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 …
There was no special today, just a very long ride on the highway. In preparation, I had a set of road tires mounted on the bike just for today.
Today’s events started with a riders’ meeting, which was a who’s who of rallying, with Alfie Cox, Fabrizio Meoni, Shlesser and of course, me. I meet the Rauseo boys (Charlie and Dave) – two American brothers who were also attempting the Rally on bikes that they had rented through Rallye-Raid UK.
Okay, I’m going to be honest here. Before October of this year I didn’t know much at all about the Dakar Rally other than it was a two week rally from somewhere in Europe to somewhere in Africa. Trucks, cars and motorcycles all entered, lots of people didn’t finish, some of them even died.
Most people’s first recollection of the Catskills is as the location of Ripp Van Winkle’s famous snooze, but the roads through here are nothing to yawn about. With scenery to rival the Adirondacks to the north, and a web of county roads reminiscent of the Pennsylvania network to the west, this area is a “must do” destination for the sport-touring enthusiast.
It’s become a bit of a custom at CMG. Every year, when the leaves are turning and the temperatures dropping, we give the motorcycle season a grand send-off with a grand tour. It’s a good excuse to let loose, explore some roads and slap in a last comparo test before the snow hits.
Welcome to Bob Bergman’s 2005 Dakar Diaries – a daily account of this Canadian’s adventures in last year’s Dakar Rally. In order to maximize the diary effect, we’re going to post a day of it at a time, with each day coinciding with this year’s Dakar (that is happening right now in Africa).
Here’s what all that jargon means.
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.