Rallymaster Critique of the Course

Leg 1 Guasti

The first leg was designed to give a quick start to the scoring and give beginners an early look at a checkpoint. It also contained a small trap to set the tone of the event.

The map provided (1a) showed only three roads that met the criteria of a north-south road within the boundaries of I-10, Airport, Archibald and Haven; the short bit of Old Brookside to the north of Guasti, Guasti south of Old Brookside and Turner south of I-10. Having no additional information (Expert anyway) forced you to devise a search pattern to find the Checkpoint.

One possibility could have been to approach via Guasti Rd., take a peek south on Guasti and north on Old Brookside after crossing Archibald; then, not seeing the in-marker, turning left on Old Brookside to reach Turner. Unfortunately this pattern does not fully cover all the possible checkpoint locations as there is a short segment of Turner north of Old Brookside.

The correct pattern was to approach from Guasti Rd., sight south on Guasti and north on Old Brookside. Not seeing the in-marker, travel north on Archibald, east on I-10 and south on Haven to get back to E. Guasti Rd. headed toward Turner. Turning left on Turner brought you to the hose. If you were early (we allowed a bit of extra time), you could have turned right on the dead-end section of Turner and crept through a U-turn before reaching the hose. This would have not been considered evasive action as you were not on officially in the checkpoint area until south of E. Guasti.

Leg 2 Mountain Ave.

Leg 2 was conceived as a Passage Control (not staffed) from the outset to insure your approach to Standoff for 3 and 4. Experts received no additional information, so they had to determine the location of Checkpoint 2 based on available time alone. All other classes were told that Mountain Ave. was safe south of 24th Street. This clue placed the checkpoint (passage control sign in this case) at the north end of Mountain Ave.

Map 1b was provided to show the north end of Mountain Ave. at Euclid. In reality, Mountain Ave. continues all the way north to Mt. Baldy Rd.; but, this indication was removed from the official map to eliminate the need to search Mountain Ave. from Mt. Baldy Rd. (there was insufficient time to execute such a search pattern).

Using Euclid to reach Mountain Ave. then turning south on Mountain brought you to the passage control sign (the sign also identifies the loop out of the checkpoint area on Mountain Dr.).

Leg 3 Glendora Ridge Road

Leg 3 gave the navigator a bit of a rest and the driver a bit of fun. After looping out of the Checkpoint 2 Passage Control, the route proceeded up Mt. Baldy Road to the village of Mt. Baldy. From there a seven mile run along Glendora Ridge Rd. brought you to the Standoff for legs 3 and 4. This stretch was also designed to provide an odometer check (required for the minimum speed control in Leg #6).

At Standoff a compass bearing was provided for Checkpoint 4; but, Experts and Regulars received no information about Checkpoint 3. However, the location of Checkpoint 3 should have been obvious.

There was a paddle marker plainly visible at Standoff with the number 4.55 on it. The passage control picture for Leg 3 depicted a paddle marker with the number 3.00 on it. Since all passage control signs had to be within 0.5 miles of a staffed checkpoint (if there was one), the checkpoint had to be between 1.05 and 2.05 miles west of the Standoff.

Leg 4 Glendora Mountain Road

The compass bearing at Standoff should have shown that Checkpoint 4 was located on the section of Glendora Mountain Rd. that lay south of Sierra Madre Ave. If your compass bearing was off, the very existence of Map 1d should have given you another clue to this fact.

That meant that the northern section of Glendora Mountain Rd. was safe and could be used to reach Sierra Madre. But.......SURPRISE......Glendora Mountain Rd. was closed at Glendora Ridge. This forced you to stay on Glendora Ridge Rd. north, cross over to CA-39 on E. Fork Rd., then south on San Gabriel Canyon (CA-39) into the north end of Azusa where you turn east on Sierra Madre Ave. The time allowed for Leg 4 may have been a clue that this would be the route; however, Glendora Mountain Rd. is very slow and twisty, so the time available may not have been conclusive.

Now Map 1d became important. The bearing taken from Standoff (if accurate) would have placed the checkpoint near the southern end of Glendora Mountain. If your bearing was somewhat inaccurate, the safest approach was to find the south end anyway. The preferred route was N. Loraine Ave. to E. Comstock to Elmgrove which brought you to the southern terminus of Glendora Mountain.

Leg 5 Lytle Creek Road

Map 1c was provided to help you navigate a route from Checkpoint 4 south to I-210 east. The shortest route to the freeway was to use Lone Hill Ave. south from Foothill (San Dimas was also a quick way to get there).

Experts were told Checkpoint 5 was north of Duncan Canyon, tempting them to gamble on the existence of an off-ramp at Duncan Canyon (nope!). All other classes were told the checkpoint was north of Summit Ave. which established the search pattern from Summit north (Map 1e).

The tricky part here was actually following Summit Ave. to find Lytle Creek Rd. Novice and Beginner classes were warned about the reroute of Summit Ave. (versus the map); however, Experts and Regulars had to figure it out on the fly.

The preferred route was I-210 east, I-15 north, exit at Summit Ave., turn left on Summit, then left again to stay on Summit. This brought you to the section of Lytle Creek Rd. between Summit and Duncan Canyon that had just reopened.

Searching north on Lytle Creek brought you to Duncan Canyon where you turned back west to cross over the freeway to find the continuation of Lytle Creek to the north and the location of the hose for Checkpoint 5.

Leg 6 Cajon Rd. frontage (Route 66)

Before reaching Checkpoint 6, Course Control 1 had to be collected. There were two possible routes. First, after Checkpoint 5, you could have used the freeway north (at Sierra Ave.) then exited at Glen Helen Parkway headed northeast. Or, you could have used I-215 south, exiting at Devore to find Devore Rd. north. Glen Helen, which was open during pre-check, had been re-closed.

The course control sign was just west of the intersection of Devore Rd. and Kenwood Ave., clearly marked on Map 1e. After collecting CC 1, Kenwood Ave. led you to the stop sign referenced in the Route Instructions for Leg 6.

This was a minimum speed checkpoint and from the stop sign it was 5.53 miles to the hose which had to be crossed at 30 mph or better. The checkpoint location was actually on the frontage road that ran along the right side (while headed north) of Cajon Blvd. This frontage was actually the old northbound lanes of the original Route 66. The RI told you to enter the frontage road 4.85 miles north of the stop sign at Kenwood, so this was actually an exercise in T&D rallying with a speed change.

The solution then was to calculate how long it would take to travel the 4.85 miles from the stop to the frontage road entrance at 55 mph, then how long it would take to traverse the last 0.68 miles to the hose at 30 mph (or 35 to be safe). Using 35 for the last bit, you should have left the stop at Kenwood 6.46 minutes before your in-time at the hose, traveled at 55 up Cajon Blvd, then 35 on the frontage road to reach the hose on time.

Unfortunately, the sign placed at the entrance to the frontage road had blown over and most of the beginners missed it. For this reason Leg #6 was excluded from scoring in the Beginner Class.

Leg 7 Crestline

This leg was also designed as a drivers leg, at least until reaching Crestline. It was also included to give us time to reset the checkpoint crews for the second half of the rally and was never meant to be staffed.

The passage control sign should have been easy to find after traversing east on CA-138 to Old Mill Road and traveling south to the village of Crestline. The tough part is navigating through this village which can be confusing. The trick was to head south on Lake at Knapps Cutoff and stay on Lake when it turns to the west which leads to CA-138 straight ahead. From there, heading down the hill to CA-18 (toward San Bernardino) will ultimately bring you to CA-30 which should have been taken to the east to reach the break at Highland Ave. in Highland.

Leg 8 Oak Glen

After the break, the Standoff/Restart location was easily found near the end of Highland Ave. just before CA-330.

At Restart you were given compass bearings for the next three checkpoints.

On the way to Checkpoint 8, you also had to collect Course Control 2, which limited your route options. The compass bearing for 8 should have indicated that the checkpoint could only be on Oak Glen Rd. and not Wildwood Canyon. This fact hinted that Wildwood Canyon was safe (which it was) and could have been used to reach the eastern end of the east-west stretch of Oak Glen Rd. so you could safely search Oak Glen westbound. However, there was insufficient time allowed to execute this at legal speeds and still collect CC #2.

So, the only approach possible was to consider the tiny loop that appeared to be north of Oak Glen Rd. just to the west of the village of Oak Glen. This meant having to travel east (the wrong way on the hot road) on Oak Glen Rd., then use the loop to avoid the section of Oak Glen containing the checkpoint (which had to be entered headed west). This was the correct route; however, the last surprise was that Oak Glen Rd. was the northern section of that loop, although the map depicts the main road as the southern section of the loop. This southern bit (Potato Canyon) should have been used to loop back around to Oak Glen Rd. headed west.

A final bit of skullduggery involved the passage control sign for Leg 8. There was a similar sign (but not exactly the same) before the hose on Oak Glen that had the letter V attached to it. Any competitor that took this as the passage control for 8 and then ignored the in-marker maxed the leg.

So, the full route to 8 was to continue east on Highland Ave. from Restart, following Church St. south to Greenspot Rd. (you could have also used the freeway, CA-30, south to 5th Street which became Greenspot Rd.). Heading east on Greenspot to find CC #2, then south to CA-38, east to Bryant St. and then south brought you to Oak Glen Rd.

This leg proved to be much harder than we anticipated, given that every Regular and Expert maxed it. Some argued that the map showed Oak Glen as the southern portion of the loop regardless of the road signs indicating otherwise. Others likely tried to use Wildwood Canyon to reach Oak Glen, and then found they didn have enough time.

A big part of effective navigation is to be able to quickly respond to on-route situations that are unexpected. The fact that the map was ambiguous was intentional.

Anyone attempting to use Wildwood Canyon should have paid closer attention to the mileage vs. time available.

Leg 9 Lakeview

The compass bearing at Restart for checkpoint 9 should have passed just to the east of the little town of Lakeview on Map 3. After Checkpoint 8 the preferred route was to use Potato Canyon again to get back to Oak Glen Rd. headed east, then south towards Beaumont. Crossing I-10 in Beaumont put you on CA-79 southbound to Ramona Expressway. The two possible checkpoint roads were not shown on Map 3; but were on Map 3a. Map 3a also showed that Reservoir and Orange intersect. This set up two possible search patterns given that the checkpoint (if staffed) had to be within 0.5 miles of Orange (see passage control sign):

From Ramona Expressway:

1. Hansen to Lakeview Ave. E to Orange (where you could sight north or south to possibly see the in-marker). If you saw the in-marker north, you could simply turn left and enter the checkpoint; however if the in-marker was south you would have continued straight on Lakeview Ave. E and turned right on 6th Street to reach the southern end of Orange.

2. Lakeview Ave. to Reservoir searching east

The available time was a bit tight for the Orange option and since you had to approach the town on Ramona Expressway, you should have been able to see the timing car on Reservoir just west of Orange. Turning left on Hansen, then left again on Reservoir brought you to the hose.

Leg 10 Ellis/Mapes

Leg 10 was included to allow the control crews enough time to get into position for the rally ending maze on Temescal Canyon Rd. For this reason, leg 10 was designed to be un-staffed.

The compass bearing from Standoff/Restart was inconclusive as it should have dissected both Ellis Ave. and Mapes Rd. The compass bearing was important, however, to place the checkpoint east of I-215. There were segments of both Ellis Ave. and Mapes Rd. west of I-215 as well (see Map 3).

So another search was needed and the direction of entry defined the pattern. The preferred route was to travel south from Lakeview on Hansen (Lakeview Ave. appears shorter, but is slower) to the unnamed road (Montgomery) heading southwest to Nuevo Rd., then south on Menifee Rd. to Ellis Ave. From there, Ellis was easily searched to the west (enough time was allowed to search Ellis west of the unnamed north-south road that connected to Mapes; but, this shouldn have been an option if your compass bearing was accurate). Since the passage control sign did not appear on Ellis, the unnamed road (Antelope) was followed south to reach Mapes Rd. headed west where the pictured sign was located.

Leg 11, 12 and 13 Temescal Canyon Road

The final three legs comprised the rally closing challenge of the event. To begin, Course Control #3 had to be collected on the way to Standoff 11, 12, 13. The CC defined the route from Checkpoint 10 and gave our crews a bit more time to set up the final controls.

From the Leg 10 passage control there were two viable options to reach CC #3. One was to continue south on Menifee to CA-74, enter I-215 north, exit at 4th Street in Perris (staying on CA-74) and head west on Ellis Ave. to Santa Rosa Mine Rd. The other was to head back north on Menifee and take San Jacinto Ave. west into Perris. The time worked either way.

After collecting CC #3 the preferred route was Lake Mathews Rd. to Cajalco Rd. which was followed to I-15. The Standoff was one off ramp south (Weirick Rd.) of Cajalco on the west side of I-15.

At Standoff all competitors received some information (a first for the Experts) to help negotiate the final 3 checkpoints.

Experts and Regulars were told that Temescal Canyon Rd. was safe east of I-15. The Regulars got a few more clues; but, this one statement was sufficient to solve the entire maze. Novices received a lengthy handout at the start of the rally to give them ample time to figure it out.

All three checkpoints were on Temescal Canyon Rd. and since Temescal Canyon was safe east of I-15, there were only 2 sections of road where the checkpoints could be located. The north-most, near Glen Ivy Hot Springs could be reached southbound from the first off ramp south of Standoff or northbound from the second off ramp south of Standoff. The south-most, near Alberhill, could be reached southbound from the second off ramp south of Standoff or northbound from the third off ramp south of Standoff.

The next clue was in the Route Instructions. Both checkpoints 11 and 12 were located on Maps 3 and 3a, while checkpoint 13 was only on Map 3. Therefore checkpoint 13 had to be on the southern, west side segment of Temescal Canyon Rd. since Map 3a showed all of the northern west side segment.

Checkpoint 11 had to be entered headed towards the City of Corona or essentially in a northwesterly direction (the actual checkpoint was located on an east-west stretch of Temescal Cyn.). So the northern west side segment had to be searched from the south. Leaving Standoff on I-15 southbound, the second off ramp south (Indian Truck Trail) should have been used to get back on Temescal Canyon headed generally northwest. After passing back under I-15 (putting you back on the west side of the freeway), you came quickly to the hose for Checkpoint 11.

Now you only had 3 minutes to reach Checkpoint 12, on Temescal Canyon headed south. So, it had to be pretty close. Map 3a showed a small loop was possible by taking Maitri Rd. and Wrangler Way. This loop brought you back to Temescal Canyon just north of Checkpoint 11.

That left Checkpoint 13 down at the south end of Temescal Canyon Rd. which could have been easily reached by simply heading south on Temescal; however, that would have taken you back through Checkpoint 11 backwards.

So, the correct route was to use the Maitri-Wrangler loop once again to avoid Checkpoint 11 and get back to Temescal north of Checkpoint 12. From there heading north on Temescal, south on I-15 back to the Indian Truck Trail exit then south on Temescal to the final checkpoint. Nothing to it, right?

We hope you enjoyed the rally and that your air conditioning worked OK.

Thank you for your participation and we hope to see you October 8 in Valencia for The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.