2017 Heart of Texas Rally : El Camino Real de Los Tejas

Paul Tong

Heart of Texas Rally; LDX Rally
Premier Member
IBR Finisher
Registration is open for the 2017 Heart of Texas Rally. You may start the rally from any location within the borders of the State of Texas. The start will be at 6:00 am Central on Saturday April 29, 2017 and will finish at 6:00 PM Central Saturday April 29, 2017 at the LaSalle Hotel in Bryan, TX. We have set a block of rooms for you to reserve by calling the hotel directly at 979-822-2000 and using the group code "BIKE". The rally fee of $100-solo and $150-2 up covers rally insurance, rally flag, t-shirts, stickers, your banquet meal, and other rally swag. Your hotel room is on you.

This year's theme is the Camino Real, or the King's Road. This historical pathway across Texas was the primary route for numerous Spanish, Mexican, Texican, Texan, American, and other notable heroes and scoundrels moving back and forth across Texas heading to and from parts of Louisiana and Mexico City and numerous points in between. In the early part of the 20th century, the Daughters of the American Revolution placed granite markers along the Camino Real every 5 miles with a total of 123 markers. There's a lot of Texas history along the Camino Real and you'll find that as the basis for most of the bonus locations throughout this rally.

For those of you familiar with the NIITWIt rallies, we don't have the habit of requiring any minimums to be a finisher. Hell, just completing a mandatory bonus and showing up at the finish on time is pretty much all you need. For this 2017 HoT Rally, we will have one slight change. Of the 100+ remaining granite DAR markers (and those that are not tucked away on private property) we have designated 52 of these markers as bonus locations. Each marker will be assigned a card, such as in a deck of playing cards. In order to be a finisher in the rally, you must obtain a photo of at least 5 granite markers (your poker hand). There will be considerable bonus points based on the quality of the hand. A full house will be worth considerably more than a pair of 5's. A straight flush will be worth considerably more than 3 of a kind. You can obtain as many markers (cards) as you want and you can claim multiple hands, but you cannot use a card more than once.

It will be very possible to win or finish high in the rally WITHOUT having a killer poker hand. The winner will be the rider, or team, who finds the right balance of granite marker bonuses and other bonuses within the rally area. BUT.....the rider with the BEST poker hand and the rider with the WORST poker hand...will win a free entry into W. Boyter's 2017 BigTexRally, the much-anticipated return of the much-coveted and infamous Texas rally event.

As with all of our events, we want you to be able to have a safe and fun ride. We will never intentionally design our rally in any form which will necessitate that you ride dangerously, ride extensive miles of dirt roads, or participate in any activity which would put your personal safety or that of others at risk. That being said, as in other rallies, there may be dirt roads available that may make your distance between two bonus locations very short, but that's all on you if a paved alternative was available. If we select a bonus location on a dirt road, it's going to be very short and very well-maintained. Additionally, we don't want you staying up all night prior to the rally planning and frantically organizing your route plan. We will provide your rally book via electronic format no less than 2 weeks prior to the rally itself. We may even provide .GPX files of the bonus locations (without their accompanying values) well before we send out the rally books.

We have had real success with the e-mail scoring from our past two events. Although I have received one or two opinions against this method, it has otherwise been overwhelmingly popular and has greatly reduced time the riders have to wait on scoring. It also allows us to give you real-time scoring information and this has actually helped several riders during our last rider because I was able to call them and give them directions on how to find or properly claim a bonus. Thus, we plan on doing this again. We are currently working on a scoring app for your smart phones which also streamline this entire process but most it is still in the developmental stage and therefore might see the light of day for rallies later next year or in 2018. We'll keep you posted on that.

We hope you decide to ride with us. Ask anyone who has ridden a NIITWIt event how much fun they've had. As always, if you have any questions, please e-mail me at [email protected] or at [email protected]. Registration can be found at https://rides.jasonjonas.com/index.php.


Paul Tong
Rallymaster, NIITWIt Rallies