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Old 04-23-2010, 09:48 AM   #91
Bluebull2007 OP
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Guys, I appreciate all the comments, its motivates to me press on and post a bit more.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HogWild
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!

That would be a correct observation.
It remember it said something like "Make your way through the wash" which is in essence exactly what you said. I liked it.

Thanks again for the use of you GPS, much appreciated! Have you considered taking that Hog on the Dos Sertões? That would be a first...
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Old 04-23-2010, 09:57 AM   #92
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I´ll be doing a poll shortly on what paint job you reckon I should give this baby. Any ideas will welcome at this stage. PM me or post in this thread.


Well Im battling with the program Vegas trying to get some decent video together , youre going to have to wait a bit longer, Im not very good with this kind of thing. Hope its not too much of a let down when it does eventually come out. Anyway on with the story:


The heat was quite something, it must have been around 35-40 degrees. Not tree in sight. I really needed a rest, and I regretted not eating a sandwich earlier when I had the chance. My body felt drained. Lesson learnt: Eat when you have the chance, even if you dont feel like it. So I stopped on the crest of a hill and cowered down in the shadow of my bike, sucking sucked hard on the camelback. I began gnawing on an energy bar.


Yours truely looking a little worse for wear.


It was really beautiful, this wilderness.

I thought I could hear a bike, and after about 10 minutes I saw two guys following the first part of the loop in the distance below me. I felt a sudden urge not to lose time so I jumped up and went through the bike to make sure everything was still okay. Just then two bikes appeared over the crest, its Dave & Dirk. Theres no way they could have gotten here so fast; as it turned out later I had seen a different team of riders.

We set off, me leading self consciously in front of the experienced guys. The route descended into a gulley/wash, which we followed for a while. It was very rocky and sandy with lots of short, steep slopes to negotiate. I was making a lot of mistakes because I simply didn´t have any energy thanks to the heat. My arms felt like lead and did not respond fast enough to the inputs my mind wanted. My legs were also very tired and I couldnt stand. Somehow I got out of there without coming off. The path took us through some very fine sand that was deeply rutted. It was a challenge to keep the rubber side down in this. After what seemed like an age, we entered a faster single section and it was brilliant to finally get some cooling air coming through my jacket. I regretted wearing black.

Again the roadbook took us off the easy stuff and after a couple of dry river bed crossings, The roadbook suggested I turn off piste and travel at 290 degrees looking out for a path "more or less visible" some distance away. I think I must have turned early because I entered an open sandy patch with no sign. I could see no-one had past here in ages. I had to be wrong. So I back-tracked to the last riverbed crossing, re-adjusted my ICO and started again. This time I turned at the right spot but ended up in a bottomless sandy gully filled with thorn bushes and succulents. Its was a drama class alright, and the bike overheated before I could get it out, the hose to the radiator bursting off and sprayed coolant everywhere. The air was blue with my speech. I never waited long though, just ignoring burning hands while shoving the pipe back on and gunning it up almost immediately. My logic was that the bike would cool if I could just get some air through it. I should have waited but it was just so hot. I guess if I had the extra ventilation fan installed as planned this would never have been a problem. Thrashing out of the gullery I noticed my friends passing me on a easy looking, faintly visible trail about 30m to the left. I realised my error: I had turned on the mark of my ICO which was overeading a little. Another lesson learnt.

I managed to cut in front of the others again, Dirk stopping to give his kneee a break. He was obviously still in great pain from his knee-burst injury this January while riding the Dakar. Thank God the route from there eased up a little, and apart from a couple of other little navigation traps, the last 10 miles was relatively straight forward. I returned to the bivvy for a late lunch and a camelbak refill. I also drank another 2 litres of water. Lots of jokes about the WR not needing water or oil, with referances to David Fretigne´s bike apparently not running with oil on one day in the Dakar last year. What Fretigne does not mention is that they rebuilt the engine at the end of every day during Dakar. Ah, to have decent sponsorship....A dream only at this stage.

Twenty minutes later Phil Bowman & I had refuelled and set off on Loop 3, a 70 mile route to finish the day. We had to move it as it was already 4 pm. The first section took us accross some fairly flat terrain that is not unlike riding the northern cape of South Africa: Lots of small bushes and little ruts to cross. If you hit them with speed you can actually fly right over them. We took turns leading, the other party passing when the leader made an error. It worked really well and in no time we found ourselves on a little "liasson section through the town (dump) of Pahrump. On the far side we enjoyed a section of superfast dirt road with big, sweeping turns. Its a great feeling to slide corners at 80mph. The roadbook cruelly took us off this after what seemed like a short while, and instead down a very steep, loose & rocky descent into a deep gorge. Im not used to the speed of 15 front sprocket on my bike and I practically flew down the slope relying on 1st gear to slow me down. It didn´t. I didnt bother with the clutch and back brake thing thanks to my broken (?) finger from last month. Scary but fun.

Pleased at having survived this, we followed the riverbed upstream for a few miles. There was a quad track running in it which made things a little more predicateable, but not too dissimilar to an MX course. Eventually we arrived in a bowl, with no obvious way out of the canyon. I was contemplating having a hairraising 50 degree scramble up the 50 m high sides, but the roadbook guided us to a narrow, hidden slot in the rock. With the walls just clearing the handlebars, we snuck into a deep and dark canyon. Quite surreal. Not something I was expecting at all, it was brilliant. On the far side, we followed the river bed further into the moutains through some classic John Wayne country up to close to the snow line. I couldnt believe that there was snow out here in the desert, but I guess thats America for you.

Eventually we joined a decending single track, and from there on to the finish it was reasonably fast track, with lots of whoops and jumps and the occasional !!! dropping 3 metres into dry river beds. Rob McElroy apparently didnt feel like riding around this so just dropped his bike down, climbed down after it and rode on. The rest of us mortals thrashed along the side of the steep riverbank before finding a way down a smaller step. At this stage our Czeck/Sovenian friends on their 690´s caught up with Phil & I and flew past us like Cyril Despress and Marc Coma. They were so fast. We managed to stay with them for around 10 miles, before the dust made things just too dangerous. Watching these guys riding in front of us with the throttle pinned was simply amazing. Seeing pilots totally on top of their game and in action is really beautiful. Moving on...

I noticed I was making more and more navigational errors, mostly due to my mind switching off. Fatigue was setting in. Its amazing what you start thinking about: "I wonder how its going wth the pool installation back home...Hmm..I must remember to tell them to leave enough space for the pool pump....Hmm..oh thats a big gully in the road...coming up fast.....Oh SHIITT " I can laugh about it now, but its dangerous to lose concentration especially when riding the speeds we were. The jumps were awesome, Its my first time really doing jumps this size and it´s a truely amazing feeling to have the bike fly through the air for metres and metres. I probably need to practice this stuff a bit more.

We cut the last 3 miles and ran back to the bivvy on a parallel asphalt strip as Phil didnt have a working light, the last bit was straightforward anyway. What a day. This last loop I really enjoyed big time. I hadn´t crashed all day which made a nice change. Things were looking up. I had handled all the technical bits well within my stride, nothing was too difficult. I was tired, but not mind numbingly so after 160 miles of hard riding. All that practicing in the desert was paying off.

The other N00bs had also done very well, especially considering none of them had ridden in the desert before. I think a couple of them were disapointed that they werent riding as fast, but that shouldnt detract form their outstanding performance. I know I would not have done as half as well had I done this thing in January. Riding the desert with ease comes only with TITS (time in the saddle) in the desert. No-one crashed which was excellent.

That night my bike I took my bike into the shop for an oil change, and fix the bits and pieces that had rattled loose. Nothing serious, mostly cosmetic stuff. We also sorted out the leaking radiator hose, which turned out to be a bit short. Dinner and bed after more fascinating Dakar stories. Day 2 coming soon.

Cheers
Neil

Click here to get to the next part of my report
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Old 04-23-2010, 11:22 AM   #93
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awesome. sounds like a blast! im glad that you are seeing improvement in your riding - there is nothing more confidence inspiring than that.

I would love to give a navigation class like that a try. just as long as I could stop to take pictures all the time...
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Old 04-23-2010, 12:35 PM   #94
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Great story-telling Neil....keep it coming!!

Thanks for taking the time to write about your rally school/training/adventure.
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Old 04-23-2010, 01:39 PM   #95
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bicycle Phil
Great story-telling Neil....keep it coming!!

Thanks for taking the time to write about your rally school/training/adventure.
You sure have come a long way from the last time we rode together. That was a fun weekend
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Old 04-23-2010, 08:05 PM   #96
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Subscribing and

Won't say much, cuz I don't know shyte about racing, but I'm right behind ya in spirit. Fascinating stuff, and I'm envious of your chance and in awe of your balls to do this.
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Old 04-23-2010, 08:33 PM   #97
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Excellent stuff! Sounds like the 'fun' area in hell.
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Old 04-23-2010, 08:52 PM   #98
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Thanks for sharing! Great stuff!

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Old 04-24-2010, 06:43 AM   #99
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Hey Neil, my bike is a 525R not a 690 eh? great story, saves me having to write mine
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Old 04-24-2010, 07:30 AM   #100
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MotoMike
You sure have come a long way from the last time we rode together. That was a fun weekend
Howdy Mike,
I think their was a bit of sacrifice on you and Seans part when you opted to
lead the slow guys(myself, Anthony, and ???) all over Paiute, Jawbone, and a side trip to Burro Schmidts tunnel. Definitely a great weekend of riding with a fair amount of this thrown in for good measure.

I'll be following your redux thread...good luck with the racing!
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Old 04-24-2010, 09:24 PM   #101
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Bluebull2007,

Thanks for sharing! Looking forward to the video! I'm hoping to take this very course next year! Following your build thread and JMO's has me jonesing for a newer WR and a rally kit!

Keep it up!
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Old 04-24-2010, 11:48 PM   #102
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eatpasta

awesome. sounds like a blast! im glad that you are seeing improvement in your riding - there is nothing more confidence inspiring than that.

I would love to give a navigation class like that a try. just as long as I could stop to take pictures all the time...
I Still have a long way to go and a lot to learn , but I´m taking the plunge and can confirm Im going to the Dos Sertões in August. Thats 10 days of racing only 12 weeks away....


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bicycle Phil
Great story-telling Neil....keep it coming!!

Thanks for taking the time to write about your rally school/training/adventure.
Phil, it was great riding with you brother.


Quote:
Originally Posted by greeneggsnoham
Subscribing and

Won't say much, cuz I don't know shyte about racing, but I'm right behind ya in spirit. Fascinating stuff, and I'm envious of your chance and in awe of your balls to do this.
Not sure about the balls, it might just be stupidity . I also know next to nothing, but I´m learning fast so this is the place to be if youre interested can put up with my rambling.

Quote:
Originally Posted by skibum69
Hey Neil, my bike is a 525R not a 690 eh? great story, saves me having to write mine
Eish...Sorry about that, I got mixed up. Must have been all that orange about. We´re waiting for your photees & videos too. Post it here if you like.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brimstone
Bluebull2007,

Thanks for sharing! Looking forward to the video! I'm hoping to take this very course next year! Following your build thread and JMO's has me jonesing for a newer WR and a rally kit!

Keep it up!
Great stuff, Brimstone! I can tell you this course was excellent. Scotts routes are very testing and very well done. As for the WR, you can´t go wrong IMO. I have a KTM 450 EXC at home so I know both now. That JVO Kit is pretty good. Im still considering leaving the rear tanks for now. Really nice to have a Dakar fundi like you on this thread!
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Old 04-25-2010, 01:54 AM   #103
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Well here is my 1st video, hope you like it. I was battling a bit with the camera so never got the technical stuff :( Still gives you an idea perhaps. I have some more video of dune riding coming up along with part b of the trip.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YLDwpZq9Qd0



Can Anyone help me with the code to embed it??
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Old 04-25-2010, 06:33 AM   #104
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Old 04-25-2010, 06:35 PM   #105
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluebull2007
Well here is my 1st video, hope you like it. I was battling a bit with the camera so never got the technical stuff :( Still gives you an idea perhaps. I have some more video of dune riding coming up along with part b of the trip.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YLDwpZq9Qd0



Can Anyone help me with the code to embed it??
Awesome!!



I have no idea how you can navigate AND ride really fast. If I ever go Rally racing, im just going to follow you



Keep up the training!! We are all looking forward to see how your first race goes!
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