Air lift to Bamako


Kiffa – Bamako

Note – Click here for the CMG Dakar Glossary (just in case you don’t understand some of the terminology used).

“Wakey, wakey”. Photo: Bob Bergman

I was woken up at 6:00 am by someone shaking my tent. It was one of the organizers and he said that the airplanes were leaving soon and that I needed to pack my tent before it was torn to pieces by the propwash.

So much for sleeping in! I begrudgingly climbed out, packed up and went looking for coffee.

The Rauseo boys were camped out in one of the catering tents and I made a little nest and joined them. Dave had injured his foot and was lying on his back, keeping it elevated. His foot was every shade of purple imaginable, I’d never seen anything like it. He must have been in a lot of pain but you could never tell, the smile never left the guy’s face.

His plan was once he put his boot back on tomorrow he wasn’t going to take it off until Dakar, the rationale being that it would support it and keep the swelling down. (His plan was obviously sound, as he did eventually make it to the finish in Dakar; but upon arriving home he had it checked out by his doctor to find out it was broken in four places!)

Everyone liked Scot and Alfie’s jokes.Photo: Maindru Photo

Eventually we were kicked out of the catering tent and told to wait on the runway, as our plane was to arrive shortly. We all gathered around Scot Harden and Alfie Cox from the US KTM team as they recounted racing stories of days gone by. Three hours later we were finally loaded on the plane, my sides aching from laughter.

I now knew that I was up to the task of finishing this thing. I was around 80th in the standings and I wasn’t going to change position much, regardless of how fast or slow I rode.

As a result, I decided I would cruise to the finish and didn’t care if I was the last name on the result sheet everyday, just as long as my name was on the sheet. I vowed to be extra vigilant looking after the bike and to ride well within my abilities so as to not crash. If I could do that, in four days I would have a Dakar finisher’s medal in my pocket.

Next day

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Dakar related Links:

Official Dakar website – Daily updates of the 2006 Rally.

Maindru Photo (who graciously supplied us with pictures) – Check out their daily update of pics from the 2006 Dakar.

Eurosport – Dakar 2006 coverage.

Total Motorsport – Latest news from a Dakar sponsor.

Adventure Rider website forum on racing – Lots of Dakar threads going on.

ODSC website – Read all about how Bob prepped his KTM 660.


Bob would like to thank the following people for helping make his Dakar adventure possible:

Jim, Colin, Richard and the crew at Cycle Improvements.
Michel, Paul and Jocelyn at Kimpex.
Guy, Patrick, Bill and Mario from KTM Canada.
Digby and the ODSC posse.
Lawrence Hacking.
The Harden off-road crew.
Everyone on the U.S. Red Bull KTM team.
And of course Sharon McCrindle.

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