Originally Posted by Linc
Even more crass - riding through a disaster effected country or riding through a third world country............do we help the people who have lost everything or the people who had nothing in the first place?
That's a fair point - if you added up all the money it costs to run the Dakar each year, you could donate millions to those countries... certainly the amount of money it cost me to prepare my bike and enter Heroes-Legend last year was considerably higher than the amount I raised in sponsorship for Bowel Cancer UK (my chosen charity)... but of course it's not all about the money...
Without events like the Dakar (or simply ride reports about overland travel), the vast majority of people (like you and I) are unlikely to become aware of the plights of other countries? By showing these events in the media, and generating publicity through the internet etc etc - vastly more people are now aware of these countries, and perhaps, if they feel so inclined, are able to help in their own way - financially or otherwise?
I just wish ASO would hurry up and announce the route for 2011 - I'm itching to buy a new bike!