(Editorís Note:Due to a painful, but entirely foreseeable zipper-related injury, Dirk Diggler was unable to file his column for today.In its place, we offer you the insights of BL2 Rallymaster Eddie James on the sweet science of route planning.Please join us in wishing Dirk a speedy extraction and complete recovery.)

 

Ask Dirk Diggler! #4
From the notes of Rallymaster Eddie James
Name of area deleted.
20 June 2000


One of the really fun things to me about setting up a rally is that it is entirely the responsibility of the rally master to make the ride as fun as possible, while at the same time throwing in all the twists and turns that he can in the surroundings of the bonus locations to be visited. One of the ways that appeal to me about this is the fun in sending riders someplace that they'd like to go anyway (or have at least heard about).  The twists can come from the way the ride is structured to make the riders A) decide which of the bonuses to go to, and B) then have lots of time to agonize over whether or not they made the right decision "back there."

Here's an example: The riders have to choose between the route to the Statue
of Liberty or the route that goes to the Washington Monument.  Throw in a
couple of parallel bonuses and the riders have a dilemma ...do I take the S.O.L
route with the bonus routes (that will take longer because of the boat ride out
to the statue) that comes out to 3000 points, or do I take the "easier" Wash.
Mon. route that takes less time but only earns 2500 points? If I do the SOL, I
could be in first place--or if I get caught in traffic, or slowed up
somewhere--I could be time-barred. And what if I go to the Wash. Mon. and no one
else is there?? Then have  I've played it too conservatively and now I'm so far
down it's gonna be hard to finish above mid-pack?
And is Washington D.C. really "easier" to get to, anyway...??

Whoever said 50% of this game is 80% mental wasn't kidding.

Now get back to the fun places part....add into the mix bonuses like Disney
World, New Orleans, Graceland, a few Jeffrey Dahmer murder sites and Mt.
Rushmore, and suddenly you've got a whole new mind set. "Hey, I've always wanted
to go there," the rider thinks. "This is great!" ...except for the fact that they're going to
be in a hurry when they get there. Suddenly, the Magic Kingdom really sucks when
you're stuck in the line for "It's a Small World" for 2 hours.  All you want to do is get the hell
away from there and never go back. Knowing that I've got a part in wrecking vacation plans for
years to come is my pay, and I'll cash that check gladly.

On the flip side, a rally master can build lots of good surprises into a rally
as well. I really enjoy knowing the surprises that riders will "discover" on
their rides.  Here's an example:  find the coolest, most spectacular scenery
road ever. Let's say it's Hwy. 111. A wonderful surprise can be built in simply
by establishing 2 bonus locations --one near each end of Hwy. 111 -- leaving the
riders to "decide" for themselves that this Hwy. 111 is the best way to get from
one bonus to the other. Once they get there, they discover what a treat this
road is, and will frequently tell us how they enjoyed the area so much that they
plan to go back on vacation again...(and they might as well--the Magic Kingdom's
out for good now).

It's the rallymaster job to entertain the riders in his event, and I find great
joy in so doing. Can I make something difficult look simple?
Can I disguise a bonus that's simple, making riders second-guess the "real"
thought here? Can I make it as entertaining as possible for the riders involved, so much so
that they'll want to do this again and again and bring new riders along with them?
I feel the last one is the real key to doing this.  The more people that
experience these events and like them, the more they'll tell their friends about
it and they'll want to do it. The more people who do it makes the sport bigger, 
and through competition, better.

Riders tonight have been given out the first routesheet for the Butt Lite Rally.
The parameters:  Leave Ohio at 7am Monday, and arrive in Baton Rouge by 12:59 pm
Tuesday. The bonus options include: The AMA Museum  (0.5 miles away, but doesn't
open until 2 hours after the Rally start time); The Monument to the nutcase who thought
the earth was hollow; Tiger Tail, Tennessee; Robert Johnson's alleged gravesite in
Quito, MS; the statue of you-know-who in Metropolis, and an IBET stop or two
and a couple more surprises.......go figure.

Doing nothing except going straight to Baton Rouge will take the rider 977
miles. The time they'll have before the checkpoint opens is 29 hours.
Piece of cake, you think....that's only a 33 mph average.

To pick up every bonus on this route, you'd have to ride at least 1195 miles,
and you'd spend two hours at the beginning waiting for the first bonus to open.
On the other hand, you'd earn 2927 points, with a potential for another 750
during the rest of the rally for a bonus you could only collect on this leg. Net result
= 3677 total points.

Would this be a good plan?

Are any of these bonuses somehow Laura Ingalls Wilder related?

Are there any other options or route sheets a rider may get tomorrow?

Should a rider not do anything and "save" themselves for later in the rally?

If you do nothing now, could you get so far behind you'll never catch up with
the point leaders??

And where is Elvis??........doesn't he factor into this somehow?

Confused........?? You're in good company.....only you get to sleep in your own bed tonight.
65 of your fellow riders who have paid and planned for the last year don't even
get that.

Pleasant dreams.

email questions about your motorcycle sex life to:  askdirkdiggler@hotmail.com

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