So Who's Actually Been To Watch The Dakar?

Discussion in 'Racing' started by DeeGee, Mar 31, 2012.

  1. DeeGee

    DeeGee I'm a Yorkshireman thanoz

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    I am seriously thinking of going to watch the Dakar next year. Thinking of shipping the bike and follow the rally from start to finish.

    I'd like to know from anyone who's been as a spectator. How accessible is it? Is it worth paying all the coin to go and see it?

    It's something I would dearly love to do, but I don't think I could ever afford it so the next best thing would be to go and see it.

    Can anyone tell me what it's like?

    Thanks DG
    #1
  2. joneswgareth

    joneswgareth Welsh Rarebit

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    With you all the way Gav :freaky
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  3. DeeGee

    DeeGee I'm a Yorkshireman thanoz

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    Amen brother! :freaky
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  4. wrk2surf

    wrk2surf on the gas or brakes

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    I have no affiliation but I know rawhyde guys followed.. some funny vids floating around

    http://www.rawhyde-offroad.com/

    they run skills classes and offer rides around the US so they will have the english part down.

    Myself, IF I could follow (and not race) I would buy a good used dual sport in the large town where it starts and sell it for pennys on the dollar at the finish town's local moto shop riding solo the first week... Im sure you would hook up with someone along the way and not be stuck with a group of people you dont want to be around. good luck and give us a story next winter to read!
    #4
  5. Vicks

    Vicks gets stuck in sand

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    I've been thinking of doing this since last few years but never got around to do it.

    My plan is to ship my 990 to SA and then follow the rally entirely. I say lets plan up and do it in 2013 !!!

    who else wants to do this. Its the next best thing to actually riding in the Dakar (which i don't have the means to - monetary, physically & mentally :lol3)

    cheers
    #5
  6. HogWild

    HogWild Scott Whitney

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    There are several threads on this subject from past years. Tons of good advice in those threads.

    I did it with a couple of guys the first year in South America. We rented bikes. It was super fun! But unless you have very solid connections with someone in the race, you won't get access to the bivouac, which is where all the visible action is. And you won't have much time to watch actual racing because you yourself will be racing down the highway most of the day to keep up. And since the course is secret, it's often difficult to even find a decent place to watch the race. If you can pull off a trip like this, it's worth it! But don't under estimate the difficulties and challenges. It's not at all like a normal sightseeing trip!

    Be careful with that. If you don't have all kinds of proper vehicle paperwork when you cross boarders, you won't be crossing boarders! If the finish isn't in the same country as the start, it might be near impossible to sell a vehicle in a different country that where you bought it.
    #6
  7. AirborneAndy

    AirborneAndy Vagabond

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    I was a spectator in 2011 but I didnt follow the whole race. I went to the bivouac site for the rest day and setup camp a day before the racers arrived. Then we got up early the day they were to arrive and went out to the end of the special (actual racing) section. It was challenging just to find out where to go. Anyway here's a link to the thread.

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=646127

    I actually got in to the bivouac site at the mid race rest day in 2011. I got there while they were still setting things up and just rode right in. I should have setup camp and stayed. Another guy got in when the racers were arriving he just rode in with one of the racers. But, later when everything was setup, I tried to get back in and was turned away. I said that I wanted to visit the U.S. rider Jonah Street. They said I could have earlier in the day but it was too late.
    #7
  8. DeeGee

    DeeGee I'm a Yorkshireman thanoz

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    Cheers for the replies guys :thumb

    Looks like we could have a plan Mr. Jones & Vicks :wink:
    #8
  9. Vicks

    Vicks gets stuck in sand

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    Should i start working on a oil tank relocation + larger radiator for my 990 now ? :lol3 :lol3
    #9
  10. Stagehand

    Stagehand Imperfectionist

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    I was a spectator in Africa in 2006. Only watched two days of it... To follow it around takes almost as much travel as the guys in the race, thats for sure. And finding out where to watch from is challenging as well.
    Sure is cool, though :D
    #10
  11. Manolito

    Manolito Patagonia guide

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    I saw stage 1 of the 2012 Dakar, and i saw many rider chasing it.

    (Pics taken that day)

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  12. biggles0449

    biggles0449 Been here awhile

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    Hi guys, I looked into this last year, when Toby and Jago were racing.. Jago has his 6x6 expedition truck on the continent and we were looking at selling seats onboard to chase the Dakar.. excellent trip and a good price, but it kept cropping up about access to bivouacs and actually seeing the racing..everything was on a wing and a prayer in this respect..if you were lucky, then you could blag it, otherwise, you would be looking through the fences!

    I was very surprised by how reasonable the costs of the official ASO hospitality tours were....which guarantee bivouac access amongst other things.

    http://www.aso.fr/us/hospitality-our-offers-dak-voyages.html

    Perhaps a good option for a real trip of a lifetime chasing the Dakar, would be to buy/hire a vehicle in the first country, and chase yourself, then at the first border, drop the vehicle and do a couple of the ASO organised trips, this way you would see it from all angles, get tired and dirty chasing it.. get the access to bivouacs, buggies to vantage points in the latter stages and the chance of helicopter trips etc..

    Not to mention all the cool swag you would get!

    Just my thoughts... but this is the way I would consider chasing, to avoid all the headache of border crossings with local vehicles or buying/selling down there. A few friends have chased on bikes, and one of them is married to Patsy Quick... noone better to schmooze some bivouac passes, and even they found it a struggle! ASO are no fools and with the popularity of the race in SA then its always going to be tough getting access.

    Good luck and id love to see how you choose to do it in the end
    #12
  13. Deadly99

    Deadly99 Fast and Far

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    Those ASO tours of the bivouac look disappointing. You walk as a group on a tour through camp. Didn't look like fun.

    Last year there were some press vehicles selling seats in their trucks, also entitles you to sleep in the bivouac. Ya you don't get to see the racing much but being in camp everyday is very cool :nod

    Chasing the race on a bike looked like fun but again you likely will not see much actual racing as you'll be pounding miles just trying to keep up. If it were me (and th thought has crossed my mind :wink: ) I would chase on a Bike, skip every second day, enjoy the riding (as it looks awesome), camp in the desert along side the track every second day so you can watch every competitor go by. 7 days of watching the racers go by, camping beside the track each night. Some fun getting off the roads to find cool camp spots with a view. With a bit of planning it could be a very cool trip, not cheap but very cool :thumb

    Renting a bike...not sure about border crossing and the reliability of rental bikes. Shipping a bike $$$ but seems like the way to go.

    Yes I have given this some serious thought :nod
    Shout me a pm if you get to the point where you become serious about going :thumb
    #13
  14. DaZbrah

    DaZbrah start me up

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    Shipped my 12GS down from Los Angeles for the 2011 follow till rest day 7 in Northern Chile and then rode back. Hooked up with a privateer from Wales and his support team. Was way cool the Dakar gets in your blood, cried everyday that I watched this year on TV/Internet. You can find the specials and see the off road stuff on line the day before.

    All the cops and people know the viewing spots but you need to speak Spanish!

    True the Bivies at night are the spot to be and are impossible to get in with out passes. But the towns and regular folks are partying every night that the race is in town. You ride into town and people surround your bike put the kids on for a photo and generally believe your someone cool from the Dakar:-)

    Personally had more fun hanging with the babes in town than the mechanics at the Bivies:freaky

    There are tons of support groups you can pay/sponsor a bit to hang with. The other way is 20k with lame butt tours.
    #14
  15. biggles0449

    biggles0449 Been here awhile

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    Hahah ok so I guess ASO tours might not be a good option then :rofl

    Plenty of other ways to do things, liking the idea of every other day hook ups and partying with the babes in town...much more to my taste!

    Ride, party and then pay a media car for a couple of days access throughout.. sounds spot on. Or you could just enter the rally as a "mechanic" but we all know that unless youre very useful and know the right people, then it's $$$$ for one of those seats!
    #15
  16. BC61

    BC61 Long timer

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    An option could possibly be to hook up with a competitor, pay a small fee to said team and be listed as a mechanic on the team. You pay for your mechanic entry fee to the ASO, receive bracelet than do what ever the heck you want. You would have access to the bivouac, meals etc. You would not be able to bring your bike/vehicle into the bivouac though.
    #16
  17. trailtrick

    trailtrick goat trail rider

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    very hard the do because o the crow's,Best way is see the race evry other day and leap frog the course, camp in a remote area and see the rally pass the next morning .,repeat every night o every other night iff needed.
    #17
  18. Vicks

    Vicks gets stuck in sand

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    best plan ever.

    I'm not too much of a "guided tour" guy, neither am i interested much in following the rally on a 6x6 or even a 4x4. 2x1 is where all the fun is :lol3.

    I'm in to be part of a (small-ish) group of 4-5 ADVriders following the rally per Deadly's above plan. Lets do this !!!! What could possibly go wrong. Our very own Pyndon is going to be Dakar'ing in 2013 so you have all the justification you need to give SWMBO .... :D
    #18
  19. Vicks

    Vicks gets stuck in sand

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    so, who else is in ?

    Shit !! I need to talk to my boss first about the month long vacation i need in the last quarter of the year :deal
    #19
  20. trailtrick

    trailtrick goat trail rider

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    Im finishing the details for this .
    I plan on taking a group o riders ,ride and see the race every other day , have a chase truck so the ridding be with a unloaded bike tru very remote places special in argentina were we will see the race pass by in their way to tucuman and we going to staty @12k feet ridding for 2 days and waith for the race pass by somewere in the chilean side pass paso san francisco .
    working on the cost and see how many bikes i can arrenge for rent .
    we will also ship customers bikes from los angeles to lima and back from santiago to los angeles .
    The goal is have 2 trucks
    1 service truck working for 3 racers and the other truck follow the tour ,that way we will also have bibobac acces few times during the race .
    I be down in peru/argentina and chile for 2 weeks at the end o the month getting all the details work out
    The lodging be camping and staing in locals homes every 2 o 3 days for a nice bed/shower/laundry
    after the rally finish we plan in ride 10 to 12 days in the lake district tru some old remote rds and 2 tracks .

    Some teaser pictures o the places we will see

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    #20