Since I first watched the excellent short film ‘10 Bullets’ by American sculptor and occasional filmmaker Tom Sachs, I have included the practise of knolling as part of my approach to planning and management. In one week’s time, my motorcycle and I are due to roll up to the starting line of the 2019 APC rally – an off-road endurance riding event held each year in outback Australia.
The rally is a 4000km unsupported ride through some of the most remote areas of the country, crossing just about every kind of terrain imaginable. While the route changes every year, this year’s circuit will extend from central Victoria in the south, right up into Queensland in the north and back again, with the exact route only being revealed days before departure.
For an event like this, preparation is key as each rider must carry everything they will need to maintain both themselves and their bikes, entirely without support. With so much to consider in choosing what to carry and what to leave behind for weight and efficiency, knolling is an incredibly useful tool.
With everything I plan to carry laid out in front of me, I can then run through all of the possible scenarios in which I might need supplies – anything from a medical emergency to a flat tyre or broken chain.
This process allows me to check that I’m carrying everything I need and not an ounce more, but more importantly, it allows me to memorise exactly where everything will be as I knoll with the equipment in the same sequence it will be packed onto the bike. Over nine days of strenuous riding, this can save a lot of valuable time and stress.
Now, where did I put that 8mm ring spanner…...?