Rally Bonus 101

#1
Asked the following in the rally section,

"What I am looking for is a good tutorial on deciding what bonus to choose and how not to leave points on the table? "

and got the following reply,

"Lol every rally veteran here would like to read that tutorial."

Therefore, I am asking for the accumulated years of experience of members to help write that Tutorial. Share some stories of what works for you and what doesn't. What sorting software works for you? What mapping programs works best? How do you choose the order of bonuses? When do you drop attempting a bonus?

That should be enough for a start.

Thanks for your contributions.

-Mark
 

BigLew55

Premier Member
IBR Finisher
#2
I don't know if this was posted in your other thread, but I would start by recommending you read the most recent version of the IBR rule book, paying particular attention to Part III.B Most other rallies rely heavily on that, and it probably has several others to acknowledge for it's content.

Personally, I try to approach a given route/leg from a few different directions, try for a few big ones, try for a lot of little ones and maybe try something that is out of left field. There is more to it than that, and it's going to be different for.every.single.person.

Get yourself some rally books and start bench-running them and comparing your results to the actual finishers. If you don't know how they do it (this was me for soooo many years), keep riding certificate/challenge rides and continue to bench run rallies. If you find yourself improving, try a smaller rally to get some real-world experience.

Also, do some searching on youtube. I believe Tim Masterson (specifically comes to mind) and others have put some effort into this very subject.
http://hardtxrider.blogspot.com/2012/08/ride-planning.html

Another way is to just attend some gatherings. For instance, I've been to the Big As Texas event for the last two years, and there have been a few seminars aimed at the novice approach to got folks started down the path.

Good luck with your tutorial.
 
#3
BigLew55,

Thanks for the link. Read the rule book for Team Strange prior to posting my initial question. Did some searching on YouTube as well. What I concluded it that there are bits and pieces of the answers, just not in one location. Will keep studying.

-Mark
 

Ira

Staff member
Premier Member
IBR Finisher
IBR Staff
#5
Study as many different rallies as you can to see all the different ways a rallymaster can screw you over. :)

Be aware of your own riding ability and the capabilities of your bike and electonic equipment.

Learn how to use the various software tools for route planning, including uploading to your GPS. Figure out what combination of tools works for you.

Work on problem-solving - every rally is different. You need to be good at puzzles. Also see the first sentence above. :)

Most importantly, ride in as many rallies as you can - there is just no substitute for experience and the opportunity to compare what you did with the winning rider.

Just my $0.02.

Ira
 

lakota

Premier Member
IBR Finisher
#6
There is no substitute for for riding in rallies. Your mistakes lead to improvement in subsequent rides. Be conservative in your first tries and then increase your average speed and number of bonii. Don't think that your first solution is the best one. Work out alternate routes and compare. Ask questions at the rallies. You will find the veterans are glad to help the newcomer.
Listen to Lew and Ira.:)
 

Marc11

Premier Member
#8
There is no substitute for for riding in rallies. Your mistakes lead to improvement in subsequent rides. Be conservative in your first tries and then increase your average speed and number of bonii. Don't think that your first solution is the best one. Work out alternate routes and compare. Ask questions at the rallies. You will find the veterans are glad to help the newcomer.
Listen to Lew and Ira.:)
Wait, we are supposed to learn from our mistakes and not repeat them in the next rally.... THAT'S what I've been doing wrong all this time!
 

cacomly

Premier Member
IBR Finisher
#11
First you want to be efficient with your time just like a certificate ride. Establish a process on how you do things. Keep your wallet in the same pocket all the time, find a place to put your rally bike/flag/camera. This also helps because one way that some people lose points is by losing their flag.

Know your camera/routing software/GPS so you can import bonus info to the mapping software, manipulate it, build a route, and export to your GPS in your sleep.

As for how to pick which bonus, most rallies the object is to get the most points in a given period of time. For those rallies identify the largest bonus locations and plan a route with as many as you can and then fill in with others along the route. Then do something similar with the medium size bonus locations because 2 or 3 mediums size ones may be more points for less miles/time.

And lastly, attention to detail. Read the rally book. Know what you need to do to get the bonus. One rider in the IBR lost a ton of points because he forgot he needed a poker chip in addition to a receipt, another took a photo from the wrong side of the bridge, and so on.

And as was said, there is nothing like experience.
 
#12

keithu

Premier Member
#16
I'm pretty visual, so I still like to have paper maps of the whole area so I can visualize locations and routes. This has served me well most of the time.

That said, I was a late adopter of GPS and I've wasted a lot of time and ridden right past points simply because I was stubbornly adhering to The Old Ways.
 
#17
I'm pretty visual, so I still like to have paper maps of the whole area so I can visualize locations and routes. This has served me well most of the time.

That said, I was a late adopter of GPS and I've wasted a lot of time and ridden right past points simply because I was stubbornly adhering to The Old Ways.
What physical map/atlas to you find the most convenient for motorcycle use?

I learned to read maps early in life as entertainment on road trips. GPS can be too focused at normal view and drops roads when you zoom out A map will let you know that the GPS is routing you out of your way. It will also let you know when to ignore on/off ramps because it saves .1 miles.

GPS does shine at letting you know that your destination is 200' on the left.

-Mark
 

keithu

Premier Member
#18
AAA maps are my favorite if I have access. But I also like the large format Rand McNally Road Atlas. The Rand McNally atlas has good readability and it's cheap. Buy two so you have a full book stashed in a tail or saddlebag, and cut up the second one as needed for inserting sheets into a tank bag.

I have also been known to make a bunch of photo copies of Atlas pages I know I'll use. For example, during the Cal24 Rallies I made a couple copies of the California map and surrounding states.

Don't bother with the smaller "mid-size" Rand McNally Atlas. The smaller size is tempting for motorcycle packing, but it's missing a lot of roads.