Joined: Feb 2008
Location: Lima, Perú
Rally School 16-18 April 2010
I took a flight from Lima and arrived in LAX. No major problems there, apart from having to pickup my baggage, clear customs get on a local flight to Vegas. Simple. Not. I join a queue for security clearance that stretches outside the building and down the street. Two hours later I have 10 minutes to board the plane. Thankfully I make it ok.
Arriving at Vegas I quickly move to the car rental place and spend about 20 minutes being sympatheic to an african american complaining about how hard life at work is for her. She likes my "Souf efrican eccent" and offers me a gold Mustang convertible for the same price as a Yaris. I graciously accept this offer, realising only later that I cant get my kit bag into the trunk! Not a major problem though, it goes in front and Im soon on my merry way to lunch. I looks like Ive stopped at a prime shopping spot for that. For the single guys out there, I would say this is prime hunting for women.
Lots of mommies and their kiddies doing the shopping and sitting in the park thing.
I, on the other hand am much more interested in lunch
Its a world far away from where I will be in a couple of hours. I leave and drive on the Blue Diamond highway out towards the bustling metropolis of Pahrump. About half way there I follow the top secret map to the top secret venue hidden in a remote corner of the desert.
I pull up next to a huge truck and trailer parks in the midst of a small hamlet of tents, and see Jonah Streetīs bike parked up next to a Honda and my new ride. It is hard to describe how I am feel right now.
Charlie has done a great job, despite a very diffcult time at home with the recent passing of his dad. There hasnīt been time to fit everything, but its ready enough for the weekendīs riding!
You can see Skibum69īs new 690 in the background.
More pics of some of the other bikes & bling:
Jonahīs Dakar Iritrack bracket
ICO (top left) CAP (Top right), Roadbook & 2nd ICO (bottom).
I take mine for a spin, and it exceeds my expectations in every area. Compared to this my 450 EXC at home is absolute dog. The handlebars are at the perfect height, the suspension is like silk and absorbs unexpected ruts beautifully, the weight of the bike...I canīt believe its so light for a rally bike. The seat is extremely comfortable, everything just feels great. I was worried about having a front bias from a weight point of view without the rear tanks but this is no problem at all.
The bike has a lot of power and Im able to cruise at pace without a problem.
Charlie suggests I test the tanks, there is no fuel pump on board and weīre curious to know how much will be left in the tank (below the carb) without one. It turns out that is about 1.5 litres remaining in each. A fuel pump will therefore be required to squeeze out the last 20km or so of range.
I return to the bivouac and we hit an early dinner in preparation of an early start the next day, prepared by a very capable Don, who was responsible for logistics.
Iīm amazed and awed (and im sure the other n00bs are too) by all the famous faces sitting around: Jonah Street, Dirk Kessler, Scott Whitney, Charlie Rausseo, Rob McElroy, all the Dakar legends, as well as a number of other very experienced bikers. The 5 n00bs Mike, JB, Marcus, Seth and myself are all a little nervous and hold the next day in mind with some trepidation.
Here is Dirk (left) enjoying dinner with JB.
Dave (GSNorCal), Mike (Skibum69) & Rob
Seth (Seth S) dishing up, Rob, Dave, Don, Mike, Dirk, JB, with Marcus & Charlie in the background.
The 1st day hasnīt even started an already we have casualties.
Mike is looking a little worse for wear after coming off earlier in the day having hit a rut a bit too hard. His new 690 fairing had also taken a bit of a hammering, he is not the happiest of campers, having also just taken delivery of his bike. At least the damage was mostly cosmetic.
Phil (BicyclePhil) was also limping about and spent most of the afternoon hammering his roadbook and tower back into shape after endoing somewhere out in the desert.
JB in front of the rigīs built-in workshop with Phil and Marcus in the background. We need something like this for support the Dos Sertões, what do you reckon Darrin/Dave/Phil?
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RIP Angelo Pandelidis
Team F5 leader and inventor of Brodomath.
Bluebull2007 screwed with this post 05-31-2010 at 01:33 AM