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February newsletter: Outfitting your bike for a VIME navigation trial - new riders join here…. An end-of-April one day event. Dual sport bike rental. Trade names to look for. GR4 logos

So you are considering your first VIME backcountry navigation trial and you are wondering what you need in terms of hardware and apps to participate... you might also be asking how much?


I'll start by stating the obvious. Backcountry Navigation Trials are aimed at grassroots/entry level participants. That doesn't mean to say that riders with extensive prior Motorsport experience are not welcome, far from it! All are welcome to participate in this roadbook navigation with gps timing motorcycle Motorsport genre. These trials are not a test of how well you can ride at speed, but a test of how well you can ride at a speed.... A subtle but important distinction that places the emphasis on accurate navigation while keeping to a set average speed over challenging backcountry terrain. We are engaging in a riding activity on open, public roads and have to abide by The Law.


A separate "touring" class is also run that has the routes presented as a Gaia track without any timing or average speed requirements.


The routes are all legal thoroughfares (is that a Canadian term?). The required speeds are all legal and attainable. The navigation is by Rally Navigator roadbook (as used in RallyRaid). As close as possible to Rally Motorsport on public roads in Canada without breaking the law!


This ^ is how I do it...


You will need:

  • A full entitlement motorcycle licence

  • ICBC (or equivalent) motorcycle road insurance

  • A road legal, plated DualSport or Adventure bike

  • A set of knobbly tyres - minimum 50/50. My preference is a MT21/D606 combination

  • A smartphone or gps-chipped tablet, mounted on your handlebars somewhere, to run Rally Roadbook Reader

  • A second smartphone or gps-chipped tablet to run the Richta rally timing gps app. This phone can be in your pocket.

  • Neither phone needs a SIM card. Both phones need a power supply as they both need to be on and working for 8hrs or more. A USB charging supply from your bikes electrical system is ideal.

  • Three smartphone apps - Gaia (subscription paid and maps downloaded) and Rally Roadbook Reader on your "navigation" phone and Richta Competitor on your timing phone


You might also like a handlebar mounted Bluetooth controller for your roadbook reader. Depending on where you buy these they can cost north of $200 or you can buy one of these from Alibaba.com for less than $15...






To explain about these smartphones and apps.

They require a gps chip in the smartphone. Fortunately, so long as your intended phone isn't from the Pæleolithic Era it will be so equipped.

YOU DO NOT NEED NEW PHONES! They don't need SIM cards either. A secondhand or superseded phone from your family collection will do very well.


These free-to-download apps work with both android and iOS devices, however experience has shown that Richta apps run better on iOS devices as the Competitor app requires constant access to the gps chip. There are three apps, RallyMaster for setting the courses, Scoreboard for seeing how everyone has done and Competitor for recording and registering your performance and scores.

Apparently, android devices don't do multitasking so well and if the phone goes into sleep-mode, receives an incoming phone call, message or email it will shut down Richta Competitor while it deals with the incoming AND NOT START IT AGAIN...


The routes and Richta event login details are published to event entrants by email about one week before the event to allow time for loading PDFs into Rally Roadbook Reader or (if you insist) printing to paper to construct a roll. If you want a paper roll you will need to print that yourself from the PDF....


The event is then a *simple* matter of riding the route, following the roadbook instructions and keeping to the average speeds while recording your progress on Richta Competitor. Your results are then downloaded by wifi, Bluetooth or cell to Richta RallyMaster and Scoreboard at the finish.

You can expect to ride the route solo (unless you have entered the Gaia touring class) and potentially not see anyone for the whole day. Entries can be found on the Shop tab of this website.



Winter 2023-24 is showing itself to be warmer and wetter than the previous two winters. In previous years snow has blocked the roads above 600m and north-facing until the end of May. This year the snow conditions are much less severe (at least on Vancouver Island). I was able to ride routes up to 1000m on New Year's Eve and aside from a very cold but bone-dry week in mid January, the weather continues to be warm and wet.



This next bit may be tempting fate to give us snow up to our kneecaps between now and midsummer BUT if we continue to have mild weather, I would like to run a one-day roadbook event on the last Saturday in April from Sayward Junction.



Sayward April Madness - Fri evening 26 April (sign on), Saturday 27 April (240km and 6250m climbing), Sun 28 April (go home).

Run to the GoldRiver rules, motel and three campsites at Sayward Junction, pub-restaurant, convenience store and CoOp petrol station. The roadbook is written, the route has been ridden by Los Amigos over the winter and was open. Everything now depends on the weather!


I will make the call by the end of February and if the weather continues to be mild, I will open entries for the end of April.


There will also be a Series entry for the three VIME events costing less that entering the events individually. The events are:

  • Sayward April Madness - 26 to 28 April (one riding day)

  • GoldRiver 400 - Les Chemins Sauvage - 27 June to 1 July (four riding days)

  • Sayward September Showcase - 27 to 30 September (two riding days)

Season Pass price and purchase will be announced soon.


Dualsport bike rental for overseas visitors.

I made the acquaintance of Mike Gat, manager of CycleBC www.cyclebc.ca during my recent visit to the Abbotsford motorcycle show. Mike told me they have DRZ400's, DR650's and Kove450's for hire from their Vancouver location in addition to other motorcycles, scooters and bicycles. If you are a prospective overseas visitor who would like to participate in a VIME event, you have the option of renting a Dualsport bike from them, contact mike@cyclebc.ca and say that Jonathan sent you!


Motorcycle industry involvement for 2024.

I am pleased to be able to announce two Nanaimo-area motorcycle industry companies are going to be involved with this year's events. You can expect to see representation from these companies this year.

and






Event logos in the works:

Look out for these as stickers, logos and trophy engravings















These may change a bit over the coming months.


Trraaa-a-bit and stay sane!

Jonathan Binnington 01 Feb 2024

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