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Old 2nd July 2010, 08:52   #121
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Sudev makes it sound so easy to navigate using road book.

The night before I was in a tizzy. He had declared no GPS use at the scrutiny and here I was hoping that the average speed read outs and distance read outs would make my task easier in the left seat.

Now how was I supposed to know where we are? The distance read out of the speedometer was not visible to me. Only thing I could tell him was that we should be at road book instruction #xyz at ABC time. But he would still have to tell me when we passed that instruction. Okay I could make out a few like a round about or a road on left but there are so many roads on left (or right for that matter) that one has to get a distance check and not commit error of taking a wrong route just because....

And I had to learn using calculator with time function. It is easy to do so in hotel lobby on a rock steady chair and table. But to so so in a car that is bouncing like crazy and moving with "my dear" fellow demanding inputs by the second.....

unoczar the eggs are for:
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The officials manning the route have to be there much before the rally cars arrive, often starting at midnight or such weird hours. I have done it often enough with Sudev to know. And they are determined lot. Cooking in middle of no-where.
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Omelette toast anyone?
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Pictures are courtesy Sanjay "Gattu" Sankhla
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Old 2nd July 2010, 17:24   #122
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Salute to officials/volunteers:

Adding to what Alka has already posted.

Of course the rally officials are a breed apart. Starting and moving about at insane hours and then waiting for the complete rally to pass through before continuing to next duty. So they have to be prepared for eat and drink on the move. No dhaba or corner shop is open at those unearthly hours - if you find one on remote corners the rallies traverse.

Being one of the breed, in the past, we have had hot soup on top of highest passes. Dal Makhani, mattar paneer, noodles and even mocha coffee in places completely in brazen contrasts with what we were eating / drinking. And stupendous parties in back of beyond.

Last edited by sudev : 2nd July 2010 at 17:29. Reason: formatting
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Old 2nd July 2010, 18:25   #123
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sudev View Post
Salute to officials/volunteers:

Adding to what Alka has already posted.

Of course the rally officials are a breed apart. Starting and moving about at insane hours and then waiting for the complete rally to pass through before continuing to next duty. So they have to be prepared for eat and drink on the move. No dhaba or corner shop is open at those unearthly hours - if you find one on remote corners the rallies traverse.

Being one of the breed, in the past, we have had hot soup on top of highest passes. Dal Makhani, mattar paneer, noodles and even mocha coffee in places completely in brazen contrasts with what we were eating / drinking. And stupendous parties in back of beyond.
nice to learn about that, it really is a great eggort, oops! i mean effort!

but, one small post at a time is not really fair.. is it sudev?

c'mon, many like me are waiting for the whole story.
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Old 3rd July 2010, 01:30   #124
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sudev View Post
Being one of the breed, in the past, we have had hot soup on top of highest passes. Dal Makhani, mattar paneer, noodles and even mocha coffee in places completely in brazen contrasts with what we were eating / drinking. And stupendous parties in back of beyond.
I would love to be part of this breed, what would it take to be your student for that
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Old 3rd July 2010, 01:50   #125
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rkbharat View Post
I would love to be part of this breed, what would it take to be your student for that
LOL Bharat, all you need to do is express the slightest interest in being a rally official, and you are done.
I suggest you start by volunteering for the raid. you will need a week of leave I think
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Old 3rd July 2010, 05:06   #126
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Sorry for the small posts - a week off does that to your work schedule.

Okay we take flag at 0544hrs on 24th June from Royal Springs Golf Course Sirnagar. The "zero" reading of road book is at the gate of gold club - a matter of 250 metres - that can throw navigation off later. We stop at gate note odo meter and also reset two trip meters to zero.

Alka: Next instructions is at 450 metres
Me: Okay

She is busy doing calculations of what our ideal time should be for the given average speed at each of next two pages full of instructions.

Me: Tell me what is the instruction? Go straight right turn or what
Alka: Take road left
Me: There is road left at 250 metres. Are you sure it is 450 metres?
Alka: It is written 450 metres
Me: Sure?
Alka: <glare>

.....you know how temperatures can flare inside the cabin even when it is cool 12 degrees outside. So I control myself and trust her and go past 250 metres road. Yes at 460 metres there is a left again. I take that and shout back

The odo is off by 10 metres. She promptly notes that for her further calls. And says:

T junction at 1.25kms ... no it should be 1.35 for your odo

....the rally has begun.
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Old 3rd July 2010, 15:43   #127
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The route for the day was from Srinagar to Anantnag on NH1A. At Anantnag the NH1A takes an abrupt right turn and many returning motorists continue straight in to the town. We were on other hand to go straight in to the town and take the route to Achchabal, Kookernag, Duksum. From here the road snakes up the Sinthal pass and crosses over the Peerpanchal Range.

Down on other side of the pass we were to go past Kishtawar and from there to Batote rejoining the NH1A. Then down the road to Patnitop, Kud and Udhampur. Here we were to take detour towards Mansar on the Udhampur-Samba bye-pass. At Mansar we were to take a forest road back towards Jammu. Ending up at Hari Niwas, the Raja of Jammu palace.

Early morning out from Srinagar meant roads were empty? Surprise. Even at this hour we had taxi's and buses coming in and going out of Srinagar on NH1A. Compared to three years back Lal Chowk, Srinagar during the day was more like Karol Bagh in Delhi.
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Old 4th July 2010, 08:00   #128
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rkbharat View Post
I would love to be part of this breed, what would it take to be your student for that
Watch out for announcements for any event and then contact organisers for volunteering. We will be sending out call for volunteers for Rally of the North (second half October) and Desert Storm (first hald February) soon. Keep visiting Northern Motorsport

Generally at first level you are paired with some one senior and then based on understanding and aptitude more responsible jobs are entrusted. Be warned it is serious commitment of effort and time. Rewards are many for adventurous.
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Old 4th July 2010, 08:35   #129
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Default Vehicle Tracking

I have developed my own home brew vehicle tracking system and consult for some companies. Below are screen shots of the track followed by me on the two days of the rally. This should also answer road direction queries raised by some.

AND the google maps say it is NH1C and not NH1A that connects Jallandhar and Srinagar.

The day view for June 25th:
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Greater details of area of Sinthan pass and connect to Kishtawar using satellite image:
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Duksum area, just before the climb to the pass is wooded with pines and lots of streams run down to the valley. With rain earlier in the day more than normal flow was greeting us:
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The wooded valley and clear crisp pine scented air. Heavenly. I wish I owned that hut:
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Climb up was on excllenet strip of tarmac (see lower foreground) all the way up to the pass:
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At the pass there was virtual traffic jam. Since this is also boundary for Kashmir and Jammu divisions officials, medical and road crews from both sides were present. Added to all this was the fact that originally the Chief Minister was to fly in by helicopter. This was nixed by bad weather.
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The moment you crossed Sinthan pass the tarmac disappeared and the downhill was all slushy, muddy and rocky. The picture is from much earlier in the morning when the officials were being placed in a convoy at around 0500 AM. We passed this area much later.
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Old 4th July 2010, 08:44   #130
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Awesome! Like the way its picking up

BTW one quick question
Quote:
Originally Posted by sudev View Post
ring ring ring ring...A sleepy voice answers....
H e l l o
Shekhu, good morning (hah how could it be if you get disturbed) this is Sudev
Haan Sudev (He knows me because in past I have been part of official team)
Yaar its pouring outside and our cars are in parc ferme..
Haan, you have to be there by 0400hrs...that is now
I know but will get drenched walking it, do you have any vehicle to help us get there?
At this time?? No!
But there are almost all the participants here in the lobby...
Let me see what I can do but impossible for me to get a taxi or anything at this hour!
Okay just tell the start we will be a bit late and I am praying that rain stops.
Okay...(phone gets slammed)
In the present age of mobile phones, how does a phone gets slammed

Cheers
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Old 4th July 2010, 08:50   #131
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Originally Posted by MileCruncher View Post
In the present age of mobile phones, how does a phone gets slammed
Good one MC ;-)

This conversation was on from hotel front desk to the room. And they still use EPBAX. So SLAM did occur.
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Old 4th July 2010, 10:00   #132
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Default Navigating & Road book

I was the navigator and at the start I was handed three items:

1. Road Book
2. Time Card
3. Speed Chart

In this rally #2&#3 were combined on to a single sheet which is taken back at end of the day so there is no picture. But there are few screen shots from Road book and let me explain what they mean.

My Mughal Road Rally-photo067.jpg
In the above picture after the page headers is the row for instruction #21. There were 397 instructions for day one and 259 for day two.

The instruction #21 shows the total distance from start in bold letters and distance from last instruction in a small box below. The last is useful in case your speedo meter reading (odometer?) is not tallying.

The box on right shows diagram of what to expect at this instruction. This is showing road passing through village with two houses/huts on either side.. The small cross mark indicates where the distance reading was taken. The last box shows !! - which means double caution (more later) and the name of village.

The instruction # and GPS way point have the same number. Though we were not using GPS.

My Mughal Road Rally-photo068.jpg
In this picture note I have put time in red pen. This is my calculated time when we should be passing a particular instruction point. Calculations are based on time of starting from last TC, distance from last TC and speed we are to follow. Believe you me this is a more than full time job.

My Mughal Road Rally-photo069.jpg
The small tick mark was put in by me when ever we crossed a particular instruction. This needed fast and precise communication between me and my "driver"

My Mughal Road Rally-photo070.jpg
When we came to next TC I noted the distance of TC is black ink and wrote where TC2 was. Since the TC was some 170 meter from the last instruction. On a separate chart I also noted the time of reaching/starting from this TC as it then became base of calculating time for the next section.

The sloping down arrow in the right box of the instruction #110 mean extreme downhill. Caution marks are used to convey to the participants how much risk can be expected. !!!means extreme care.

My Mughal Road Rally-photo071.jpg
Usually I kept on calculating time for next few instructions. The moment a TC came in between the time for next instruction has to be recalculated and so over writing and cross cutting etc happen. On instruction #192 I have also noted the speedo meter distance at that location read out by Sudev. This way we both knew that road book readings would be off by 2.3kms from here on. (Road book 162.20 minus speedometer 159.9)

Also at this point my calculations had been wrong. As per me the target for this TC was 10:21:19 but we reached there much earlier at 10:08:30. I got a lot of flak from Sudev as this meant double the penalties for every second early. A huge number. But fortunately the wrong calculations on my part meant we were only about 8~10 seconds early. Thank god or else I would have heard about it for days.
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Old 4th July 2010, 13:29   #133
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Unfortunately Alka's post detailing road book and navigation is still under moderation queue. So here is my take on the day.

The downhill after Sinthal pass was treacherous mix of slush and loose surface. I almost slid off on the first switch back since on application of brakes the ABS kicked in giving me "steering" but no traction!!! Most of the rally guys either have ABS switch-able on option or disable it. Anyhow all I had to do is brake early and use power slides to take the turns.

The drive down from pass to Chingiz was harrowing. After that it was tarmac to Kishtwar. Passing through all the small towns we were overwhelmed with the eagerness and hospitality shown. At Kishtawar the whole town was by the road side cheering us all. School children were waving tri-colour and waving us. Wow. I can just close my eyes and recall it all over again. I could not get the pictures, may be some others did.

Same was repeated at Batote and the smaller villages.

The next bit of trial was between Manesar and Surinsar, near Jammu. This was a kutcha dusty but twisty forest track. Here the average demanded was high 38kmph. To achieve this one had to push to 80~90kmph and then brake hard or slid over the turns. I was still on ABS brakes.

Then we ere caught by a surprise TC. Yes all TC's are a surprise but this was a surprise in the sense that it was very near to the last one and we were not even on timing control yet - big argument flared between me and the dear co-driver about #$@$%^ and why she could not guide me and we ended up checking in early.....means double the penalties!!!

Any way's after a bit of recriminations and apologies - mostly mine - we settled down for the end drive. The TC sheet showed two spaces blank. One obviously was the last TC at Hari Niwas Jammu. Where would be the other one. We stuck to designated speed limit and cross checks at all instructions. BUT no TC hove in sight.

Interestingly about a few kilometres before the end we got struck behind a convoy of three buses on an uphill road. And here I was wanting to maintain a average of 40kmph stuck behind the convoy with no hope of over taking moving at 15kmph!! Honking and weaving in out also did not help. There was on coming traffic and I just could not get myself to drive that unsafe.

About half a km before the end at Hari Singh Palace this road joined the NH1C and I was able to over take. It was a mad dash with full sweeping four wheel drift in to the hotel entry - gate half open and inches to spare - and further few hundred metre and a shuddering halt at the flag:
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All that effort and mad cap driving still meant checking in about 20 seconds late.

A tired couple checking in:
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The lovely night halt:
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There were only nine TC's.

Last edited by sudev : 4th July 2010 at 13:31. Reason: spellings
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Old 4th July 2010, 22:11   #134
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Can someone please provide details about the vehicle encircled in the pic below?
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thanks in advance!!
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Old 5th July 2010, 07:25   #135
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That should be Force India's people mover. Used as taxi's all over J&K, Haryana, Punjab and Rajasthan.
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