So You Want To Do A Rally, But You Don't Know How? Read On

Hello fellow ralliers (or perhaps potential ralliers) - this is one of your future rally masters speaking (I can't wait to morph into Lisa Landry (IBR veterans know EXACTLY what I mean) - be afraid - be very afraid )

What Is Rallying All About?

What I would like to say about rallying is that it's like a great big treasure hunt. Treasure hunts are fun right? So, a rally is a treasure hunt which is very simply based on riding all over the countryside in order to bag as many bonuses (or waypoints) as you can that have value points attached to them. The main purpose of a rally is to get you to ride lots and lots of kilometers, whilst being very clever and efficient in bagging bonuses that are up for grabs and accumulating points. The way you bag a bonus is to ride to that bonus location, take a photo of the bonus (or whatever your instructions tell you to do at that bonus) include your rally flag in the photo and write down whatever information you need to record at that bonus location.

Obviously, the general rule of thumb would be that the more klms you ride, the more bonuses you could bag and therefore the more points you might end up with at the end, but it's not always the case.

If you don't ride enough klms in a rally, you possibly won't get to enough bonus locations, and therefore may not tally up enough points to be a finisher. Finisher status is based on whatever criteria your rally master gives you. It could be a minimum number of points for the rally or it could be a percentage of the winning rallier's points (which you won't really know until the winning rallier's points are tallied at the end).

Then again, you might ride lots and lots of klms, even more than anyone else in the rally, but you stuff up - you might go to too many bonuses that are low in points value, or you work out a route that doesn't have many high point bonuses on it because you missed the big ones when you put the route into your GPS, or it may be that you spend too much time dilly dallying at each bonus location and lose precious minutes that you can't make up for, or worse still, you might miss a bonus because you don't get to the bonus at the right time, like a "daytime only" bonus that you sail right past at midnight - and you still don't get enough points to be a great finisher. That sucks.

Or maybe none of the photos that you took - you know, the ones you spent so much time riding to and taking - maybe, none of them turned out....or you forgot to have the rally flag in your photos as required and now your bonuses just don't count and Boom boom....loss of bonus points....... That really sucks.

Even worse than all of those things is when you may have ridden loads of kilometers, you may even have worked out an awesome route, with really high points.....then you have a flat tyre........and the worst thing imaginable happens - you DNF because you are time barred at the end, because you just didn't make the finish on time. That really really sucks.

This is all part and parcel of rallying. The ups and downs, the highs and lows, the endless stories to be told over beers at the finish.

Even though I say it's not about necessarily riding the longest distances to be a successful rallier, the thing is that this IBA organisation is made up of a group of elite riders that are long distance riders, not "ride to morning tea, then lunch and afternoon tea and back home 200 klms later" riders, right? So the idea is that you'll be doing some nice long distances during a rally, but being very efficient and clever about it, in order to get lots of points along the way.

Successful rallying is all about firstly working out how much time you have to ride in the rally, and then working out how many kilometers you think you can comfortably manage to ride each day, whilst calculating in the amount of time you think you will need for
a) rest
b) time at each bonus location and
c) time for refueling.

If you are too greedy trying to get too many bonuses (that's me), you can often outsmart yourself.
If you don't ride enough, you just won't get enough bonuses and therefore enough points.

Yeah Great - But How Do I Work All That Out?

When you get a whole lot of bonuses (or waypoints) given to you on a map (usually delivered to you in the form of a computer file that you need to load into your computer), and then a list of those bonuses all mixed up on bonus sheets, with instructions of what to do at each bonus , as well as when they are available (like "Daytime only", or "between 9am-5pm" on a certain date, or "Anytime" for example), it's a bit overwhelming if you don't know what to do with that information.

I mean, what do you do with those files? How do you get them from the file you are given onto a mapping programme and then what the hell do you do with that? How do you work out a route and then get that onto your GPS? Sometimes the riding can seem to be the easy part. (If you are nodding your head and agreeing with me here, read on).

If you are feeling like you would like to do a rally; you know, that little excited niggle you have in your belly sometimes when you think about it, but you haven't got a clue as to how you go about it, and perhaps you are feeling like it's all too much hard work and you wouldn't know where to start, (if you are thinking "yes" again right now, you need to read on) we are hoping to run a weekend later in the year (maybe around mid to late November) which will be a Training Rally.

The Training Rally

The format of the weekend would be that the Saturday morning would be training based - how to get the stuff you are given into some kind of a format where you can get a route onto your GPS that has the bonus locations which you have chosen on it. Then on the Saturday afternoon we will run a 24 hour rally, where you will ride the route you have worked out, finishing on the Sunday afternoon, 24 hours later.

We hope to have a couple of IBR veterans, or others who are experienced ralliers, assisting with the "routing instruction" part of the morning, then assisting with you working out a route (perhaps in groups) and then you go off and ride your route on your own or with another rider if you want, bagging whatever bonuses you have selected on your route. There will be no pressure - no winners or losers, no finishers or non finishers. It will merely be a training rally.

It will be informative and fun. You'll get to go for a big long ride, test yourself a bit, learn new things and maybe catch the rallying bug, the way most IBR veterans do.You might even stuff up. I know we have plenty of times.

Yes you will need some basic equipment like a laptop, and GPS that has some sort of mapping programme like Basecamp. (I use Mapsource, the old GPS mapping programme from Garmin, but I am hoping to learn Basecamp in the future, as it's the newly supported programme from Garmin). You'll also need a digital camera and/or a smartphone. You will be told about all of this before the event.

Not everyone likes rallying, but for me it was like solving a jigsaw puzzle/treasure hunt that was crossed with a game of chess, and then you rode the puzzle you had solved. It was tiring, frustrating and fun.

A show of hands as to how many of you might be interested in doing something like this would be good, then we can devise an evil plan for a 24 Hour Rally and get this ball rolling......
If there are not enough interested people, we simply won't run it. At this stage, we just need some idea of who might be interested in doing something like that. Just write your response here in this thread and we will go from there........

Lady Cuddles


Premier Member
Colour me interested Annette. As much warning of the date if you can, extracating myself from commitments is challenging at the mo.

Thankyou for being willing to put the work into this.


Well-Known Member
Thank you Annette for the opportunity. A "training" rally sounds good to test whether it would be something I could enjoy.

Unfortunately I am time barred already as I am working 7 days a week November to March.


Well-known Member. Moderator
Hi Annette, put me down as interested at this stage.
I have played riders' games and treasure hunt style stuff for a few years now, and love scurrying
around the countryside like a beetle...(beatle?).
And I know that ralliers have been known to develop a kind of mania about these events.
So I'm keen to see if I can develop to the next level and complete a rally.
Early advice on dates and location would be helpful.
The date for this Training Rally will be

Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th November and It will start and finish in Taree, NSW.

More details about the training rally will be posted soon - what you will need to have and bring, where the training will be held, any costs etc.
Great to see so much interest.
We are lucky to have 2 confirmed trainers for the date so far.
Peter Hogan and Martin Little have both put their hands up to assist and be your rally trainers for the weekend.
Peter is a long distance riding legend, plus a Butt Lite and an Iron Butt Rally Veteran.
Martin is a long distance rider and a 2 times Butt Lite Veteran, and will join the ranks of IBR veterans in 2017.

Lock the date in on your calendar and get set for a weekend of learning and fun!
Now it's time for me to start my plotting! (Rubbing my hands together in glee).

Your rally mistress

Lady Cuddles
A couple of questions for those who have put their hands up.
1. Do you have a GPS? What type?
2. Which mapping programme do you currently use to do a simple route?
3. Do you have a spot tracker?
4. Do you have a smart phone?

At this stage, just wanting to gauge what people are currently using.
We now also have had the legendary long distance rider, John Inkson, volunteer to assist with the training of the rallies. John actually taught me everything I know about computer routing, so he's a great addition to our trainers.