The Void 12 Rally (Introduction)

The Void 12 Rally (Introduction)

It is nearing the end of August and in only 11 days The Void Rallymasters will be mailing flags to the 24+ hour riders.  My preparations have already begun and will be accelerating from now until the rally itself.  A lot goes into rally preparation and it covers many areas.  I will create posts for each of the main preparation categories (bike prep, rider gear, rally documentation, route planning and strategy) which explain the steps and thoughts behind my preparations, planning and strategy.

For now, however, I thought I should give you a good overview of The Void Rally, and rallying in general, so anyone not familiar will understand the event.  I could hardly do a better job of describing it than The Void Rally sponsors themselves, so I have simply included it below: 

“Welcome to the twelfth annual running of The Void.  Over the past couple of years we have offered riders a challenge or two in The Void that resided primarily in the planning; Voidopoly (our twisted version of Monopoly), the TV & Movie theme, and try as you might to forget, who could forget Yahtzee! 

What we have realized in retrospect is the locations have been a little, uh, dull… A post office to take a picture of here, a big box store for a receipt there, a statue or two to place your flag on– nothing to really write home about despite the fact they tied into that year’s theme. Well not this year bucko!! If it’s weird, unusual, off color, or many colors, different, creepy or just plain whack-a-doodle you can count on it being in this year’s bonus list. You will experience a cornucopia of the things that will make you want to visit the rest of the bonus list on your own time.  

Of course there will be the subtle nuances that make The Void what you have come to know and love… okay, maybe really like a lot.  So if you have been saying for the last 13 years that you really should have ridden The Void this year – now is the time for action. No guarantees, no bold proclamations of being the premiere rally, no claims to awesome swag, just a MFGTTBOAM.

This photo bonus rally will roll three simultaneous 24+ hour rallies with one 10-hour mini rally.
In the 24+ hour rally format, riders will have the opportunity to start from one of three locations:

Wilkes-Barre, PA / Franklin, TN / Kingsland, GA

Within a designated time window, 24+ hour riders will obtain a receipt from their start location and contact rally headquarters prior to starting their ride.
Since there is no way to even the playing field with three start locations, each 24+ hour Rally start location will be scored as an individual rally.
Rally Books will be e-mailed and Rally Towels will be mailed to all 24+ hour riders.

In the 10-hour mini-rally riders will start from and finish at Rally Headquarters located in Fredericksburg, VA. Bonus locations will be e-mailed to riders; Rally Towels and Rally Books will be handed out Friday evening prior to start.

The Void, much like every other rally (see ‘Other Rally Links’ page) is part scavenger hunt, part trivia quiz, part poker run, part marathon, and 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.  For instance, in the 2008 Void the bulk of the Bonus Locations were golf themed and in 2007 it was a red-neck theme.  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.

The Void 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, 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.”

*** All times Eastern daylight time***

June 10, 2017
Registration Opens

July 20:
No registration fee refunds after this date.
August 18:
Registration closes. Entry fees must be received on or before 18 August 2017. Registration fees received after 18 August 2017 will not be accepted.
September 2:
Rally Flags mailed out to 24+ hour riders
September 9:
NLT 10:00 a.m. rally bonus locations e-mailed
September 13:
Rally books e-mailed to 24-hour riders.
Friday September 15:

  • Pennsylvania Starters:
    • 8:20 – 8:30 a.m. Receipt window
    • 8:20 – 8:40 a.m. Text-in window
  • Georgia Starters (I will be starting here):
    • 8:40 – 8:50 a.m. Receipt window
    • 8:40 – 9:00 a.m. Text-in window
  • Tennessee Starters: (these are eastern times)  
    • 9:00 – 9:10 a.m. Receipt window
    • 9:00 – 9:20 a.m. Text-in window
  • 5:00 p.m. Check-in Opens for 10-hour riders
  • 6:30 p.m. Check-in Closes for 10-hour riders
  • 7:00 p.m. Mandatory Rider’s Meeting for 10-hour riders

Saturday September 16:

  • 5:45 a.m. Riders’ Meeting for 10-hour riders
  • 6:00 a.m. 10-hour riders depart
  • 2:00 p.m. Scoring Opens
  • DNF (Did Not Finish) starts 31 hours after start for 24-hour riders
  • 5:00 p.m. DNF starts for 10-hour riders
  • 7:00 p.m. Banquet Starts

Fredericksburg Hospitality House
2801 Plank Rd
Fredericksburg, VA 22401

The Void will once again be asking riders to make a charitable contribution to The Fisher House

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