If you’re an avid TET (Trans Euro Trail) rider, chances are, your off-road skills are constantly improving, and your bike can take some abuse. That makes you the perfect candidate for racing a rally! Don’t believe us? This is exactly how things started out here at Cross Country ADV: we didn’t just up and entered a rally out of the blue one day. Instead, there were lots of adventure touring trips and riding the TET before; gradually, with off-road experience accumulating, it felt like rally racing was the natural next step.
So can you go from riding the TET to racing a rally?
TET Riders at Rallies
If you go to just about any rally race in Europe and talk to the amateur riders, most of them will tell you they’ve ridden the TET.
Tim Hewitt aka The Dirt Bike Jesus has done the Hellas Rally Race, and he compares it to “adventure riding on steroids”. Essentially, that’s exactly what a rally race is in the amateur classes, so if you’ve been riding the TET for a while, you’re probably ready to rally.
Not all TET trails are created equal, of course. The Balkan, Portuguese, Spanish, and Greek TET trails may be more technical than the Dutch or Swedish ones, but it’s still great practice if you want to try rally racing at some point.
TET vs Rally
Riding the TET and racing a rally (once again, at an amateur, not pro level) has plenty of similarities. When you’re on the TET, you need to be comfortable covering long distances off-road, carry light luggage, and look after your bike. You probably already know basic bike maintenance, can change your own tires, and know the issues of your bike. And since you’re riding the TET, you can stand up on the pegs for hours and be OK with bad weather, tire punctures, or riding in the dark if the journey takes longer.
All of these skills will be extremely valuable during a rally race – the only difference is, you’ll need to pick up the pace a little and navigate well.
Going from a TET to Rally Rider
If you feel you’d like to step up your game and try rally racing, coming from the TET riding background will already give you an advantage. You will be familiar with different types of terrain, you’ll know where you can push harder and where to go slower, and how your bike behaves on different surfaces.
If you can manage the pressure of timing and figure out roadbook, you’re just about ready to go!
To help you out, here are some useful resources:
For bike prep tips, check out our resource on rally bike preparation
For navigation, here’s a handy guide to roadbook navigation kits
If costs are a concern, see this article on rally racing on a budget
Are you a TET rider considering a rally race? Share in the comments below and let us know if you need any help!