Excerpt from Chapetr Two - The Team
Once again, no editing done so excuse any typos or inaccuracies
For the 2005 Dakar, Charlie convinced his brother Dave to join him. A re occurring theme keeps appearing with these Dakar stories, triumph over tragedy. Both Charlie and his brother finished the race successfully after a very long struggle through the dunes of Africa. Dave broke his leg along the route and managed to keep riding his bike for days on end, this once again demonstrates that the stories that come from the Dakar are nothing short of inspiring. Charlies race resume continues and utilizing his experience he gained in the Dakar he started up a team called Rally Pan Am. An accomplished racer named Jonah Street joined the team and the rest is history. This friendship and business partnership has grown over the years and continues for the 2012 edition of the Dakar. In 2008 Charlie, Jonah and the team were at the start line of the Dakar. Due to terrorist activities in some of the countries that the race was to cross and a direct threat aimed at the ASO and the competitors; a hard decision was made to cancel the race. Imagine hundreds of race vehicles, competitors and thousands of fans finding this out the night before the race was set to begin. The RPA team decided to leave their vehicles and gear in Europe so that Jonah could compete with the top riders at the Central European Rally.
Jonah Street has certainly become the star of the RPA team; he is a top ten contender in the Dakar and has a very impressive resume. For a person like me, he is in the hero category and the prospect of hanging out with and getting to know him seems surreal. I, along with most of the Dakar tragic on the internet, have a great deal of respect for Jonah. Known not only for his racing accomplishments but also for his reputation as nice, humble and genuine person Jonah has become a fan favourite in North America. In previous years he has won stages of the race and had some very respectable finishes. Two years ago Jonah was in the top three overall before withdrawing due to an injury. A sponsorship program for Jonah was created in 2007 called the Riff Raff. You send in a few dollars and get some swag from his sponsors in return. For the past few years I have been a member of the Riff Raff and have cheered for Jonah to win, heck even my wife has gotten on the band wagon and asks every morning how Jonah did the day before. This is no small thing as motorcycles don’t fascinate her and in some way are actually resented due to the money and time away they represent in our marriage. For my wife to get “caught up in the mystic of the Dakar” speaks volumes for Jonah’s fan base. Fast forward and I was to be on his team playing a small part in his potential success at the 2012 Dakar, crazy.
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