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Old 04-21-2010, 05:03 PM   #76
MotoMike
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Originally Posted by Bluebull2007[COLOR=#ffa500
Mike, are you going to post your stuff over here too? Would be great to have you guys out here in Peru to do some desert riding in the Atacama. [/COLOR]

[/COLOR]
Man, I would love to come to SA and do some riding, but I would have to start robbing banks, as my Lotto aspirations don't seem to be panning out

I'm just going to keep an eye on your thread here, I've already polluted AJ's thread enough. I don't need to hijack yet another one Maybe I'll start my own.

Your new bike looks sweet. Can't wait to see it finished and painted.
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Old 04-21-2010, 05:23 PM   #77
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I use AVID or Vegas at home. Vegas is very user friendly and fast to use - AVID is what i use at work and is much more difficult to use not to mention much more expensive....

cant wait to see pics and vids!!

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Old 04-22-2010, 12:35 AM   #78
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Originally Posted by Bluebull2007
JMo, I like the black too, but its not painted yet. I think Im going to have the South African flag done on mine. Its a perfect shape for the bike and a cool-looking flag.
Hey, I know exactly what you mean - that's a really neat idea!

J xx
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Old 04-22-2010, 11:54 AM   #79
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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 Street´s 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 hasn´t been time to fit everything, but its ready enough for the weekend´s riding!









You can see Skibum69´s new 690 in the background.

More pics of some of the other bikes & bling:








Jonah´s 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 can´t 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 we´re 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.

I´m 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 hasn´t 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 rig´s 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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Old 04-22-2010, 12:00 PM   #80
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More, more, more!
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Old 04-22-2010, 12:08 PM   #81
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More, more, more!

+1
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Old 04-22-2010, 12:28 PM   #82
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The next day we are up early, and Charlie gives us a lesson in navigation over breakfest. This is what we are here for. Not so much about racing, but more about getting navigation under the belt.






Its not long before Charlie runs out of whiteboard space, and moves onto the rig. Don is not very impressed. Im too scared to risk taking a pic of him.




We get on with sticking the roadbook pages together and then marking them before loading them up in the scrolling machines on the bikes. its finicky process, I guess it takes some development of your feminine side to get it right.



At the end of the day you have this long scroll to manage, if its windy, its a nightmare to manage. You have to remember things like which page gets stuck on top and to stick them together in the right order.

We stick over 270 miles of roadbook together, this is a typical special stage distance in Dakar.

This takes a while, so while everyone is getting ready I walk around and take bike porn pics:





Joe, one of our eastern european friends.








































This is Scott´s (Hogwild) Harley. Well let me tell you I have new respect for this Harley rider. You should see where he takes this thing. Its really insane, but I love it. He is constantly on the prowl for "suckers" who want to ride with him. Be warned, and be afraid...
















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Old 04-22-2010, 12:32 PM   #83
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Old 04-22-2010, 02:46 PM   #84
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Hayduke, BTW, thanks for the shirts, theyre great man! Anyone wanting cool ADV gear need to take note.


Unfortunately there is not much time for photos when you are riding your a$$ off so sorry for the lack of pics.


So we set out into the blazing sun on the first loop of 60 miles. We are all very anxious. Okay not all of us, only the n00bs. The route follows a narrow path for about 3 miles and then takes us accross the freeway afer a couple of minor turns. On the other side I get carried away with my speed and overshoot the roadbook. Two turns later and I find myself really confused, up against a fence next to a gully and a culvert going under the road. Im somehow supposed to be on the other side of both. I ride over a steep bank and manage to put the bike down down after stalling and then finding air with my right foot.


Fortunately no one sees me because I´m ahead. I restart the bike first guy stare at the road book for a few minutes like a rabbit stares in the headlights. Someone passes me anbd disapears. It must be someone good because he is gone really fast, and I battle to catch him. The single track we are now following is very rocky with lots of deep washouts and gullies to cross. It takes me about a mile to realise that there is another parallel track that I should be on. I get onto it but its still slow going, though after a few miles we turn left onto a small dirt track which I find a lot faster in between sharp curves. The chase is on and the bug has bitten me. Im unable to catch the guy in front, so I settle back into my own pace and follow the route more carefully.


There is lots of doubling back on almost parallel routes, and it takes me some getting used to slowing down before indicated turns. I come up to a triplle danger ( !!! ), and slow to a crawl. Its a sharp left turn down a track in the riverbank into the river bed perhaps 6m below. Recent weather must have changed things, because the last 2 metres is has been washed away and is vertical! . Getting down here is reserved for the trick bikes, not me on my new WR. Its a battle to turn the bike around, but I manage it okay without falling off the precipiece. I´m thinking that this must be one of those "chocolate coated anchovies" Scott has set for us in the roadbook. I bash my way off-piste along the bank for about 300m looking for a safer way down but its all cliff. Not to be outdone, I persevere and eventually find a way down and thrash back up the river bed to get back on course.



Back on course, on the opposite bank I stop for a quick drink, a photo of Seth behind me battling to turn his bike around at the same triple danger and to reset my ICO odo. Its hot, Im pretty tired. But this is SOO COOL.


Ive also finally relaxed a bit. I think its was the exhaustion that did it.


I speed off again and follow a track past a switching station. Again there are a few sharp turns and twists that gradually take me up a hill. Eventually the road cuts right and crosses the freeway to Vegas. On the other side I get the opportunity to pin it on a dirt highway and hit 95mph easily. The bike is singing along. I can say that sliding corners at these speeds is something worth experiencing. But it does not last long. Scott´s roadbook forces me to abandon the road and follow another rough powerline track with some awesome jumps on it. I find myself on a narrowing single track and eventually only a single path through the sage bush. The going gets harder when Im instructed to follow a wash, a dry riverbed perhaps one metre wide. Its exhausting, and the interspersed rocks and holes in the thick gravel makes it very challenging indeed. Eventually after a few miles of difficult navigation through this and sometimes parallel paths, the general direction turns abruptly through 120 degrees left and Im forced to bounce and thrash my way through thick bush on a general CAP heading, with no tracks to follow.


Its bit of a mission, because for some reason my GPS has gone on the blink and I consequently don´t have a CAP heading any more. I follow my gut and watch the ICO with a beady eye and some hope. But doing this for a for a few minutes quickly strips me of the confidence I thought I had. It amazing how quickly dispair takes over if you let it. I stopped and took stock. I was in the middle of the desert, nothing but featurless sage brush in all directions, and no landmarks close by at all. I scrolled back a few waypoints and checked the CAP headings when I still knew where I was. Lining up on the CAP heading I thought best I aimed at one of the distant hills and pressed on. Its one thing staying on a bearing, its another thing trying to do that then you have to look at the obstacles in the immediate vicinity of the bike.


After 500m I start considering turning back and following my tracks back through the wash hell to start all over again, when my eye catches fresh tracks a couple of metres off to the right. Elated with new hope I follow this and soon enough the distances on my ICO are roughly coinciding with the double danger ( !!) hazards marked in the road book. I have to be on the money, surely. Navigation remains difficult, but my friendly track confirms the turns are correcft when I am unsure of the CAP heading. The the single path gradually becaume more visible, and soon winds its way onto another single track. This takes me through a maze of criss-crossing single tracks, and again navigation becomes difficult. The thing for me is to adjust the ICO odo to the same as the roadbook at every point I recognise, thus maintaining a high degree of accuracy (0.01-0.02miles). I have noticed that for every 1/2 mile travelled I gain perhaps 0.03 of a mile on the roadbook, so it is just a matter of glancing at the ICO as you pass the road or whatever it may be and clicking the ICO it back by the difference between what I read and the road book. I dont have to stop to confirm this, I just count the clicks and continue. I think this saves me a lot of time, and it certainly saved me in terms of the navigation without a heading. Most of the time I find I do not need to ride on a CAP heading, and I only rely on the ICO with a glance at the CAP now and again (when it worked!) for confirmation.

I expect I will need to use the CAP a lot more when riding the Dos Sertoes, because the distance between roadbook waypoints will be larger and my ICO error could be quite a bit greater. Anyway, using my method of accurately checking my ICO worked pretty well on this route and I flew finish of the 1st loop at 60 miles. This was great! Really great! Awesome! I really enjoying this. Now for loop 2.


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Old 04-22-2010, 03:11 PM   #85
Hayduke
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Originally Posted by Bluebull2007
Hayduke, BTW, thanks for the shirts, theyre great man! Anyone wanting cool ADV gear need to take note.

Thanks Neil! I'm glad you liked them. The synthetic shirts make good riding gear, IMHO.

This part sounds familiar :


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluebull2007
It amazing how quickly dispair takes over if you let it. I stopped and took stock. I was in the middle of the desert, nothing but featurless sage brush in all directions, and no landmarks close by at all. I scrolled back a few waypoints and checked the CAP headings when I still knew where I was. Lining up on the CAP heading I thought best I aimed at one of the distant hills and pressed on. Its one thing staying on a bearing, its another thing trying to do that then you have to look at the obstacles in the immediate vicinity of the bike.

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Old 04-22-2010, 04:09 PM   #86
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I come up to a triplle danger ( !!! ), and slow to a crawl. Its a sharp left turn down a track in the riverbank into the river bed perhaps 6m below. Recent weather must have changed things, because the last 2 metres is has been washed away and is vertical! .
No recent weather. That's the way it's been for a while. That's why it's a triple danger!!! If I recall correctly, the roadbook didn't say RIDE OFF THE CLIFF, it said something like FIND YOUR OWN WAY TO THE OTHER SIDE. So you done right!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluebull2007
Getting down here is reserved for the trick bikes, not me on my new WR. Its a battle to turn the bike around, but I manage it okay without falling off the precipiece. I´m thinking that this must be one of those "chocolate coated anchovies" Scott has set for us in the roadbook.
That would be a correct observation.
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Old 04-22-2010, 04:12 PM   #87
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Now I was a little concerned about my GPS, especially considering loop 2 apparently was a tricky from a navigation point of view, so Hogwild kindly lent me his one. I also tried to get my new HD video came working, but all I got were photos first time round.


Scott trying to see the light on my helmet

I wasted quite a lot of time faffing about with cameras, GPS´s and stuff and set out around 12pm on the 2nd loop of around 30 miles. Only one or two others had come in from the 1st loop at that stage so I went out on my own.

The first few miles was the reverse of Loop 1 and looked a bit like this:




There was really nice section of fast single track followed by a hare scramble. Up and over a series of hills. This proved to be very exhausting until I realised I had forgetten how to ride economically. I had
been hanging on the bars and leaning back too much. My arms were exhausted and I nearly lost it twice in some deep gullies that had to be crossed.






I stopped for a rest and tried my hand at some short video, I´ll post again as soon as Ive worked out how to present it in a user friendly format.

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Old 04-22-2010, 05:28 PM   #88
eatpasta
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I am very much enjoying reading about the plunge you are taking!! and not plunge as in a bad thing, but as in the enormous undertaking!

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Old 04-22-2010, 06:25 PM   #89
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Wow, what a great machinery. thanks for posting.
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Old 04-23-2010, 05:41 AM   #90
MotoMike
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