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Old 02-05-2007, 11:35 AM   #1
bugfnnuts OP
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Dakar crash

I haven't written a full report on my Dakar experience but thought a few words here about the crash might be appropriate.

First of all the cause was plain and simple. Major brain fart and misjudgement of epic proportions on the part of the rider.

Day 6 started with a 400k liason to a 400k special. I started at just after 5am. I had slept well and was feeling very good. My training was paying of in that I wasn't sore or tired. A little frustrated about the mechanical issues that kept shoving me down the order but feeling good. It was still dark and a sand storm was howling at about 40mph. We played follow the tail lights because none of our lights were very strong. It was a leap of faith to follow the lights in front, the striped center line and hope everyone was staying on the road. There were several that didn't. You really couldn't see more than bout 20 yards in front of you with the tail lights in front just kind of floating in the blackness. But we still needed to ride fairly fast (100-130kph) in order to make our start times. Pretty cool huh?

After about a 100k the sand started to let up but was mixed with rain now. Which was nice. It made wiping at your goggles a real adventure. The refuel stop was at 160k and by this time light was just beginning to show. Oh, and it was wet.

About 30k after the fuel stop we came off the pavement for the rest of the liason. This part of the liason was as bad as any special. It was muddy, rutted, sandy, rocky and just treacherous as hell. There was only about 140 or so miles of it though. Normally it would have been a piece of cake but the rain made it just that much more interesting. It was actually kind of fun in a really sick sort of way. I mean you realize this shit is just completely nasty and would make a really tough race in anybodys book. But this is just to get to the special. I couldn't help but chuckle. It could only be the Dakar. Your brain doesn't work normally after a couple of days of this stuff. It just accepts that this is what has to be done and that is what you do.

Started the special and it was high speed. Because of the fuel pump issues I was running hard to the first fuel stop at 200k because I knew I would need to conserve fuel to get through the dunes at the end of the day. That meant slowing down and giving back all the time I would have gained in the first 200k. F'ing fuel pump.

I was running at about 140kph and was just cruising. Unfortunately I picked a line through a small patch of trees that looked like small ripples. Upon arrival said ripples turned out to be washes about 2-3' deep and about 30 yards across. SHIT!!! was my exact word. Twisted the throttle for what was left (not much), got back on the bike (was already on the pegs) and braced for impact. Came off the first set pretty straight, hit the second time and things started to go a little Pear shaped but not catastrophic. The suspension hadn't fully rebounded and I bottomed hard on the second hit. The third hit was......well......bad. The bike nosed into the next wash or maybe it was the eighth because there was some air time. At any rate the sudden slowing of the front made the rear (with full tanks) decide it wanted to come around to the left to see what all the ruckus was about. I knew right then and there I was in trouble because the bike wasn't handling worth a shit at this point. The last thing I remember is being in the air standing on the pegs with the rear out to the left at about 75 degrees or so, the bars still pointed in the direction I wanted to go.

This was going to hurt.

Then I woke up.

I was on my back in a somewhat fetal position with my left leg pointing in a kind of funny direction. Not funny HaHa but funny I can move my toes but not my leg and shit I must have really messed something up. I did a quick inventory and much to my relief and suprise everything was still operable. Well, except for my left leg. Now by operable I mean I could feel everything and move most little pieces like toes, fingers, eyelids and stuff. But the body was curled up funny like it was waiting for something else to happen. I kept trying to convince it that the worst was over but wasn't having any luck. It was like I was frozen.

Ok, I have obviously sustained a fairly decent injury. I am lying in the middle of Mauritania. At some point the adrenaline is going to wear off and shit is going to start hurting. What do I do now? I can't move!! I can just see th bike out of the corner of my eye. It is over my shoulder about 20 yards away. I'm not looking forward to trying to get to it. Because I literally cannot move. Much to my suprise it looked to be in one piece. All the body work was still on it. I won't know the real damage till it gets back later this month.

That is when she arrived. Yep, the Spanish lady who was riding a Yammie 450 was there. My range of motion and vision was extremly limited and I hadn't noticed her. Now I must have been out for at least 4-5 minutes. The reason I say this is that I had passed her a ways back. She had also already made a call on her Iritrack. I think she thought I was dead because of the look on her face when she got to me and my eyes were open. It wasn't a good look at first but got better when she realized I was alive.

You can't make this stuff up. Here I was in the middle of Mauritania speaking French with a Spanish woman. It was just a little surreal. She held my head and we talked for a few minutes. She ran off again and came back to tell me the helicopter was about 10 minutes out. She pulled my goggles off and kept talking to me. She wouldn't let me close my eyes and was a guardian angel as far as I was concerned. She was pretty funny because she was trying to hide my leg from me. I knew it was hurt and kept trying to squirm so I could have a look. There wasn't any blood or bone sticking out so in my mind things were looking up. As cars flew by 20 yards away at well over 100mph she would bend over to cover me from the dust. Cannot thank her enough.

The helicopter arrived and let me tell you these guys are pros. They had mad doctor skilz. The Spanish lady was sent on her way and they got to work on me. I was hooked up to a Cardel monitor to get all my vitals. Helmet was eased off. After an initial assessment it was determined I was definetly out of the race but probably not going to die. The had to cut off my jacket and Koerta pressure suit, about which there will be more later because it saved my life. They hit me with some morephine and it was good. Nope, it was great. They intentionally had me tripping a bit because when I came back to planet earth my leg was in a different position and I had been put on one of those form fitting things.

All this time rally cars are still screaming by about 20 yards away. It was cool in that surreal kind of way again. Trippin again and this time I wake up just as they are finishing loading me in the helicopter. Now this isn't a life flight helicopter. They load you in from the side and everything and everyone barely fits. I love helicopters, even have a few hours towards my license. Riding in one gorked out on good drugs is an E ticket ride.

Wake up again in the back of an airplane. It is a twin turbo prop brush plane that is parked literally in the middle of nowhere. We are waiting on another injured rider to show up. He arrives by helicopter about 20 minutes later with a broken leg. They fire up and off we go. They didn't know if we were going to Madrid or the Canary Islands. Turns out we went to the Canary Islands.

Next installment. Canaryl Island Hell. Or why you don't want socialized medicine.

"Dakar must be a race for few people, Dakar is a dream, the dream of the Rose Lake, if everybody finish it, the dream is over" Fabrizio Meoni

A challenge for those who go. A dream for those who stay behind. " Thierry Sabine
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Old 02-05-2007, 11:49 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by bugfnnuts
Next installment. Canaryl Island Hell. Or why you don't want socialized medicine.

Holy crap.
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Old 02-05-2007, 11:58 AM   #3
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(never thought I'd post that smiley in face plant)
Experience is the worst teacher; it gives the test before presenting the lesson. - Vernon Law
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Old 02-05-2007, 12:01 PM   #4
Daredevil Clutz
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eagerly awaiting the next installment!
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Old 02-05-2007, 12:01 PM   #5
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Surreal. I'm glad you are able to write this right now. Get well soon!
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Old 02-05-2007, 12:07 PM   #6
The further the better!
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Glad to hear you are OK, it could have been much worse. It must be very hard to try and read the terrain at those kinds of speeds.
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Old 02-05-2007, 12:16 PM   #7
killing the fatted calf
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Old 02-05-2007, 12:26 PM   #8
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Yeah yeah Dakar, yeah yeah 100mph crash, yeah yeah helicopter ride, more important is you are going to see that spanish chick again,right? So what if she is a cop.
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Old 02-05-2007, 01:13 PM   #9
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Mr. Fnuckn' Nuts,

It's an honor to read your post.....Dakar competitors are the real deal..

I always believe the best stories in life cost blood or money.

In your case: Sounds like both.

I hope you heal well...Dammm....Wish you all the luck and Godspeed with your leg. 100 MPH get offs usually result in death. You obviously have some usefulness left and thus you are still here.


Look forward to hearing more of your well earned Story.....
If a physical fact can produce a psychological state, a psychological state can produce a physical fact... The whole of creation is asleep within the deep of man and is awakened to objective existence by his subconscious assumptions.
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Old 02-05-2007, 01:22 PM   #10
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I didn't know there was a Spanish woman racing... Do you recall her name?

Glad you're able to type this up for us!
2007 Suzuki DL650ABS
"Aw, isn't that cute, the new one smiles at you instead of the old one glowering at you" -SlowPhil
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Old 02-05-2007, 01:37 PM   #11
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Somebody pass the popcorn. This is gonna be a helluva story.
2010 F800GS Anniversary - a return to Eden
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IBA # 20880. STFU and Ride.
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Old 02-05-2007, 02:07 PM   #12
Flea Tibet!
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I assume you are in Las Palmas...I got relatives in Lanzarote and whacked myself in the head over there when I was a wee lad...Las Palmas hospitals are the frickin' Mayo Clinic compared to the out island clinics..I was refilling a motor scooter...caught my head on the corner of a garage door as I ran the jerrycan back into the garage...d'oh! Blood everywhere, mom thought I had wrecked in the bike (no helmets in those days)...hijack off.

Great to hear you airlifted out OK and congrats for making it as far as you did, we're looking forward to rest of the story. I watched quite a bit of the Dakar on TV...holee molee!
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Old 02-05-2007, 02:16 PM   #13
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One measley bucket o' popcorn ain't gonna make it. We'll need more. I'm just sayin'...
.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..

"They've got roads there that make Deal's Gap look like a runway." —Buelligan1203 on Japan
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Old 02-05-2007, 02:25 PM   #14
Jacob Mayer
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I'll put some more in the popper.

I'm glad to hear you survived the get-off. Thanks for posting a great narrative; I'm looking forward to the rest of the story.
Happy Riding,
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Old 02-05-2007, 02:36 PM   #15
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Best post I've read! Keep it coming and heal soon.

"If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough." - Mario Andretti -

"I reject your reality and substitute my own." - Adam Savage -
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