Formally, what to do if you can't reach a mandatory checkpoint?

Chris Wiltshire

Premier Member
IBA Member
#1
Some special IBA rides carry designated mandatory checkpoints. Sometimes it's simply not possible to reach them due to road closures, or some other restriction to access.

Is anyone aware of any formal, written account of what riders are commonly expected to do under these circumstances?

Can anyone point me to such a written reference? - I'm in the middle of writing up some ride requirements of my own and would prefer to refer through to something which has already been written and approved as a 'standard' approach, rather than re-create something.

Many thanks in advance,

Chris.
 

Stephen!

Fly Guy
Premier Member
IBA Member
#2
In my rally experience, the rules have typically been that you had to document that every approach to the target area was blocked. Meaning, for example, if your target was Old Faithful Geyser and you chose to enter the park via the West Entrance but that entrance was closed while all (or any) of the other entrances were open, too bad, so sad. If all the entrances were closed, you would have to ride to and document all of them being closed to get credit. Of course this is an extreme example and in the "real" world such a bonus would likely be struck from the list at the rider meeting, providing the Rally Bastard knew that all entrances were closed.

I have only seen this rule apply to rallies where you do not really get to choose your timeline. I do not really see this being applied to a certificate ride where you can choose to ride it properly on a different day.
 

Chris Wiltshire

Premier Member
IBA Member
#3
In my rally experience, the rules have typically been that you had to document that every approach to the target area was blocked. Meaning, for example, if your target was Old Faithful Geyser and you chose to enter the park via the West Entrance but that entrance was closed while all (or any) of the other entrances were open, too bad, so sad. If all the entrances were closed, you would have to ride to and document all of them being closed to get credit. Of course this is an extreme example and in the "real" world such a bonus would likely be struck from the list at the rider meeting, providing the Rally Bastard knew that all entrances were closed.

I have only seen this rule apply to rallies where you do not really get to choose your timeline. I do not really see this being applied to a certificate ride where you can choose to ride it properly on a different day.
Thank you, that's very helpful. - Including the comment on the choice of day, which would imply that the rider ought to know that access would not be available before they rode (through research / checking etc)...

Some more background - This is hopefully, going to be a new 'Ride Around' ride, where for us, it required a series of some 14 checkpoint across ~2000 miles to know that the intended route had been closely enough followed. To keep things simple enough, rather than prescribing turn by turn, simply using the checkpoints would be enough. However, there are a few of these points which require the rider to go 'out-and-back', sometimes down a route along a peninsula, or in some extended sections along the only road which will get you out / back from it.

I'm thinking that a reasonable balance here would be for a rider to make every reasonable effort to get there, document the lack of access, and then if needed make up any lost milage requirement somewhere else around the route by extending their ride appropriately...

Because we won't know if access is blocked until they tell us, it's really up to the rider to be able to manage this on the day, and it's a pretty decent sized commitment for them to be 40+ hours into a ride and find that they can't finish it due to a hard and fast rule, without a reasonable, manageable alternative...

So it sits somewhere between your Rally example, and a standard certificate ride, I think it is important to clearly lay out what is expected before someone embarks on these two day rides.

Thank you for your input. - Do you remember seeing this laid out somewhere which I could point to? If not, your words are likely better than what I would have written, so that you very much.
 

cacomly

Premier Member
IBR Finisher
#4
I cannot give you an example from a certified ride but I can provide an example from rallies

From the Team Strange rules which are used my most rallies:
Although we have several people visit each bonus location prior to the start of the rally, there are going to be things that will happen that are out of our control. Where possible, the rally will make adjustments as needed. For example, if you choose to ride to Bryce Canyon National Park to get the bonus located at the southern tip of the park and the only access road to the bonus is closed due to construction, you may go to the "Road Closed" sign and take a picture, record that the road was closed on the bonus sheet and you will receive credit for the bonus. However, where multiple paved access roads exist, you will be responsible to ride around to the other entrances. For example, if the bonus instructs to pick up a souvenir at Badlands National Park, there are three access roads into the park. Should one be blocked for any reason, it is your responsibility to try the others taking a picture at each road-closed sign

https://www.teamstrange.com/uniform_rules.htm

The Iron Butt Rally is very similar however I cannot access it from my work PC for some reason. I do know a rider or two which were given credit due to the road up Mt Evans being impassible due to 4 inches of snow, and I also know another rider who was denied due to their not taking a photo of the snow covered road. I believe he only took a photo of his bike on it's side in the snow
 
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Chris Wiltshire

Premier Member
IBA Member
#5
I cannot give you an example from a certified ride but I can provide an example from rallies

...
Thank you for the pointer. That's very useful too. Not to be a stickler, but I'm going to feel more at ease quoting an IBA document, purely due to copyright considerations. Especially given their notice at the bottom of their page.

But, thank you very much for the pointer.
 

cacomly

Premier Member
IBR Finisher
#6
Thank you for the pointer. That's very useful too. Not to be a stickler, but I'm going to feel more at ease quoting an IBA document, purely due to copyright considerations. Especially given their notice at the bottom of their page.

But, thank you very much for the pointer.
Ok, I went home (rather I got up and walked from my dining room to the living room). Here is what the 2019 IBR rules say:

If you arrive at a bonus destination only to find that it is unavailable for any reason ─ closed, moved, burned to the ground, etc. ─ do your best to obtain a replacement item. For example, if the bonus instructs you to have breakfast at Joe's Cafe but the cafe has been recently relocated to an adjoining state by a tornado, go to another restaurant. If there are no other restaurants in town, get a fuel or business receipt in the nearby area. If these options are not available locally, ride to the nearest town and get a receipt. Similarly, if you are told to buy a Coke at Mom’s Grocery but Mom is out of Coke, buy a Pepsi. She won’t care and neither will we. Road construction during the summer can easily interfere with our best plans and yours. If you tried to visit a bonus location at the southern tip of Bryce Canyon National Park and found that the only access road to it was closed due to construction, you would go to the “Road Closed” sign and take a picture (see, 'III.C below for information on photographic documentation) to record that obstacle. You will receive credit for the bonus. Where multiple paved access roads exist, however, you must take an alternate route to the bonus location. For example, there are three access roads into Badlands National Park. If an instruction required that you pick up a souvenir in the park but you discovered that one of the entrance roads closed, it would be your responsibility to try the others, taking a picture at each obstruction to your route. These comments are nothing more than a recitation of common sense. We are dealing with hundreds of bonus locations that are spread across the length and breadth of North America. We have several people visit each site in the weeks prior to the rally, but no matter how carefully we try to ensure the accuracy of our instructions, things are going to go awry. Where possible, the rally will make adjustments as needed. We have done our best; we expect that you will do yours as well. (Top of page 10)

IBR2017Rules_032016 (ironbutt.org)

This is if you cannot get to a bonus. If you have a requirement for a specific route then I suggest checking the Interstate End to End rides

  • You must ride all your miles on the primary Interstate. EXCEPTIONS: Official highway closures (you must document this); deviations for emergency, repairs, or taking a wrong turn (you must resume your ride at the point of interstate departure); or fueling or rest breaks within one mile of the Interstate. (Scroll to the bottom of the page)
Interstate End to End (ironbutt.com)

The hard part is in a rally there is someone to call and speak to. That is not normally the case for a certified ride.
 

Chris Wiltshire

Premier Member
IBA Member
#7

Ira

Staff member
Premier Member
IBR Finisher
IBR Staff
#8
Certificate rides and rallies are two different animals, so looking to rallies for an answer won't really work. But maybe a somewhat similar situation might.

The Border-to-Border rides require a rider to cross both the Mexican and Canadian borders with their bikes. At some point a few years ago the military ordered that no military personnel cross into Mexico, even unofficially. I received lots of emails from riders in the service asking if there was some alternative they could take and still be considered a B2B finisher. After discussion with Mike, the answer was unfortunately no. Service personnel would have to wait to do that ride until they left the military or the order was rescinded. Our position is that not requiring the border crossing would be unfair to all those who did put up with the customs and immigration waits and the inconvenience of tracking down a Mexican receipt or having to take a photo of their bike on the Mexican side of the border.

Here's another example. This is from the Heaven to Hell ride:

"THERE IS NO EXCEPTION for road closures on this ride. Before starting, you should make sure that the road to the top of Mt Evans or Pike's Peak is open at the time of your ride. Pikes Peak has limited hours and the weather at Mt Evans can mean the road is closed suddenly, even in August, by snow. Although rare, at the lowest point in North America, the road to Badweater can flood and be closed (although very rare in summer months)."

It would be my opinion that the same holds here, particularly in this case where the ride is in the design stage. I agree that turn-by-turn directions are a bad idea. I also agree that having a series of documentation points is the way to go. But if you are designing a ride you would like us to add as a standard IBA ride, the documentation points should normally be reachable. Being able to do so from more than one direction increases that probability.

Ira Agins
Iron Butt Association
 
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kwthom

Rider
Premier Member
IBA Member
#9
My suggestion would be to run your consideration for an exclusion thru Howard E. and see what he thinks.

I certainly see your problem. Using your example, one of your 14 points is 40km down a road that is the only way in and out. For whatever reason, road is impassable on the day I've decided to do this ride.

One side of the brain goes "Tough luck, kiddo!" since the premise of the ride is to hit all 14 of those points. Not 13 of them.
 

Chris Wiltshire

Premier Member
IBA Member
#10
Thank you Ira and Ken for your thoughts too.

Ira, all of the checkpoints would, normally be reachable, it's only the in case of freak weather (like we had 2 weeks ago - closing roads) when you wouldn't be able to get to them.

I have been working with Howard, and to a lesser degree directly with Mike on the design of this for just coming up to two months already. :) - I was largely told that there was 'no-ride' until I, or someone else, had gone out and done it. - The proof ride, as is it... So last week I headed out and did it... 3,367km in 44.5 hours. https://spotwalla.com/tripViewer.php?id=2558f5ff25ee73c4d8&hoursPast=0&showAll=yes

I have the first draft of all of the rules sorted, and they went past Howard yesterday who was largely in agreement with the content, but had pulled out the one point which I had on mandatory checkpoints. Initially I had taken quite a hard-lined approach saying that all checkpoints must be collected, and that researching access to them before leaving on the ride was the responsibility of the rider. I had also included a note to discuss any potential access issues with the verifier before leaving... - I think it was this point which created the issue, inviting a conversation about how we might chose to apply discretion before their ride.

I want to make this attractive, accessible and fair to all who might do it. Given the contributions in this thread, here's what I've currently got drafted on this specific point:
  • You must visit each of the numbered checkpoints, and obtain a photograph of your bike at each point.
    • There are some standard IBA approaches taken when you cannot reach a required checkpoint which include:
      • Getting as close to the checkpoint as possible, and documenting (with evidence) why you could not reach the checkpoint (e.g. a photo of your bike next to the Road Closed sign).
      • Checking for other means of accessing the checkpoint (using an alternative route or detour) and exhausting all reasonable options – documenting each.
      • If you are exhaustively forced to miss a checkpoint, and if missing that would reduce your ride’s overall distance below 3,000km, then you must make up that lost distance by adding your own additional detour into the route at some point within the permitted timeframe.
      • Include your documentation within your ride submission.
I think that is reasonably balanced now, and ready to be re-presented back to Howard for his further review. :)

I should have also said that the certificate is based largely on a SS3000K ride, 3000+km in 48-hrs.

Thanks again everyone! :)
 
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Chris Wiltshire

Premier Member
IBA Member
#11
I suppose I could also say that: 'Missing up to a single checkpoint with satisfactory, extenuating evidence will be considered, but no more than one.'

If the weather is that bad, then the ride shouldn't be attempted. - Right?... :)
 

Ira

Staff member
Premier Member
IBR Finisher
IBR Staff
#12
If you are discussing this with Howard and Mike, then I will leave you to it - too many cooks and all that.

But one thing I would recommend: checkpoint are found in rallies. I would prefer you describe them as documentation points.

Thanks.

Ira

ps - I've done that ride. But took two weeks to do it. :)
 

cacomly

Premier Member
IBR Finisher
#13
Thank you Ira and Ken for your thoughts too.

Ira, all of the checkpoints would, normally be reachable, it's only the in case of freak weather (like we had 2 weeks ago - closing roads) when you wouldn't be able to get to them.

I have been working with Howard, and to a lesser degree directly with Mike on the design of this for just coming up to two months already. :) - I was largely told that there was 'no-ride' until I, or someone else, had gone out and done it. - The proof ride, as is it... So last week I headed out and did it... 3,367km in 44.5 hours. https://spotwalla.com/tripViewer.php?id=2558f5ff25ee73c4d8&hoursPast=0&showAll=yes

I have the first draft of all of the rules sorted, and they went past Howard yesterday who was largely in agreement with the content, but had pulled out the one point which I had on mandatory checkpoints. Initially I had taken quite a hard-lined approach saying that all checkpoints must be collected, and that researching access to them before leaving on the ride was the responsibility of the rider. I had also included a note to discuss any potential access issues with the verifier before leaving... - I think it was this point which created the issue, inviting a conversation about how we might chose to apply discretion before their ride.

I want to make this attractive, accessible and fair to all who might do it. Given the contributions in this thread, here's what I've currently got drafted on this specific point:
  • You must visit each of the numbered checkpoints, and obtain a photograph of your bike at each point.
    • There are some standard IBA approaches taken when you cannot reach a required checkpoint which include:
      • Getting as close to the checkpoint as possible, and documenting (with evidence) why you could not reach the checkpoint (e.g. a photo of your bike next to the Road Closed sign).
      • Checking for other means of accessing the checkpoint (using an alternative route or detour) and exhausting all reasonable options – documenting each.
      • If you are exhaustively forced to miss a checkpoint, and if missing that would reduce your ride’s overall distance below 3,000km, then you must make up that lost distance by adding your own additional detour into the route at some point within the permitted timeframe.
      • Include your documentation within your ride submission.
I think that is reasonably balanced now, and ready to be re-presented back to Howard for his further review. :)

I should have also said that the certificate is based largely on a SS3000K ride, 3000+km in 48-hrs.

Thanks again everyone! :)
Ira's comment triggered a memory of another existing IBA ride with multiple locations to visit, the Space Chase 3000. I see no allowance for missing a location here either, so the precedence is set for that. Also note the use of Landmarks vs. Checkpoints

https://ironbutt.com/themerides/spacechase/index.html

Of course someone can always do their best to document why they could not reach a location and throw themselves to the mercy of the reviewers...
 

igneouss

Premier Member
#14
My experience for what it's worth:
Last summer I rode US Rt 50 end to end. This certificate ride requires covering all of the Rt 50 alignment end to end. However, there is pretty much always some sort of construction closure somewhere along the 3000+ miles.

I attempted to document each end of each closure I encountered. Both with photos and with bubbler/spotwalla. Note that the beginning and end of a detour is often not the same as the ends of the closure. I documented the ends of the closure as that covered more of Rt 50.

For the record, my submission has yet to be certified (Jan-2021).

Cheers