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Old 11-22-2011, 06:46 PM   #241
RedShark
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Outstanding report - sounds like you had a really good group.

I've done one 'group tour' with Edelwiess to the MotoGP - and even with THAT (large for them) contingent on the roads of europe, we never rode with more than a half-dozen and usually I rode with 2 other guys that - as you said - self-select for similar pace. - While one could hardly call that trip an 'adventure' is certainly was a BLAST, and the people were all enthusiasts that were pretty easy to get along with. As the random euro-dude says in "Faster" : "Motorcycle people, Good people, yes ?"

thanks for taking us along
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Old 11-22-2011, 06:50 PM   #242
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GSdog View Post
So life is good again.
This is the most important part, glad to know you are doing better.

Sorry for the thread hijack (if perceived as one).

I will say this is an awesome ride report, and thank you for sharing the experience with us.
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Old 11-22-2011, 07:18 PM   #243
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I'm enjoying reading this...
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Old 11-23-2011, 06:58 AM   #244
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GS dog: Good to hear you are well!

Built-in spine protectors are utter crap if you want my opinion. Even if you zip up, which you eventually will forget, they still move alot when you go down. I've been using safety vests/jackets for the last couple of years and I trust it to save me from the wheel chair.

Something like this one:


I love this ride report! Thanks alot for sharing!
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Old 11-23-2011, 09:37 AM   #245
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Thanks for all the well wishes guys.

Steffo - I'm really considering that type of protector. Been looking at them since I returned from Africa. It's on my short list of upcoming gear purchases.

Global - Sorry, I hope I didn't take this thread too far off track. Just wanted to share some things I learned the hard way with anyone who is considering this type of trip.

It was an amazing ride and Global is doing an unbelievable job of telling the story both in his words and his photos.
I'm exciting to see the next few posts because from this point on Global and I saw Africa from a slightly different perspective.
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Old 11-23-2011, 09:48 AM   #246
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Oh, my --

Let me add my thanks to the other's already here -- what an experience . . . . .

(Pulls up vacation calendar of 2012 . . . scratches chin, sez "HHhhhmmmmmmmmmmm)

Also, what a keeper of a spouse! Well done on that score! It is GOOD to marry above one's station.
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Old 11-23-2011, 10:04 AM   #247
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steffo View Post
GS dog: Good to hear you are well!

Built-in spine protectors are utter crap if you want my opinion. Even if you zip up, which you eventually will forget, they still move alot when you go down. I've been using safety vests/jackets for the last couple of years and I trust it to save me from the wheel chair.

Something like this one:


I love this ride report! Thanks alot for sharing!



May I ask what brand / model this is?
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Old 11-23-2011, 11:02 AM   #248
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Dainese
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Old 11-24-2011, 09:38 AM   #249
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mac1054 View Post
May I ask what brand / model this is?
It is indeed a Dainese. The model is "Wave V Neck". I've got the same myself.

Better picture:

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Old 11-24-2011, 12:12 PM   #250
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I've often thought about getting a full mesh-armor undershirt like one of those, or others, but how long does the mesh-part - which looks fragile - actually hold up for? Seems like the mesh would start tearing from putting it on / taking it off after about one riding year.
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Old 11-24-2011, 12:12 PM   #251
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Great camera work

Wish we had had a decent cameraman on our expedition. The film is superb...really captures what its like in Africa.
We have now completed 21,000 kms and are now in Egypt and about to cross the Med to Turkey and then carrying on the www.bigbiketrip.net
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Old 11-24-2011, 12:45 PM   #252
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Pleased you have recovered. My wife also had a spectacular crash in Namibia as we were riding too fast and she hit a sand bank and actually cartwheeled the bike. We were just ahead of you guys. Luckily she walked away with just a few bruises and her KTM 990 Adventure just had a few plastic wounds and the panniers were square again after we inherited a hammer from an Afrikaaner family who saw me clubbing them with a rock in the middle of Namib desert.

Another tip would be do a large bike sand course with a company like Country Trax in South Africa. There are many GSA, KLR and 990 A riders who have done the 3 day course and the techniques have proved invaluable to all of us who ride our big adventurers off the tarmac. Even if you have decades of experience the sand is always a worry on a big bike, but it can be conquered.

As for protection kit, whatever is comfortable, but nothing beats bouncing like a cat.

R&F --- in Egypt watching the situation in Syria and Libya for the dash to Europe
www.bigbiketrip.net



Quote:
Originally Posted by GSdog View Post
Great job of telling the story of a not-so-great day...for me at least.

I have to thank Global Pilot and all the guys that were at the scene for helping me out and not leaving me as food for the lions. Without their calm, team effort things could have turned out much differently.

A few lessons learned that I will share:
- When riding in a wake of dust, always drop far enough back to allow yourself to see far enough ahead that affords you time to react accordingly.
- Always zip your jacket to your pants if your riding gear allows for it. I didn't and when I crashed my jacket rode up my back and defeated the purpose of a built-in spine protector. Its a pain to do but fracturing vertebrae is more of a pain.
- Always trade emergency info with your riding buddies prior to the ride. I had shared my satellite phone info with Global Pilot during the trip and he knew right where to find it and how to use it. And by the way, having a satellite phone on this type of trip is well worth the rental fee.
- When traveling abroad be sure to take out travel insurance that covers your medical expenses as well as emergency medevac services
- Always wear clean underwear
- Try to avoid the food in Namibian hospitals.

P.S. Its been over two months since the crash. Ive been riding on the street since shortly after returning home (against my Doctors wishes). Just did my first off-road ride on my GSA on Sunday and will do a two-day event this weekend. So life is good again.
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Old 11-24-2011, 07:04 PM   #253
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coming along
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Old 11-24-2011, 09:41 PM   #254
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This RR is Absolutely Fantastic!!!

Forget & ignore the one or two wise-ass, snide comments, in poor form; the rest of us are enjoying your report immensly! This is your report, your labour of love, boet, so do it the way you want.

As a South African I can only say you guys have done us proud of our continent in this report. I can't wait for your next post. The pictures are really, really awesome (BTW what camera did you use for the stills?). Your writing is brilliant - I can smell the dust here from South America.

Quote:
The rest of the day's ride was sort of a blur to me. I was thinking about Tim, and how fragile life can be. Here we are blasting along dirt roads in the middle of Namibia on 600 pound bikes thinking we are indestructable in our riding gear, boots, and helmets. It was a harsh reality check for everyone.
Man, it's a terrible, sick feeling when a friend goes down isn't it? A lot of local riders have had similar experiences in Namibia, those roads are fast, but things can go wrong very quickly so I guess the advice to do an off road course like the one mentioned above is a good idea for those who are unsure and need a confidence builder. I personally believe that its important not to let one's concentration lulled by the beauty and fast roads - something not easy to do - not that I am saying this is what happened in Tim's case!

Tim: Glad to hear you are healing fast,and thanks for the wise words. Since I started rally riding, I have always worn a ballistc vest like the ones shown above under my jacket. Its a bit of a pain to get it under a bigger jacket, but after the high speed offs I have had with this setup so totally worth it - Ive started riding my 800GS with it as well now.

Anyone who is considering to do this kind of trip, don't worry just go for it!

Thanks again for this thread, I know how long it takes to put it together!! Oh, and Charlie if youre reading this: Good on ya!

Neil
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Old 11-25-2011, 10:05 AM   #255
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This was a pleasant discovery, thank you for your efforts in putting this together. I know they do take a considerable amount of time to sort through all the photos and then trying to re-count all of the events in some sort of logical and interesting way. You've done well in all accounts and keep it up.

As the others have said, southern Africa is definately one to put on the bucket list.
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