First of all, read this all the way through to see how this means free beer for you! :)

The time has come for my next step up in my Dakar training. I have signed up for Rally West Virginia as my first RallyMoto race.  RallyMoto is the motorcycle part of NASA Rally Sport (that’s NASA as in the national auto sport association, not the space people).

This is a stage race.  The course is broken up into “transits” where you are just getting from point A to B on open public roads, and “special stages” which are full out race sections.  The rally includes car and bike classes.  Competitors are started at 1 minute intervals so this isn’t side by side racing, in theory I shouldn’t catch anybody on the course and since they start the new racers like myself toward the back I likely won’t get passed either (I suspect I will be started last).

The posted the maps showing the rally stages last week.  Looks like a fun area to ride.  Twisty mountain gravel roads!  Since my DRZ400 is geared mostly for off-road riding that should work OK as it doesn’t look like top speed will be as much of a concern as accelerating out of corners.  Either way, my concern is mostly just to gain experience and have fun.  It really will be nice to ride on roads like this when all other traffic is closed off.  I usually ride roads like this at a “spirited pace” but I have to be conservative since you never know if a car is about to come at you from the other direction.  On a closed course I can concentrate on the riding and taking a good line through the corner.

You can come watch me and help make this a great event!

Events like this are run by volunteers.  It takes a lot of people to put on an event like this.  Best of all the volunteers get the best view of the action and I think they even get a cool T-shirt.  If you live anywhere near the area consider signing up as a volunteer.  There will be a cold beer (or several) waiting for you from me after the race if you say you volunteered because of my blog!

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