Tuesday, October 12, 2010

There is not much new to report except that I am only two items shy of having a full 'kit' for riding next month.  Although I have nearly everything I need, I still have quite a bit of work to do.  I need to replace both of my normal inner-tubes with heavy duty ones, mount my new steering stabilizer and new headlight.  I tried installing the new TrailTech X-2 but there were two places where it was rubbing so I'm opting to buy another model that looks like it has more room to avoid rubbing against something.

Posting pictures is actually quite easy - I was on the wrong tab before.  Here is a picture of Ron Vega and I on a ride near Baldy Mesa, CA.

Expect more ride reports now that I have my seat back from Renazco - I hope to go out again this weekend.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Preparing for the 2010 LA to Barstow to Vegas Dualsport Ride

My check has been cashed so I am officially entered in this years LAB2V - woohoo. Although it is still more than two months away it feels like it is just around the corner since there is still so much to do. I finally ordered my steering stabilizer and headlight assembly (TrailTech X2) since one of my buddies said we will likely be out after dark both days.

I've also gotten in touch with a local suspension shop about lowering and tuning my suspension. I'll be heading over there today for the initial consultation and then dropping it off next week to have it worked over. I'm really looking forward to having a tuned bike where I can touch with more than the tips of my toes.

Last weekend I rode a nice 50 mile section around Silverwood Lake and Lake Arrowhead. There were quite a few miles of singletrack and some gnarly hills to climb and descend. I only laid it down twice but the first time gave me a couple of bruises on my arm. I'm heading back out this coming weekend to give it another go and to try some of the harder sections since I'll be out with at least one other guy - I've been doing a lot of solo riding since my buddy's wife just had their second boy.

To make this a little more interesting I'm going to try to post a few pictures and GPS tracks of my rides. Although I'm not sure yet how to post pictures inline.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Step by Step


It's almost always important to create smaller stepping stones when planning to accomplish a far off or large goal. So in this vein I would like to use this post as a place to lay out a few goals in my training plan towards preparing for Dakar.

(1/8/2011 Update) The AMA's District 37 chapter puts on races throughout the year.  The type of events range from Enduro, MX, Hare and Hound, Grand Prix, etc.  I have inserted this racing series into my step by step plan since I believe doing some local desert racing will prepare me for the more competitive Baja races.  I am changing the plan below by removing the Baja 250 and 500 for 2011 with D37 races.  If desert racing is something I find I love then the Baja 2012 races are definitely on the table.

I also was invited to race in the second annual Kings of the West race happening sometime in 2011.  This is a 5 day ~1500 mile event that bills itself as a Dakar-like ride around several of the western states.  We will ride a loop route in four days with one day off in the middle to relax and make any repairs or updates to our bikes.  This is probably the closest ride I'll find to the Dakar in this country and definitely something that should give me an idea if I am truly interested in riding the Dakar.  The Dakar is 14 days of riding with one day off.  If I suffer or have trouble with the KotW race then either I get better or I should probably let the dream go and look for my next adventure.
(End Update)

Here's the step by step plan with updates as time goes on.

* Build up from medium single track to hard single track (Big Bear, Hemet, Lake Arrowhead, etc.)
(Update 1/8/2010) Succeeded at some of the hard trails near Silverwood and Arrowhead Lakes.

* Ride with the D37 dual-sport crowd every month or two
* LA to Barstow to Vegas 2010 (Easy dual-sport course with a few A routes thrown in for fun)
(Update 1/8/2010) Done! (11/26/2010 - 11/27/2010)

* (Update 1/8/2010 - Added) AMA District 37 Racing 2011
* (Update 1/8/2010 - Deleted) Baja 250 2011
* (Update 1/8/2010 - Deleted) Baja 500 2011
* (Update 1/8/2010 - Added) 2011 Kings of the West 1500
* Big Bear Run 2011 (A Course)
* LA to Barstow to Vegas 2011 (A course all the way)
* (Update 1/8/2010 - Added) AMA District 37 Racing 2012
* Baja 250 2012 (solo)
* Baja 500 2012 (solo)
* Baja 1000 2012 (solo)

We'll see what's next if I make it this far.

Monday, August 9, 2010

First Post

From www.dakar.com - History
"The adventure began back in 1977, when Thierry Sabine got lost on his motorbike in the Libyan desert during the Abidjan-Nice Rally. Saved from the sands in extremis, he returned to France still in thrall to this landscape and promising himself he would share his fascination with as many people as possible. He proceeded to come up with a route starting in Europe, continuing to Algiers and crossing Agadez before eventually finishing at Dakar. The founder coined a motto for his inspiration: "A challenge for those who go. A dream for those who stay behind." Courtesy of his great conviction and that modicum of madness peculiar to all great ideas, the plan quickly became a reality. Since then, the Paris-Dakar, a unique event sparked by the spirit of adventure, open to all riders and carrying a message of friendship between all men, has never failed to challenge, surprise and excite. Over the course of almost thirty years, it has generated innumerable sporting and human stories."

I recently began riding dirt bikes again after a nearly 30 year hiatus. As with all things I start I immediately dream of being among the best in the world. The finishers of the Dakar race are clearly in that category and so it is towards this goal I am drawn.

This blog is meant to document my latest foray into a new sport and competition, one I hope that will last long into my life and hopefully not take too much time away from my family as I pursue this dream.

I also hope that all of you who read this blog will find something funny, helpful or at least interesting in the subsequent posts.