The thing is if its far away you will never start racing.
Close is good: It means getting fit and taking the plunge. Don't be nervous - you will love it!
BTW I sent you a mail.
Dreaming of Dakar
Everyone has a max speed, 90% of that max speed is much safer and easier, and if that 90% speed isn't fast enough at Dakar, you enter the snowball. - neduro