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Old 08-24-2009, 08:46 AM   #1
HappyGoLucky OP
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2009 Rock Hound Rally

Rally Connex put on an aggressive GPS led rally this past weekend (22-23August) held in the Bancroft area of Ontario Canada. To put it mildly, it was an eventful competition.

All riders were timed, and all riders made it back home - but experienced 911 Spot calls, hospital visits, ambulances, hurricane wacked trails, many watered out bikes and general mayhem.

I noticed a lot of smiles and hearty laughs tho....

Be yourself
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Old 08-24-2009, 08:50 AM   #2
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This was up for grabs (pooch not included)

and heres an idea of what the terrain looked like prior to the event - best viewed in HQ (select the button on the video)

and a followup

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Old 08-24-2009, 08:12 PM   #3
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Well, where does one begin?

What an awesome weekend, lots and lots, (did I say lots) of work went into prepping for the event. I know I was up there twice, but that is only me, I know that the other RC crew were up there plenty and Kevin did more riding in prep for this than can be imagined.

Even when we pre-ride together 2 weeks before hand, I recall one section that was just awesome, but the final 200m before we hit pavement the water crossing was just crazy - I don't even think water wings would have helped! he is not even half way across and the water is already above his knees. By the time he is 2/3 it is just above his thighs - now for some people that is not all that big a deal, but when the guy walking in the water stands over 6'6" tall, above the thighs is probably over 36"

So, we had to cut out this entire section that took us over an hour to ride

Anyway, I sort of digress the weekend itself was amazing, there are plenty of stories, everything from rain, sunshine, fog and mist, to dead batteries, flat tires, watered out bikes, and broken levers... ache, pain and lots of sweat (or was that pond water? ).

The general gist of the event was teams of 3 will navigate 2 timed stages, and have 'free' stages that were on public roads in between. All riders would be timed at the end of the day (per stage) but only the teams would be eligible for prizes and true recognition. With that being said, pretty much every rider was a hero and had stories to back up that simple fact

Here are a few pic's:

Gotta love them banners

And, we should all have our own mascot!

Room with a view:

Everybody has to lend a hand! especially at events like these.

KTM and Tsuga Canopies... a nice combo

This guy, gotta give him the props rink the 950S beside him is his bike. Note the top of the windscreen is almost as tall as he is! also note his inseam has got to be only about 28" and that the S model has a stock seat height of somewhere near 37"!

Well he had issues on the first day, but from what I have heard he managed quite well on Day 2!

You gotta love HID lights!

I have the same set on my bike and found that at 10pm (when I went out to save a dead bike) I was able to fly through the gravel roads at about 60-70km/h with those babies!! let er' rip!

What he does not know if he is going to need every bit of those muscles for when he drags his bike back up from the 6' abyss he puts himself into!!!

I am pasting his story as it is written elsewhere:

6 Feet Under (Day 1, 50km into 480km:
Google "Rockhound Rally Promo 2" and watch the video. At second 31, you'll see a steady stream of 2 feet of water he's going through. No problem right? Well when I took that route, I thought it was 2 feet to the very end. WRONG! I went to the right of the bridge near the beaver dam. It was like the bike went off a 4 foot cliff because me (and the bike) went down, down, down. I jumped off the bike thinking I could stand in it. WRONG. 6 (YEP), 6 feet deep. I swam up to that wood bridge and called (cried) for help. 3 guys to pull it up. 30 minutes to de-water it and we got it running. But then it ran like crap for 2 hours, stalling with water in the carb, carb running rich and a host of other problems. I kickstarted it 100 times over the next 2 hours. It ran for 2 minutes and was dead for 10. Multiply that cycle by 8-9 times over 2 hours. We found the sweep truck, did a trail side oil change and rode another 150 km. We also had to do a gas tank flush to get the water out.

alrigght, enough of the blah, blah.. now for some cool shots!

So, I stop to take the above pic's and then continue on my role in this whole debacle is as Sweep/photographer...) and not 1km into the first timed section I come across a whole pile of bikes not moving. Considering they are being timed, this should not be time for a lunch break 30min into the day!

This bike on the left is having what appears to be some sort of allergic reaction to water! - any puddle larger than a cup, his bike would decide to inhale is and stall!

This monster (remember how clean it was above?!) seemed to have decided to unceramoniesouly (sp?) toss his rider off his bike in a large water hole. He somehow managed to shut it off, but still swallowed a bit of water. In trying to start it the battery died

what to do? what to do??

That bike on the right, also decided to take a drink... all 3 bikes are within 50m of each other!

And this is the 4th bike - broken clutch lever within the first 100m of the stage - someone lends him a replacement (not sure where it came from!) and then 400m later waters out

So, the bike with the allergic reaction to water he manages to get going, not to be seen again. The bike with the broken clutch/watered out - manages to lim back to the lodge, taking probably 5hrs or so... the other watered out bike - manages to get going and continue on - but that 950... ohh... the pain...

No one has jumper cables on them, no one is carrying a spare battery. The SAT phone sucks and is going in and out of service faster than you can twitch due to the bugs...

So, we try this little ( ) trick. The premise is to have both bikes rear tires off the ground. Then with the tires touching the bike that actually runs is put into gear and the tire while making contact with the dead bikes' rear tire spins it - the person manning the dead bike slips the clutch so that it eventually spins the tire (the dead bike must be in 4-5th gear) - basically bump starting the bike.

And, thankfully to George and about 7 guys, it actually worked!!

Eventually we made it out of the trail, but the 950 decided to die again, so it was decided to leave it in the trail and we would return for it with the truck later that day.

Lunch - pulled pork sandwiches...

A tiny bit of pavement:

I could go on and on with the stories I heard. I can say, the 950 - Jim and I along with Dan (rider) went back for his bike at 9:30p that night. The plan was to take the truck and hike in to where the bike was, probably 500m into the trail (remember the puddle shots above - well about 10 water holes after that!). I rode my 450 and we found the bike where he left it - and managed to boost it with my bike. If we couldn't, to push a 500lb bike up and down, would have been murder (for someone!). I then rode it back to the Lodge and we put my bike on the trailer as I was having lighting issues and the 950 could use the charge while riding.

All told, I was only supposed to ride 1/2 the day - 6-8hrs tops - I ended up finishing with a 14hr day! but in truth I wouldn't trade it!

The good thing is we all make friends, and had fun - everyone went home in one piece (at least their body's) and more than likely will be out again!

"If it is small enough to eat in a single meal, don't worry about it, hit it!. If it is too large to eat in one sitting, get the hell away from it!" Jack Splash commenting on animals on the trail.

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