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Thread: Dakar 2021 It's starting!

  1. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Omega Man View Post
    You did see the in my post- I hope.
    OM
    Oops!
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  2. #17
    slave to gravity skibum69's Avatar
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    You have to keep an eye on the roadbook all the time because if you don't and take a wrong turn you don't know where you are and have no way to figure it out and figure out where to go. It's definitely easier if you have tracks to follow but it's very risky to get off your roadbook. In Mongolia I crashed and broke my roadbook or my ICO and the only reason I was able to make it into the bivouac was chasing down a Japanese rider who let me run with him until the end. I was very lucky he had just passed me and I was able to catch him at the fuel stop, otherwise I would have had a really tough time running my roadbook manually and not having the ICO to see my mileage.

    As for the GPS that is the link for the organizer and I think it only pings when you hit your waypoint, it does not work the way you think it does like the one in your car.

    I agree adding the classic category this year is pretty cool, it would be fun to add a classic bike category too but how do they control the big bikes of past years? There was a reason they limited the displacement to 450.
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  3. #18
    Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat Omega Man's Avatar
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    Even when I am going someplace unfamiliar, I make up what resembles an enduro route sheet. I guess I started with them and just decided that I liked that kind of navigation. Sure I have some GPS and NAV electronics which have their place- like Dakar or in the woods where everything looks the same. A quick glance at the 3 street names I noted before I get to the turn or location is better for me than trying to focus on a GPS while underway.
    OM
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  4. #19
    slave to gravity skibum69's Avatar
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    One of the inmates on ADV put this up, having been there I can relate.

    The mind games of getting lost….

    It seems amazing that in a field of many bikes all riding down the same track only minutes apart, that anyone other than the leader could get lost? But it’s a constant thing; you will often hear the aliens saying that even on a day that they take the stage win, that they “made a few mistakes”. They are not referring to quicker line or late braking for something, they are talking about navigation errors. It’s a super rare thing to hear a rider, even an alien, say they had a perfect navigation day.

    It seems simple enough; Ride down a trail, glance at the roadbook to see what’s next and at what kilometre it’s going to happen, then take a quick look at the road to stay on it and glance back down at the trip meter. Now you’ve got 3 bits of info and whilst gazing at the scenery you can, if you’re bored, do the mental arithmetic to subtract the trip meters km’s from the next km mark in the roadbook you’ve just looked at because that’s fun and can be done repeatedly to keep you occupied. Or, simply wait at your leisure (whilst you get on with the serious business of riding like a God) for the trip meter to slowly wind itself to agree with that exact km and thing the roadbook says will appear ahead. At which point you take the required action as you scroll the roadbook forward to view the next set of instructions and repeat. Simple yes?

    For me, I had done no actual roadbook training before I set off on my first ever stage. I was hyped! I knew the theory and looking at the roadbook the night before, it all seemed so very simple and straightforward. In my mind, the only thing that would prevent me from placing really well was the riding. I gave myself a good talking to about that, “Ride your own pace and let the race come to you, you can’t win it on the first day. Ride at 80% and tomorrow you can open up a bit”

    Of course it didn’t matter that I was on a 950 or that I had never been in an enduro or even once on an MX track up to that point in my life. All I did know is that I’m reasonably quick, REALLY like sand and that a KTM 950 almost identical to mine had won the 2002 Dakar. That was good enough for me. Top 10 or even podium here I come! I was quite convinced that Mr Marc Coma was going to have a new worry in the near future...

    But, as with most things in life, it’s not at all like the theory says. It truly is a bewildering, even frightening experience trying for the first time to ride to a roadbook.

    I’d like to say I was even marginally good at it to begin with, but even that would have been an exaggeration. Firstly, just to read the damn roadbook and trip meters whilst bucking down a trail is in itself a scary thing. You know, you’ve all done it; whilst driving you only look down or away for a second at something on the seat next to you and when you look back you are very surprised to see the road is nowhere where you left it! In fact you’re in the next lane, or worse heading off the road entirely! Well try that even on a good gravel road and the results are even scarier. It’s the reason that the cockpit of a rally bike has the navigation instruments mounted as high as possible to reduce this effect. Even though they are closer to the sight line, there’s still the focus aspect too. If evolution were to have its way, in a few hundred thousand years, rally riders will have eyes that work like a chameleon.

    Next is the memory issue. It is difficult to describe the level of frustration and incredulity that happens between glancing at the roadbook, then up at the road and then back down to trip meter and then forgetting both. So you think to yourself, “This is ridiculous! Why can you not remember two simple numbers you ****ing idiot?!?!!!” Well, It’s the reason why when you’re driving and you get lost you have to turn the radio off before you can even start to think straight. We are simply not designed to ride a bike and absorb two separate numbers obtained elsewhere and not directly to do with the current business of riding a bike. (let alone CAP headings and and and) It was not programmed into our DNA.

    So the only thing to cut down on the task flood, is by slowing down or giving up and following the guy in front. Believe me, in the beginning I often chose the latter because my ego has a firm control of the throttle hand, and I don’t have a firm control of my ego. Even still, besides being a sponging loser, it’s a sure way to kill yourself.

    Roadbooks have two main reasons for existing and the second one is getting you to where you are supposed to go. It’s primary function is to keep you safe. There is just no way to ride a rally even at moderate, mid pack speed without a roadbook and not be in serious danger and crash. There are dangers all day that if you aren’t alerted to in time, will end very badly.

    And so, well humbled, the process of actually learning began. I had to slow right down and learn to use a methodical, structured system that decreases the likely hood that I’d get lost or kill myself. I learnt to scan my data the same way. I would only look for the macro info and I would verbally repeat back the numbers before moving on. To learn to scan ahead a few tulips in the “quieter times” to prepare. If you just want to finish, then navigation doesn’t play as big a role. You just follow the tracks. However, you still need it for the dangerous stuff and without it can cause follow-on stuff like taking a wrong turn, spending hours trying to find your way back, running low/out of fuel and then getting to camp late where maintenance, sleep and food become an issue. Needless to say, even if you are slow, rally and navigation are not separable.

    It was only in my 3rd rally that I even got the CAP heading info to work for me in any meaningful fashion. It was hard enough to keep track of and compute the distance and hieroglyph info, CAP headings were a luxury, or rather, another level of confusion to my limited processing power.

    I haven’t even got to the mind games of getting lost when you are up near the sharper end of the group! If you’ve got the basics down and can navigate well enough at speed, the pressure of doing that in competition is enormous….

    So there you are 300km in to day 4 lying in the top 20 and having fun. But you could just make that top 10 if you keep it together, maybe? You’re having a really good day so far. No big errors, slowing down in critical places to be sure and nailing them. Then the roadbook says next up @ 327.5 is a single track left with 3 options, the middle one is the one to take and once on it you should be on a heading of 010.

    “Cool, ok, stay sharp… um 326… 326.2… what was it again? Uh, ok 327.5…. Ok, 326.8… better slow up a touch…. 327…. Is that it up ahead, I see the track forking left? But it should be another 500m on? Maybe I’m a little ahead on the trips because I have been cutting the corners through the more open bits. I don’t see anything beyond this one, it just goes straight. Ok, must be it, right? Ok, can I see a middle of three? I only see 2!? Ok, well what was that heading again? Ah yes 010. Well we’re on, 78 at the mo, must be the more right hand one that would be about 010 if I took it, surely? Because the left hand one is about 350 easy. OK, lets see, we can always turn back. Right, now that we’re on it, what's the CAP say? 017? ****! Come on! Please come a little left… Surely this must be it? Has to be.... Cool got this! Ok, open up get another gear, what’s next? Ummm, ****! Just missed that aardvaark hole…. Ok, 335.4 T junction to a ditch, cross and take the right fork heading 55. So what’s that, um 335 minus, say 328, **** I hate odd numbers, call it 6 k’s to be safe. Tons of time! Let’s get on it!”

    6k’s comes, then 7. “Trip is 334.5… anytime now, slow down for this ditch… 335.6? That really wide turn you took back there couldn’t have been thaaat wide surely? Where’s that ditch? Ok forget the ditch where’s the fork?! 336! ****! Slow right down and work it out you chop! There goes 197 and that noisy Yamaha whatshisname guy, they seem to know where they're going? Do I follow or have I ****ed up? I don’t see anything but straight for another k at least and besides those two knuckleheads, the rest of the tracks don’t look that fresh but it’s really dry and windy so I can’t really tell!? ****, it’s 7k’s back 14 total, that’s a litre easy in this sand and I’m low as it is!!!! ****!”

    And that’s how people get lost and lose their ****.

    Rally is not speed only. It’s speed, brains and discipline.

    On 2 occasions, I knew I’d ****ed up and ridden far enough that to go back was going to cost badly, so I took an enormous gamble and cut across the veld/desert to where I guessed the track would have to be. First time it worked beautifully, almost all of us screwed up and almost all of them turned back and rode an extra 30k's. One guy, Chris, with bigger fuel tanks and more ego than me only got in after dark after doing an extra 180km down that wrong trail! I however chose to…



    Once back on the road, I had to now work out where on the roadbook I had re-joined.

    The other time I crashed badly and damaged my nav tower and one of my trip meters. It was an expensive lesson.

    Another time, in the vast, rolling grassy, effectively featureless dune expanse of Southern Botswana, I caught up to the front of the race where everyone was lost, including the leaders. The barely visible tracks had melted into a smorgasbord of game and cattle trails and it was not clear where the right trail was. There was madness. Guys were riding all over the grassy dunes looking for the right track. Some rode the 10k’s back to the last known point and some did that twice! There is a serious issues with riding around trying to “Find yourself” – your trip meter measures it all and it can confuse you more. Worse, we’d be warned to conserve fuel as we were going to need 307km to get to the refuel, riding spending fuel was a really bad idea.

    I just sat still, turned the bike off, had a snack bar and some rehydrate whilst scrolling forward through the next 10 or so tulips trying to work it out. I knew I was not more than 500m from where I was supposed to be and very likely to the right of the right trail. I now also knew that the roadbook said the next 40km was almost directly north but that once there, there would be a small village. I made a decision to ride on a CAP heading of 355 through the bush. I gone about 5km when I intersected a faint jeep tracks and just ahead I could see some dust. Aha! Cool! It wasn’t long before I caught the leaders. Whilst I had taken the 20 or 30 minutes to cool down, take a piss, eat and make my decision, they'd been hurtling all over the place only for the both of us to come out in the same place.

    At the village (only diesel, our fuel was still 180k's away), I could see guys were fretting about fuel, I was pig happy, I still had lots. It took another 30 minutes for the next group of guys to arrive and they were really low on fuel. I was sure I was going to take the stage win that day not because I was the fastest, but because I wouldn't have to worry about fuel and slow down accordingly. Sadly, my gloating ended when they cancelled the stage because the chopper was trapped in mist and thus they couldn’t have medical support.
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  5. #20
    Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat Omega Man's Avatar
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    Nice to see the Can-Am ATV’s doing well. Mine left me stranded 12 miles out in the woods a while back
    OM
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  6. #21
    slave to gravity skibum69's Avatar
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    Man oh man what a nail biter this year has been! There are a dozen ast guys just laying it out there every day. Even now at stage 9 it's up in the air with almost 10 riders having a shot for the win. It's worth checking out! I'm still hoping Toby Price wins it.
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  7. #22
    Liaison 20774's Avatar
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    I noticed my TV provider won't air today's episode until after midnight...NBCSN is showing hockey here. My DVR is set to record the series and managed to shift its times to catch it...if you're doing it manually, better recheck!!
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  8. #23
    slave to gravity skibum69's Avatar
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    Price out yesterday, Nacho out today. the 2 top guys out in 2 days! 2 days to go and it's a toss up!

    Good daily reports on Red Bull youtube.
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  9. #24
    New_AlaBeemer HSVPhil's Avatar
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    If I read the report correctly, Honda finished 1st & 2nd in M/C's...
    Ciao, HSV-Phil

  10. #25
    slave to gravity skibum69's Avatar
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    Kevin Benevidas from Argentina won, first for South America on a Honda. Ricky Brabec #2, last year's winner on Honda. Sam Sunderland 3rd on KTM. Wow what a Dakar this year.

    Very sadly Pierre Cherpin died on a transfer from hospital in SA to home. Godspeed.
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  11. #26
    Registered User barryg's Avatar
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    I couldn’t find Dakar on the Arabian peninsula map.

  12. #27
    slave to gravity skibum69's Avatar
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    Are you looking for the city? It's in Senegal where the rally used to end I the old days running down the beach.
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  13. #28
    Registered User barryg's Avatar
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    Just teasin

  14. #29
    slave to gravity skibum69's Avatar
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    Ah hah! They are talking about adding other countries around Saudi which would make it a little more interesting.
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  15. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by skibum69 View Post
    Ah hah! They are talking about adding other countries around Saudi which would make it a little more interesting.
    I'm sure Yemen would be a lot of fun. Or one of the Emirates. Iraq anybody?
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
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