This event is the second virtual rally organised by Robert from Grim Rider fame, as yet I have not competed in a “proper” road rally but that is forthcoming on the 28th March where I have entered the South West Peninsular Rally organised by the Somerset Advanced motorcyclists.
“Any time spent on practice of route planning is not time wasted”, I have read somewhere, so it was without hesitation that I accepted Roberts invitation to take part in the 2nd virtual rally which follows on from the one last August which was my first taste of this type of event.
Armed with a bit of prior experience this time I got set up well in advance of the 6pm start and awaited the final information e-mail. The first rally had got off to a slow start and by the time I got sorted most of the first hour had gone, I was determined that this wouldn’t happen this time hence the early set-up.
The required files duly arrived just before the 6pm start time, setting up AutoRoute and importing the .GPX file gave me an initial view of the bonus locations. I had pre-decided on a strategy which was to include as many stops as I could in the allocated maximum mileage of 1080. Once this phase was worked out I set about the timings, Rob had stipulated a 10 minute stop at each location, plus some had additional requirements on the time front which was all factored in so that I could reach the finish point within the maximum time allowance of 24 hours.
Next to be considered was the fuel stops, as my bike has a capacity of 5 gallons, this gave me the theoretical distance of 250 miles between stops, again this is based on an arbitrary figure of 50MPG given by Rob in the instructions. My overall mileage was 900 odd so there was 4 fuel stops to factor in, each one added 10 minutes of time, plus the additional requirement of a 30 minute rest stop.
A few tweaks and all was looking good, next thing on the list to worry about was any bonus stipulations i.e. night time only, day time only or opening times etc. Each location had to be assessed with these in mind which in my case meant that I had to delete 3 stops from my planning. This did result in easing of the time constraints so I wasn’t too worried.
With the overall route worked out it was just left to find the necessary evidence which, for the purposes of this exercise involved downloading pictures from the Internet of each stop. Some of these were not straightforward as Rob had thrown in a few curve balls.
Finally the stage was reached to collate the information into the word document which served as the entry form, all stops listed with timings and mileages, photos added then each one had to have a total entered of the bonus points claimed. It is the riders responsibility to claim the correct points and not the rally masters task to hand them out! Lastly there were a few questions to answer regarding some of the bonus locations so it was back onto the internet to research these and hopefully give the correct information.
My entry form was emailed to Rob in plenty of time, hopefully I won’t get disqualified for some unknown misdemeanour and my total is enough to be respectable.
My grand total came to 15,721 points, it remains to be seen how many get approved and how close I can get to the leaders total.
Fast forward a couple of days and the results are out, my aim with this exercise was to be closer to the winners total in percentage terms, the first rally ended with me scoring 13,410 points compared to the top score of 18,457 which is 72.65%, this time round my corrected score was 15,696 compared with the winners 18,064 which gives me a result of 86.89%. This was better than last time which was my aim. Overall I ended up 4th out of 9.
Finishing Positions for the 2nd Grim Riders Virtual Rally 22/02/15
1. Anton Popov (Russia) BMW R1200RT – 878m – 23h26m – 37.36mph – 18,064 points
2. Gordon Sears (England) BMW R1200GSA – 999m – 23h51m – 41.8mph – 17,461 points
3. Alan Thimbleby (England) Honda ST1300 – 941m – 23h40m – 39.87mph – 16,220 points
4. Steve Smith (England) KTM 1190A – 966m – 23h45m – 40.61mph – 15,696 points
5. Trevor Fairbank (England) Honda XL1000VA – 904m – 23h47m – 38.06mph – 15,655 points
6. Dave McGrath (Scotland) BMW R1150GSA – 1066m – 23h49m – 44.78mph – 14,433 points
7. Soji Ojelade (England) BMW 1150GSA – 837m – 22h20m – 37.36mph – 12,718 points
8. Bill Peacock (England) Honda ST1300 – 1035m – 23h14m – 44.51mph – 11,775 points
9. Peter Cremasco (Australia) Yamaha FJR1300 – 926m – 22h30m – 41.15mph – 11,324 points