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July 8, 2008 6:56 AM   Subscribe

Rental Car Rally. (From the guys who brought Street Wars to NYC). That is all.
posted by allkindsoftime (29 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
A car race where speeding is expressly forbidden is an exercise in either driving while not under the influence of sleep and/or pure mathematics.
posted by DU at 7:03 AM on July 8, 2008


It's only 400 miles, and they are suggesting 12 hours for it. Unless the checkpoints are bizarre and random, that doesn't strike me as much of a challenge..
posted by Brockles at 7:07 AM on July 8, 2008


That's all kinds of lame.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:19 AM on July 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


Oh, wait. It's NYC people who normally ride the subway/bus and don't get behind the wheel of a car much.

*resists urge to hate on cooped up New Yorkers who cook up contrived events in vain attempts to escape the crushing ennui of living in NYC*
posted by Burhanistan at 7:21 AM on July 8, 2008 [3 favorites]


Brockles: I crossed the border from NY to Quebec last week. This was a Monday afternoon at about 1pm. It took almost an hour. If they've got any great quantity of cars participating in this challenge, it wouldn't be entirely impossible for it to take 8+ hours to make the drive. Not to mention that the speed limit in plenty of New York is 55mph.

And DU, this doesn't appear to be one of them, but there is a whole class of rally driving based entirely on being precise. The point of a time-distance rally is to follow, exactly, the directions and arrive at the checkpoints at the right time with the right odometer reading. That means obeying speed limits (or following the instructed limits) and (in some cases) interpreting the directions based on somewhat cryptic rules. I think it's kind of neat, actually.

That said, New York to Montreal is a really boring drive.
posted by uncleozzy at 7:21 AM on July 8, 2008


Yeah, the rules make it clear that you have to drive along a lot of non-interstate road to make it to the check points. And from the tone of it, the challenge part is secondary to the idea of fun, if this sounds fun to you.
posted by jasonsmall at 7:25 AM on July 8, 2008


As a cooped up New Yorker who has also never been to Montreal it looks pretty fucking fun to me.
posted by josher71 at 7:30 AM on July 8, 2008


Oh, I missed the bit about the off-highway checkpoints. That might make it at least a little interesting. Because there are bits of I-87 that are just mind-numbing. And the bits that are mind-numbing and smooth really tempt you to see how light your car gets at double the speed limit.
posted by uncleozzy at 7:31 AM on July 8, 2008


Seems like an autistic meetup to me.
posted by b1tr0t at 7:33 AM on July 8, 2008 [3 favorites]


At $4 a gallon of gas, no thanks.
posted by cazoo at 7:40 AM on July 8, 2008 [5 favorites]


Looks interesting.

This reminds me of an airplane "race" I was in. For a bunch of amateurs (students in our case) with a wide variety of equipment, I think this style of race is the fairest way to go:

We were given four or five coordinates where there would be a landmark ("White Church") and a symbol traced out on the ground with black tarpaulin. We had a set amount of time (half an hour, if I remember right) to plot a course, calculate time enroute and fuel burn, and work out the winds etc. We were then sequestered and driven out to the aircraft where our spotters got in the plane and the judges dropped a GPS in the luggage compartment. The GPS was used to judge us based on how closely we followed the course. Since this was about pilotage as much as anything else, all our navigation instruments were blocked off or otherwise disabled.

So starting with full tanks, you fly the course, write down what symbol you see at each checkpoint, try to keep your speed constant, and then come back and land. Fill up the tanks again to figure out how much fuel you actually burned, and then that value, time enroute, proper symbols written down, all contribute to your score.

They showed us an overlay of all of the contestants' GPS tracks at the awards ceremony. I think someone ended up in the next state.
posted by backseatpilot at 7:44 AM on July 8, 2008


it wouldn't be entirely impossible for it to take 8+ hours to make the drive.

Well, yeah. That was my point. They have 12, and it isn't outside the realms for it to maybe take 8. That's a hell of a lot of 'navigation exercise' leeway.

Bless the city people for thinking driving (and navigation) is hard. Aw. They are encouraging GPS use, never mind banning it, just to take any semblance of difficulty out of it.
posted by Brockles at 9:02 AM on July 8, 2008


cazoo writes "At $4 a gallon of gas, no thanks."

Even at a measly 20 mpg if you split it four ways your only talking $40 a piece. Pretty cheap entertainment. Car rental or wear and tear on your own ride and incidentals like road food, tolls, registration fee and accommodation will likely be a much bigger expense.
posted by Mitheral at 9:20 AM on July 8, 2008


I don't know that this is really about difficulty, Brockles. I think it's about going to Canada by some backways you might not take normally and then partying at the end. And that seems like enough to me.
posted by josher71 at 9:21 AM on July 8, 2008


True. Montreal is always good for a party.
posted by Brockles at 9:23 AM on July 8, 2008


I agree, as a cooped up New Yorker doing strange things can be pretty fucking fun.

It's not about the actual driving, it's the combination of a group of wacky New Yorkers with their wacky friends all leaving the state in one wacky orgy, convening in another country to swap wacky stories and generally do wacky things.
posted by teabag at 9:25 AM on July 8, 2008


cook up contrived events in vain attempts
to escape
the crushing ennui of living in NYC


Hey, I didn't realize I had a little poem embedded in my snark. God bless unintentional poetry embedded in snark.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:27 AM on July 8, 2008


Brockles writes "Bless the city people for thinking driving (and navigation) is hard. Aw. They are encouraging GPS use, never mind banning it, just to take any semblance of difficulty out of it."

The event appears to be about the drive and the adventure not the challenge of competing against a clock. 12 hours for people not used to driving 800 miles in two days is quite reasonable, especially when you factor in a boarder crossing and that a significant portion of the route is claimed to be non highway. When I'm preparing an event like this I always make sure that the checkpoints are "conveniently" located at or very near points of interest. So after each team checks in there is something to absorb their attention for a few minutes. See the sights, take a few pictures, get some unique food, have a stretch, that kind of thing.
posted by Mitheral at 9:28 AM on July 8, 2008


I did this during a snowy part of the winter. Our GPS's instructions provided the unexpected twists. At one stage it directed us off the main road and down an icy byway for several miles. Eventually we turned a corner to see a panoramic vista of lake Champlain frozen solid. The instructions "Now take the ferry!".
posted by rongorongo at 9:34 AM on July 8, 2008 [3 favorites]


It's like 24 Hours Of LeMons with new cars and no hoonage. Or, therefore, fun.
posted by nicwolff at 9:38 AM on July 8, 2008


Meh to unnecessary driving, polluting, spending, but as a cooped up NYCer I am tempted to sign up for the next StreetWars in Sept. Anyone here taken part in one?
posted by adamms222 at 9:41 AM on July 8, 2008


rongorongo: Ha! During our drive back from Montreal last week--in heavy rain--we decided to stop in Burlington, VT. Of course, to get back into New York, you've got to cross Lake Champlain. After quite a bit of local road driving through Podunk, VT, I glanced up at the TomTom, whose next instruction was a right turn onto Ferry Rd. "Odd," I thought. At the next red light I examined the route. The usual turn icon was replaced with an icon of a boat for the subsequent instruction. No, TomTom, I don't think I'll wait for the ferry in a thunderstorm, thanks. The moral of the story: look at the damn route before you start driving, dummy.
posted by uncleozzy at 9:45 AM on July 8, 2008


cooped up New Yorkers who cook up contrived events in vain attempts to escape the crushing ennui of living in NYC

Excuse me. In terms of interesting things to do on a daily basis, my city will beat the holy living fuck out of your city. And I don't have to drive to get there.

yes i realize i took the bait
posted by fungible at 9:46 AM on July 8, 2008


In terms of interesting things to do on a daily basis

The menu may be longer, but the dishes are full of non-nutritive ingredients.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:50 AM on July 8, 2008


Ahem, I say this as a former Houstonian - a place where the main tourist attraction is a mall.

(The Mexican food is certainly superior though, but that's to be expected.)
posted by fungible at 9:53 AM on July 8, 2008


The point of a time-distance rally is to follow, exactly, the directions and arrive at the checkpoints at the right time with the right odometer reading. That means obeying speed limits (or following the instructed limits) and (in some cases) interpreting the directions based on somewhat cryptic rules.

This sounds way too much like driving to work with road construction detours for it to be appealing to me.
posted by quin at 10:21 AM on July 8, 2008


"especially when you factor in a boarder crossing"

Never, ever cross your boarders. They'll get even.

Oh yes, they will get even.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 10:25 AM on July 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


Does upstate New York still have all those blasted hills on the side roads?
posted by drezdn at 1:06 PM on July 8, 2008


The provision in the rules about what qualifies as a car is excellent. And not like English teacher excellent...I'm talking pure Bill & Ted excellent.
As long as you have at least 2 wheels and a motor, you are good to go. If you happen to have a motorized unicycle, screw you, you can't play. Asshole.The gall. Thinking they can ride motorized unicycles without any consequences. effing people.
posted by ThusSpakeZarathustra at 12:38 PM on July 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


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