<br> Roadbook Rally in Morocco - 2'500 km in 10 days I participated in this year's Raid Passion Desert Maroc (RPDM). The start was on April 28 in Agadir, the end on May 7 in Fez. The RPDM is a roadbook rally, but it is not a race. It does not matter how fast you ride, in fact, time isn't even measured. Ranking is based on navigation skills. Each stage has a target distance, which is the distance covered if you make no navigation mistakes. Deviating from the target distance results in penalties. The winner is the one with the fewest penalties at the end of all 10 stages. There are from 2 to 5 checkpoints per stage, to prevent participants from taking shortcuts. This year there were 60 motorcycles, 25 quads and 50 cars. The RPDM is organized by a French company called "Sudexpe" (www.sudexpe.com). I'm in no way affiliated with this company. The organization is very good, provided you speak French or have someone with you who does. Overnight stays were in hotels, with the exception of two nights where we stayed in Berber tents way out in the desert. For each motorcyclist, the organizers transport a standardized box (80 x 50 x 40 centimers, for tools and spare parts) and a sportsbag (for clothes). There is no need to carry any luggage on the bike at all. You get access to your box and bag every day at the end of the stage. The only things you need to carry on your bike are 3+ liters of water, navigation gear (roadbook reader, tripmaster, GPS), some tools, and emergency gear (signal rockets, compass, mirror). The total distance covered this year was 2'500 kilometers (1550 miles) in 10 days. About 20% of that were on tarmac, 70% on pistes (dirt roads), and 10% was off-road, like riverbeds, sand dunes, or dry lakes. Riding time per day was between 5 and 8 hours. This is _riding_ time only, indicated as "moving time" on the GPS. The total time to get from start to finish every day was typically between 6 and 10 hours, including breaks. Navigation is by roadbook and GPS. Entries in the roadbook are numbered. You get the GPS coordinates for some of the roadbook entries, in case you get lost. If you know the GPS coordinates for, say, roadbook entry nr. 47, you simply navigate to that place by GPS and then you are in sync with the roadbook again. Bikes need to have an autonomy of 250 km. This means no huge tanks are needed, a 13 liter tank will do. If there is no gas station within 250 km, then the organization will arrange fuel depots for the bikes. I'll post a brief summary of every stage over the next couple of days, complete with pictures and some videos taken with my helmet camera. Here is the tracklog of the complete route: And here are some pictures of sights along the route: A qued (river) with lots of palm trees north of Agadir A village in the Anti-Atlas Painted rocks near Tafraoute The sand dunes of Erg Chegaga way south in Morocco, near the border to Algeria My next post will be about bike preparation.