What is a Rally?
Many people ask us what a rally is. Basically it is an event where riders are given a set of route instructions that they must complete in a 24 hour period. The base route is approx. 1,000 miles. During the 24 hours there are several checkpoints that the rider must get to during certain time periods, usually 2-3 hours. In addition to the base route, there are several questions and bonus locations that a rider may attempt for additional points. The Rally is a test of map reading skills, reading comprehension and time, distance and fuel management.
Here is what we tell participants in the Rally Pack:
First, you have to understand, it is NOT A RACE! A motorcycle rally is a competitive event that involves riding a motorcycle over a certain distance with time restrictions. Some have argued that this makes it a speed contest. It is not. The difference is that there is no advantage for getting anyplace first. There is no advantage getting to checkpoints before they open, or getting to bonus locations first. A slower rider making good route decisions will get a better score than a fast rider making poor decisions. That is the difference between a rally and a race.
The most important thing for all riders to bring is a good attitude. This is a fun event. We will not tolerate whining, crying, and complaining. Although this is a competitive event, there is no big payoff for winning it. It is meant to be a fun game. The most important aspect is safety. We don?t want anyone getting hurt. Getting a first place trophy is certainly nothing to get killed over.
As you can see, safety is our primary concern. As a group, long-distance rally participants have proven to be far and away the safest group of motorcycle riders in the world. When considering accidents per miles ridden, we are the best riders on the planet. For instance, in the 2009 Cal 24 Rally, the total miles ridden by 28 riders was over 30,000. We had one rider have a zero-mph tipover while his bike was stopped. If the average motorcycle rider puts on 3,000 miles per year, (It is actually slightly lower than that) then it is roughly the same as having a tipover in 10 years of riding. Other rallies have similar experiences.
I personally feel that riding in an organized rally is much safer than riding a Saddle Sore 1000 on your own. Why? First, there is always someone looking out for you. We make it clear that all the other riders must stop and render aid if another riding is having problems. We track rider's progress at all checkpoints. If a rider does not make a checkpoint, we start calling people and looking for them. Second, it is much easier to stay awake and alert when your participating in an event that requires your attention everywhere along the way. During the Cal 24 you are constantly looking for point opportunities. You are never just droning along the highway watching the odometer change. (except for those poor schlubs chasing the Portland bonus in the 2009 event
WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT?
Rally numbers are assigned according to when the entry is received. Several months before the Rally, paid participants receive a Rally Pack, and it is also posted to a private forum right on this website. This Rally Pack contains everything the rider needs to know to participate. It includes Hotel/Motel information, Tech Inspection information, Banquet information and the Rally Schedule. This information is not public, and will not be shared with people who are not entered in the Rally.