Living the Dos Sertoes Dream - Racing 4,500 km accross Brazil

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Bluebull2007, Aug 29, 2010.

  1. jbthered

    jbthered Adventurer

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    You are out of my league now....Mike is still at the rope stuff, I am just no longer his boss. The plans are in the works for a "Rally on the Rock (Newfoundland)". I actually volunteered to be the route master. Talk about being in over your head:eek1. Maybe we can get a star like you over to do ours:evil. If you ever decide to pool investors and operate your own mine keep me in mind. Or maybe you could have Neils rally school for dummies in peru...I would sign up:)
  2. Gerd

    Gerd Adventurer

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  3. LukasM

    LukasM Long timer

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    Hey Neil,

    Do you know if Dave, Phil or Antonio have a website or posted a report somewhere themselves? As much as I love your pretty little springbokkie, I'd be very interested in hearing how the EXCs faired and what was problematic on them.

    Cheers,
    Lukas
  4. Bluebull2007

    Bluebull2007 Adventurer

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    Hey Lukas,

    Apart from the Dos Sertoes 2010, thread I'm not aware of any website they may have. My advice is that you ask them in PM/email about specifics, but generally I can say that their bikes ran pretty well, although Dave had a fork seal problem and Phil also battled with electrics like I did. Actually my Yamaha ran really well; I think the moral of the story is not to use HID/Baja style (Phil's case) lighting unless you are sure your stator and regulator is jacked up to handle it.

    Dave had a problem with his carburettor, he wore out the new needle in it :huh, and seemed to battle with fuel for about 3 days. Phil basically had no other problems apart from taking his bike for a swim on the 6th day :lol3 (Im writing about that now).

    Hope this helps

    Neil
  5. DaveRMS

    DaveRMS Long timer

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    Hi Lukas,

    I've posted something about how my bike ran over in the other Sertoes thread, so as to avoid hijacking.

    Dave
  6. mcgovski

    mcgovski Adventurer

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    I would love to hear how the KTM's ran as well, I am working on a little 450 rally bike right now...
  7. Ko

    Ko Observant as never

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    Congrats on your writing style :clap And thank you for the detailed report, it seems like we're part of it...


    .
  8. ThinkMike

    ThinkMike Adventurer

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    Oppie Bokke - well in this case oppie BOK! Awsome Awsome stuff. Just found this today and read it with admiration, envy and lots of SA pride:clap

    Subscribe!
  9. DC950

    DC950 Microadventurer

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    and I never thought I'd read another 5 star thread again. :bow
  10. Bluebull2007

    Bluebull2007 Adventurer

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    Thank you everyone for your generous comments. :shog

    Its been a bit of a while scince my last update - sorry, lots of stuff going on here. Wish I could say it is riding, but Im still limping about on crutches!

    Lets kick off with a bit of eye candy.

    [​IMG]
    These are the bikes that win.

    What gives them the edge? I think it’s the riders, and all the moola they throw at keeping these machines running. Notice they aren’t covered with mechanics either. Their mechanics actually sleep at night. [​IMG]

    By the way in case youre wondering, the bike pictured above belongs to Brazilian Dario Julio Lopes de Souza. He is running fourth and he rides this bike something awesome. It the one with the big grinning face on the front of it in the last post.



    [​IMG]
    I’ll leave these for you to work out who they belong to. [​IMG]



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    I think this is the last time we will see this particular bike in a rally. [​IMG] It is an AWESOME bike, the best there has ever been IMHO.


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    Some close-up shots of the Sherco. Naaaice. [​IMG]



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    ICO

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    Actually this pic was at Unai (Day 2), but it gives you an idea of the typical setup in the evening.



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    Some Shots from the bivvy last night.



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    I’m telling everyone this is too big to be called a quad. No-one listens to me.



    [​IMG]


    Im writing the next update right now. Hopefully it will be out in an hour or two.
  11. SonHomme

    SonHomme Team F5,⌘R FYCYFF

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    So many great pics [​IMG]

    I was gonna go to bed but now that I know I only have to wait an hour or 2:
    :lurk
  12. leeo45

    leeo45 Longtime Lurker

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    It's only 1:40 AM. I'll hang around for the next installment. :ear


    Thanks for the sharing the adventure. Fabulous pictures and a great story! Heal fast.
  13. flying.moto

    flying.moto Earthbound Misfit, I Supporter

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    Wow!
    Thank you so much for taking the time and describing your adventure in such detail! It has captured me completely! :clap I love it how you take the time to describe the terrain, obstacles, and things about the bikes!

    What is especially interesting to me in your story is to hear it from a privateer's side. letalone a first time long rally rider! I just happens to be reading a book about a first time Dakar privateer right now... what a coincidence!

    If you have a minute, do you mind me asking a little about your previous enduro racing background? (no hijack intended) I'm about to do my first enduro race in two months, and actually, riding somewhat of a sibling to your bike! I am picking up a few pointers from this story already!

    Keep it coming! You really inspire me to think that nothing is impossible! Simply amazing story, pictures, and writing! :bow
  14. Bluebull2007

    Bluebull2007 Adventurer

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    Hey Brother. I started enduro riding in February with some nuts here in Lima. We have desert so its really a great place to learn. It was a very steep learning curve and I could not even ride 15 minutes with them the first time I went out. I never did any races per se (I just missed one before the rally) but I ended up riding every weekend, and eventually every day in the last month. You can check out the whole prep thread including what I did to the bike here:
    A noob Goes rally racing.:deal

    Its quite long, but Im sure you will get quite a bit of useful info there, including riding in dunes tips etc.

    Please PM your thread if you get one started, I would love to read about your adventures.

    All the best and ride safe

    Neil
  15. Bluebull2007

    Bluebull2007 Adventurer

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    Stage 5 Dianòpolis to Palmas, Tocantins

    28km - Initial Liaison
    209km – Special Stage
    218km – Final Liaison

    Total for the day 455km.


    The initial liaison consists of the usual hurry-up-and-wait sequence. I get going and take a wrong turn, getting lost within 200m and have to backtrack to the start. Typical. Then it’s case of refueling somewhere and getting onto the start of the special.

    I’m characteristically paranoid. Its day five and I’m still not into it yet. This day is going to be a real challenge. A trials section, followed by some GPS navigation, another trials section and


    [​IMG]
    at least ten river crossings with some of the usual challenges we have experienced so far as well.

    [​IMG]

    Within 400m of the start I miss a critical turn and immediately realize my mistake, plunging narrow, steeply descending and badly washed-out track. I battle to turn it around, dropping the bike. Then I battle to start it. I finally get back onto the right track and breathing hard from all the effort, I charge off. My ICO is out, and I’m not sure exactly where I am and make another wrong turn! I realize my error and repeat the same process again, including dropping my bike a second time. Aarrgh! What’s going on? Just calm down Ringdahl! I decide to listen to my own advice, stop, and take a moment or two to sort out the ICO and try and work out where I am on the road book. I’m not lost, but I don’t know where I am. Backtracking, I spot some bike tracks and a couple of spectators point me in the direction. I speed off, finally finding my correct position after about one kilometer. What a ball’s up.

    I finally get some composure, but I can feel I’m tired and I don’t want to make any mistakes, so I decide here and now that I’m just going to treat today like a Sunday outride. If I’m slower, that’s okay, because I need a bit of a rest before the marathon, and anyway at least this way I’m not likely to take myself out on some sharp corner or obstacle I’ve missed. I took a bit of a chance on the bridges yesterday; today I will be pushing the envelope if I do the same, because I am not myself.

    After a fairly short section of bridges and mataburros we get to a concrete bridge.

    [​IMG]
    It looks similar to this, only it is twice or three times longer and obviously has no gate. It’s also got a serious drop to the water somewhere below. The gap in the middle is does not do much for my confidence. I still have some speed though and again decide speed is a better option to walking it, so I hit it obliquely planning to cross form right to left on the right-hand section. This works -sort of- but I feel my back wheel slipping into oblivion nearer the other side. I’m willing the bike onward, staring longingly at the nice level road beyond, standing on the pegs, leaning so far forward I’m practically hugging the navigation tower, thinking if my front wheel falls drops I’m going to turn into a sky-pilot. My rear wheel drops in right at the end of the bridge, hits something hard and I fly off the other side of the bridge on my front wheel while I get a close up examination of the road immediately in front of me. Here comes the endo I have been waiting for!

    "At least it’s on road," I think. Somehow I holds it together and my rear wheel returns to earth safely with me. Somehow Im still in control and moving forward. I’m totally pumped with adrenaline and the next couple of kilometers is a blur. I later learn this same bridge caught the famous Brazilian rider Dimas Mattos who went over the bars, hurting his leg and getting a concussion for the effort. He told me he was lucky to be able to continue. Many wisely walk it. Next time I see a bridge like this, I’m walking it as well!

    Shortly after that the route narrows and gets quite tight and gnarly. We are riding through was seems like high altitude bushveld, the kind you get on the top of the Transvaal Drakensburg; there are some amazing plants hanging out here that look a little bit like our famous Protea. I think immediately of Mike & Duke (guys I know who prefer to post pictures of flowers on ADVRIder instead of bikes), I’m instantly very sorry I don’t have a camera with me to stop and take a picture for them.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]


    The route becomes quite tricky, there are lots of rocks and tight turns in between trees and things. I lose it at one point and end up jamming my bike in a deep, narrow erosion. It takes quite a lot of sweat to get it out and I consequently lose a couple of positions. The creek crossings start small and are easy enough, as we are following a road along the side of a hillside. It’s very picturesque. The road is quite steep up from these little creeks and I would imagine a fair amount of sweat would be required to control a bigger big on this stuff.

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    Pic: www.Webventure.com.br

    Soon enough we enter a fish farm marking the end of the first trial. The organization have made it a “radar” speed control zone so as not to scare the fish. Okey dokey. I’m no fish farm specialist. I suppose if loud motorbikes can stop ostriches from breeding they can affect fish too. It’s a welcome time to sit down and relax. I usually drink a lot during the speed control zones too, it’s just safer than doing any other time.

    Not far beyond that we enter the GPS navigation section, which simply consists of series of GPS points we have to follow, connecting the dots in a huge, grassy field filled with bush and small trees making it difficult to see more than a couple of hundred metres. We have to get within 10m of each GPS point before we could move onto the next one. I thought it was pretty basic, but I am amazed at how many bikes I see zooming off in different directions, hopelessly following imaginary route to imaginary waypoints. It is quite comical, because Dave and Phil both find it tricky too. Last night I was the one worrying because I was clueless about how it was going to work. I think many just made it over-complicated. Anyway I make up a lot of time on lots of other riders and leave the "fields of confusion", following a couple of bikes in the distance in front of me.

    It’s fast, fence riding again and we are really gunning along. In front of me I suddenly see a huge cloud of dust. I slow for another caution in the road book. Then I hit it as well: A large, hard whoop in the middle of a flat field about a meter high. It’s one of those nasty ones that flick up the rear wheel and the poor guy in front of me has just high-sided badly.

    He is rolling around in agony as I stop and run up to him. A quad rider stops as well attends to his bike, still lying in the middle of the road. I check his neck is okay before removing his helmet and brace. Poor bastard. He is out of it and a little incoherent. It appears from the way he is breathing he has broken a few ribs. He does not want to go on, he just wants to lie here. I give him a sip of water while Sergio, the quad rider, calls up the helicopter. Again, I feel a strange kinship with the poor guy and Sergio as we wait.


    [​IMG]
    It arrives in fifteen minutes and we can go on. Pic: www.Webventure.com.br


    Again sobering stuff, I feel like weeping for the man. I tell myself again that this is a Sunday outride, nothing more. Just get to the finish today in one piece.


    [​IMG]
    The track is faster now, with a couple of river crossings to keep it real. Pic: www.Webventure.com.br

    I’m riding the creeks with a little bit more confidence now.




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    Others are chewing it up big time. Pic: www.Webventure.com.br




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    Pic: www.Webventure.com.br




    The second trial starts as suddenly as the first one ended, with a couple of tricky corners that sends the unaware barreling along the wrong track, unaware of the error. The trial takes us through a very pretty and tranquil river valley, only today is not going to be anything like that. The navigation is not very easy, and the only things we have to guide us are occasional landmarks marked in the road book, like a cattle drinking trough, or a palm tree, only there are lots of the bloody things all over the place. The ground is very hard, so it’s not possible to see any tracks. Confusing, but I manage, stopping now and again to think about the route. I would rather waste a few seconds doing this than 10 minutes tearing off in the wrong direction. The riding is somewhat technical again with deeper river crossings, thankfully not very wide. A very enjoyable piece of riding, but because I am tired I don’t really appreciate it. I just want it to end.

    Then I get to a more challenging river crossing. I know this because there are photographers lurking in the glades and shadows on the other side like panthers ready for the kill.

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    It’s intimidating and I hesitate trying to decide what the best line is. Pic: www.Webventure.com.br



    It’s got a nasty, deep looking bit like the Mariana trench off the cost of Japan. Should I walk it?
    A photographer walks forward and points out a line.


    F**kit ek gaan dit net doen and klaarkry. Caution be damned.


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    Pic: www.Webventure.com.br


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    Pic: www.Webventure.com.br

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    Yeeeeaahhh baby!! I’m thrilled. Pic: www.Webventure.com.br


    I’m through! Brilliant! Neil, you biscuit! That wasn’t so bad after all! The road after that opens up again and I’m gone, singing happily into my helmet. It’s a good thing you can’t hear me.


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    Coma thinks it’s a piece of cake, Pic: www.Webventure.com.br



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    Pic: www.Webventure.com.br
    Vincente Benedict also makes it look easy,



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    Okay, maybe not that easy. Pic: www.Webventure.com.br


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    Pic: www.Webventure.com.br


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    "oh S**T........ " - A butt clenching moment!






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    . Pic: www.Webventure.com.br


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    Dave showing his graceful side [​IMG]. Pic: www.Webventure.com.br








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    For others, in this case Phil, it was time for a quick bath. . Pic: www.Webventure.com.br








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    Phil first tries sweet talking his bike, Pic: www.Webventure.com.br


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    Then gentle prodding, Pic: www.Webventure.com.br




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    And when that doesn’t work..…Phil, is that you praying?? Pic: www.Webventure.com.br




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    Finally it is time to roll up the sleeves and give it a good thrashing. Pic: www.Webventure.com.br

    Forty five minutes later the KTM bursts back into life and Phil presses on. Well done Phil, my brother!!

    Phil wasn’t the only one.


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    Hey, not that way, “Come back dammit!” Pic: www.Webventure.com.br



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    Pic: www.Webventure.com.br


    We all get to the finish in one piece. I’m feeling really tired, but I’m glad I took it easy.

    The liaison is a mind-numbing and swelteringly hot ride to Palmas, a largish city not unlike Welkom in the Free State, except its on the shore of a massive and very beautiful lake.

    [​IMG] Pic: www.Webventure.com.br

    We have to do another Super Prime circuit in front of another big crowd. It’s quite easy, albeit with very tight corners. Quite fun, but not nearly as exciting as the first one in Goiania. I guess we are getting used to the attention and pressure. Either that or I am just too tired to care. Yeah, that must be it.



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    That night we hear this guy also took a serious tumble after the river. Pic: www.Webventure.com.br

    He rolled the bike over himself damaging his knee ligaments and badly lacerating his whole leg, the camera guys caught it all on video. We “Ooh” and “Ahh” in sympathy when they show the clip at the briefing. Amazingly he is not worse off. He will start tomorrow. Incredible.

    [​IMG]

    We all move up in the ranking, Dave In particular who is still second in his class, well done Dave! I must still formally appeak in writing to have the 15 minutes time I spent helping the injured rider struc from my time. That will push me up a couple of places.

    There were a couple of places where I nearly lost it today, so I am satisfied that I took a conservative approach. I think this is the right strategy, because tomorrow is the start of the marathon stages, and they get much, much longer from here onwards. There is also more sand. I needed to take it easy today so I can get through it all. This rally is really beginning to show its teeth.

    [​IMG]
  16. SonHomme

    SonHomme Team F5,⌘R FYCYFF

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    Nice!!
  17. flying.moto

    flying.moto Earthbound Misfit, I Supporter

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    Very cool, Neil!
    Honestly, I've been spending too much time staring at all the photos and following this thread to even scratch the other one :rofl

    I will let you know about mine, but it will be much much simpler, although i do predict a few stream crossings in this one!

    gosh, those helicopters are a bit wrenching to see... i can say i've seen them a few times at a nearby area i like to go riding at... but then again, they do good!

    thanks again, for taking us along! :clap

    -V
  18. Gerd

    Gerd Adventurer

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  19. Deadly99

    Deadly99 Fast and Far

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  20. Iron Horse

    Iron Horse I Make Shit Up

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    Simply brilliant. Thank you for taking the time to sit around the fire and tell your tale.

    jp