by Alain Hoffmann
Preparation, part 3 - driving
Now on to the hot part. You must check every track you want to take. A rule of thumb is that you must drive an average of 3 Km for 1 Km of roadbook.
Ideally you should do this in 2 cars in case you get stuck.
You will need either a small notebook or some A4 or letter-size sheets. Make a grid of 4 or 5 cases large and 5 or 6 cases in height like the one to the left.
Other "professional" roadbooks have a table only 2 cases large. This is good for speed events but we do not need that for our slow-going stuff.
It's also a good idea to number the cases. I make them in the same way you write but others prefer to start at the lower left and move up (similar to the way you drive). Most people seem to be more at ease with the first method.
You will need at least a dozen of those for preparations.
Mark the first page with a big A, the next with B and so on.
Drive to your starting point and set either your tripmeter to zero or note the distance with the 10ths of miles/kms. You must not reset the tripmeter during the whole trip. Many counters have a "slack" built in of between 50 meters and up to 200 meters. This means any time you reset the tripcounter it will first take up that slack before it starts the real count. This slack is not constant but depends on the teeth's positions inside the instrument. This slack also comes into play when you drive backwards. So if you have to reverse after some distance the tripmeter will not show the same values when you back up to the last situation. Don't worry, as soon as you start driving forward it will be correct after a short time.
The tripmeter allows for an error of 50 meters - in theory. Expect not more than 80-100 meters in real world. This can only be corrected by an electronic or mechanic tripmaster. An GPS does not work with enough precision.