I have always dreamed of doing something big and adventurous. Long ago I heard of a race that while one of the biggest international events in the world is little known in the USA, the Dakar Rally. The Dakar originally was a race starting in Paris France and finishing in Dakar Senegal. While the race no longer takes place in Europe/North Africa due to issues with terrorism it is still known as the Dakar Rally. The current version of the race takes place every year the first two weeks or January in South America. Along it’s route is passes over the Andes mountains and runs through the Atacama desert which is the driest place on earth. The race has competitors from all over the world racing in huge trucks, cars, and motorcycles. It is a extreme test of man and machine and it is common for less than half of the motorcycles to reach the finish.
For several years I would say I wanted to do this race, but never had any real plan in place. It was more of a “that would be cool” sort of thought but I never really worked toward it. Then, the day before my 39th birthday I decided it was time to make this dream real. I originally set a goal of completing it before I turn 50 which gave me 10 years however after advice from several other riders I have revised that plan down to a 5 year plan and am currently targeting 2015.
I am now just a little over 2 years into the 5 year plan. When I started this I had very little off-road riding experience and had only been riding on the street for 2 years. The last 2 years have been an amazing ride. I have gotten into a lot of off-road trail riding, doing both non-competitive rides and racing in enduros, and just last year I started doing a race series known as RallyMoto which is full speed racing on closed gravel and sand roads. In April/May of this year I will be taking the next step and racing the Mexican 1000.