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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by bugfnnuts, Mar 5, 2007.
I pretty much know how it all came out, but I'm still hanging here, waiting for the rest.
I'm doing my first skydiving jump tomorrow, wanted to make sure I read your finished report before I do that, I would hate to miss the ending..
Make sure you wear one of your fancy one piece suits. I hear they are impact resistant. Only kidding. Good luck with that. Seriously.
Bug, good luck to your son too. Mine have little league try outs tomorrow. I have a long way to go.....
Dibs on the '03 Aprilia.
Out. Frickin. Standing.
Spent my whole Saturday afternoon reading this thread from start to finish. Thanks to Tim for taking the time to document his adventure.
Still around Motodisiac? :huh Skydiving is great fun, hope you got a lifetime grin from your first go at it.
I'll wait patiently for Bugs final installents , always a GREAT read!
check this out after you get a few under your belt. i smokejumped for 10 years but this is unreal!
OMG ... fuckin mad gits
Is it wrong of me that I was almost as mesmerized by the landscape -- and the fact that there was an F*ing road there! -- as the flying?
I'm mesmerized by bmh's avatar
I keep staring, hoping that one of those little strings will eventually break....
I am glad you resurfaced. Once you finish the last (lost?) episodes, let all of us here know what you are doing nowadays. Planning anything ambitious again?
Running a site about yourself? Jim's Heartland-Dakar page is pretty much defunct.
Fuckin' A, Man.
Ride YOUR ride, ride it however you want to. Just please, one little thing:
PLEASE keep on posting stuff like this! It's the stuff of legend!
I would LOVE to go sky diving. Bugwife refuses but says I can do it. My two boys are in too. Maybe that would be a good graduation thing for us to do.
Glad you made it and had fun.
Following is the last installment of this portion. Yes, there are plans afoot for another great adventure. The economy and some other issues need to be dealt with first. More about that in the next day or so plus info on my injuries.
Thanks again for the kind words.
Getting the fuel was a bit of finagling. The guy was just distracted enough and I feel kinda bad about it……………. Ok, I don’t. I’m very happy to have enough fuel to get to the fuel stop. This liason is 400k (+-240 miles) with one fuel stop at the only gas station on the road book. I sure hope this isn’t a royal mess like on day 3.
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The ride through the darkness is very dark. Not just your everyday, gee it’s dark, dark, that would be normal. This dark is the pitch black, riding into a black hole, son of a bitch I can’t see shit kind of dark. My headlights aren’t any better today than they were last night. Didn’t I just do this? It seems like I just got done with this ride. I get a big grin, this Dakar thing is some shit.
Otherwise the bike seems ok. The throttle feels better, the engine is as good as it has been and power feels fine. Maybe I didn’t do too much damage yesterday. The damn thing does feel high and stiff. Must be me. The tail lights of the other bikes float in the air. The wind is howling, sand is blowing and the only thing to do is get buffeted around and hug the white line. A few riders get distracted and end up off the side of the road. I don’t want to do that and it would be easier than you might imagine. In fact it could happen very easily.
Where I am from this is prime deer hitting time. I think about hitting those deer just before I see the sign for the Camel crossing. Now that would make a heckuva story now wouldn’t it? As the sun starts to come up I can see the surroundings are the most desolate yet. The road, and this one is pretty good two lane, is just a ribbon of asphalt in the middle of fecking nowhere. The wind has let up and the sand has stopped so the nice drizzle dampening my goggles can begin. These are the kinds of conditions that make wearing goggles a nightmare. You don’t dare touch them till there is enough water on them that you can be sure to get the dirt off. In the meantime the little prisms made by the rain drops add a psychedelic bent to the whole affair.
I am riding in a group of riders and everyone’s body language says it all. Everyone is just biding time and trying to rest as much as possible. Slumped all over, trying to keep warm and massaging cramps. Generally enjoying the lovely ride and beautiful morning air, hell yeah!! Maybe not. I don’t care how good your seat is. A rallye bike seat begins to hurt on the liaisons. Then, right in the middle of the fecking nowhere, exactly like it shows on the road book there are two, yes two, identical gas stations.
There is a station on each side of the road. There is nothing else for at least a hundred miles in <S>each</S> any direction. Imagine if you will, riding through the desert of Nevada lets say. You are on a two lane road and suddenly there is a gas station on each side of the road. If you have been to Rachel Nevada that is a metropolis comparatively speaking and still kind of somewhere compared to the nowhere I’m on about. No houses, huts, tents, dwellings or nothing, just these two gas stations. Only one is open, and yes, there is a line.
Steve and Chris are there and we get gassed up. The line isn’t nearly as bad as day three and I have time to tend some personal business that didn’t get done earlier. Stealing fuel was the bigger priority ok? I even get a quick power bar or two to munch on. The liason goes off road in just a bit and who knows what that might bring. A few of the race cars pass as I finish repacking.
The sun is almost all the way up and the rain has stopped as we head out. I have noticed the sun lingers on the horizon around here, doesn’t warm up all that quick either. There is still over 250k’s to go and my start time is at 12:30. It looks like a long time to get there but it soon looks like time may be tight. Not very far down the road the liason takes a left onto sand and mud. The road is rutted and conditions change about every quarter or half mile. This is some nasty shit. Well, it doesn’t look too bad but the bike is all over the place. I mean it is snappy, bouncy, sliding and not being a team player at all. The rear end is playing hell with the rest of the bike. Steve and Chris get away from me because I can’t keep pace without the bike becoming unrideable.
This trail runs off into the great nowhere but there are mounds at regular intervals to mark the way. These mounds are maybe 5 feet high and have what look to be smudge pots on top on them. For all the desolateness this is a recognized route. These pots are lit and I realize the guys in front came through here in the dark. Damn!! I’m glad to be a little to the back.
The conditions change and I adapt my riding a bit. I am able to pick up some speed. I catch up to Chris and Steve and the ride goes on forever. Once again I quit looking at the ICO because it must be broke (it wasn’t). We are riding our asses off and this liason goes on and on. The first half hour I was kind of miserable but decided that didn’t help so I might as well enjoy the ride. As I find a groove the morning starts to go better. That’s a good thing because this ride has everything. One moment we are flat out over open terrain then over the next hill is a rutted mug bog, then some sand, more ruts, a few rocks to see if I’m paying attention, on and on and on. Did I mention the Dakar is the shit? This morning is starting to drive that home and I LIKE it.
Around a corner, down a dip and where did all these people come from? I haven’t been rolling the road book because it isn’t much help and the route is easy to follow. We have arrived at the border crossing. And quite the border crossing it is. I have crossed many a border but none with this amount of military hardware on display. Dudes got AK’s, armored vehicles, and absolutely nothing, I mean not shit to guard. I just rode through the nothing and I sure wouldn’t be out here guarding it. Fact is they have a big dirt wall with a gate for us to go through into the Mauritanian nothing. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder I guess because this nothing is just like the shit we were riding a few seconds ago. We did stop long enough to have our time cards stamped so that was, something, I guess.
It looks on the road book like we are in the home stretch. Maybe another 100k’s to go. I realized it was somewhat strange to relax with only 60 miles or so left. In my mind if the conditions don’t get any worse, and they appear to be opening up, then I should be in about an hour before my start time. Steve and I swap around the lead depending on the conditions and who gets a better run. We ride side by side quite a bit of time and Chris is right behind us. Through one section I am following Steve when he get’s into a big tank slapper. I think he is going down but he saves it and looks back at me. I shake my head. He dodged a bullet on that one. Good save.
The final part of the run into the fuel stop was flat out. Twist it and let her run. The fuel stop is about 3 k’s before the start. Waiting to fill the bike I start looking at everyone. What a mess. Some of the guys didn’t make it through the mud so good. They and their bikes are mud cakes. I wager that was some cold riding covered with wet mud. Others have seriously broken some parts. My bike looks ok. Maybe a little dirty but she hasn’t been down. She was trying her damndest at some points.
Once filled up I head on up to the start area. I have about an hour. Lessee, it’s a little after 11:00 and I left just after 5:00. Gee, just under six hours of riding already today. At least it was an easy ride.
I start going through the bike. Jim had put used tires back on. He thought they would be fine because I think he thought the liason was all road. It wasn’t and that worn Desert rear would explain some of the slippy sliding. These tires are somewhat hapless in mud on a good day.
I get to scraping some of the heavier mud off and look at the rear shock. Hmmmmm, that doesn’t look right. I hope it is an optical illusion and scrape the rest of the dirt off the shock and spring. Yep, that’ll do it. What we have here is a failure to communicate. I wanted all the preload OUT of the rear. What I am looking at is the preload cranked down all the way. That would certainly splain why she was trying to kill me. He must have used all is strength to crank that bad boy down. I don’t have a wrench to fix it. Just have to suck it up. If the terrain is like we have been riding through at the end of the liason and the road book is what it says it is then the only issue may be the dunes towards the end. Might as well have a snack.
I dig out some eats and check out the cars all parked and being cleaned. Pussies. I notice Robby Allen has pulled in. I trundle over and say hello. He can’t believe I’m there. He looks a little tired this morning. In fact, there is quite a bit of fatigue showing on a lot of faces this morning.
Chris goes off about 15 minutes before me and I put on my gear. I feel good. Just get through to the fuel stop and be ready for the pump issue. Get it home tonight so you can get some rest. I have the day pictured, in my mind and now is the time to get on with it. The day has been pretty fun so far in a really f*&ked up sort of way.
I roll up to the start. They count me down.
The rest as they say, is history, and can be found here.
One minute you're in the shit, and then you're waking up. I wish I didn't know exactly how you felt.
Thanks tons and tons for coming back and finishing this.
Thank you for finishing the report, I think I'm going to print it out and pass it along my non biker friends as a good read, they don't seem to get what DAKAR is.
Speaking of skydiving, I spent most of Saturday in a class getting ready to jump, and after I put all the gear on and we climbed to 13 000 feet it turned out to be too cloudy to do it safely, so to my great disappointment we proceeded to land. It's quite a strange feeling sitting in a plane knowing that you will have to leave it in a second, I wasn't scared but a little worried and nervous. Next time I should have better luck because it's sunny here most of the time, I don't know where those damn rain clouds came from. By the way the video posted above is completely crazy.
Awesome. Brilliant that you finished the report.