LowCal 250 - Twice the Adventure, Half the Petrol!! The next LowCal250 Rally is in

It sounds fun, but am I've never done a rally. How can I hope to compete? - Just compete against yourself on your first several rallies. Plan a route that you can ride efficiently. Measure how well you do by how close you can stick to the plan. Plan too conservatively and you may forfeit the chance to get more bonus points throughout the day. You can start off a little ambitious as long as you have the flexibility to skip stops and adjust on the fly towards the end of the day. If you learn something valuable to help you on future rallies then the day has been a success. If you come in on time getting the most points possible considering all the conditions encountered...  even better! 

I still don't get it! - NEW:Rally Routing 101 Wiki (Novice rally instruction material for a class given by the LowCal 250 Rally Architect in March 2010). Look over a previous year's Results,Rally Master's Report, Winning Rider's Report, or give the Abbreviated 2008 Rally Instructions a try on paper.  

Recommended Lodging? - The Ramada, telephone 858-278-0800 at 5550 Kearny Mesa Road, San Diego, CA 92111 (just across the freeway from the new San Diego BMW Motorcycles location). There is off-street ground level rooms you can park in front of, plus a restaurant/bar that is normally open until 9:00pm.

What's the Saturday Riders Meeting about? - Stuff you should know. Q&A period. Cautions about particular roads and bonus locations that may not be suitable for novices (which usually makes the novices go straight there).

What kind of motorcycle should I ride? - One with two wheels... or three if it is a trike or has a sidecar. Seriously, the advantage of a short rally is you can ride just about anything you like. Personally, I'd go with one with a "250-mile saddle".

Will I have to take my street bike on the dirt? - Nope. There may be a few bonus point locations on dirt roads to keep it interesting, but there will be more than enough points on pavement for one to be competitive on the hardtop. 

What about Lunch? - Because everyone's route will vary based on their strategy, no set time or location is appropriate for the rally to schedule a lunch. The rally is formulated to accommodate approximately 40 minutes for eating.

Can I enlist someone to assist me in planning my route? - If you wish to gain experience in motorcycle rallying and apply that knowledge to bigger and better events, then the simple answer is no. Seeking outside assistance, namely someone scheduled to be at your disposal during the rally, would be an unfair advantage. You may work as a team with your pillion (passenger) or another rider, but you would be expected to complete the entire route together as a team in that case.

How about GPS? - A Global Positioning System with navigating software can be an invaluable tool to reference throughout the day. However this device, as with any component on your motorcycle (along with the motorcycle itself!), should be well understood by the rider long before the day of the rally. 
Do not attempt to learn to use a new GPS or software during the morning meeting!

What about a Digital Camera? - I recommend having a good durable digital camera with a decent preview screen on every ride. In 2012 you may be required to take a photo of something to get points at a bonus location. Even if a photo is not required, it may come in handy to clarify a misunderstanding, or to communicate or clarify an issue during scoring. If in doubt, take a picture!
FYI, download all your photos and clear the memory on the camera before the rally... if the staff has to sift through all your personal vacation photos  from 2007, it  might cost you some points.

What does TAPOT mean? - It means "Take APhoto Of The" as in TAPOT parts counter at SDBMWMC.

What's the Weather like in April? - Several points in our county are above 5000 feet in elevation, so you can still expect temperatures as low as the 50Fs on occasion. On the other hand, in rare years there have been temperatures near 100F in or near the deserts. Rain is anyone's best guess this far out, but the average precipitation for late April is 0.01 inches. Late April was specifically selected for this rally because it provides the best outlook for weather throughout the entire county. More than likely you'll ride most of the day in temperatures between 65F and80F.

What's a Sucker Bonus? - A bonus location that entices you with a lot of points, but has a high risk of not being obtainable in the planned amount of time. Often it will not ensure a win... but then again you never know. That's why it's called a sucker bonus. There's always a chance.

What if Traffic Makes me Finish Late? - Ha! Now you see the dilemma of making too aggressive of a route plan. Can you get one last bonus and still make it back in time? What if something unforeseen slows me down? The rallymaster will obviously penalize you for being late, but it will never be so severe as to make it worth coming in on time "at any cost". Just ride in and take your lumps*. You will receive a phone number at the Riders Meeting to notify the Rally Master that you are using the grace period to return. If either you don't call in, or are so late you cannot return within the grace period, you will be designated a DNF ("Did Not Finish", but come on in anyway for the BBQ!).

What if I just want to make a donation and slack off between start and finish? You are welcome to give the rally your most pathetic effort. The minimum requirement to qualify as a finisher this year will be returning safely by 5:00pm. You'll easily have enough time to sneak in a 4 hour+ nap at home before the BBQ if you so choose.


*Remember the Rally Master just charges you points, Law Enforcement and Insurance Companies charge you money for poor behavior. Accidents cause damage to property and people. Recovering from an unnecessary injury hurts... repeatedly.