The Story Behind the Southeast DSH

The first iteration of the DSH was the Florida Long Riders Digital Scavenger Hunt. The annual event ran out of central Florida for 11 years (2008-2018) under the helm of David Gillespie and Ray King.

In 2008 and 2009 David was at the helm and rather than a rally as we know it today it was an organized ride for the Florida Long Riders group. In 2010 when Ray came on board it evolved into a rally as we in the community know them to be.

With this 10-hour mini-endurance rally, David and Ray always aimed to provide a fun, low-key rally for novices while at the same time providing a challenging event for the experienced endurance rally rider. I can attest to their success as I had the privilege of riding the events of 2013-2016. The 2013 Long Riders Digital Scavenger Hunt was my second rally (preceded by the Team Lyle Georgia event several weeks prior) and the experience was a big part of what got me hooked to this sport.

At the dinner following the 2018 event Ray and David announced they were retiring from being rally masters of the DSH and made it known they would like to support someone taking over the event. I learned of the demise of the LRDSH a few weeks later but not about their interest in someone taking over.

During the early months of 2019 a recurring thought bubbled up again and I began seriously considering creating a rally in the southeast, especially one later in the year. But the thought sat on the back burner because I was busy preparing for my first Iron Butt Rally.

After a successful IBR finish in June 2019 my thoughts again turned to running a rally and providing another fun event for my fellow endurance rally riders. One evening I was talking about it with a friend (and fellow endurance rally rider) and learned about Ray and David’s interest in passing the torch as it were. After much discussion with this friend, and even more discussion with Ray and David, I decided to create the Southeast Digital Scavenger Hunt. What ensued was weeks of soliciting advice, searching for a venue, kicking around ideas, and receiving the generous help of several rally-riding friends. The SEDSH was being born.

The Southeast Digital Scavenger Hunt is not the Long Riders Digital Scavenger Hunt but it is very much a sequel – not the same as its predecessor but undeniably related. As it was for David and Ray, my goal is to provide affordable and enjoyable events for long-distance endurance rally riders as well as to create rallies that are fun entry-level endurance rallies while simultaneously fun and challenging for the experienced endurance rally rider. We will enjoy dinner after the rally, give some awards, and enjoy sharing stories from the day. And not least of all, I will also carry forward the tradition of forwarding any proceeds each year to a charity organization.

I’m glad to be able to take this on, grateful to have friends who want to help, and hopeful I will do the job well. In the end it’s all about the people and the love of the sport. I count it a privilege to be a part of giving something that has brought me such joy since I tried it first in 2013. If you join us I sincerely hope you enjoy it too.

Jesse

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