After months of preparation and planning, rewriting of routes and a bunch of recce rides, in the last week of April we were finally ready to invite a handful of RallyMoto riders to come and test ride the Pandemic Rally Challenge and give us their feedback.
These riders were not new to roadbook rallying, in fact several of them regularly travel abroad and enter events such as the Tuareg Rally, Hellas Rally, and desert rallies in Spain and Morocco. Everyone had their own roadbook holder set ups and we provided them only with the roadbook and trackers so we could also check the new “Adventure Rally” scoring system. For the real event we will be offering two options for the Roadbook, “Adventure Rally” and “Adventure Rally Extreme”, but not wanting to make it too easy for these experienced riders, on this day they were all given the Extreme version of the roadbook to test ride.
On a hazy warm Saturday morning, in conditions which gave rise to the feeling of riding in the mountains of Morocco rather than the byways of Britain, ten or so riders set off around Salisbury Plain to have a taste of what’s to come in the future of RallyMoto Adventure Rallying.
In true Rally fashion it wasn’t all plain sailing, and as is quite normal there were some mechanical issues, a well executed on-the-trail puncture repair and the odd lost rider who required a nudge back in the right direction, but all in all the feedback was great, the riders were challenged and the day was enjoyed by all.
The inclusion of more tricky terrain and minor tracks in the route meant that the off-road skills of the riders were put to good use, and with increased levels of concentration required to navigate the new roadbooks, these skills had to be second nature.
What did we learn from this test run? A lot. Significantly that penalties for speeding must be more severe, as the temptation to peg it through the special stages is too much for many.
The permissions we are granted for using certain areas for our events are based on the fact that we abide to speed restrictions and give penalties for speeding on course. It’s important that we stick to these limits as best we can so we can continue to maintain good relationships with the relevant authorities, (this is especially crucial when we ride in forestry).
Due to the complexity of the tracking and scoring system we have decided to also limit the number per event to 20 riders. This will ensure our small team behind the scenes can easily monitor the trackers and be available to assist riders on the course if need be. It also keeps the calculating of results manageable after the event.
For more information about the event and for details on how to sign up click the link below.