With the 2006 Dakar Rally kicking off at the end of this month, we thought it might be a good idea to take a more in-depth look at not only one rider’s experience of doing the Rally, but also a bit about the rider himself.
At last I woke up feeling well rested. I had taken a Gravol pill before bed that I had in reserve for the boat crossing and it seemed to knock me right out. It was tough to sleep in the Bivouac at the best of times, it was always fully lit and there was a constant racket of air tools, bike engines and generators throughout the night.
Although I had four hours to sleep I only managed to sleep for two – I just couldn’t relax. I was too wound up about all the little details I needed to take care of. I staggered through breakfast like a zombie, and wondered what I had gotten myself into. We hadn’t even arrived in Africa yet and I felt like I was already starting to fall apart …
How do you measure your passion for motorcycling? Perhaps one gauge might be: if you’re able to look back fondly on a tour that ended with a close encounter with a guide-rail and you on a gurney in a hospital ER!
New Zealand is a motorcycle paradise — a country with a temperate climate, breathtaking scenery and roads of seemingly endless twists and curves. This all results in a riding experience similar to that found in Europe – but without the same level of traffic or speed enforcement although, as my travel companion discovered, that element can still be found!
The east coast of Canada is probably best known to motorcyclists for the Cabot Trail. And why not? It’s an amazing section of road and well worthy of the praise, but there’s a whole world of amazing sights, amazing roads and endless eastern hospitality to be found in the whole region. To bypass it all on the way to the Cabot is almost criminal.
Bloody cold it was …
With one eye on the Aprilia’s ambient air-temp gauge and the other scanning the road ahead for ice, I realized that a late October tour in the northern Appalachians was somewhat of a challenging idea.
After four nights of motels and one of camping, I awoke in an altogether more opulent surrounding of the Westwood Look Resort, the launching point for the three-day Edelweiss Tour.
With the madness of Daytona behind me, I found myself riding west towards the city of Tallahassee, where the map indicted that Hwy 98 would fulfill my first American Dream requirement – a ride along the Gulf of Mexico.
If you live in Toronto (of which I am quite pleased to say I no longer do), then you’ll be well aware that good riding roads are few and far between. However, do not despair just yet as there’s a hidden gem just a couple of hours south of the big smoke. We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again – go south to Pennsylvania young man (or woman)!