4 years ago

Dirt and Trail July 2018 issue 2

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Day 2 (Scouting) 280 km

Day 2 (Scouting) 280 km Started early as this was the trend for the next few weeks. 100 km’s into the route I “accidently” rode right into a rock that was flying towards me from another GS and destroyed the front rim. 600 km’s in and I already had damaged a wheel. Not too impressed with myself. But the mechanics were there in 5 minutes. A quick wheel change and we were off again. By this stage we were heading more and more South towards the Gobi desert and you can see the landscape change. But the sand was always a factor. Every end of the day was celebrated with a local “Gobi Beer” very, very nice. Competition day 2: We called this the Camel Head challenge. All 3 team riders, without the journalist had to start directly after each other on a twisty trail over rocks and through some sand. Halfway through, they had to lay the bike down, walk around it, pick it up and push the bike with the engine running on the RIGHT side to the next point get on as quickly as possible and finish the course. Time starts when first heel crosses the line and time stops when last riders rear wheel crosses the line. No penalties for drops or dabs. Skill was very important here and I think South Africa had a brilliant run here. The ladies struggle a bit as this is a very physical and energy tapping exercise. Sadly… We had to timebar both ladies teams just for safety reasons. There were still 6 days left. Gert and I finished cleaning and with the open road ahead we thought it would be a nice ride. Boy, were we wrong. About 2 km from the stage it was just bikes scattered all over. The AusAmerica and EurAfrica team was together on this day, with Brian Kiely as the Marshal. It was like a beach with a traffic jam. You can imagine 100+ bikes already passed this river bed and the sand was all worn out. Unfortunately the AusAmerica Journo Jamie hurt her ankle and she could not proceed. This was around 1:30 pm and there was still a good 200 km’s to home and the next special stage ahead. We decided to stay with Brian and the ladies and help them get trough the next 120+- km of sand sections. This was no easy task but the girls spirits were good and at the end we made it to Special stage 2 for the day. This was a quick exercise as they had to brake and powerslide through rocks. Easy job? The last stretch of +-80km home was no easy task. With loose sand allover and trails looks like spaghetti lines. We just had to go on and on. After a quick long overdue lunch we took the shortcut back to camp. A 12 hour day but very proud of all the ladies for not giving up. Even after a day like this there is not much sleep as dinner follows, then briefing and points tables. Few hours sleep and repeat… Day 3 (Scouting) (300km) This was a day with mixed scenery. We started the day with a brilliant ride in between canyons, in and out of a small river. Quick stop to plan the special stage for the day. Next moment as we went around the corner there was this massive ICE bank, yes ice. This was unbelievable. Just weeks before we were there it was -47 Deg and this day was +30 deg. We had to pose for the cameras to make a movie and we had some fun on the ice. From there, we took a detour over the mountains. We stopped at a small village and then we were heading for the desert dunes. We were looking forward to this. Through and over some camel grass bumps and the next thing we ended up at some iron look alike umbrella. In the middle of nowhere. We stopped before the dunes to deflate the tyres to around 0.5-0.8 BAR. This is where the fun started. We had some time to play in the The dash on the new GS’ 76 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JULY 2018