What is a Rally?
Ed's Last Resort Rally, much like every other points rally, is part scavenger hunt, part trivia quiz, part poker run, and part marathon, all done on a motorcycle. The goal is to have the most points at the end of the event. Points are acquired by visiting bonus locations and properly satisfying their requirements. Every bonus location gets an assigned point value; complete the requirements, get the points; Sounds easy, eh?
Bonus Locations and their assigned points values are determined by the Rallymasters; who then relay this information to the riders. Rallymasters often have a “theme” or some underlying connection among all of the bonus locations. Bonus locations are sometimes selected because they are sentimental like the grave of a friend or relative, or purposeful like making a purchase from a rally sponsor. Other times, the location is selected because of where it is: a breathtaking overlook; down a long twisty section of mountain road; or a crowded beachfront boardwalk.
Not all bonus locations are created equally and it would be considered unusual if they all had the same value. A location’s point assignment is based upon any one of several factors. Some of the variables that play into a bonus’ value could include its proximity to other bonii, condition/type of road access, and “ease of acquisition”. As you will find out by reading various rally veterans’ ride reports, Rallymasters are not “normal” by any stretch; so be prepared for twists and turns along the way.
Ed's Last Resort Rally is run by volunteers; the rally is staffed by volunteers. Putting a rally together requires countless hours of preparation, thousands of miles logged and numerous contacts with staff from other rallies. The Rallymasters do this, not for glory or monetary reward, they do it because they want riders to have a good time, visit places they might not otherwise ride to and participate in the camaraderie of fellow motorcyclists. Our wives believe it might be a sign of mental illness.
At the beginning of a rally every rider will get a list of bonus locations. This list will include point values, bonus requirements, GPS/directions/address, what the rider is actually looking for (a statue, plaque, business, etc) and what time it is available. Rallymasters may include a brief story of significance of the bonus location. Your job is to construct a route that gets from the start location to the endpoint, within the allotted time while attaining as many points as possible. A rider must also allow time for sleep, fuel, meals, traffic, twisty roads, etc.
Riders are not expected nor compelled to obtain every bonus location. To paraphrase the Iron Butt Rally’s Bonus List quote- “treat this list like a restaurant menu; trying to eat everything will make you sick and possibly die.” A rally is different from a true scavenger hunt in one important way - Riders are expected to actually ride to the bonus location and satisfy the requirements. This is discussed in further detail in the rules.
Riders try to balance the available time with the number of miles they can cover against the potential points available to them. The top finishing riders will try to maximize their points per mile and points per minute ratios.
Once the rider arrives at the end of the rally, they gather and organize all of their rally material, and prepare for scoring. The scoring team acts as a reviewer and certifies that the rider did indeed satisfy the requirements of each bonus location they visited. The scoring team individually reviews every rider’s submission and the results are then tabulated. At the end of it all, whichever rider attains the most points is the winner- that’s how it works in a nutshell.
Some helpful reading can be found at the Iron Butt Association’s “Archives of Wisdom”.
(This was plagiarized from The Void Rally, which was plagiarized from The Beast in the East website. We asked permission from the Void folks :) )