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Old 01-01-2013, 10:00 AM   #1
CanuckHeadhunter OP
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Wink DAKAR TRAINING REGIME - 3-5 yr plan - anyone have one?

ADVrider NOOB...but multi-yr reader / lurker

I have a 25+ yr obsession with the Dakar and am looking for input and suggestions for a 3-5 year training plan with milestones for equipment purchase, physical endurance training, smaller long distance rallies to attend to get some experience all the while moving towards a Dakar event.

End State is to actually race the Dakar on an 4 wheeler ATV (QUAD).

Does anyone having a training plan, recommended training activities, physical workout (what to focus on), also mechanics training (for repairs while on the rally), rally's etc?

Note I am in Ontario Canada.

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Old 01-01-2013, 10:56 AM   #2
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Do you have a 3-5 year plan for the money too? Or at least have banks in mind to rob?
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Old 01-01-2013, 11:02 AM   #3
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Can you provide a little detail of where you are currently at; riding skill, physical condition, any competitive riding?
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Old 01-01-2013, 01:10 PM   #4
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Wicked Details requested

Details requested:

Age: 40

Physical Condition - GOOD - currently preparing (again) for a CF (Canadian Forces) Afghan Deployment - I consider myself in GOOD shape for my age however I am NOT a hard core runner - more weights and CrossFit - looking to do a LOT more CrossFit this year

Riding Level - Advanced Amateur - I have 4 ATV's - 2 racing, 2 utility (none are truly equipped for long distance rally distances) - I have NOT done TRACK RACING...going in circles carries little interest to me - neither does going stupid fast for 7-10 minutes on an xtremely tight track. I have taken on multiple 8+ hour riding trails at above a leisurely pace...but hardly at a level I would consider a true rally would be raced at. I DO have access to tracks as well as multiple friends who are North American top 20 racers who I can lean on for assistance (they are motocross track racers - NOT ATV racers...nor rally racers). I am also in touch with several Canadian Dakar racers - have met several and feel there is local support from those individuals if someone was SERIOUS about taking on the DAKAR.

Mechanical Skill: Negligible - I would really have to pick this skill up from the very basics and move forward with it.

Finances - GOOD QUESTION - looking for assistance and direction on this as well. Since this is a 3-5 yr plan - My first year is mostly about using the equipment I already have rather than buying new. Mostly an investment in TIME, off-trail training etc. 2nd yr I'd likely want to INVEST in a more suitable ATV - note that I have used both 2 and 4 wheel QUADS and believe whole heartedly in the utility of 4x4 - therefore I'd likely make this purchase a CAN-AM Utility or CAN-AM Sport Quad (Renegade 4x4 Sport Quad).

My research for the final 18 months prior to a true Dakar entry submission and attempt would be a budget of approx 85K US for a serious attempt - that would include support services from Rally Pan-Am or other such organization as well as 3-5 trips that year down to Rally Pan-Am for 3 day weekend desert training sessions to learn road book and IRITRACK systems in addition to desert / sand riding...we don't have a lot of desert in Canada). Of course 85K now may very well be 110K in 5 years time.....hard to tell. A yearly breakdown of goals and milestones from a on-trail / off-trail perspective as well as finances expected to "invest" each year is also of interest.

Are there other North American DISTANCE rally's that I could use for pure long distance riding skill and stamina development? (Remember..for Quads & ATV's). Yes..very aware of SCORE BAJA series Rally's and am interested. There is a 24 hour rally near Quebec City that is easily drivable in a day.....but looking for others.

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Old 01-01-2013, 02:48 PM   #5
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Stick with the CrossFit work out regimen and build up your riding endurance. Your overall workout should be geared more toward endurance than strength. Your riding should concentrate on endurance also. Try to ride 3-4 hours at a fast pace you can maintain. Work on increasing the pace while maintaining it for the entire ride. Your stamina and riding skill will increase.

I'd look at running BITD Vegas to Reno for good desert practice. It will will also give you a gauge of what you need to work on as a rider.

As far as mechanical skill, if you real have no ability and don't have a natural sense on how things work find someone that can help you. Start with basic things like changing the oil and tires, then start disassembling more parts of the quad just to get familiar with how the pieces come apart and go back together.
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Old 01-01-2013, 10:09 PM   #6
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CHH - if you check some of the Dakar pre-event you will see a bit of comment on getting into the event, which will be perhaps the biggest challenge, i.e. your rally CV - that is after getting together the $150k that it would probably cost in a few years (always costs more and never less) with full support would be pretty high on the list.

Having said this check out Manuel Lucchese and contact him after the Dakar - Manuel is on his second campaign and is perhaps one of the most resourceful guys around in terms of getting there on a budget, catch up on his blog and Facebook, he is one of the ADvrs when he has time.

There are also a few rumours knocking around over the location of the event in a few years, but I would suggest that as long as it remains on this planet then this is minor.

Good luck and keep at it here and you will get plenty of support along the way - Deadly99 is in your neck of the woods and may also be able to help - check out his book from last year - http://www.graveltravel.ca/index.php...d=71&Itemid=69

PS - there is a guy from Dubai, Sebastian Husseini #265 Quad, entering for the first year, a good friend of Sam Sunderland (an ADVassociate with his fan club of mxmum and myself) but unfortunatley he is out for this year, but that's another story.

Seb runs a small shop here in Dubai called Sebsports and I'm sure after the race is over if you contact him he will have plenty of info, maybe you are even passing through and could catch up with him?

Sam would be able to give you some guidance on fitness training - but you would need to be special forces material to take 50% of it on board and one of the key things for all is stay away from injury!

too old screwed with this post 01-01-2013 at 10:22 PM
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Old 01-01-2013, 11:58 PM   #7
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Contact Charlie at Rally Management Services. He is a Dakar veteran, and was the team manager for Rally PanAm. He also puts on rally schools for navigation.

http://www.rallymanagementservices.com/
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Old 01-02-2013, 09:06 AM   #8
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Welcome to the addiction

I am on a similar path. 3 years ago I set my sights on Dakar, at the time I planned on doing it in 5 years (2015) but a recent racing injury has set me back at least a year... probably more to be honest since I don't think I was really on track to do it in 5 years. Sounds like you are starting with more riding experience than I did, and most certainly you are starting
from a better level of fitness.

I started a thread back when I started my goal, not it orignally said 10 years as the goal then I later changed it to 5. I suspect the reality will be somewhere in between.

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=516013

Also I am documenting my journey in my blog: http://www.dakardream.net/

You seem to have a good understanding of the cost, that is important as a lot of people get scared off right away when they realize what it really costs to do this event.

Events I would suggest:

Mexican 1000, (I think they have a quad class, not sure). This is a 4 day rally through Baja. Lost of vintage vehicles but also open to modern vehicles. Fairly lightweight compared to other rallies but a great way to get started.

Australian Safari Rally. I believe they might be doing free shipping from N. America this year as part of the entry fee. Several ADVers have done this in the past so should find plenty of info if you search here.

Best of luck!
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Old 01-02-2013, 09:53 AM   #9
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RIDE .. then RIDE.... and RIDE... whenever you get a chance RIDE.. if someone want to, go RIDE with them.. if you have a vacation go RIDE.. you get the idea
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Old 01-02-2013, 02:05 PM   #10
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From what I saw on the reliability of quads in the Australian safari event I would work towards knowing every single square inch of your machine by the time you reach the start line. Make sure you understand how every piece fits together and know how to take it apart and rebuild it in the desert if you need to....because you may need to.
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Old 01-02-2013, 07:27 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seth S View Post
From what I saw on the reliability of quads in the Australian safari event I would work towards knowing every single square inch of your machine by the time you reach the start line. Make sure you understand how every piece fits together and know how to take it apart and rebuild it in the desert if you need to....because you may need to.
+1

I was on a 5+ year plan for Dakar, except I really wasn't. I just kept doing the things that fascinated me and that I enjoyed, and next thing you know, there I was.

Something I think is really important is that you don't view dakar as an end point, but a culmination, just as the last goal was and the next will be. That ensures your heart is pure every step of the way. Reducing it to a bullet point on a bucket list misses not only the point, but also the best way to prepare- it should just be more of what you have been doing.
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Old 01-03-2013, 04:00 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by wrk2surf View Post
RIDE .. then RIDE.... and RIDE... whenever you get a chance RIDE.. if someone want to, go RIDE with them.. if you have a vacation go RIDE.. you get the idea
Wot he said...............

Plus spend some money on entering the Maroc Rally (that's Morocco in North Africa). http://rallyemaroc.npo.fr/?lang=en There is a healthy Quad entry as well as all the bikes, cars and trucks.

The next one is in October later this year and is the closest you will get to the 'Dakar' experience. It is run by the NPO and is six days racing with liason sections and special tests on the Dakar pistes and dunes that were used before it all decamped to South America.

All the top race teams are there including the full factory KTM team, as they do their final shake down tests prior to the Dakar in the following January. You will ride alongside the best in the world. You also use all the navigation and safety equipment you get on the Dakar, which will include the Roadbook, GPS, Iritrack, sentinel warning system, cap repeater and ICO. Navigtion is as equally important as riding ability and bike fitness and will be your main learning, as well as the early starts and just riding as part of a rally in the desert.

You will spend money doing this but it will help you understand the complexity and difficulties of rally raiding and the level of skill/knowledge etc required. It will contribute to your Rally CV which will help you get accepted into the Dakar. Also if you find that you are not up to/get to the required standard or are simply not enjoying it, it is better to find out on this than with the Dakar itself. It is certainly more cost effective.

When I was in the 2009 race, Don Hatton and another Canadian (sorry I cannot remember his name, but I do remember him breaking his leg) were both using it as pre-Dakar training. You also need to hook up with a team - they can take a lot of the pressure off you and will service your bike/quad daily while you sort yourself out, eat, drink, prep your roadbook for the next day and rest.

Being ex military myself, I prided myself on getting the navigation right (to the extent that people were following me in the tricky sections), I just wish I could ride quicker!! Oh and riding up a dune were there is no back and a straight drop hurts

Anyway good luck with your plans, I hope it works out for you.
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Old 01-03-2013, 04:24 PM   #13
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When I was in the 2009 race, Don Hatton and another Canadian (sorry I cannot remember his name, but I do remember him breaking his leg) were both using it as pre-Dakar training.
I believe Rick Hatswell is who you are thinking of there.

Thanks for your thoughts on Morrocco. Been thinking about doing that one myself. Did you use your own bike or rent through someone like Desert Rose?
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Old 01-03-2013, 05:03 PM   #14
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I believe Rick Hatswell is who you are thinking of there.

Thanks for your thoughts on Morrocco. Been thinking about doing that one myself. Did you use your own bike or rent through someone like Desert Rose?
Yes it was Rick - thanks for remembering.

I took my own bike, it was the same KTM 525 EXC with a Mecasystem rally conversion that I used in the last African Dakar in 2007. It was rebuilt by Patsy for the 09 Maroc Rally and was serviced by her team (Desert Rose) along with a number of other bikes, including Don's. After the rule change (450's) I sold it to Patsy and she rebuilt it again for Toby Younger who took it to a Dakar finish in last year's race in Argentina. so the bike has had a hard life and looked VERY second hand when I saw it a couple of months after the race

Patsy does rent bikes for the Maroc Rally (hopefully not that one ), as well as providing the rally preparation, support, mechanics etc and Patsy's and her teams experience are well worth having.

Good luck and let me know if you need any more info.
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Old 01-03-2013, 09:13 AM   #15
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I just took another look at the categories for the Mexican 1000 rally and they do indeed have ATV classifications. Last year there were no ATVs so you probably won't have much if any competition in your class but this still would be a good intro to rally for you.

Entries are open now: https://www.norra.com/

I did it last year an had a blast. Being from the northeast part of the US I never knew how amazing the terrain in Baja really was. Seeing bits of TV coverage of the Baja 1000 doesn't do it justice, you gotta go see it for yourself.
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