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Old 10-14-2011, 08:32 AM   #16
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Charlie's Rally School

So I talked to Charlie Rauseo about his Rally School, and it turns out Charile is not going to run it for the next few years, and that's for the best of reasons: kids. Charlie has two younglings that he's going to look after, so him and I discussed options.

His recommendation (KZJohn, you're gonna laugh!) was Jimmy Lewis!! I was unaware, but Jimmy is the guy that trained Charlie to start with, besides having finished third in the Dakar in 2000 (on a BMW 900RR nonetheless!!!). The things you learn if you know how to read...

So my next step is contacting Jimmy and seeing if he's interested in providing some training. Jimmy is an extremelly experienced rider, and from what I have read an all-around nice guy. Back to the emails.
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Old 10-14-2011, 11:36 AM   #17
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Sounds like we kept Charlie busy with that question yesterday ad I also emailed him on it. Sorry to hear he won't be doing it for a while but understandable.

So now I am working on other plans for getting some desert riding in. Might look into a tour with bajabound.


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Old 10-16-2011, 07:40 PM   #18
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Training Rides

I'm going to number all the training rides I go on. Some will be local, and others will be remote. I plan on sharing details for each of these rides, so people can follow my progress, see what I'm practicing on, and even go ride the same stuff if they want.

My first remote training ride will be in Utah, over Thanksgiving, just over a month from now. It will be my first taste of desert riding, with some pretty fast sections, I can't wait!

In preparation for these rides, I just bought a used Garmin 60CSx, my first portable GPS. It's got a pretty good interface, from the little I've monkeyed with it so far, and I think besides the screen being potentially hard to read depending on the angle of the Sun, it should fit me just fine.

I spent some time today creating a KML file in Google Earth based on the loop pilo used to prepare for Vegas to Reno. It's just West of Salt Lake City, and it offers a lot of interesting-looking variations. I used GPSBabel to make it into a GPX, which I was then going to somehow (I still have to learn that part) load into the 60CSx. But it loks like GPSBabel might actually load a file straight onto a Garmin GPS.

I'll be sharing these tracks on the website, so each training ride will have an attached track to it.

Because I might have to ride alone in some of these rides, even though I try to avoid that as much as possible, I'm going to be buying a SPOT GPS Tracker. Not being rescued when everything is against you is one thing, but when technology allows you to press a button and pretty much guarantee someone will find you, and all that for a couple of hundred bucks (minus the cost of the actual Search and Rescue ), to me that's a no brainer.

The SPOT will also mean you'll be able to follow my training and racing (when the racing organization allows, I think some don't) live! My wife is very much more at ease because of that.
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Old 10-17-2011, 07:38 AM   #19
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I'm also looking into getting a Sop Tracker, for the same reasons you mentioned. Not so much for the racing but for prerunning. It will give my wife a little more peace of mind.

As for GPS, I never use one. I tried once while prerunning the 08 500 but ended up spending too much time trying to figure out how to use it and not enough time riding. A map and compass work fine for me.

If you find yourself near the SoCal area on a training ride let me know, I'm allways up for a ride.
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Old 10-17-2011, 08:46 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by KZJohn View Post
I'm also looking into getting a Sop Tracker, for the same reasons you mentioned. Not so much for the racing but for prerunning. It will give my wife a little more peace of mind.

As for GPS, I never use one. I tried once while prerunning the 08 500 but ended up spending too much time trying to figure out how to use it and not enough time riding. A map and compass work fine for me.

If you find yourself near the SoCal area on a training ride let me know, I'm allways up for a ride.
Hey John, I'm a techie by nature, so for me the GPS is more for telemetry than for navigation. I like to analyze the data, see the altitude profile of the ride, average speeds, which will be useful in seeing where I can gain time on the same loop (I plan on running the same loop in Utah quite a bit and working on technique), things like that. I've been into racing cars for a while, and telemetry really helps you understand where you are losing time. Of coures, that only works on a circuit setup, but for practicing it will work.

Why don't you meet me a fourth of the way (literally, that's how much closer to Utah you are, I measured!) and we can ride together in Utah over Thanksgiving?
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Old 10-17-2011, 10:39 AM   #21
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I have always wanted to ride in Utah. Unfortunately I not only have to work the Fri after thanksgiving but Sat too.
I've been a professional mechanic since the age of 16 and have never had the days after Thanksgiving off. A lot of our non american clients choose to have their cars serviced on those days,(and other holidays), and as I work on commission I can't aford to miss those days.

By nature I'm a techie too, but I'm an old school racer. By that I meen seat of the pants. My lungs are my altimeter, I use the shadows to tell me appx what time of day it is and what general direction I'm traveling. I don't do much trail riding, most of what I do is prerunning a marked course and racing. I know what time I got on the bike and have an average speed goal. I check my analog watch at known mileage pionts,(pit stops), to see if I'm ahead or behind my goal. That's all I need to know while racing. It's not rocket science, if your behind on time, turn the throttle more. When I train I use a heart rate monitor, but a clock is my most important gage. I use analog because I don't have to read it on the fly, just look at it.
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Old 10-17-2011, 11:23 AM   #22
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That sounds a lot like what I just read Cyril Despres saying he does, he mentioned doing calculations in his head the entire time he's riding the Dakar, trying to figure out pace, navigation, race strategy. This is an area where I think I have potential, but certainly need to develop. I love math and numbers come easy to me, I can do mental calculations with ease most of the times, but doing it while riding fast will be a challenge, I'm sure.

So what about riding the weekend before Thanksgiving, do you have to work that Monday? I think I'm only making it into SLC Saturday afternoon or evening, depending on how many miles I can get in on Friday, but I should have all of Sunday to ride.

If not, I'm coming out again in late Winter on early Spring, and I'm planning to run last year's Vegas to Reno course, I have all the coordinates for it, and should be able to run it three or four times while there, it should be great practice.
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Old 10-17-2011, 03:16 PM   #23
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PM sent.
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Old 10-17-2011, 08:08 PM   #24
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Training loop and other Utah thoughts

Miguez,

If you are going to ride out here by yourself, the SPOT is a must. Jump onto the 'Utards' thread and make sure you get a few locals in your emergency list. Stuck in the high desert with a down bike or a downed rider is not smart. Pony up for the 'tracking' feature so you can let some friends keep an eye on you. This whole year I've mostly been training alone on dawn patrol and I have at least two people (wife and barnold99 mostly) who watch the spot and make sure it is still moving. My worst case scenario is some kind of situation where I cannot push the emergency button so back knows that if the SPOT's not moving for a few posts without some kind of contact from me then something is wrong. HOWEVER make sure you train whoever is watching you that if the SPOT is not updating that is differnt (heck of a lot different) then if it keeps updating in the same spot. Many times my SPOT will go 30-40 minutes without any update. I guess it can't find the sats or something. One race I did my mom of all people was freaking out when the spot did not update. My wife had to calm her down. That was the last time I told my mom to watch the SPOT site.

Also, I just rode my training loop last Friday and I have a couple of thoughts.

1) Don't ride it with your 950 alone. Get on the Utards thread and find someone to hang with you. It is an exahusting 40 miles and when you go down (you will) you need someone to help you get the 950 back on the rubber.
2) Watch the weather. It MUST be dry the week before you come. It can get really snotty when wet. On a smaller bike it is annoying, but on a big bike you will just want to pack up and go home. Seriously. I would not take my 950 on the loop if it were even a little wet.
3) There are other places to ride. Find a buddy and do a loop on the dirt roads. There are excellent loops out by Wendover. If something loop snotty, avoid it on the bike bike. You will get plenty of expereince.
4) Prepare for cold weather. It could get cold. I've done 3 loops on the training loop below freezing. Your hear starts pumping quickly, but your hands can get cold. This is the high desert so the weather can be anything.
5) Bring a smaller bike. I know you are bent on the big bike thing, and I totally get it. I have one myself and I'm not sure I'd be happy without it. But the truth is that riding it in the deep sand and snotty mud is not fun and I crash a lot. Picking it up is an adventure (hence the name) all on its own. I've ridden thousands of off-road race miles on my 450x this year and only taken it down a few times. It's just plain easier to ride well and I think easier to learn how to ride off-road better. I'm not talking about dirt road cruising, I'm talking about whoops, rocks, slime, rocky drops offs, etc. This is supposed to be fun and I'm concerend the third time you're hefting the 950 you're going to be a bit grumpy, especially with little off-road expereince. Heck, many times I'm cursing my 950 when I get it in places that get me in trouble. Find a small bike and just bring it with you in your trailer. I guarantee you will be glad you did.

I wish I were around...I'll be just finishing up some miles down south.
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Old 10-18-2011, 04:14 AM   #25
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Really good info Phil. From some solo adventures I've done before (not on a bike), I can totally relate to what you said about who watches SPOT and what they do about it. The same with my father, who broke the speed record for a small category aircraft crossing from Brazil to Africa solo, it took him 16 hours, 4 of which were spent inside thunderstorms (long story), and tracking was a challenge, but we had been well trained and the signs we needed to have before calling Search and Rescue were not there, so we waited.

I did already tell he wife I'm getting the Tracking feature .

I'll look up some loops in Wendover. I'll find the Utards thread. For now, I already have fano, from SLC, willing to ride with me, do you know him?

I am planning for very cold, buying some under garments to keep me warm, any recommendations there? I am also installing hand warmers under the rally grips.

I wish you were around too, but you have something slightly more important and challenging to take care of...

Thanks!
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Old 10-18-2011, 06:21 AM   #26
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dude, if you just get in shape, this race is pretty easy. You could finish it on a gold wing if your body was in condition to go the distance. Just don't think you are going to be competitive. no need to build it up so much. good luck though. I will see you there for sure.
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Old 10-18-2011, 07:17 AM   #27
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Fabio, get on your bike and ride it - the more the better.
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Old 10-18-2011, 07:30 AM   #28
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Just don't think you are going to be competitive.
Why race then ? That's what racing is, competition. If you don't want to, or can't compete, go trail riding with your buddies until you are ready.
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Old 10-18-2011, 08:41 AM   #29
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Fabio, get on your bike and ride it - the more the better.
I'm with you Bruno, and hopefully we'll get at least one in before the snow hits. Time is my problem, I don't have the time to ride as much as I'd like, which puts more onus on planning the few rides I can do wisely. I'll be in touch.
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Old 10-18-2011, 08:42 AM   #30
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Why race then ? That's what racing is, competition. If you don't want to, or can't compete, go trail riding with your buddies until you are ready.
I agree, I am competitive by nature. I have no misconceptions, I'm not expecting to be very good my first time out, but man I'm gonna smile if I pass even one person!
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