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Thread: Ideas for next year

  1. #1
    RallyBastard for life Cal24Master's Avatar
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    Ideas for next year

    I just wanted to get opinions about the format from last year, with the start and finish in different locations. Like it? Don't like it? Ways we can make it better?

    All opinions are welcome!

    Tom
    If you think things are going well, you're just not paying attention......

  2. #2
    Loved it. Though I'm likely biased, as any event that ends in San Jose is going to be particularly convenient for me. What I liked about it is it allowed for a few more new roads and new areas to be included, and it gives a little more flexibility to the folks developing the route.

    I think I'd be interested to hear from folks who had to pick up hotel rooms in both places due to where they were coming from, and see if they enjoyed it as much as I did.
    If Poker's a sport, so's this.

  3. #3
    cal24.com newbie russsouthern's Avatar
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    I'm good at giving feedback. (Maybe too good, but it's offered in good spirits and helpfulness.)

    Start different from finish: I liked it. No problem with hotel rooms, as I had to have rooms no matter what. Have you ever based a rally out of the south, closer to LA? And getting to run around Nevada a while was fun, too.

    Starting the rally at a sane time (like noon, and not O-Dark-Thirty): strongly approve. This is a safety issue. Starting at 5AM or some other ridiculous time would just make us ride the most dangerous time of night at our most exhausted. That's just not smart. Running a good part of the rally after sunrise is just too common-sense to pass up. Please keep that part of the format.

    Clear, specific directions to mandatory checkpoints: please do this. It's fine to have bonus locations be a bit mysterious. But mandatory checkpoints must be easy to find (they don't have to be easy to get to in time, just easy to find). This year's CP1 should have added "go south 3.2 miles (or however far it was) to the entrance on the left."

    Creative "verbal bonii": quite interesting. And a lot of fun, especially since at least one didn't involve immersion. It would have been nice to have the missing adjective in the rally pack instead of skipping the word "large" or "bulky," whatever you had in mind. Attention to detail is valuable for rally pack authors as well as readers. ;-)

    This one is pretty nit-picky, but offered in the spirit of honest feedback: when volunteers plan to begin arriving and setting up after 1:00, don't schedule tech inspection to begin at noon. :-) Now that I'm a salty old veteran, I'm sure I'll take it all in stride and know what to expect, but with all the language and advice about being "where you need to be, when you need to be there," it was a little incongruous to have "12:00" mean "ehhh, sometime after about 2 or so..."

    Maybe add a note about which volunteer will be manning each checkpoint? After some of the diabolical puzzles left for us by the rally master, it was almost revenge-fully sadistic to get him out of an apparent deep sleep to report missing the checkpoint. muwahahaahaaaa But, I'd have been happy to call the right person, who was actually awake and waiting for riders, had I known who it would be...

    I think I could stand a little more detail about bonus locations, overall. Talking to some of the real veterans, they explained some of the history and philosophy, and why some of the descriptions were so vague. And I understand the reaction to over-engineering / over-geeking rallies. But, I feel like it hurt us newbies a little when we haven't memorized enough of the state to intuitively know that the actual bonus may be a full half hour or more away from the described location. I'll never forget that Caliente-Bodfish is a nasty road in the middle of the night, 45 minutes (or at least it felt like it) each way to the end and back. But the description could have at least given a hint at how far away it was. So, maybe dial up the descriptions one notch? And put the electronic waypoint closer (still not on top of the spot, but close enough to get a handle on where it is, more specifically than the county boundaries ).

    I loved the interesting places. Small towns, little local museums, some history. Great locations. Can't wait to run next year!

    And Cal24 is well organized. I like the snacks/water/supplies. It sounds like a minor thing, but I feel like that kind of generosity affects the overall experience. It makes this a comfortable, friendly, safe feeling rally. And a great one to experience as my first endurance rally. Thanks, Cal24 organizers, staff and volunteers!

  4. #4
    RallyBastard for life Cal24Master's Avatar
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    Good points Russ, and we will keep them in mind...

    Tom
    If you think things are going well, you're just not paying attention......

  5. #5
    Missedissippi Mark will vouch for the fact that he got an earful of whining when I got frustrated by all the searching I had to do just to find the damn cemeteries. I am ashamed of the whining but the sentiment was real. We're supposed to be spending our time riding and collecting bonuses, not going up and back on the same road looking for the damn thing. How did the newbies ever survive? This rally used to have a base route that was defined turn by turn. That's a good thing.

    Not sure that I'd vote again for a noon start. I kinda like the early AM start. Get up, get out! Also that pretty much puts you out of traffic during the latter part of the rally. I would have preferred Boulder Creek and Saratoga when the civilians were asleep.

    I did really like starting somewhere different from the finish. That was a fun twist.

    How about choosing a different area for the rally? Obviously we need to be mainly in California and the San Jose HQ is hugely convenient for me. But how many times can we go to Fort Hunter Leggett or Four Corners? How about something deeper in the north, with some Oregon? Or deeper in the south? And I've always enjoyed Nevada mileage as well.

  6. #6
    RallyBastard for life Cal24Master's Avatar
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    Jerry, I agree with you. Without going into boring detail, I will assure everyone that this will not happen again while I have anything to do with the rally. I agree with you that either the waypoints on the gpx file are exactly where the locations are, or there have to be at least reasonable directions in the written instructions. I don't agree with putting the waypoints on the exact point because it takes the hunting, and reading comprehension out of the game for those following the GPS. That means that we will have better instructions for all of the main route stuff and most of the out of the way bonus'. I will stress "not all" because that is the game too. It should however be clear when you read the instructions that some hunting would be required to get the points. However this should never be the case for places like checkpoints.

    As for changing the start finish points: Changing the start location is not a big deal. All we need is a place that has enough rooms for everyone and has a parking lot to check in and do tech. However, what I found a few years ago was that finding a place for the finish is a lot more difficult. As some know the number of riders can fluctuate quite a bit from year to year. Most places that have banquet facilities want you to commit to a certain number of guests, and you have to pay for the higher number whether they are there or not. Many also have room set up fees that can increase the cost of the banquet by $10/person or more. Also I found that some places had a reasonable room rate, but wanted $50 and up for rubber chicken, while others had a reasonable banquet price, but wanted $130+ for the room rates. I always try to keep the rally from breaking the riders banks, so I try to get a place that is reasonable in both respects. The Raddison has been the only place I have found that can handle us whether we have 35, or 135 people at the banquet, and we only have to pay for the people that are there without unreasonable set up fees, and has pretty reasonable rates for the rooms.

    Tom
    If you think things are going well, you're just not paying attention......

  7. #7
    cal24.com newbie
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    Ditto almost everything said above except the noon start. I was up at six on Saturday anyway and wound up having my worst fatigue episode at about nine AM Sunday. I wound up being awake for 37 straight hours (fun in college but torture for an old guy).
    I would have done better fatigue-wise if we had started at 8-9.

  8. #8
    cal24.com newbie russsouthern's Avatar
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    9AM works. It's the 4AM and 5AM I see in some rally recaps that makes me question people's sanity. Forcing riders to start with a sleep deficit by scheduling activities before full morning is just a terrible idea for a long list of reasons. The safety of having at least a few of the final, most fatigue-laden hours happen after sunrise is just too important to pass up.

    I'm willing to be a little more fatigued sitting safe and still in the hotel after a long ride, to avoid compounding that fatigue in the wee hours of the morning, at full dark, on two wheels.

    Could I amend my earlier statement to read "mid-morning" instead of "noon"? I liked the noon start, being a night owl, but it's the early morning starts I feel strongly against...

  9. #9
    All Hail GingerMex! tmc's Avatar
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    My +'s and -'s

    +'s

    • Later start. Early AM would not be as fun for reasons stated above. 9 or 10a is a good middle ground.
    • Different start and finish locations. Made it very interesting, and really opened up the possibilities.
    • Hotels on both ends were good. Topaz could use some damn cell service. And their Wi-Fi worked but it was pretty spotty. So it was difficult if you were relying on an gadget to do your routing. I suppose even just a few years ago this was a non-issue, but hey, the tech is there and I like to use it if possible.


    -'s

    • Would have liked the GPX waypoints to be a bit closer to reality. I almost ended up on a questionable dirt "road" due to Garmin funkiness and the supplied Bristlecone waypoint. It was really devious to put the Markleeville cemetery in the mix, when, short of owning a helicopter, it was extremely difficult to find. Good thing the locals were helpful. When I stopped to rest between check 1 and check 2, I was able to get a much better handle on the actual sites thanks to my iPad and mapping programs, but it was a total crapshoot up to that point unless I was familiar with the area where the bonus was located (generally I was not).
    • Checkpoint #1 - while the inside of the Honda Proving Grounds is likely very cool, the front gate wasn't so great. Having things like a restroom nearby would have been nice. Ojai was a much better checkpoint, even if it was pitch black. Finding a park that has both lighting and bathrooms would be best, or a rest stop, etc. And put the GPX point for the checkpoint ON the checkpoint!


    FWIW: I have no problem with the finish in Man Jose. I do like the idea of starting either way north or south. I'd lean to north for that time of year, or at least coastal. We got lucky with the weather this year. Maybe a start in Brookings, Fortuna, or even somewhere like Santa Barbara/Ventura. I'd avoid starting south of Santa Barbara/Ventura like the plaque. Don't want the rally to be "modified" by crappy LA traffic.

  10. #10
    cal24.com member
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    +1 on the start time being around 8-9 oclock.
    +1 on the finish being in San Jose. The hotel is good to us!
    +1 on the check points NOT being exact! Ya, I said it! In 2010 I lost points because I could not find a boni in the area of the check point. My bad! 2011 it took me 10 minutes to find the check point. My guess is it did a lot of people! PPPOYP is not the rally masters fault! It is part of the game!

    I have noticed, in the short time I have been doing this rally, one year will be geared towards the north and the next geared towards the south. Just an observation, don't shoot me! I like the format of the 2011 rally! It was fun, left room for error but at the same time it cost you time for those errors.

    -1 I felt, and this is just my opinion, that there might not have been enough info on the Misson trail sign thread (if that would even be the right way to describe it). Maybe it was in the detail. Not sure. By the time I arrived in the area I was to spent to figure it out. Maybe others got a handle on it right away and gathered the points. My DA did not!

    I have yet to ride in a "bad" Cal24! I will start and finish where the Rally Master says. I will try and gather as many bonus locations as possible in the time alotted. I will continue to finish middle of the pack. Not saying out loud.....Damn, I want to win this one!

    Thanks Tom and crew for all you do. I look forward to 2012!
    "......an imperfect plan implemented immediately and violently will always succeed better than a perfect plan." General George S. Patton
    jafo@jafosadventures.com

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