I've been ridind and racing for about 25 years but no desert stuff and no prior team stuff. I'm a pretty decent weekend warrior but actually was in bad shape at the time of the race. Blew out my knee and little time to ride for the prior 2 years. Teammates were about equal experience but with good knees. I'm an east coast, mud, rocks, trees rider. I felt like it was my first time on a bike being in some of the sand. I crashed a lot during the race and wish I had done some prerunning. I arrived at the airport the night before the race and had never ridden a XR650 before. We did a lot of things wrong, 2 of my teammates got hurt (collar bones/ ribs) and we still finished. It was tough with no experience and 2 guys down, very tough, but there's enough time to push through it. If finishing is your goal, it's very doable. I'm sure these rental places make it easier and if nothing else their knowledge would be helpful. There's a lot of info on the net about setting up the bike. It's not that hard to do. Basically lights and suspension plus a few items. If I did it again I'd do it on a KTM 525. The XR is a big heavy pig and I didn't need the extreem top speed (90+), and I hated the weight of it. I think the logistics of it is probably the hardest to imagine. How to position everyone and everything you need where and when you need it. We used 2 chase trucks. The trucks need to pick up the guy who's done and position him further down so he can ride his next section etc. Same with spare parts. We paid someone for "support". IE: gas, tools etc to be provided at 60 mile intervals, so at least we knew we had gas. There's sections that your trucks can't get to. My buddys wife figured out a lot of the logistics and I still feel she was the most important team member even though she didn't ride the bike. You can't finish without a good plan and back up plan, but don't let that stop you. Just get someone who's good at that kind of stuff on your team and then do it. Think of it this way. 1000 miles, 4 guys= 250 miles each. You can do it.