Category Archives: Dakar 2012

Stage 1 Preview

The first stage is the longest total distance, 820k, but shortest special, 57k. Starts with a liaison of ~140k, then the special, followed by a long haul to finish the day.

20111230-125854.jpg

A look at the terrain

20111230-125950.jpg


Scrutineering complete

After spending the day going through wiring and a few changes recommended by Jonah the bike was ready to go. Jumped on the bike and headed out. Felt great to be riding, always a peaceful feeling. Stopped at the gas station to top off tanks and the peaceful feeling quickly turned. Filling the the second tank, which is slightly higher than the stock tank, gas started pouring on the ground. The thought of my bike going up in flames before even taking the start crossed my mind. First thought was a fuel line came loose. Stock gas cap wasn’t seated properly, easy fix but messy until the tanks equalized. Pretty embarrassing as people pulled up to take pictures when I rolled into the station.

Drama over, I made my way to admin checks. Traffic was heavy and came to a standstill the closer i got. Thank goodness for the slack traffic rules. No stop signs, lane splitting, passing on the right, left and in the on coming lane, whatever it took I wasn’t going to be late. One thing I noticed is no right on red, very few lights but no one did it… but me. Kind of funny considering there are very few traffic rules anyone follows. As I said I wasn’t going to be late.

Admin checks took a while but actual bike tech was quick and easy.

Bike parked as I go to admin check.

20111230-115808.jpg

They had a large tent set up with a lounge and booths for each check.

20111230-120025.jpg

Made through, got my golden ticket (wristband). Without this I can’t get in anywhere. Even has a micro chip to keep people honest.

20111230-120332.jpg

Now the bikes turn. A few simple checks, mostly them asking if complied then putting numbers and compulsory stickers on.

20111230-120702.jpg

They put snaps on my riding jacket and attached the number bib.

20111230-120844.jpg

Then cross a stage with a few thousand spectators watching on my way to park ferme. Bike is now parked until the ceremonial start on the 31st, then returned until the official start on the 1st.

20111230-121201.jpg


Electronics

Picked up the irritrac, sentinel and gps this afternoon. Walked through the assistance park, it’s starting to get busy though not all the teams have arrived yet. Didn’t have my camera with me, will get some shots tomorrow.

20111228-190434.jpg


Enjoying our sleep

Tim and Niles sleeping late, probably the most rest they’ll get all rally.

20111228-142305.jpg

20111228-142317.jpg

Going through the bike with my mechanic Tim Morton.

20111228-142417.jpg

No pink sheets for me, I get the Beebs room.

20111228-185601.jpg


12:30 am bikes arrive

Bikes show up in a truck at the house

20111228-010932.jpg

Unloaded bikes in the carport

20111228-011033.jpg

And the prep begins

20111228-011116.jpg


Proper restaurants don’t open until 8 pm or later so we found a pizza and sandwich shop.

20111227-193150.jpg


Made it to Mar del Plata

Jumped in a cab with Jonah and Niles to Mar del Plata.

20111227-180753.jpg

20111227-180807.jpg

Stopped at a roadside cantina for lunch

20111227-181039.jpg

20111227-181056.jpg

Rolling into MdP

20111227-181147.jpg

Many traffic circles down the road, each one has some kind of monument in it.

20111227-181319.jpg

20111227-181334.jpg

Hung out in front of the house for a few hours waiting to be let in.

20111227-181709.jpg

House comes with a cool dog. Reminds me of Sam.

20111227-181812.jpg

Rob and Tim arrive shortly after we are let in.

20111227-181910.jpg

We’re unloading the truck and the recycling crew stops to pick bottles up.

20111227-182020.jpg

We are getting settled in so time to find dinner.


Out & about in BA

Driving down Ave 9 de Julio

20111227-005126.jpg

Sidewalk bars in a happening neighborhood.

20111227-005440.jpg

Local decor

20111227-005629.jpg

Having a beer before dinner

20111227-005726.jpg

Dinner

20111227-005808.jpg


20111227-003843.jpg

Eating dinner at a French restaurant in Buenos Aires with Emily, Ned & Chris. Good food and great company.


Made it to BA

20111226-121820.jpg

Here in BA safely, staying at a swank hotel. I’ll enjoy it while I can as the accommodations are downhill from here. Won’t be long before sleeping on a dirt floor.