My Two Cents
I did not read all of this thread, I started at page 31 I believe, but I have been following your blog.
Not that you care at all what I think or have to say, but here it is anyway.
I read your post about failure over the years and dealing with it and it made me feel that I should say something.
I've known you for what, ten years or so? and worked with you for most of those years. Over those years we haven't always seen eye to eye (lol, i can hear you saying "that's an understatement")
Anyway, regardless of work related "differences", there has always been something about you that I have admired, that is your work ethic and dedication. When you set your mind to something, you give it everything you have to make it a reality.
I may not know you as well as many of the people on this forum, but I know enough to know that you did everything you could to make this the best effort possible. You don't have to win or even finish the Dakar on your FIRST attempt to consider the effort a success. The success comes in the fact that you were there. YOU made that happen. Yes, you had supporters, but they did not know to support you until you let them know what you were attempting to do. This was a huge success and a moment to learn from and a life experience that you can take with you forever.
You are a racer at heart and not winning is hard to accept, but not finishing is a terrible thing for a racer to deal with, si I know it's eating you up. Or maybe by now you're over it, idk. I just say, try not to look at it like that. You haven't let anyone down and no one, especially if they've read your story, can say you didn't give it your best effort.
I even posted a comment on your blog about how your repairs and determination to keep the bike going, reminded me of our 24 Hours of Lemons race. lol. I was ready to park my car and call it quits. But not Bill, no way. It still cracks me up to this day that we finished that race in a 1983 BMW 320 with no left fender, no hood, no rear brakes, miss matched wheels, a radiator from a Chevy (mounted VERTICALLY) on the front of the car and a variety of hoses to link it all together. And that was a goofy race that we did just for fun. So I know, if you put that much effort into a car like that, for a race like that, then you put all that you could into this effort.
Pay no attention to some of the negative feedback on here, it's not worth it.
Learn from the experience. Love the fact that you had the opportunity to be a part of an event that so many people only get to dream of doing. Relish the memory of all the cool parts of what you saw and experienced and learn from the not so good parts. Maybe in 2013 you will find yourself in the Dakar again.
Great story writing by the way.