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Flashes of insight and paradigm shifts, TSD Regularity Rally to Dualsport Trials….

Bikers are different. Come to that, so are climbers, jumpers, divers and other doers of "l wouldn't do that!"... cut from the same stuff, but if you're reading this you probably already know that!

When I was in Primary school, there was a geodesic half-dome climbing frame. Erected on the tarmac of the school yard. No soft surfaces below, no supervised play. It was for climbing.

Most kids clambered over the lower rungs. Far enough up for them. A few kids went to the top, hung by their legs upside down from the apex. Some stood atop the apex and looked down. A metaphor for lives yet to be lived....

Of course "health and safety" wouldn't allow it now.

Recently I have had a couple of exchanges with individuals from the car Regularity Rally community that began to border on the bad-tempered before I stopped them. But still, I had something to reflect on that had relevance to this developing motorcycle motorsport we are involved in.

I was trying to explain what "Time Speed Distance backcountry dualsport motorcycle navigation trials" were about to someone who is an expert in the precise accomplishment of car TSD regularity rally (time precision of a few seconds over a course that is a hundred miles long) and apparently views motorcycles and their riders as Pandemonium Generators...

"For us", I said "the first thing is not to die, the second is not to crash, the third is not to get lost and the fourth is to try to meet the target times..."

He replied that for him, any event where the order of the day was not to die and not to crash were events to be missed. You could ask how highly he rated his own safety - but that might be pedantic linguistics. Made me think though. Think about differences.

Think about the differences between Time Speed Distance regularity rally in a car, over tarmac roads, never far from civilisation and safety, with cell phone signal, where the challenge is to drive at an exact and precise speed, with a navigator/co-driver monitoring speed and navigation


A motorcycle rider, riding an unstable vehicle, over rough terrain, in the wilderness, no phone signal, with fewer navigation clues, alone. The challenge is to ensure your own safety, while exercising a high-skill activity, in a challenging environment, solo, all the while simultaneously looking after your own navigation and trying to best meet the set time targets (that may be arbitary and set to be impossible to meet).

This last point, I have found, causes great confusion for some of those from the car TSD community (who strive to achieve zero time penalties). To explain, car TSD has developed into the precision speed and time activity it is because making a test of speedy driving on public roads is not possible. You wind up with racing on the public roads.

In the backcountry, racing is also not possible - BUT - the combined challenges of difficult terrain (steep/loose/overgrown/washed out) with few(er) navigation clues and the systematic cartographic distance measuring errors coupled with "hidden" timing checkpoints (to confound attempts to "game" the timing systems by lurking short of CPs) make the possibility of meeting the target times slim to impossible. Intentionally.

Hence, large Time Penalty scores will be racked up over the individually timed legs and the winner will be the rider with the fewest TPs. Tie-breakers will definitely not be needed!

And so, the paradigm shift has been completed,


car road TSD regularities, with the order of

  • speed precision,

  • navigation,

  • driving challenge


bike Dualsport Trials, with the order of

  • Riding challenge

  • Navigation

  • Speed precision

It has taken me a while to get there, but that is the flash of insight. The paradigm shift is complete.


As part of this development, I will in future provide the target times between the Richta Control Points as well as the leg average speeds that go with them. That information will initially be in the form of supplementary data (for the Alberni event) and in future events will be written into the roadbooks.

The exact position of the RCPs will continue to be shrouded in mystery, you will know where they are to within +/- 200m, around the position of average speed changes, but to confound "lurkers" you won't know if you have passed a RCP until your phone tells you.

The difference between bikers and non-bikers has been demonstrated again.

Do you stand on the ground and look up - or do you stand in high places and look down?

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