Seemingly random pins on a map… different colors, different point values, all perplexing. That’s what I’ve got to use to put together a route for my Void Rally 11 ride. The object is to collect points, accurately document my stops, take at least a 3 hour rest break, and be back to rally HQ with the I’s dotted and T’s crossed on my paperwork and have it handed in before 31 hours is up.
Of course that is the most simplified version of what it’s like to ride in a rally. But that is the basic gist. Plan a ride, ride it, don’t lose any points for being dumb, and of course arrive safely. It sounds easy while you’re sitting in your cozy house, but when you’re standing in a gas station in the rain at 3am after having ridden 16 hours, re-reading the rally book to double-check the bonus stop requirements – it seems a lot less easy. This is just typical pre-rally jitters talking though. Come Saturday evening after scoring when I’ve got a few beers swirling through me I’ll tell you it was a piece o’ cake.
Each year that I’ve done the Void, I go through the cycle of excitement and wonder prior to receiving the bonus locations, followed by the doubt of trying to plot a route. And then trying to plot another one. And another. And… another. Each year I feel like a complete idiot because there is nothing that jumps out as being the obvious answer for me.
Since receiving this year’s bonus list I’ve made about 10 different routes, none of which feel “right.” They’re all shit. They’re either too long, too boring, too low scoring – though I can’t possibly know that they’d be comparatively low-scoring. Ahhhhh, nuts. ::sigh:: I’m hoping that by tomorrow I’ll at least settle in on a route that I know I’m capable of riding and that I’ll just be fine with it.
Maybe my strength really will be in doing the paperwork. I don’t have to do great. I just have to do less bad than everyone else.
My rally starts in Reading, Pennsylvania at 8:30 on Friday morning. I have until that point to navigate my head out of my own ass. 😉