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!

I feel like I haven’t done a good job with documenting of late- it had fallen to the wayside a bit in the crunch to be here with a good bike. 
The goal is to spend tomorrow doing some shorter routes, testing suspension, and getting some photos and video to share. Saturday and Sunday will both be medium to big routes. Temps should be triple digits the whole time, so we’ll be hydrating like we mean it. 

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