By Brandon Harer
July 17, 2021
Rallymaster Brandon Harer delivered a “lightly trapped” romp through the foothills of Mt. Hood. The route traveled from its start at Milwaukie Lowe’s to Orient, Corbett, Bull Run, and Zig Zag and ended at Paola’s Pizza Barn in Sandy. The 100-mile drive took about 3 1/2 hours to complete including a mid-rally break. The route crossed the Sandy River six times and provided spectacular scenery and fun-to-drive roads.
What the rallymaster said:
Sometimes it does pay off to use roads close to home that you're familiar with. The CSCC Rallymaster Guide recommends this and reiterates that you'll be driving them many times. The end odometer calibration location was a brand new housing subdivision about a mile from my home. A grid of freshly paved roads that will soon have new homesites. I had originally planned on popping over to take photos of the first several cars as they began the timed section headed for the first passage control. Then head home and observe the rally progress from the Richta Rallymaster app's map, fielding any calls that may come in.
The phone rang. Just as I was pulling out of the driveway, Car 1 asks "you intended for cars to go down 40th Street?"
These construction crews don't work a typical 5-day workweek, it turns out. Several construction vehicles, a cement truck in particular, happened to be pouring sidewalks right between NRI 16 and NRI 17 thus completely blocking the route where teams would be validating their odometer mileage against the rallymaster's. End calibration at "STOP" then left, then left on 190th? Where's 190th? Which stop signs are we supposed to use?
You may have seen a fella in the middle of the road waving down cars on foot, flailing out the car window going the wrong direction and pointing to a stop sign? That was yours truly.
Good work, teams, for persevering and figuring out where to start. The PC2 GPS restart did not trigger for all cars as they had to go up a block to bypass the construction. That is until it cleared up minutes later so some cars had a wide open road and were able to follow the NRIs without issue. Go figure. We did not score Leg 3 due to variable mileages and the app potentially not timing all contestants equally from PC2 to PC3.
And this followed multiple road signs going missing between the original course development runs and the course checkout, requiring some adjustments.
I hope competitors enjoyed some of my favorite East County roads and the scenic vistas in many directions. With the (newer, longer) Saturday format we're able to use roads further out which Cascade probably hasn't rallied down before - or in decades.
There were a few opportunities to see other rally cars as you looped back to begin a new section. This is something I have enjoyed on rallies and giving a tap on the horn and a friendly wave. I wish I could have joined you at the end location as another reminder that we're headed towards "normalcy". For those who did and had pizza - hope it was fun!
The big payoff for this event was following the competitor's GPS signals as they progressed through the route. I am quite a map nerd and have also been rallying for many years. To be able to see where cars are at and identify when they miss a turn -- oh, they've figured it out and are turning back -- let alone refresh the Scoreboard app to see how standings are in the moment... well, we've come a long way, baby! You used to just wait at the pizza place and maybe they'd call you trying to describe the bridge they're at where the road turned to gravel after they last saw another rally car 45 minutes ago. The Richta timing system allows us to have more checkpoints and generate results just after the last car passes the last passage control. Let alone other numerous advantages for the contestants.
Thanks for attending this CSCC event. There were some excellent leg scores, especially in the afternoon when contestants got more into the groove. Special thanks to Geargrinders Co-Chairs Monte and Victoria Saager for handling so many administrative aspects so we can enjoy the drive.
PS: Bob and Cheri from the Seattle area weren't the long distance award winners this time, we welcomed Steve and Kathryn from Bellingham and Friday Harbor, respectively. Alas, the July rally's furthest from home distinction goes to Car 17 - former Geargrinders Chairs Marinus and Renee Damm from Black Hawk, Colorado! That red E30 BMW's previous Oregon plate was "2ND OPP". We also had a Tabor Rally Team face off hearkening back to the late 90's. Matt Tabor is also a former CSCC rally chairman as was Car 18 navigator Ben Bradley. Thank you all for coming.
What one rallier said:
Enjoyed the rally. Some challenging curves. Roads I hadn’t seen before.
Congratulations to the winners:
The three teams with the lowest scores were all running in the Unlimited class, which allows use of external odometers, rally computers and calculators.
First overall was the team of Bob Morseburg and Cheri Eddy with 4 points. They zeroed 11 of the 15 timed legs. That’s just 4 seconds error over a three and half hour event. Amazingly precise. We’ve come to expect nothing less from the SCCA Road Rally Lifetime Points leader.
Second overall was the team of Paul Eklund and Yulia Smolyansky with 15 points, also an impressive performance. With 9 leg scores of zero, they averaged just one second error per leg.
Finishing third overall was the team of Marinus and Renee Damm with 40 points. They zeroed 7 legs and got 1 point on 6 legs. Damm good rallying. (RRR)
In the unequipped category, first in the SOP class was the team of Marcus Gattman and Kerrie Steffenson with 88 points, including 4 zeroes and 7 single-digit leg scores. Marcus and Kerrie are your rallymasters for the August Saturday Series Rally. Don’t miss it!
Second SOP was the team of Matt Tabor and Haley Tabor with 118 points. They had one zero and 7 single-digit leg scores. Nicely done, father and daughter team!
Bill and Kelly Ferber finished third SOP with a score of 139, including a zero and 7 single-digit leg scores. Good finish!
In the Novice class, finishing in first place was the team of Jason Krieg and Luke Glass. Second Novice was Lee Nielsen and Chuck Winkler. Angus and Wendy Proud finished third Novice on their first CSCC road rally. Congratulations!
By Kasey Klaus and Torm Kelsey Green
Rallymasters Kasey Klaus and Torm Kelsey Green delivered a great Saturday Rally on June 12 using roads less traveled. It was a tour-style rally, meaning it included no route following challenges (tricks and traps). The drive was about 100 miles from the start in northwest Portland to the ending location at the famous Helvetia Tavern near Hillsboro. It took a bit over 3 1/2 hours to complete the event including a mid-rally break in North Plains.
The event had 31 timed checkpoints, the most scored legs of any event yet this season, which kept teams focused on staying on time all the time. Participants seemed to enjoy the more frequent feedback. (Shorter legs, lower leg scores.)
The twisty, hill climbing and hill descending parts of the route traveled through lush moss-covered Pacific rain forest and through clear-cut with brief panoramic views across the valley. The route followed Skyline, then down Logie Trail to Hwy 30, up Newberry back to Skyline, down Rocky Point Road to Hwy 30, and up McNamee Road back to Skyline. Then, Springville, Kaiser, Germantown, Old Cornelius Pass, Phillips, Helvetia, West Union. Vineyards, orchards, fields of wheat. The entire rally route was fun to drive.
There were no “challenges” but there was a challenge to overcome. The sections on Hwy 30 required teams to travel through traffic signals. For some teams the signals would be green - no delay. For others the signals would be red causing a delay of up to a minute. We didn’t want teams to try to pause along the highway then try to get back out in traffic at CAST, nor did we want to make some teams have to take a time allowance while other teams did not. So we gave them a set amount of time to complete the Hwy 30 section. Each time had seven minutes regardless of whether they had to stop at the signal. That strategy seemed to work. Everyone had the same amount of time to complete the Hwy 30 section, allowing time for red signals.
What the rallymasters said:
As the rally was getting started, Kasey commented, “I'm feeling pretty good about this.” As they watched the Rallymaster Map showing the teams progressing through the route, she proclaimed, “This is FUN!!!!!” The rallymasters fielded a couple of calls from ralliers, but most everyone stayed on course.
It was fun watching a section of Skyline Boulevard where teams traveled east and then shortly wound around so they were driving the same section but traveling west. The rallymasters imagined the rally teams waved at each other, wondering, “Are they off course or are we?”
What ralliers said:
Thanks folks! We really enjoyed it. This was my favorite of them all so far. We really appreciated having lots of checkpoints. It gave us a lot of feedback. Great job on the route, and as always great job Victoria with all the electronic communication!
Congratulations to the winners:
Congratulations to the top finishers. First overall and first GPS is the team of Bob Morseburg and Cheri Eddy with a score of 35. Second overall and first SOP is the team of Marcus Gattman and Kerrie Steffenson with a score of 131. Third overall and second SOP is the team of Brian and Jamie Anderson with a score of 196.
First Novice was the team of Angelique and Kevin Ortega with a score of 198, just two more points than third overall. Third SOP was the team of Dave and Kathy Sacry with 202 points. Second Novice was John and Susan Lucas with a score of 233. Third Novice was Gene and John Connelly with a score of 270.
Second in the GPS class was the team of Robert Paxman and William Pollard with a score of 301. First Unlimited was Larry Lefebvre and Simon Levear with a score of 360. Second Unlimited was Doug Covey and Michelle Rand.
Lots of legs. Lots of great scores!
By David and JoAnn Gattman
May 15, 2021
April 17, 2021
By Monte and Victoria Saager
The April 17 Saturday Rally provided a beautiful scenic drive that started at Milwaukie Lowe’s and ended at the
Cruise In Diner in Hillsboro. The route was about 90 miles, took just a bit over three hours, and included a mid-rally break at Bald Peak State Park. The route’s twisty windy roads challenged even the best rally teams to be on time at 17 checkpoints.
Thirty cars ran the rally. A few explored some alternate routes along the way. All arrived at the finish. The route crossed over itself and even backtracked on short sections of road in a few places, so teams had an opportunity to see other rally cars going in the opposite directions. The rallymasters were amused, watching these encounters on the Rallymaster Map, imagining that ralliers were asking themselves, “Are we off course or are they off course?” Good reminder that everyone is running their own rally.
This was a lightly trapped, mostly tour-style rally, meaning it included no route following traps. All the route instructions included official mileage, so following the route was straight forward. But the rally did include a few easy challenges.
The rally included three notes which overlapped the numbered route instructions. While a note is active, you are looking for two things at the same time; you’re looking for the reference in the note while you’re also looking for the reference in the next numbered route instruction. Things can get kinda busy when a note is active.
The first note instructed you to PAUSE 15 seconds at "NUEGEBAUER". There was a sign for Neugebauer Road while the note was active, but since the sign and the note were not spelled the same, the note was not used there. In fact there were no correct opportunities to execute the note while it was active. (Always check the spelling of signs quoted in the route instructions.)
The second note instructed you to PAUSE 15 seconds at FERN HILL CEMETERY. There really is a Fern Hill Cemetery (complete with a sign identifying it as such) along the route while the note is active. Teams that did not see it (or forgot they were looking for it) earned a 15-point penalty.
The third note instructed you to PAUSE 15 seconds AFTER OAK KNOLL WINERY. You drive by the winery (correct sign and everything) while the note is active. However, the Road Rally Rules define AFTER as the first intersection beyond the referenced sign or landmark at which the instruction could be executed. So even though you saw the winery, you cannot pause until you get to the next intersection, which doesn't happen until after the last checkpoint. If you pause before the checkpoint, you earned a 15-second penalty.
Q: The Rallymaster Notes state: Also, there are no unintentional spelling errors in the route instructions. What do we do if we find a mis-spelling? Ignore it?
A: Maybe you haven't found the right sign yet. Keep looking.
Q: Please review how and why to take a time allowance.
A: Why take a time allowance? Use a time allowance
to “make up” for being late to start a CZT or to “make up” time you lose during a leg for any reason (traffic, off course excursion, nature stop, etc.). It’s the “get out of jail free” card for road rally. If you can calculate how late you are or how much time you lost, you can use a time allowance to put yourself back “on time” as if you were never late. How to take a time allowance is explained in the Competitor Richta App Instructions.
What ralliers said:
• We are having so much fun doing the rally each month. We are learning so much and it is fun learning new roads to travel. As a kid we did a lot of family drives for entertainment. I have truly enjoyed each rally.
• Thank you for planning and shepherding all of us on last Saturday’s rally. We enjoyed it immensely.
• We had a great time! Challenging roads, well placed traps. Thanks for all you do!
• It was great fun! Thank you Victoria and Monte for all the work you do so we can have fun.
• Fantastic roads with great speeds on some twisty bits had a lot of fun today!
• Nice event as usual Monte and Victoria, thank you for all the work you do to bring these together. Great day for a drive and it was fun.
Congratulate the winners:
Congratulations to all 30 teams. You all completed the rally and found the finish. You are all winners.
Finishing first overall and first in the GPS class is the team of Bob Morseburg and Cheri Eddy. They zeroed four legs, got a score of 1 on eight legs, and finished the rally with a total score of 45. That’s an average of 2.6 seconds per leg over the 17-leg rally. This is rally driving precision we all aspire to. Congratulations, Bob and Cheri!
Second overall and first in the SOP class is the team of Marcus Gattman and Kerrie Steffenson. They had single-digit scores on 14 of the 17 legs, including one zero. Nicely done, Marcus and Kerrie.
Jason Krieg and Justin Wiezorek finished third overall and first Novice. With just 10 points more than the first place SOP team and 13 single-digit leg scores including two zeroes, this is the Novice team to watch this season. Two rallies into the six-rally Series, Jason and Justin are in first place Novice Driver and first place Novice Navigator for Series points.
To complete the top three teams in each class, Robert Paxman and William Pollard finished second in the GPS class. They had eight single-digit leg scores, including one zero.
The only entry in the Unlimited class was the team of Michelle Rand and Doug Covey. Doug was a last-minute stand-in as Navigator for this team and this was his first road rally. (What’s a road rally?) Nevertheless, they had six single-digit leg scores and only two maxes. Not too shabby.
Brian and Jamie Anderson finished second in the SOP class, with twelve single-digit leg scores, including one zero. Third in SOP was the team of David and JoAnn Gattman, with twelve single-digit leg scores, including one zero. They had just 11 points more than the Andersons. Close competition!
The second place team in the Novice class was Angelique and Kevin Ortega, with nine single-digit leg scores including two zeroes. Third Novice was Robin and Jon McDermott, with eight single-digit legs and one zero.
March 20, 2021
By Monte and Victoria Saager
February 26/27, 2021
By Monte and Victoria Saager
Cascade’s road rally season opener, the Rally School Rally was a practice event designed to help novice road ralliers learn to play the game. For rally veterans, it was a chance to tune up rally skills for the new season.
Registered teams received invitations to attend a virtual rally school review the night before the event and an after-rally debrief virtual meeting after the rally. Attendees had plenty of questions for the organizers.
The Rally School Rally was originally scheduled for Feb. 20. The checkout was scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 13, but snow kept us in our driveway, so we tried to run the checkout the following Tuesday. There was snow on the roadsides, but road surfaces were clear and mostly dry. It was a beautiful day for a drive in the country.
Until we encountered a road closure due to downed trees. The County couldn’t say when it might reopen. The road was a vital link in our planned rally route with no easy workaround.
We postponed the event to the following Saturday, Feb. 27, in hopes the road would reopen. By Tuesday, the 23rd, the road remained closed and it was obvious we would have to reroute the rally. By Wednesday the new route was measured and calculated, and the new times were entered into the Richta Rallymaster app. Whew!
Unfortunately the delayed rally date cost us some entries. Eight of the 25 registered teams were unable to attend on the rescheduled date. Still we were happy to have 17 teams run the event.
For 11 of the 17 teams, this was their first CSCC rally.
We asked them how they heard about the rally:
• Audi club member forwarded the Facebook invite
• I have been on the lookout for driving events around Portland and found out about your club
via an internet search.
• From the CSCC newsletter.
• Thirty years ago, my girlfriend married a man who worked for Toyota and was big into rally. I was
intrigued then and have wanted to do it all this time. The time is now!!!
• Wife & I heard about the rally's when we learned about & volunteered for a track event last year.
• I always wanted to get involved with the SCCA which is headquartered just up the road from where I grew up in Topeka, KS. Viewing the PIR/SCCA schedule, I noticed CSSC had quite a few events as well. My CSSC research then led me to the TSD Rally! I’m really looking forward to it!
• How did you hear about this rally? PCA
• My husband is interested in auto cross and he was looking at different events surrounding his interest in that he and I could both participate in.
The rally route was about 70 miles from the start in northwest Portland to the ending location in Scappoose. It took under two and half hours to complete the event. The route included a lap around Sauvie Island, a drive up Cornelius Pass to Skyline, down scenic Rocky Point Road (an exciting drive even at 23 mph), a low-land tour of the Scappoose dike, through the backroads of Warren past the House of Many Stones, west into the foothills of the Coast Range to Spitzenberg and up Pisgah Hill, finally emerging out of the forest onto Dutch Canyon, with the final GPS checkpoint just inside the Scappoose city limits.
The rally included 11 timed legs with five CZTs after the start. A CZT is a specific time of day at which an instruction is to be executed. Official mileage was reset to zero at each CZT, which was helpful since all of the route instructions included official mileage.
A fun drive. But a path with purpose.
The rally introduced new ralliers to the fundamentals of Cascade TSD road rally. The rally school portion of the event started with homework - review the Cascade Geargrinders Novice Guide and become familiar with the Road Rally Rules. Then study the Rally School Handout which included the Rallymaster Notes and Route Instructions for the rally. All this reading led up to a virtual Q & A meeting the night before the rally. The virtual Q & A was so successful that attendees requested a virtual debrief after the rally.
Questions before the rally focused on use of the Richta app, trip odometer resets (/0.00), managing your time at a CZT, and best practices for handling materials and devices in the car. The predominant discussion at the after-rally debrief was about time allowances, specifically how to use a time allowance at a CZT.
So, let’s review. Here’s how to use a time allowance when you are late to leave a CZT (time-of-day restart). You arrive at the CZT. What time is it now? What is your restart time? Your restart time is the CZT plus your car number - it displays in your app when you arrive at the CZT. How late are you? Subtract your restart time from actual time. That’s how late you are. Bump that up to the next half minute and that’s how much time allowance you need to take.
For example, say you arrive at the CZT at 12:11:15pm. Your restart time was 12:10:00. You are 1:15 (one minute 15 seconds late). Round that up to the next half minute, so take a time allowance of 1:30. Assuming it took no more than 15 seconds to calculate and enter the time allowance, leave the CZT as soon as you enter the time allowance. If you need more time, add another minute and wait until that time expires before leaving.
In practical terms, you don’t have to stay at the CZT location to perform this calculation. You could just pull up to the CZT, note your arrival time, zero your tripmeter, and continue to execute the route instructions, maintaining CAST, while you calculate and enter the required time allowance. Just make sure you enter it before you reach the next GPS checkpoint (PC). This time allowance is applied to the leg that starts at the CZT and ends at the next PC. As soon as you arrive at that PC, a new leg begins so the time allowance displayed on the app reverts to zero - it’s already been used. Since you started a new leg at the PC, you are on time and you don’t need to re-enter the time allowance for subsequent PCs. However, you do need to repeat this exercise at each subsequent CZT, asking - what time is it now, what time was our restart, are we late, do we need a time allowance? Easy peasy.
What ralliers said after the rally:
• It was fun!
• Looking forward to the next one.
• Thanks for doing this!
• That was really fun!
• We had a great time!
• The Richta app is really easy.
• Beautiful drive and perfect weather!
• We had such a great time.
• Thank you for putting these events on.
• We had a lot of fun!
• That was awesome. Most intense 30-40 mph drive I’ve taken.
• Thanks for the great time. Some pretty countryside up there.
Congratulations to the top finishers:
Finishing first overall and first in the GPS class was the team of Steve Perret and Kathryn Hansen.
Second overall and first in the SOP class was the team of Brian and Jamie Anderson.
Third overall and first Novice was the team of Jan Bliss and Dave Stauff.