Vegas to Reno 2012 - The Miguez Rally Racing adventure

Discussion in 'Racing' started by miguez, Oct 11, 2011.

  1. miguez

    miguez Miguez Rally Racing

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2010
    Oddometer:
    477
    Location:
    In a rally or prepping for one
    Howdy inmates!

    Wow, it feels very real now that I’ve started this thread! My name is Fabio Miguez, and I’m going to race the Vegas to Reno 2012 edition!

    I’m a 35 year old guy from Brazil, and I’ve been living in the US for 13 years now. I have been fascinated by the Dakar (Paris-Dakar back then!) since I have been a little boy, and Brazil even had a strong presence in motorcycles for a while in the 1990s with André de Azevedo, who happens to be from my hometown, and is now driving the large trucks at the more modern South American editions of the Dakar.

    In the past few years I have been positioning myself to be in a spot to one day race this awesome rallie. I have been riding motorcycles since I was 15, but I only started to ride off-road last year. I have never raced off-road, and Vegas to Reno will be my first off-road foray. I then have plans to race the Rally dos Sertoes in 2013.

    This thread will cover how I’m going to go from no experience and out-of-shape to finishing this grueling race. Over the next months I’m going to be writing about many subjects, such as the bike build, physical training, testing runs, gear, nutrition, and many more. My goal is to share some knowledge and lessons learned with everyone else.
    One of the greatest things ADV has done for me is to show that anything is possible, that mere mortals like myself can accomplish the seemingly impossible with enough planning and preparation. So I hope that my account will help encourage others and make them realize they can do it too!

    Right off the bat, let me acknowledge the stories that have impressed and pushed me the most. These were the guys that finally cemented in me the feeling that I can do this, and I am forever thankful for that.

    Bluebull2007 went from never racing a rally to finishing the Rally dos Sertoes in 2010 with a broken foot and a fulfilled dream. His training thread is here , and his race report here. If you haven’t read it, stop reading this right now, pour a glass or seven of your favorite brew, and go learn what a determined mind can do.

    frog raced the Vegas to Reno on a 950 Super Enduro, that’s a 400 lb bike for those of you wondering. His story is awesome, and you can read it here. It has special significance to me, and you’ll soon learn why.

    Last but not least is pilo. He raced Vegas to Reno this year, and has a great thread talking about the different aspects of preparing for such a long race.

    I have been in touch with all three guys, and they have been great at helping a n00b like me get ready. Now, it’s my turn.

    I've decided to call my team Miguez Rally Racing, or MRR. I have a website in the works, so as soon as it's up it'll be posted here.

    I also want to thank my first sponsor, Woody's Wheel Works, these guys have been nothing but fantastic and encouraging, and having the best wheels in the business will make it that much more likely that I'll finish my races.

    Stay tuned.
    #1
  2. tehdutchie

    tehdutchie Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,139
    Location:
    Amsterdam or on Twitter @antal
    Sounds like a nice adventure! Good luck!
    #2
  3. octane27

    octane27 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2010
    Oddometer:
    69
    Location:
    SE OKC
    Miguez,
    Good luck. I will be following this closely as I also want to race the VtoR, Baja, and rallies. Maybe one day I will start a thread and post your ride report as my inspiration. Once again, good luck.
    #3
  4. miguez

    miguez Miguez Rally Racing

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2010
    Oddometer:
    477
    Location:
    In a rally or prepping for one
    Thanks guys! Trust me, it's a weird feeling starting the thread, but there's no better way to find out you can do something than to commit and then have to worry about how you're gonna do it :evil.
    #4
  5. hiawassee

    hiawassee Fair play t'ya!

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2009
    Oddometer:
    199
    Location:
    O-H!.....for now
    hey miguez. nice post. looking forward to reading more about your effort. my buddy and I raced baja in 2009 and have been discussing other races/rallies since then....V2R, Baja (again), Desafio Ruta 40 in Argentina, etc.

    I'm in the Columbus OH area too and wouldn't mind swapping stories, training regimens, and maybe doing a little riding. pm me if you're interested.
    #5
  6. miguez

    miguez Miguez Rally Racing

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2010
    Oddometer:
    477
    Location:
    In a rally or prepping for one
    When I share my current choice of bike for these two upcoming races, Vegas to Reno and Rally dos Sertoes, I’m going to be criticized for it. I want to make clear that such critique is well-founded and welcomed, so please don’t try to jump and defend me, or be rude to critics, they are correct in being concerned.

    That’s because I’m planning to use a 2008 KTM 990 Adventure, which I’m converting to a 990 Rally. Why, you ask? Good question.

    First, it’s the bike I currently have. I bought her used, with about 5,000 miles, in June of 2010.

    Second, it is the bike Fabrizio Meoni used to win the 2002 edition of the Dakar. Sure, it was heavily modified, and it was actually a 950, basically the same motor but carbureted instead of fuel injected. And sure, Fabrizio was a world-class rider. But a lot of the parts were the same, so I know the bike, at least, with some modifications, is capable of doing it. And considering I’m not really planning on being competitive, just finishing these races, I don’t think I need to be a fantastic rider to be able to do this.

    Third, I love tough challenges. I know having a bigger, heavier bike will make it harder, but I thrive on that. Whenever I help friends move, I always volunteer to move the hardest, heavier pieces. When in a team and tasks are being divvied up, I pick the toughest assignments. If on a trail and I come up on a fork that later joins back, I pick the toughest way. So call it a masochistic tendency, or what have you, I like to make things harder.

    All that being said, I’m a realist. I know there’s a chance I can’t handle a bike this big well enough to complete these races. So like the engineer that I am, I need testing. A future post will cover that in more detail, but I’m headed to Utah over Thanksgiving to spend a week riding terrain very similar to the Vegas to Reno, and some high-speed sections that can approach the Rally dos Sertoes, to make sure I want to stick with this bike. I would love to be able to race it, because I think there’s a cool factor in finishing riding such a beast, but I’m not married to it. If I am not confident after the week in Utah, she’ll go on the market and I’ll get a 450, in preparation for future races that only allow that and smaller displacements.

    Speaking of which, this was something I had to check, that Vegas to Reno and Sertoes would allow this big of a motor. They do. Vegas to Reno has unlimited displacement, and Sertoes allows bikes up to 1300cc. I think that’s so someone crazier than I am can run it on a BMW R 1200 GS Adventure :wink:.

    Several future posts will cover the bike build, whatever bike that is. I have already done some necessary mods to the 990 to be much better off-road than a stock one, but none are mods that compromise the riding on-road, or would make it harder to sell it if I decide to. I’ll cover those first in a soon-to-be written post. Should I decide to keep it, then the heavy mods begin and she’ll never be the same bike again.

    If you want to see what Meoni’s 950 looked like there’s a great page on the HOW about it, check it out here.
    #6
  7. miguez

    miguez Miguez Rally Racing

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2010
    Oddometer:
    477
    Location:
    In a rally or prepping for one
    Hey hiawassee, awesome! I'd love to get together. I have moved to Toledo recently, but my house in Columbus hasn't sold yet, so I'm in town once in a while. I'd also like to run Perry State Forrest some more, that place has great challenges!

    I'll let you know when I next am coming to Columbus. Looking forward to it!
    #7
  8. drc42

    drc42 Rally Dreamer

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,886
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    Best of luck, I will be watching closely as I am trying to learn as much from others who have the same ultimate dream as me :evil
    #8
  9. miguez

    miguez Miguez Rally Racing

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2010
    Oddometer:
    477
    Location:
    In a rally or prepping for one
    Hey drc, thanks! Are you going to the Sandblast 2012? If some things line up I might make it there on February 4th 2012.
    #9
  10. KZJohn

    KZJohn Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2008
    Oddometer:
    442
    Location:
    Anaheim Hills
    Have you considered taking one of Jimmy Lewis' off road skills classes? He trains alot of adventure riders on bikes such as yours and has succesfully competed on them.

    Our team may be doing some of the BITD races in 2012 also, I hope to see you there.
    #10
  11. drc42

    drc42 Rally Dreamer

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,886
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    Yes I will be there. Hope to get to meet you in person.


    Sent from my DROID2 using Tapatalk
    #11
  12. miguez

    miguez Miguez Rally Racing

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2010
    Oddometer:
    477
    Location:
    In a rally or prepping for one
    Hi John,

    Yes, I have. It looks like what I'll end up doing, if he'll have me (my understanding is class sizes are pretty limited), is to train with Charlie Rauseo's Rally School. It's a bit more pointed in the right direction based on my long term goals, so I think it's a better fit.

    But I have to say that every time I crack open a Dirt Rider magazine I think about Jimmy's school, it's pretty tempting!
    #12
  13. mgorman

    mgorman Crashing since 1964

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2006
    Oddometer:
    5,625
    Location:
    NEO
    Hey Miguez,

    Taking the tougher trail is always the path to becoming a better rider. If you keep practicing the easy stuff, you'll never get better at the sections that separate the men from the boys.

    The wife wants me back in the gym and ready to rock when 2012 gets here. She knows I miss the Moto racing Looking forward to some training rides together soon.


    MG
    #13
  14. pilo

    pilo Rhymes with below

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2005
    Oddometer:
    994
    Location:
    SLC, UT
    As I told you in the PM. Boldness (not stupidity) is glorious. Failure is just something that might happen along the way.

    Today my wife said that "once the start flag at baja drops, you've won. You've been dreaming about this for years and training for over a year. Every mlie past the start is a bonus."

    I could not have said it better myself.

    We will meet when you are in Utah. I'll just be getting back from my bonus miles in baja.
    #14
  15. miguez

    miguez Miguez Rally Racing

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2010
    Oddometer:
    477
    Location:
    In a rally or prepping for one
    Hey pilo (every time I see or write that name I remind myself 'rhymes with below' ;)), thanks, that was an awesome statement from your wife, and so true! I actually read it for my wife, then told her to tell me that right before the race :wink:.

    I look forward to meeting you, it'd be great! I'm out now to meet someone from Craigslist to buy my first GPS!!! It's a Garmin 60csx, I'll post more about it if I buy it, but it's looking promising.
    #15
  16. miguez

    miguez Miguez Rally Racing

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2010
    Oddometer:
    477
    Location:
    In a rally or prepping for one
    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... :rofl

    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.
    #16
  17. drc42

    drc42 Rally Dreamer

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,886
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    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.


    Sent from my DROID2 using Tapatalk
    #17
  18. miguez

    miguez Miguez Rally Racing

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2010
    Oddometer:
    477
    Location:
    In a rally or prepping for one
    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 :rofl), 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.
    #18
  19. KZJohn

    KZJohn Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2008
    Oddometer:
    442
    Location:
    Anaheim Hills
    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.
    #19
  20. miguez

    miguez Miguez Rally Racing

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2010
    Oddometer:
    477
    Location:
    In a rally or prepping for one
    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?
    #20