Enduro check placement

Joined
Aug 29, 2000
Messages
243
Likes
0
#1
In our AMA district, our local enduro rules allow a check to vary from the .1 mile-even minute requirement up to + or - .1 mile from the correct mileage as measured from the last mileage marker. This is different from the AMA rules which call for a variance of .02 miles on check placement. Further, AMA allows for a challenge of any check whick requires the mileage be re-measured using the average of three bikes, preferably one being the bike that originated the mileage, and one being that of the protestor.

I have done some testing of this challenge with some of my friends over various mileage lengths from one to five miles. All of the riders are "A" enduro riders riding the same kind of bike and using the same odo setup. We have yet to get a mileage that agrees within the .02 guidelines. Usually, we see variances between the bikes from .03 to .08 miles depending on conditions and the mileage measured.

The AMA rule also calls for any check in which the average mileage of the three bikes exceeds the .02 variance to be changed to the status of an observation check. In my opinion, based on the testing I have done, almost any check can be challenged successfully. This means that the results in any enduro is subject to manipulation by riders who want to eliminate points at a particular check.

I would like to hear from other districts, their opinions and rules regarding this subject, as I am considering writing a rule change request for submission to the AMA. Thanks for your input.
 

zero_it

Subscriber
Joined
May 20, 2000
Messages
287
Likes
0
#2
When the AMA changed to the .02 mile variance (I believe in 1999) the Northwest Motorcycle Association made a motion to follow suit. We successfully argued that this is totally impossible to comply with. The NMA enduro series is sticking with +/- 1/10 mile tolerance from the last posted mileage marker. Protests are handled just as the AMA does with three bikes: the course marshall, the protestor plus one other.

It is virtually impossible to adhere to the +/- .02 mile (115 feet!) rule. When laying out enduros, I've found it difficult to get that kind of repeatability by myself, much less when comparing three different bikes/odos/front tires and three different riders. Not only is it almost a scientific impossibility, but it also drives everyone who wishes to layout an enduro to buck up and purchase a digital odo that measures down to 1/100 mile increments (or finer). I believe it really takes away from the spirit of the sport when people are arguing over 115 feet of trail.

This is one of those rules that maybe looks good on paper, but is total BS. I would certainly support your effort to make a change to the AMA enduro rules and am certain I could rally the troops in Washington State to help the cause.
 
Joined
Aug 29, 2000
Messages
243
Likes
0
#3
Thanks for your response. I hope others will too. I truly think this rule needs changing.
 
Joined
Apr 20, 2000
Messages
127
Likes
0
#4
We haven't had too many protests at the SERA (Southern Enduro Riders Association) Enduros for mileage. One of our clubs (Acadiana) puts a National on every other year.
I agree that 115' is close, but not impossible. I don't think that you could ever get any three bikes to agree within 50'. I think that +/-0.1 miles is certainly do-able.
Naturally there can be mistakes. Our usual mess up is a check off because the clock was not set correctly.
If you always have a mileage marker before the check (such as a mile marker), then the riders always have a update point for mileage. This means that you only have to have the mileage correct from the mile marker to the check. At the usual 24MPH or 18MPH that is less than one mile from the mile marker to the actual checkpoint.
115' can be made to agree with three bikes if you keep that in mind. If you didn't have the mileage markers up then you would have the entire test section (over 3 miles) from the check-in to the check-out. That would be difficult to get three bikes to agree with odometers.
Just my opinion. How are your checks set and do you have mile markers?

Ed Larosche
Rockford Men's Club (and several other clubs)
 
Joined
Aug 29, 2000
Messages
243
Likes
0
#5
Our District 36 rules call for a mileage marker every five miles, but of course a check can be anywhere in that five mile area. If its closer to a mile from the last mileage marker then it is going to be a lot easier to maintain the variance as required by the AMA. But if you get out to the five mile point, you are not going to get close. The AMA rules also call for a route sheet that indicates turns, direction of turns and mileage at turns, and/or mileage post at every turn. Our clubs do not do this. Again, my experiments have indicated that it is virtually impossible to get three bikes to agree on mileage within the .02 mile standard. Further, I am not sure how this standard affects the expectation of riders for checks to be right on the money. (1.) If no two bikes have the same mileage coming into a check, accuracy of check placement is not as critical. (2.) Riders SHOULD be looking at the 30 sec readout on their computers anyway when they approach a check. (3.) .1 variance in check placement still gets the check well in the minute of placement as required for all reasonable speed averages.

I guess my concern is that the .02 mile standard brings with it more opportunity for challenge than it mitigates problems in accurate check placement.
 
Joined
Jan 31, 2003
Messages
55
Likes
0
#6
Good points Jim. .02 is even more unrealstic when you consider ground conditions and air temp. I've tried the same experiments, and I can't even duplicate my own milage from one weekend to the next. If it's dry when you milage the course but rains before the event, or vice versa, you are lucky to be within .05. Air temp can effect your tire pressure which will change the milage. The only way I can see compliance with that rule would be to put a milage marker right before the check and then place the check line at the last possible moment. Who would have the time or man power for that, and how long would it take the riders to figure out they can ride hot untill they see an odd milage marker? Brad
 
Joined
Aug 29, 2000
Messages
243
Likes
0
#7
Thanks Brad. Good points. We may need to have some "testimonials" from various districts to make a cogent point to the AMA. I'm going forward with this.

BTW. Did you get my message on riding Monday?

Jim
 

Jon K.

Subscriber
Joined
Mar 26, 2001
Messages
1,354
Likes
4
#8
Agreed; .02 is a hard standard to hit, however;

Using the old .1 standard, and at twelve miles an hour; there can be three LEGAL checks in the same spot. :eek:

Math is a funny thing!
 
Joined
Aug 29, 2000
Messages
243
Likes
0
#9
Jon K. I'm not sure I understand your point. Yes, there is the potential to place a check advanced of the accurate point of placement by .1 mile, at the accurate point of placement, or .1 mile beyond the accurate point of placement if you use .1 mile variance. But, you can have only one check, don't forget the three-mile-between-checks rule. If a rider is properly follwoing his/her timekeeping equipment, he/she will be consulting a 30 sec clock which was synchronized to key time, and try to enter a check at thirty seconds into the minute. This precisely brackets the correct time to enter the check irregardless of the accuracy of the mileage assuming you don't have an error greater than the potential for check placement, e.g. .12 miles at a speed average that allows potential placment of checks on each .1 mile.

My concern is not to debate a potential for check placement, but to minimize the potential for a check to be thrown out opportunistically. At .02 miles variance, the probability for success of this type of gambit is significant as compared to a .1 mile variance. Further, no value is gained if a person is keeping time properly by restricting the variance to .02 miles. Again, I see more bad than good in this rule.
 

Jon K.

Subscriber
Joined
Mar 26, 2001
Messages
1,354
Likes
4
#10
Bigbird; you are right, I have mis-spoke (what with being senile and all!). At 12mph there can only be two legal checks in the same spot. As 12mph is two tenths a minute; if the checkpoint is suppose to be on . . . say . . . . 4.2 . . . but was actually placed at 4.1; it is still legal. At the same time; the same actual 4.1 is also legal for the possible that was to fall on 4.0, as the .1 margin works both ways.

It is a 6mph average (yes, we have had those at SERA events) that brings the possibility of three legal checks falling on the same spot. Oops! :o

My point is that the .1 margin is too big. Even at the more common average of 18 mph; (three tenths a minute) a rider riding at the very top of his minute (or a bit hot!) can be confused if a check comes up a tenth quicker than it should. "Hmmmm; I wonder which check that is supposed to be? Is it the one that I am on time for?, or is it the next one?"

Easy enough to remedy. At SERA events we place mile markers every mile. (It is a rule, at least it was last time I checked!) At lot of clubs place the markers strategically so they will fall .1 or .2 tenths ahead of the checks. Maybe that is giving too much away; but we still have plenty of riders busting checks.

As a referee; I always shoot to get the mileage spot on. This can be done with manipulation of the resets (or the average) prior to the check. We can place a check where we want it down to the foot, though it does require some planning and forethought.

I have always thought that .05 would be a good margin.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Aug 29, 2000
Messages
243
Likes
0
#11
Jon K. I agree with you that .1 does leave open more chances for check placement, and have also considered that somewhere in the middle of the two variances was most appropriate. In SERA do you have the limit of 3 miles between checks? In other words, once a check has occured, there cannot be another check for three miles.

I'd like to get a copy of your rulebook. I am the new enduro steward for District 36, and really want to see how others do it. Do you have a website, or one through the AMA that I can download your rules?
 

Jon K.

Subscriber
Joined
Mar 26, 2001
Messages
1,354
Likes
4
#12
Originally posted by Jon K.
At lot of clubs place the markers strategically so they will fall .1 or .2 tenths ahead of the checks. Maybe that is giving too much away; but we still have plenty of riders busting checks.
Oops again; the above should have read ".1 or .2 miles" or maybe "1 or 2 tenths".

Bigbird; SERA rulebook: http://www.dirtrider.net/sera/SERAhmFr1.html

Click on SERA info on the left-hand menu, and scroll all the way to the bottom for the rulebook. I see we do also have the .02 standard.

Yes, we have the three mile rule, but it reads "two miles before, or three miles after, any known controls. This has always applied to checkpoints as well as knowns.

Still, the point is not that two checks would actually be placed on the same spot, but that two checks could be placed on the same spot and both be legal. What is a rider to do?

What are the responsibilities of the district 36 Enduro Steward? Sounds like fun! Sort of like a root canal!
 
Last edited:

Timr

Lifetime Sponsor
Joined
Jul 26, 1999
Messages
1,972
Likes
2
#13
Originally posted by Bigbird
This means that the results in any enduro is subject to manipulation by riders who want to eliminate points at a particular check. 

Let me ask you this.  What is the procedure for protesting?  When you say that these guys are protesting a check, are they actually filing a written protest with $25 protest fee attached, or are they just pestering the referee?

If you are strict about protests having to be submitted in writing with the protest fee attached, that could cut down on the complainers.  If you loose a protest, you loose the fee too.  That'll make them think twice about it.

As Jonny and Ed (larosche) said, we don't have too many big protests in SERA.  There was that one about 7 years ago when Masterlinks put that check on the shoulder of a dirt road, but that was more centered on Check workers leaving the check area to try and identify riders who had pulled off the road out of sight of the check.  Ha!  there was a written protest that day.

Then of course, there was the infamous arrow situation that Jonny was involved in.  :) :thumb: But that's a whole 'nother story.  ;)
 
Joined
Aug 29, 2000
Messages
243
Likes
0
#14
AMA rule 4.b.(7) states, "The accepted standard variation for Enduro mileage accuracy is no more than 0.02 of a mile as measured from the last known mileage. If a protest is filed on the mileage at that point, the average of three motorcycles odometers will be used to determine the mileage in question..."

Agreed, protests are rare, but I can see where this rule could raise the probability in a hotly contested series. Again, I can't see where you can get three bikes odometers to agree within the 0.02 standard, which would make any check protested, an observation check. If two riders are closely competing an event/series, it is possible for this rule to be used to void the scoring of a check and change the results. Using a slightly larger variance toleration, would not change the scoring for riders properly keeping timing, but would help in preventing someone from having a check thrown out which is really legitimate due to three bikes not agreeing on the mileage.

You can even take this further, say a rider who is protesting the check and is going to be one of the three bikes used for verifying the check slightly adjusts his ICO wheel size to allow a larger margin of error. I personally don't see this happening. The majority of riders are very honest, but it still should be considered. "An ounce of prevention..."

I think Jon K. suggestion of a variance of, say 0.05, is realistic. In terms of feet, that is 264 feet before or after the precise placement. Less than a football field, and if you're riding your 30 sec clock, easily zeroed. I think that the slightly larger variance will encompass most odometer differences which occur from a difference in riding technique while still maintaining a reasonable expectation for check placement.

In our district, it would be impossible to get clubs to put a mileage marker every mile. We would loose events, and destroy the series. I don't want to see this happen.

Please give me your thoughts/arguments for and against.

Jon, thanks for the link to SERA.
 

Jon K.

Subscriber
Joined
Mar 26, 2001
Messages
1,354
Likes
4
#15
Originally posted by Timr

Then of course, there was the infamous arrow situation that Jonny was involved in.  :) :thumb: But that's a whole 'nother story.  ;)
Don't EVEN get me started on that one! :flame: ;)

Bigbird; when we first implemented the mile marker every mile rule, there was some resistance, but as it turned out, it was actually quite simple and easy to do. We make up the mile markers beforehand and simply staple them up in the appropriate spots.

What would be the objection in your district? Maybe lack of available trees?

We "trump" AMA rules from time to time in the SERA organization. Of course we stay as close as we can (to AMA rules), but especially with class structure we have our own rules that supercede AMA.

Same could possibly be done with the .02 margin of error in your case. If it really concerns you.
 
Last edited: