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Old 06-08-2011, 10:31 PM   #1
HogWild OP
Scott Whitney
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The Grand Rally

I’ve been working on this project for about a year now. The Grand Rally is a hardcore roadbook guided off-road rally adventure and training route circling the Grand Canyon. It’s being developed for expert riders to practice rally style navigation in preparation for competing in cross-country rally events such as Dakar. The routes and terrain on this ride are moderate to extremely challenging, not to mention amazingly scenic! A typical day of The Grand Rally will be on par with a day of Dakar. Yes, it is THAT difficult!

Though originally planned as an 8 day 2000 mile killer ride (old map above), I’ve found so much great riding in that region that I’m expanding it to more days and many more miles (new map to come later). I’m adding new stuff every week. And rather than riding the whole distance in one long trip, I’m providing multiple loop days, so it can be attacked in 3 to 4 day sections based out of strategic fixed locations. This means riders can spread the fun out over a year or more, taking on sections as their vacation schedule allows. As things are progressing, it’s looking like The Grand Rally may end up being around 3000 to 4000 miles, 14 to 18 days, and over 95% dirt.

This will not be a race. It probably won’t even be an official scheduled event. Think of it as a do-it-yourself Dakar Rally, a collection of roadbooks available to hardcore rally types who can schedule their own small group ride on their own time. For less than expert riders, I’m doing my best to provide bailouts and “easy” ways around the really tough stuff, to make it a bit more manageable.

One strong philosophy in laying out each stage is to find off-beat roads and trails that are long forgotten. During the pre-runs we’ve ridden quite a few sections where motor vehicles haven't traveled in decades. Naturally, those are usually extremely challenging technical sections, but they often offer the most unique and fun riding too.

When will all this be done and ready for you to ride? So far we’ve pre-run roughly 1500 miles in various sections (thanks to all our pre-run helpers, Des-RIP, Russ, Dave, Jen, Robb, Phil, Mike S, Ned, Mike B, and more to come). The roadbooks for those sections are still being finalized, and the roadbooks for all the stuff we have yet to pre-run are not even started yet. I'm aiming to have most of it ready to go sometime in 2012. For now you can drool over photos from the pre-runs ...

New desert racing frontiers
It will be Devilish !
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Old 06-08-2011, 10:33 PM   #2
on the gas or brakes
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IN! plus... if I can help I will be a guinea pig...
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Old 06-09-2011, 12:40 AM   #3
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Looks right great fun!! Excellent initiative!!
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Old 06-09-2011, 03:24 AM   #4
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Old 06-09-2011, 07:27 AM   #5
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Scott Whitney
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I can't recall if I posted these before, but here are a pair of videos showing the Google Earth terrain perspective of a couple of the stages. The faint green or blue line shows the course.

Stage 6 and 7 preview video

Stage 8 preview video
New desert racing frontiers
It will be Devilish !
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Old 06-09-2011, 08:23 AM   #6
"just do it"
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Great job

Fantastic Job!! A Paypal account for donations and "promotionals" will be great.

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Old 07-08-2011, 08:01 PM   #7
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Somebody somewhere is compiling stuff like this for a doctorate on rallybook making hehe

This is the most comprehensive and insightfull post on the topic ever.

You sir are a genuine adv hero
Thank you!
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Old 07-08-2011, 08:03 PM   #8
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Wow!!! All I can say is that is one labor of love, a truly awesome effort. If that is your "brief" explanation, I would love to see your detailed work. You definitely need to have a passion to put the time and effort into something the way you have with this. Most folks just want to ride.

Hats off to you...
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Old 07-08-2011, 08:06 PM   #9
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Rally fanatics everywhere owe you a debt of gratitude, Scott. Excellent stuff, and excellent results. Thank you!
"What these people need is some mental psychology."-Bonnie Abbzug

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Old 02-12-2012, 05:52 AM   #10
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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.

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