Every fall for the last 10 years or so, a few hardcore Dakaristas have gathered in the Mojave desert for a few days of navigation training. I’ve been twice before, in 2005 and 2006, and being around the scene at the Death Valley Rally (the informal name- it’s not really organized enough to deserve such) was part of how the Dakar hook was swallowed.
In any event, when I decided to race the Dakar, the first thing that went on the calendar was the trip to the DVR this weekend. My goal was to arrive with a bike I felt I could ship, so that I can give it a good shakedown while there remains time to address any shortcomings. It’s not an exaggeration to say this goal has been a daily, sometimes hourly, reminder of what my priorities needed to be since June.
I’m in the van headed there right now with Chris, and feeling pretty good- I think we made it! I’ve got enough miles on it around Colorado to feel confident we have a good platform, this will be the real test. Some late nights getting here!