Category Archives: Rally

The Void 9 (2014) – Preparation

The Void Rally is one of the few rallies near enough to the New York City tri-
state area for me to “try it on for size.” You see, I’ve never before competed
in a rally. For that matter, I’ve never ridden more than 250 miles in one day.

Competed might be too strong a word for a motorcycle rally. A multi-day rally
might have some serious competitive weight being thrown around to be podium
finisher, but this sounds like more of a get together for dinner two nights in a
row, with a lot of miles in between. The reports I’ve read from these events
sound like regular reunions of old friends that only see each other when one of
these rolls around.

The first of three parts of the rally pack, the rules and instructions to follow came with what must have thrown rally veterans, a Yahtzee score sheet. The twist for this rally was that bonii would not simply be valued higher based on difficulty or distance, but deviously and strategically valued 1-6 points like the six side of a die. The instructions included special rules about scoring, particularly how to log and score “straights” and “wildcards.” Straights (small=4 in a row, large=5 in a row) must be claimed (logged) in sequential order with nothing breaking the sequence (except fuel stops.) This should make for some creative routing! Wildcards would be actions taken (and logged) by the rider; texting the rallymaster, resting (both mandatory) or a receipt of charitable donation etc.; which could be used to fill in scores where you needed, but not in any straight!

So as the start of this rally approaches, I need to start preparing myself and the bike, which got a some new electric circuits to power the electronics in the tank bag and a USB power adapter to feed the Garmin GPS and a brand-new (actually, second hand) Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4″ tablet. Maybe that photo of the Gold Wing with a FLiR system madeĀ an impact, maybe I was at a very impressionable age when I saw Jackie Chan’s Mitsubishi in Cannonball Run, maybe I resort to throwing technology at a problem… but this was to be my view from the saddle:

Android Dash

Waze routing with live traffic and road conditions, live weather radar, Bubbler GPS reporting to SPOTwalla (or so I thought…) even Google access and my music library; all presented in a 4-way display with a customized view of Android.

A few days out from the start, and the rally flag arrived in the mail. Inspired by other riders’ ideas, I pass small key rings with clips and magnets at the four corner and decide on a safe and secure place to stow this important prop; under the GPS pouch on the tank bag. This was easy to get in and out, and secured by large strips of Velcro. Secure the camera in the sleeve under the tank bag case, and this should allow one-stop shopping at bonus locations.

New hydration pack tested (how do you wash these things properly???), what will surely be WAY too many snacks (jerky, trail mix, meal bars and shakes etc. and so on) packed, I watch my inbox for more morsels of information.