may not be a big deal to the west coasters but it is huge to those traveling from the midwest and east. The more movement the more cost and man power needed per individual rider. If a longer rally, >4 days, moving once would work and probably help in offering varying terrain. A stationary bivouac near a town would be nice so entrants have the option to camp or hotel, similar to the Tuareg.
9. Depends on 3 times of what?
10. Baja racers have enough desert races in Mexico and the US. Keep the sprint bikes out, if they are interested in Rally let them conform.
Hope this helps.
Some answers from a European, maybe they are helpful, if not just ignore.
What I like about a rally is that its difficulty and toughness is increasing during the days. Start with simple navigation and not so long days and increase it to a maximum one day before the last day. Very technical part can be put in a liaison section, preferably not in a special because racers tend not to take time to find there way and damage their bikes.
When the Tuareg rally still was held in Maroc it used to be like that. First day a technical part called Enduropath in the Liaison to distinguish the profi riders from the amateurs (changing classes still possible). And on day 6 and 7 a small technical part also in a liaison called Boilerpass and the Alex Kante pass.
Long days are nice when they are alternated with some simple and/or shorter ones. In the Albania Rally 2012 there were 3 days of 450km+ (11 h in my case) alternated with shorter days or a rest day (which I did no like).
Navigation should be demanding enough to prevent very fast driving, this distinguishes a rally from a race like Baja. This year's Hellas rally was really simple navigation, just follow the main path most of the times and the driving was really fast.
More answers to your questions:
1. 6-8 days of racing
2. 8-10h a day
3. Navigation should be more important than speed
4. I like technical parts but it should be doable on a bigger bike
5. Start with a small and simple special and increase its difficulty and length during the days.
6. Bivouac, I do not need any luxury.
7. Minor, <100km in the morning, <50km in afternoon
8. Moving bivouac, more changes in terrain possible.
10. Learn them to like navigational challenges above full throttle
I hope this helps a little.
I know the heat is an issue but can we PLEASE have a rally during the summer... every single rally whether local or international is during the school year... which SUCKS!!!
the Baja 500 is the only race that is during the summer break...
Have the event in March ( spring Break for most schools )
Oh yea count me in. March
6-9 days in length
Mandatory bivouacs, maybe in the middle of nowhere
3-5 race hours, 2-3 hour liaisons
Terrain....use distance to make it diabolical not enduro terrain
Terrain suitable for rally bikes, not just small endure bikes
No shakedown, just an short easy day one maybe.
Make it old school Dakar style. Long days, the challenge being the navigation, remoteness and distance as opposed to a sprint / hard enduro race like many rallies seem to be turning into. Malle moto as the only option...
In the end, make it what you want and are passionate about :deal
Depending on what you decide I am quite interested
Couple of ideas:
For the first year it might be good to go on the shorter side and do a 3 days of competition and 1 day of prologue. This way it costs a little less to put on and gives you a chance to see how all the pieces go. Between organizing course marshals, controls, medical crews etc I imagine its a handful for the first time. It would be great to see a full 7 day event in North America come from this.
The Australian Safari had several different bivouac locations during the week but some were used for a couple of days in a row. There is another event in Australia called the Condo 750 and it is 2 days long and very navigation intensive. They have 2 loops and its setup so on day 1 the bikes and quads head out on loop #1 while the trucks and buggies go out on Loop #2. The next day they switch loops. This eliminates the dangers of bikes and trucks mixing things up.
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