Welcome to the Omega Rally Training Weekend powered by RAD KTM. First off this is not a race! Ya, ya I know you okes are thinking that’s cool until someone tries to pass me! But for what we are trying to achieve we feel it’s the way to go. So read on and check out the deal….
What we wanted was a ride that’s on par with a couple days on a real rally, a night out at a remote location, start and end in JHB, not too much cash, great riding terrain and no one needs to take time off work. Sounds easy enough…… right?!?
SO WHO'S IT FOR?
Firstly it’s to give guys (and girls) an easy way to enter the world of rally. A chance to tryout a navigational style event without forking out big ammo, forcing your wife to now home school your kids. These okes can sort out some basic rally equipment, pitch up and get a taste for what you’re in for on a rally.
Secondly it’s for the guys who already have rally bikes who never get a chance to use them. These guys are like a Freestate farmer on a vegan diet. The okes are hungry and not happy. That anger builds up and the way we see it is we are basically saving marriages.
Thirdly were adding a chance for the adventure guys to join in. These are the okes who want a little taste of rally but have spent too much already on extra lights and crashbars to now spring for a road book and full rally navigation set up.
SO HOW'S IT ALL WORKING?
You pitch up on the Friday night at RAD KTM after work and we have the riders briefing at 18:00. You get issued a roadbook and a start time for bright and early the next morning. (You can leave your bike there if you want so it’s easy the next day.) There will be a quick basic outline of how navigation works to get you started for the next day as well as a run through the roadbook to point out certain elements of concern.
Then the next morning you pitch up at least half an hour before your start time, ready to ride and you’re sent off on the pre run route. Riders are sent one at a time at 2 minute intervals allowing you to actually navigate and not follow blindly like a devotee with a face full of Doom. You ride pretty much all day and maybe into the night if you really suck at riding or your navigation is really bad. (Local rally tradition states then when you get lost you blame the roadbook!) When you arrive at the fancy bivouac that night you will be fed and issued with a proper bed in a chalet. We’ve splashed out on the accommodation that’s at a fancy game reserve so make sure you earn it on the track.
That night we will have riders briefing and do some more in-depth roadbook training. Now that the guys have had a chance to navigate a bit, there should be some more questions about the roadbook. As well as questions like “When last did anyone see Jimmy?” The okes that are cool with the navigation don’t have to sit through the training but it would be cool if you took a newbie under your wing and show them the ropes a bit. You will also be issued with the roadbook for the next day and a start time. Then off to bed to dream about CAP headings, waypoints and tulips.
Head out again, a little stiffer than the previous day, one at a time bright and early and navigate all the way back to RAD KTM where the finish is. For the guys with a solid marriage your wife will no doubt be on the finish line with pom-poms in a cheerleading skirt. For the single okes you can buy beer to keep you company in the mancave. Everyone shares their war stories and how if it was a race they would have won. However there are no medals just a bunch of okes with worn down knobblies and a big smile with bugs in their teeth.
BOET I'M KEEN, WHAT DO I NEED?
Need a roadworthy bike as some sections are on the tar. They need a roadbook reader (a box with two shafts that your roadbook fits into, often operated with a small switch and motor), an ICO (an odometer that you can easily adjust on the fly) and a GPS. You can have a CAP repeater too but it isn’t essential as long as your GPS can show your numerical heading (most can). You will also need a fuel range of about 250km. Make sure to carry tools and spares required to fix your bike in an emergency.
You will run a modified version where we skip out the gnarly stuff. Nothing too technical but a really lekker “outride” route. You need a roadworthy bike and all the normal stuff for a long ride like puncture repairs, cable ties, duct tape, spare fuses, etc. You will also need a GPS that can follow a GPX track.
SAFETY AND SURVIVAL FOR EVRYONE
No jokes here, rally is proper dangerous! You will be riding on your own for possibly hours at a time. The areas are often remote and most guys will get lost at some point on a rally. We are not here to baby you and you take your own risks. Ride smart and smooth. Again guys, this is not a race and we will be riding on “live” roads with oncoming traffic. Here’s the miniumum we require you to take: A full 3l camelback as well as some emergency water on the bike and water purification drops. A survival blanket, full first aid kit, fully charged smartphone, 24 hours of survival food, a lighter, torch and raincoat/rally jacket.
WHAT DO I GET?
Accurate pre-run roadbooks each day
Supper on Saturday and breakfast on Sunday
Accommodation on Saturday night
A rider opening the track
A rider at the back closing the track
A roaming fully qualified medic on a bike that can reach off road locations
A central control point controlling safety and checkpoint feed back
Extraction to nearest town or bivouac in case of a breakdown
(You then call your wife to come pick you up!)
The cost is R3500 per entrant. Adventure and Rally guys pay the same.
We will no doubt learn some lessons along the way but we hope you guys have an awesome weekend and inch a little closer to the incredible world of rally racing!
NB: Entries are strictly limited to 20 riders due to logistics and accommodation.