|PROLOGUE 2011 - Can You
Ever Have Too Much TORQUE?
the completion of the 2010 LowCal250 Rally
the "rally committee" set out
to examine whether a rally could be themed after the movie Torque.
Now I know what you are thinking; some critics
have described Torque as quite possibly the worst motorcycle
movie ever. Sure, it's no Easy
Rider, or The
World's Fastest Indian...
but it was filmed in our own backyard at some great locations, and you have to admit... the
product placement was pretty awesome.
one of the results of researching this film is that it took us out a lot
farther East than we normally go for LowCal 250 checkpoints and
bonus locations. The
chase scene at the beginning of the film
Palms to Pines Highway (CA-74) west of Palm Desert was within easy reach
of San Diego. However, the resulting
confrontation of that chase was filmed farther east in Box Canyon (east of
gun battle in the date groves was likely north of Winterhaven (or more
specifically in or
near Bard)... which led us further north to the find locations between Midland and Inca
townships northwest of Blythe) where the train chase stunts
were shot. That is one
reason we offered an additional 11-hour rally called the LC-11 the weekend
after the LowCal250 Rally. The LC-11 started in Yuma Arizona so
riders would have a
jump on getting to some cool bonuses that will be out of reach for an
8-hour rally starting and stopping out of San Diego.
The LowCal 250 Rally - April 23,
Please take the time to read the
winning rider's report from Matt Pflugh.
He gives much better account of the rally from a rider's perspective than
I possibly can. Below you can compare the routes of the top three LowCal
Matt Pflugh's Route
William Drew's Route
Eddie Frowiss's Route
A GPS anomaly that surfaced during the LowCal 250 and the
LC-11 was the Aztec Calendar bonus at San Diego State University. Hardy Avenue
is a one way street that is incorrectly designated in MapSource's City
Navigator (Garmin). Compare the two routes below to see how a rider depending
on a GPS will run into difficulty executing the instructions from a GPS:
MapSource Fail: One-Way Street
Sometimes it pays to read a paper
map and read the street signs
The correct route in Google Earth
A navigation foible that snagged a few riders from the LowCal
250 and LC-11 was the approach to the Whistler Mud Pots near
Niland. This was not technically a GPS error. Often riders will have
the screens on their GPS units zoomed out when they are out in rural areas, or
not expecting to navigate tightly spaced streets. Also, riders can lose their
sense of speed and distance to an approaching turn when there are no buildings
or landmarks. Riders traveling north on Garst Road were instructed by GPS to
"turn right onto Unpaved Road". Instead riders turned about 100 feet
too soon onto what was formally Hatfield Road. No longer in use, and on the
wrong side of the canal, riders found themselves traveling down a narrow overgrown trail
with little space to turn around at the end. Once they turned back, retraced
their steps and crossed the canal... they picked up where their GPS was able
to guide them to the bonus location.
The GPS was not at fault. It highlighted
the road right north of the canal
Riders turned right too early.
Hatfield Road is now grown over
What a little goat trail amongst
hardcore rally riders?
The LC-11 Rally - April 30, 2011
Please take the time to read the ride
reports from 1st place finisher Peter
Perrin, 2nd place finisher Brian
Casey, and 2011 IBR entrant Cletha
Walstrand. Both are excellent accounts of the rally, and Brian's
also includes a map detailing the requirements at each stop. Below you can
compare the routes of the top three LC-11 finishers:
Peter Perrin's Route
Brian Casey's Route
Chad Smith's Route
LC-11 riders had a week to research and figure out their
routes. One short-cut that eluded them was missing a bridge that was not
any electronic maps. Using this bridge could shave off 15 minutes or so on a route in or out
of Cibola, AZ (though at least several riders did see the bridge on AAA
maps, but discounted it after not getting their GPS to locate it).
Another decision was how to get from Laguna Dam
to the outdoor museum near the Yuma Proving Grounds: Dirt, often overestimated by map software, or street, often underestimated by
map software. In the end, the 8 1/2 minute difference was narrowed to less
than 5 minutes - not enough of penalty for riders that wanted to avoid the
risk of dirt travel that early in the day.
one way in and out!
Google Earth: Could that
bridge hold a motorcycle?
Laguna Dam to Yuma Proving Grounds:
"Should I dirt, or should I street now?"
The LC-11 Arm-Chair Class - April 30, 2011
Arm-Chair Class competitors were given the LC-11 Rally
packet one week in advance with the following constraints:
1. Your route will be assessed in Garmin
Mapsource running City Navigator North America NT 2009.
2. You may submit your entry in GDB format, or describe your sequence in
3. Be sure to include any additional waypoints to 'force' a route, or
describe non-standard route choices in text.
4, Default speeds will be used. If you have changed yours, here are the
default values I will use:
a. Interstate Highways - 67 Mph
b. Major Highways - 58 Mph
c. Other Highways - 45 Mph
d. Collector Roads - 35 Mph
e. Residential Street - 25 Mph
5. Five (5) minutes will be subtracted from
your overall time per bonus location claimed, not to include the starting or
6. You will not have any time subtracted for fuel stops, eating, or personal
Scoring the Arm-Chair Class was a good exercise to
double check the scoring routines and spreadsheets before scoring the live
riders. The biggest surprise for me, was that I was expecting at least a few
of the arm-chair class riders to come up with the theoretical optimum route...
but like the live riders, I still have yet to have two entrants (not running
as a team) come up with the same route and score.
A pleasing result is that our constraints were not too
unrealistic, as the winning rider of the LC-11, Peter Perrin, outscored the
best paper route.
Thanks to all who participated! LowCal 250, LC-11, and
Arm-Chair Class riders all made an important contribution to both the cause,
and the safe and successful outcome of the rally!
Steven Barnes' Route
Greg Guillermo's Route
Tim Watt's Route
Special thanks to Mike (IB Pete) Langford, Randy Lazar, Ken Boyd, Lisa
Chaddock, Brian Casey, Steve Aikens (and the entire Sales Team and Staff at Gary Orr and
Michael O'Keefe's San Diego BMW Motorcycles. It can't happen without you!
We are indebted to Steve Chalmers for providing us with
a Utah 1088 entry
to raffle off in promotion of the LowCal 250 and LC-11 rallies in 2011. Michael Butchers was the
lucky recipient and we hope to see him put in a good run up in Salt Lake City
in late June!