Wild Dog Adventure Riding

Riding: Plan, Report and Racing => Ride Reports => 'Roll of Honour' - Best Ride Reports => Topic started by: BlueBull2007 on August 29, 2010, 12:29:56 pm

Title: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: BlueBull2007 on August 29, 2010, 12:29:56 pm
In February 2010, I got a hare-brained idea to ride the Dos Sertoes Rally.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/2/986340042_AF5Cv-M.jpg)
Boy what an unbelievable 10 days it would prove to be.

With no rally experience and little riding experience apart from a few years of weekend DS riding under my belt, most considered it a little ambitious (read stupid)to be entering the second longest rally in the world after the Dakar. Admittedly, I have done a couple of hectic rides on my 800GS with Mrs. Bluebull on her 650 but that's hardly the experience needed to enter a 4,500km cross country race. But you have to start somewhere, and years ago someone had told me in Potgietersrust that ďPissies will never be heroesĒ.

I wasnít about to be a pissie.
:komet:

It made sense to team up with other guys to reduce the shipping and support costs on the rally. Our team of riders consisted of:

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/antonio/986336175_pSrGp-L.jpg)
Antonio Narino Ė KTM 525 (Colombian);

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/neil/986355601_hLTXM-L.jpg)
Yours Truely - Yamaha WR 450 (South African);

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/DSC0075/986355582_ekDam-M.jpg)
Dave Peckham - KTM 525 (American); and

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/phil/986355628_bavAt-L.jpg)
Phil Bowman - KTM 525 (American).

Antonio lives in California and is great friends with Phil and Dave. Unfortunately Antonio fractured his leg 8 weeks before the rally, and though he turned up to start, he had to return home on urgent family business during scrutineering: Just as well, we thought he was crazy to try and compete so soon after his injury. I met Phil and Dave at the rally school earlier in the year. In fact they were instructors at the school. Both have a lot of desert racing experience, but had never competed in a major rally like the Dos Sertoes before. They seemed like good guys and were very keen on the rally so it made sense that we teamed up, especially seeing my bike was also in California (I had it built there because importing everything to Peru would be much more expensive and tedious). The other guys named the team ďWild West RallyĒ and managed to raise some money for their effort though the San Francisco Motorcycle club (SFMC). I was unable to raise funds, so ended up funding myself apart from a few small items donated by some kind Wild Dogs and an off-road dealer (MX1-West) in SF.

Unless youíre the ex-special forces type and able to do everything on your own, you need someone to help you with logistics and bike maintenance between stages while you rest. As it was our first rally, we agreed that we would outsource the maintenance and use friends for support.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/anotnio/986332861_noURV-L.jpg)
We initially hoped to have our own dedicated mechanic, but he had other commitments and in the end we went with the Laurent Lazardís Uruguay team pictured above. Left to right is Marcello, a magician when it comes to bike maintenance, Mauro, sponsor of team Uruguay, Laurent and Antonio. Laurent & Mauro expanded their team to 4 mechanics so they could work on our bikes as well as Laurents 690 and Mauro's monster quad.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0411/986365284_sBfnc-L.jpg)
Here are the real hero's of the rally, always helpful, always smiling, the mechanics left to right Ivan, Fernando, rider David Casteu, Marcello and Fernando at the finish. Clearly they are well connected too!  8) ;D Working with these guys was really awesome. Check out Laurentís website here www.laurentlazard.com (http://www.laurentlazard.com), he is running in the Dakar in January. :hello2:

Dave had a friend who had been the team manager, Des McDonald, on the 2006 or 2007 Dakar with Charlie Rausseo and South African rider Elmer Symons. Elmer was sadly killed in a high speed crash on day 6 of the rally.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0085/986299829_WSAEh-M.jpg)
Des would bring plenty of rally experience, and has more recently been involved in managing a number of very successful Baja 1000ís as well as some races with Rally Panam for super fast American Jonah Street, who has won a number of stages in Dakar and recently won the Mongolia rally.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/DSC0009/986299673_pXFHY-M.jpg)
Randall Fish (also known as Randy Fish ;D ), a good friend of Des came as technical support and backup mechanic. Randall is also a qualified EMT, masseur, and extremely experienced endurance nutrition specialist. He has done some crazy American 40-hour bicycle endurance race four times, so when he says ďdrink thisĒ at the end of a long day you drink it. He is also a helluva nice guy.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0829/986300983_S7M2r-M.jpg)
Last but by far not the least, came Diederik Duvenage Ė One of my best friends and fellow mining engineer, super skilled at organizing and logistics, He paid his own way to come along to offer traditional boer support of ď Die engelsman alleen tussen die f****** filistyneĒ. I figured I would need his support and help, especially towards the end of the rally.

Earlier this year, I bought a new 2009 Yamaha WR 450F and had it done up for rally.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Other/Rallye/New-Bike/802327026_CRg4q-L.jpg)
This becameÖ.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Other/Rallye/P1010634/835682324_GStqh-L.jpg)

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/ADV/Rallye/Rallyschool081/844672307_4LQzu-L.jpg)
Ö.This and later on it turned intoÖ

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Other/Dos-Sertoes/A26/961911722_aN9Hv-L.jpg)
Öthis.

Leaving my race bike in the USA for shipping, I borrowed Mrs. BBís KTM 450 for training in Peru and joined the guys who like to do enduro and trials style riding in the Atacama desert. It was a baptism of fire Ė I was unable to ride with them for more than 15 minutes before being totally poked. This was a whole new level of riding. The riding terrain was awesome though, perfect for any rally with dunes, steep mountains, rocky trails, you name it. You can see lots of pictures, video and read all about it in this thread:

http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=45404.msg896505#msg896505

All the details of the rally kit and build is also in this thread.

In April I went to an informal four-day ďrally schoolĒ event in the Nevada Desert in the US, tested my new bike and learnt all about navigating using standard rally equipment: GPS compass, electronic road book and ďICOĒ odometer. This was my first taste of rally, and I loved it, especially on the new bike with super aftermarket suspension. There is something to be said about flying across the desert at high speed. You can also read the RR in the above thread.

By July most guys entering the race had shipped their bikes and only worked out in the gym. I continued riding on the weekends with my enduro buddies, but extending the trips by riding through the desert from my house to the various destinations. This way I could ride for 8-10 hours instead of the usual 4-6. I also started riding solo during the week: A hazardous practice in the desert but with no-one around to train with this was the only option. I decided that I was risking too much, experienced rally guys had advised against training on bikes close to the rally, because too often one gets injured at number ninety nine. So I changed my tactic and started out for the first time on an MX track. Constantly aware of the danger of breaking something, I took it easy. I found this was by far the best way to train, getting very tired very quickly after only a few laps. Those MX guys are really awesome, but they only do 10-20 laps in a session. But two hours of riding on a track is like 10 hours of tough enduro riding. By the end of July I was riding 50 laps 5 times per week. I think this gave me the edge I needed, my hands had developed nice calluses and I was riding fit. MX was becoming quite monotonous on the wrong bike. I stopped riding just over a week before the rally started and enjoyed the rest.

Now we find ourselves on the day before the start. I am ready, and my bike is ready.

I hope you are ready too - Please join me in re-living the my story: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream, a journey filled with bike bling, dust, rocks, sand, water, blood and chocolate.
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: IceCreamMan on August 29, 2010, 12:37:02 pm
I feel AWESOMENESS coming on

Congrratz man :thumleft:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Aquatic on August 29, 2010, 12:41:49 pm
 :happy1: Hier kom n ding nou.



Just remember Neil, I requested a signed copy of your book!!! ;D
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Iron Shark on August 29, 2010, 12:54:06 pm
This is gonna be good!!!    :thumleft:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: EtienneXplore on August 29, 2010, 01:14:48 pm
 :drif: :drif: :drif: :drif: :drif: :drif: :drif:


I have never been so excited to read a Ride Report, I can't wait for it, cannot wait for the pictures, stories and experiences you and the team went through.

Neill, you legend !!!!!

 :paw: :paw:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: chicco on August 29, 2010, 01:24:24 pm
subscribed... :biggrin:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Johnnie Bok on August 29, 2010, 01:40:58 pm
Kannie wag nie.......
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Outthere on August 29, 2010, 01:46:59 pm
Hey BB

You are an absolute hero not only for what you are doing on the bike but for taking the time to share with us. Hats off to you.

Are you still keen for the DAKAR in January.

I sure do hope so will be with you all the way.

Cheers.
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Marnus on August 29, 2010, 02:26:06 pm
Ahhhh and so it begins :)

Looking forward to the rest  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: zetman on August 29, 2010, 04:10:49 pm
Yes yes hiesit nou kani wag ni
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Brakenjan on August 29, 2010, 04:11:37 pm
Hie gaat ons nou!!  :blob10: :blob3: :blob5: :blob6: :blob7:

Thanks BB - looking forward to it.
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: madmike999 on August 29, 2010, 05:56:15 pm
Hie gaat ons nou!!  :blob10: :blob3: :blob5: :blob6: :blob7:

Thanks BB - looking forward to it.



 :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft:

one day when i'm big and strong like a blue bull  :mwink: i would live to do this, ideal would be on a HPN,  :imaposer: :imaposer: :imaposer:



Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Alan on August 29, 2010, 06:01:39 pm
Awesome.. And so well written.. Bring it Neil..  :thumleft:

regards

Al
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: XRV-Boy on August 29, 2010, 06:53:54 pm
Mods I think you okes should stick this in the Hall of fame already,

Well done Neil!
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Kreef on August 29, 2010, 07:41:40 pm
 :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft:

Subscribed
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: airHEAD on August 29, 2010, 08:20:32 pm
 :happy1: I'm in, cant wait to read the whole story.
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Tuareg on August 29, 2010, 09:19:39 pm
 :happy1:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: h≤/hh on August 30, 2010, 07:30:38 am
Aangeteken en wag rustig. 
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: CHorse on August 30, 2010, 07:39:04 am
Can't wait for the rest BB  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: niku on August 30, 2010, 08:36:13 am
 :thumleft:

Great - kannie wag vir die res
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Diesel & Dust on August 30, 2010, 09:04:58 am
Big up to you BB - Hou die Blou Bulle se naam hoog :thumleft:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: corne.l on August 30, 2010, 09:06:11 am
<subscribe>   :happy1:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: KAT-WP on August 30, 2010, 09:12:24 am
subscribe
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Brink on August 30, 2010, 09:17:19 am
 :paw:  :ricky: :paw:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: domstes on August 30, 2010, 09:24:27 am
This going to be SO good!.

 :happy1:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Berm_Rooster on August 30, 2010, 11:11:19 am
Lekke lekke! I've been waiting for this for a while. Good stuff so far!

:happy1:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: N[]vA on August 30, 2010, 11:11:59 am
 :thumleft:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Would I? on August 30, 2010, 11:54:56 am
can't wait....... :drif: :drif:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: CorCorlia on August 30, 2010, 12:11:02 pm
Subscribed!!  :happy1: :wav:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: met eish on August 30, 2010, 12:19:22 pm
Great stuff, good choice of bike  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Rokie on August 30, 2010, 02:14:30 pm
+1   :drif:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: AntonDP on August 30, 2010, 03:13:39 pm
Die popcorn is bestel.
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Crossed-up on August 30, 2010, 03:37:25 pm
Great stuff!  Your audience awaits ...
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: letsgofishing on August 30, 2010, 05:27:08 pm
Congrats once again BB!
Can't wait!
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: BlueBull2007 on August 30, 2010, 09:21:20 pm
Time for a bumper picture fest.

The Mad Rush at the Start- Two days to go

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0817/987377885_Z9pdf-L.jpg)
We have been staying in Goiania, a city of one million, for four days. Itís a nice place, with great people, but itís also expensive. Earlier we got to walk around a bit and get a feel for the lay of the land.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0818/987378019_hAKMp-L.jpg)
Preparations are underway to get the start track ready for the big kickoff. There is a feeling of expectancy in the air as the VIP area is constructed.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0825/987378233_kWCMa-L.jpg)
The layout for the Box area, park ferme, start track and support infrastructure seems to indicate the rally organization is on top of things.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0826/987378430_mfhNG-L.jpg)
Itís exciting to see the advertising boards displaying Dos Sertoes everywhere.

Two days before the race and we spend the morning with the organization doing administrative checks in the shopping centre across the road from the official start.

The shopping centre is packed with people, an unusually high number of beautiful women. Most of the married guys pretend to be blind while the single guys stumble around, staring and mumbling exclamations and falling in love. :drif:  :love10:

The place must be an anomaly in the universe or something.   :evil6:

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0848/987379978_k3fpQ-L.jpg)
There is a stand selling Dos Sertoes gear doing a roaring trade and elsewhere...


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0833/987378634_haDAZ-L.jpg)
..they are selling tickets to the start show out of booths shaped like rally truck cockpits. Sorry for the poor pic quality. 


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0835/987378767_r257W-L.jpg)
At the administrative check, everything looks pretty well organized.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0836/987378974_H8XX2-L.jpg)

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0838/987379166_ogYAt-L.jpg[img][img]http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0838/987379166_ogYAt-L.jpg)
Again, everyone is super friendly. Itís so refreshing. The check is mostly a formality because a month ago we couriered copies of drivers licenses, passports, medical insurance, doctor certification of health, echo-cardiogram results etc.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0837/987379025_ofWkJ-L.jpg)

Mr. Ferretti the Italian FIM official picks up a problem Ė I donít have a World Championship Cross Country (WCCC) license, but an International Cross Country license. This means I am unable to enter under my allocated WC number and category, but only into the Brazilian Championship, which means a number change and a daily start much further back in the field. Confusion reigns because I was sure I had applied for the WCCC.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0841/987379375_ATPWf-L.jpg)
I get on the phone with the American Motorcycle Association (AMA) who issued the license while Ferretti stands by to explain that If I can get the license changed in two days he will let me keep my number, 111. The AMA is awesome, and issues a new license the same day, emailing the organization a scanned copy. Ferretti is kind to me, it is clear I am new to this thing and overlooks this issue once he sees I have the right documentation the next day. The original license would arrive by courier later in the rally. Most importantly for me was that I would be putting a good 40 riders between me and first cars and trucks, something I considered high on my agenda. Another advantage was that I would be riding with the more experienced international riders, I am sure I will learn a lot from that.

I also learn that itís a bad idea to try and shortcut the rules and especially not screw with the FIM officials under any circumstances. Des tells me that a senior American rider on his Dakar was once hit with a 300 Euro on-the-spot fine for swearing in front of these guys after becoming frustrated with their attention to the smallest details. They are the epitome of professionalism, they have seen it all, and if you cross them you could find yourself never being able to race again. Mr. Ferretti is the same guy who does scrutinizing at all WC rally events. Itís vitally important that they get what they want, when they want. If you have your act together, they quickly warm to you and things generally go more smoothly. I found itís also a good idea to actually know what the FIM guidelines are for each category and in particular the category you choose to enter.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0843/987379459_ZckuF-L.jpg)

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0844/987379697_EnnMH-L.jpg)
We all our official photos taken, here is Randal and DD getting theirs done. I donít think the organization planned for such a big, tall participant. The organization sponsor's logos can't even be seen.  ;D  None of the team shirts could fit him either.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0850/987380358_kGd4R-L.jpg)
I get handed my folder with a race number of a bib, and race No. decals for my bike, a permanent colored wrist band, a competitor ID card and a brochure on the rally with useful info about the rally and contact numbers in each town we will be staying at. You can see Des in the background talking to the guys in America about my bike and what to do next.

After the paperwork ordeal I rush back to my bike and continue with the carburetor adjustments with Randall and Des. The fuel in Brazil runs on 25% ethanol and if we donít rejet the bikes we will lose an engine really quickly. We joke that the Yamaha design engineers obviously donít like mechanics. Itís a bullet proof engine and rides really, REALLY nicely, but working on the bike is a real PITA. The rally kit does not make access any easier.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0689/987375735_RJPGQ-L.jpg)
This and the following is what we have to do in the basement of the hotel to get access to the carburetor.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0666/987373227_dkFAQ-L.jpg)

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0687/987375654_T2Zrr-L.jpg)

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0676/987374254_hPZc4-L.jpg)

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0682/987374514_8LSAM-L.jpg)

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0696/987376662_FjWBz-L.jpg)

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0699/987377204_xb6EU-L.jpg)

Randall and I get the needle adjust up two notches, fit a 180 Main jet, and a 145 pilot jet.

I take it for a spin, but the bike sounds like itís bogging - too rich. Worse after filling up at a fuel station I cannot get it to start. Eventually it fires and I limp nervously back to the hotel. Iím running out of time and Iím beginning to panic. The day before I took the bike for a run and confirmed the bikes jetting was too lean, but also found out that I have major power problems. I have got to finish the bike today, because tomorrow is scrutiny and briefings! Des calms me down and says he will take it to the Uruguayans tomorrow where it will all be sorted out. He convinces me that in less than 20 minutes they will have it right as rain. Amazingly, I believe him. Perhaps it was my subconscious way of preventing a meltdown taking place in my head. I mean you need to understand there have been months to prepare, and huge dollars spent to get this far and now the bike is not working properly. Iím a mechanicís nightmare so this stuff stresses me out big time. They have just arrived, driving five days from Uruguay and are setting up camp outside in the box area.

That night we go through our budget. Itís been decimated, it looks like everything has already doubled in cost so far and we are not sure if we will have enough cash for fuel, accommodation and food to last the next 12 days. There are rental cars to pay for as support vehicles, hotel accommodation and meals everyday for the whole team, increased mechanics fees, paid race entry fees, and bought a lot of gear and camping stuff that we did not bring with us. The total is adding up big time.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0694/987376631_zwNZK-L.jpg)
The horrified expression on Dave's face as he looks at the new total on the spreadsheet says it all.

We are all stressing out a bit and getting on one anotherís nerves. Lots of self-control needed all round, because we are all difficult, driven people.

Why cant we just go riding??  :cwm21:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Loopy on August 30, 2010, 09:26:23 pm
Fantastic! You have us hooked....

Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: domstes on August 30, 2010, 10:16:03 pm
so like any good project...,

It was all going swimmingly at the start!  >:D
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: BlueBull2007 on August 30, 2010, 11:42:20 pm
so like any good project...,

It was all going swimmingly at the start!  >:D

Yes, you have nailed it precisely! ;D
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Kamanya on August 30, 2010, 11:51:06 pm
You know, there has to be painfully few times, if any, when times get tough that a boer seuntjie beside you is not a good idea!...

Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: BlueBull2007 on August 31, 2010, 12:09:29 am
T Minus - One Day: Scrutinizing

Itís the day before the race and we have been running around like headless chickens in Goiania (Goiaz province), for five days already trying to get the bikes prepped and jetted correctly for the high ethanol fuel they have here in Brazil. Apparently itís the worst fuel in South America, and from experience, thatís pretty bad.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0662/987372471_nto2U-L.jpg)
Dave and Philís bikes are fine, Phil had a major drama class with his new engine and had to fit another engine just before he shipped the bike as well, but in the last couple of days its all come right for him. In fact both Americans had no problems with jetting and general setup after their adjustments.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0666/987373227_dkFAQ-L.jpg)
They sure know a lot more about bikes than I do, I feel woefully inadequate. At least I am learning fast with their help! Phil and Dave's bikes are now run in nicely. They had time yesterday to go for a ride and see what the dirt around Goiania is like. I wanted to do the same, but my bike wonít let me yet!  :dousing:  This is also stressful because I want to get a feel for the bike. Just remember, I last rode the bike back in April for only four days and Im not convinced the place to get a feel for bike again for the first time is on the starting circuit!  :confused1:

There is not enough time to start stripping my bike again, but we put the battery on charge last night so we can get it through scrutinizing - we hope. In the Dakar immediately after scrutiny the bikes are locked up away from the teams in the park ferme until the start of the race, but in Brazil they are more relaxed and the bikes are locked away in the park ferme only a few hours before the start of the event. This means we can still have just under a day to work on my bike once scrutiny is done. Wonderful.  ::) Nevertheless, I try to remain positive and calm: Having a bike passing scrutiny will take a lot of worry off my shoulders. This a journey, its fast leaving my domain of control a having a panic flap about it will not help anyone, least of all the guy who has to ride the bike and finish this race - me.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0602/987365467_pbsEz-L.jpg)
We get the bikes started and nip 600m from the hotel over to the box area.

Scrutiny is a process.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0617/987367512_EcXqM-L.jpg)
You line up with the other vehicles (notice our dodgy support vehicle trying to blend in with the fancy race cars) and start with a series of checks, each check having to be signed off and stamped on a sheet. Itís here that the reality sinks in BIG time that we are actually going to be racing in a serious event. This is not a weekend ride or even an enduro event.  It a freaking ten-day rally! We stare and smile at each other. The feeling is one of indescribeable joy mixed in with a healthy dollop of anxiety.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0607/987366074_QFF8c-L.jpg)

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0615/987367039_acsYq-L.jpg)

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0613/987366740_7VyTA-L.jpg)

Seeing the cars and bikes lining up with feverish activity happening at each of the checks is a really amazing feeling, very cool, we are part of a small group of people who have fought the difficulties, trained hard, paid their dues and actually made it to the start without incident.  Holy shit, we are SERIOUSLY going to be doing this thing!!  It feels like a tremendous achievement getting this far, Iíve been grinning so much my cheeks are beginning to hurt. Yet I am still anxious because we have never done this before and the anticipation of the unknown ahead of us is unsettling.

We dont have much time to reflect though, there is lots still to do. Each check takes place or next to its own ďeasy upĒ tent. I have been often asked what this is all about, so please bear up with me while I explain:

Each of these checkpoints cost money (usually in the form of rentals of essential equipment and services) and at each point you have to prove you have paid your dues in advance or pay in cash right there before you are allowed to move on. Its well organized and very well controlled with documentation.

The first check comprises confirmation of bike and decals corresponding to the rider. They check to see decals are on the bike in the correct positions, and on our helmets, and also our Identification. I get my first stamp. Whoohoo!  8) That was the easy one.

Next up is the Sentinel installment and checking. This is an alarm device that emits a loud beep-beep-beep sound when activated by a rally car or truck approaching from behind. The idea is the rider hears this and gets the hell out of the road before he is killed, and allowing the safe passing of the vehicle. It has to be connected directly to the battery, and tested before you get your stamp. It is considered an indispensable safety device. In characteristic fashion, getting to the battery is a real PITA. I also need tools to install it so I would have to come back for final testing later.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0605/987365833_NKjyn-L.jpg)
Third check is the installation of the ďSpotĒ or independent GPS transceiver that has buttons that send signals to via satellite to activate live tracking on the web. More importantly there is a help/911 button that can be used to send an alarm to the organizers in the event of a serious accident requiring helicopter rescue. Normally this is activated by the first rider on the scene.

On the fourth, the Organisation takes my Zumo 500 GPS system and programs with all the main (un-hidden) way points for every step of the rally, including the box areas each day. This will be used in the GPS navigation section, but is not a replacement of the roadbook, which has much more detailed path. Again on the Dakar, they use a special ASO organization GPS system, the IRI track. Some of the guys had these on their bikes.

Fifth is the radio check, where we each received a two-way hand radio that can be used to contact the aircraft monitoring the race in the event of an emergency.

Sixth is the Rastro stop, where we are issued with two smallish independent GPS tracking devices to put in our jackets. These are replaced at the end of every day, and the info from each rider is downloaded and checked on a daily basis. It is the Rastro that helps the organization confirm riders have reached all the waypoints, including the hidden ones. It also records rider speed and is used for imposing speed penalties in the various radar zones where applicable. Simply put, it keeps the competitors honest.

Finally comes the technical scrutinizing stage, done by the organization in conjunction with the FIM officials. First they check you have passed all other checks and have been correctly signed signed off. Just then I bump into Marc Coma. Holy moly, the big legend is shorter and smaller than me. And they always describe him as a big rider. His bike is not there, it will be taken through scrutiny by his support team later. I shake his hand excitedly and tell him he is the reason I am here and that he has been a huge inspiration to me. Marc smiles at me briefly and abruptly turns away to start a conversation with Ferretti. Clearly Ferretti is much more important than just another arbitrary pilot/fan like me. Somewhat disappointed at his reaction, I tell myself that this is his job, and I shouldnít be surprised.
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: BlueBull2007 on August 31, 2010, 12:41:16 am
Finally itís my turn to meet Mr. Ferretti this time with four other serious-looking officials helping him and I am suddenly glad I took the time chatting with him beforehand. He could see my nervousness and was quite encouraging. I am nevertheless caught out on the sentinel, because it was not yet attached to the bike. He tells me not to worry I just have to get it checked later and come back with the signed off documentation. I can continue with scrutinizing.  

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0625/987368630_aEtr5-L.jpg)
Ferretti clearly seems intrigued in this fancy-looking bike.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/advrider-wilddogs/987365277_brZzq-L.jpg)
Probably he was looking at the ADV Rider- Ride the World and Wild dog stickers. :paw:

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/sponsors/987394833_Echeh-L.jpg)
On the other side are my sponsorís names, as promised!! THANKS GUYS, you are awesome! All are proud :paw: Wild Dogs :paw:

MX1 West is an ADV Rider inmate and runs a great accessories outlet in San Francisco, specialising in Acerbis gear. Check it out, it likely cheaper (with shipping) than in South Africa: WWW.MX1west.com (http://WWW.MX1west.com)

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0629/987368942_z5Nh8-L.jpg)
They do all the normal checks as for all the bikes: Tail lights, brake lights, headlight (thank the Lord my battery was still charged up), chain guards, bark busters etc Ė All the basic safety items. Phil & Dave had to swap out some kit, for example, the bobble on the end of Phils clutch lever is still lying somewhere in Nevada.

In my case, my bike goes through a much more thorough and detailed examination because my entry is firstly in the WCCC, and secondly in the production category. This means that I cannot change the engine, forks, exhaust, triple clamps or shocks during the rally. Just as well, because I only have one set of all those, and anyway, unlike Marc Coma I donít have a guy with a mustache to hide spare wheels and other equipment in the desert for me.  :deal: :biggrin: (You'll only understand what I mean if you know the story surrounding Mark Coma's penalty in the Dakar this year.)

They also check other things that the Brazilian championship guys donít need like additional rear lights and 3l of drinking water capacity mounted safely on the bike.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0634/987369748_JduXR-L.jpg)

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0631/987369184_Kzv73-L.jpg)
They also check the sound output on the bikes running at high rpms, with me knuiping big-time that everything holds together, that the bike actually starts and everything works out fine. You can see them standing some regulation distance away and measuring the noise, it has to be below 85dBA. I pass, Ferretti nods, apparently very satisfied, and they move onto the next step which is marking of the bike.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0641/987369922_Pydfy-L.jpg)
Randall & I take a tank off, and out comes the paint and they start painting little green squares on all the irreplaceable parts, the engine, the frame, the forks, the triple clamps, and exhaust. I will be able to do the valves or clutch if I have to, thats it basically. Most top competitors race in the Super Production category, which allows them to burn engines out. I like to use the excuse that Im a purist that believes that real rally riders only need one engine to get them to the finish rather than admit I cannot afford a new engine every 3-4 days.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0642/987370065_EGyma-L.jpg)

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0643/987370376_NV9Ek-L.jpg)
They also write my race number with a special pencil into the wet paint. This will all be checked in during and at the end of the rally. Itís fascinating to watch.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0647/987370589_rvgQD-L.jpg)
Thereís 10 places on the bike where they paint green squares, in this photo there are seven; can you spot them all?

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0648/987370836_mPEeD-XL.jpg)

After this I am released, pending only the sentinel install, they are happy with my bike. I am over the moon. Itís taken 3 hours but now the bike is in the race.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0859/987380793_nUxJH-L.jpg)
Now I need to get it working properly, so I rush it over to the Uruguayan angels to sort out and take a couple of hours to walk around the bivouac and see what everyone else is up to.

ItsÖwell its busy. And there is lots and lots of bike porn. It is amazing to see.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0863/987381788_zqCnd-L.jpg)

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0865/987382284_6bFw5-L.jpg)
Marieta Moraes, a lady competitor also riding a Yamaha WR450, she has done this rally (I think) 8 times.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0870/987383108_C7YkX-L.jpg[img][img]http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0873/987384354_Z78cU-L.jpg)
These rentals are going on the ďSertoes SeriesĒ rally, which is the 1st four stages of the Official rally. Itís a great option for DS riders who want to get a feel for real rally at a lower cost.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/stitch1/988472217_ZtPCx-XL.jpg)


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/stitch2/988472507_QwpNG-XL.jpg)
By far the most impressive setup was Coma & Casteauís support area. Totally outsourced to local logistics company ďOff RushĒ. The company offered me a package for accommodations, food and transport for only $15,000.00 excluding maintenance. Needless to say itís a little above my pay grade.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0877/987385399_U2amX-L.jpg[img]Now this is a bikeÖthis is [i][b]the bike[/i][/b]Ö[img]http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0878/987385644_CmELg-L.jpg)
ÖDavid Casteuís famous French Sherco. Watch this bike on the Dakar in January. In the background you can see two Off Rush rental KTMís to be raced by more shit-hot international pilots and also a light lunch of fresh salmon sandwiches and salad for our heroes. Lucky bastards!

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0881/987386753_dgMrQ-L.jpg)
Even the smaller guys seemed to be better setup than we were.

There were a lot of large trucks and converted coaches used as support vehicles. Most were pretty impressive.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0883/987387487_P5FUj-L.jpg)

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0884/987387809_N2E68-L.jpg)

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0885/987388025_hug9g-L.jpg)
Others were more functional. You could see years of experience in some of the setups. Totally independent.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0882/987387114_9zHV7-L.jpg)

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0887/987388762_4pR38-L.jpg)

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0892/987389543_aSHjA-L.jpg)
These beasts cast fear into any biker running in a special stage.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0893/987389767_fpfas-L.jpg)
Another group of Brazilian competitors.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0886/987388305_K9L52-L.jpg)
A card game before the storm.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0888/987389082_gn5kU-L.jpg)
 :drif:
These Polish guys are awesome and very serious, their lead rider Kuba Przygonski, a serious contender for the world championship, turns out to be a very nice guy who offers me a lot of support and advice.

 (http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0889/987389147_kgotE-L.jpg)
Their support truck is the Mother of all trucks that won one of the Dakarís a few years ago. More on this later.


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0894/987389966_pnjNm-L.jpg)
Then thereís us. A Fiat Doblo  :imaposer: and

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0183/988541185_TMa6H-L.jpg)
Model 1973 VW Kombi for support vehicles!  

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0184/988542280_9GkbQ-L.jpg)
Complete with a superhero in the support team :laughing4:


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0866/987382478_ao4Ze-L.jpg)
Yet somehow, our classy support vehicles attracted a lot of the local talent,

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0867/987382693_noepS-L.jpg)


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0896/987390370_taHvP-L.jpg)
Admirers of Daveís KTM 525 while helicopters buzzed overhead, note the green decal denoting Brazilian Championship.


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0860/987381008_cNJqY-L.jpg)
At least the Uruguay team had a Sprinter, trailer,

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0858/987380578_cyyY4-L.jpg)
And a little bike to get around the bivouac.  ;D

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0861/987381283_JYbTV-L.jpg)
Laurentís 690, a true work of art.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0862/987381566_hx3u7-L.jpg)
Mauro Almediaís quad. No, wait thatís not a quad, thatís a freaking monster!  :o


By late afternoon, the Uruguayans have not yet opened my bike up but as soon as I open my mouth to say anything theyíre waving their arms and saying ďNo problemo, no problemo!Ē  Ok then, I shrug. Itís time for me to take my bike to get cleared for the Sentinel. It tests fine and I am formally passed.

This time I get to see a lot more bikes than in the morning.
(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0911/987392199_NcD65-L.jpg)
David Casteau with his team. I get the opportunity to have closer look at this beauty.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0919/987393164_47Zrf-L.jpg)

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0920/987393238_foiWY-L.jpg)

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0915/987392769_6S3Nt-L.jpg)
No.05 Luiz Octavioís KTM 530, the white sticker is for WCCC over 450cc class bikes.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0916/987392955_mk7yA-L.jpg)
Little do we know this was to become a Did Not Finish (DNF).  :'(  :'(

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0913/987392375_azSUu-L.jpg)
Ike Klaumanís Yamaha WR 450 also to become a DNF.  :'(  :'(

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0914/987392579_zsjTU-L.jpg)

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0923/987393701_GbNkf-L.jpg)
The Uruguayans are passing through scrutinizing with flying colours.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0922/987393503_BBUeB-L.jpg)

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0926/987394027_n7nE6-L.jpg)
Leandro Pires is a guy I would get to see many times in the field on his Honda 450.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0927/987394067_APnbD-L.jpg)
The trucks are passing through as well, its bit of a rush as Scrutinizing closes at 6 pm, with no further vehicles permitted.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0929/987394194_XsV8z-L.jpg)

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0931/987394381_3e7A7-L.jpg)

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0932/987394549_NRJ2X-L.jpg)

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0933/987394763_YCRZ9-L.jpg)
Inside the cab of the Ford truck.

Itís serious eye candy. You should hear the sound of the trucks and cars when they rev up their engines, itís magnificent.

We are all in better spirits and enjoy another evening at a restaurant eating great food before turning in early. Lots of meat, perfect for us South Africans, but overwhelming for our US friends, who are not used to eating so much meat. We think itís quite amusing.

Tomorrow is the big day! Whether my bike will be ready or not is a question that will be answered in one way or another.
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Aquatic on August 31, 2010, 04:11:13 am
Awesomeness!!!
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: letsgofishing on August 31, 2010, 07:50:41 am
GREAT stuff BB - can't wait for the rest!
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Diesel & Dust on August 31, 2010, 07:55:01 am
Please post more - I can't wait !!!!! :thumleft:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: CorCorlia on August 31, 2010, 09:17:09 am
AWESOME!!!!  :notworthy: :notworthy: :notworthy:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Hentie @ Riders on August 31, 2010, 12:14:40 pm
Awesome  :thumleft:  :thumleft:  :thumleft:   :thumleft:  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Would I? on August 31, 2010, 12:17:04 pm
 :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: next please.... :biggrin:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: BlueBull2007 on August 31, 2010, 12:52:49 pm
Prologue Ė The Super Prime

For those of you new to rally, in order to determine the race start order for the Sertűes International rally a Prologue is carried out before the beginning of the competition, on a closed track. The competitors start the race by twoís and timing is considered from lowest to the highest.

The race start order each day is determined by the qualifying position on the previous day. In other words, the winner of the previous special test gets to make headway, and not the one with the accumulated results. Start order is also in by the following categories: Bikes & Quads WCCC, Bikes & Quads Brazilian Championship, Cars, and lastly Trucks in the same categories. So the last placed WCCC rider will always start ahead of the 1st Brazilian Championship rider.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/12/989332059_T3DZD-L.jpg)
Pic: Webventure.com.br

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0610/987366436_NxHVM-L.jpg)

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0616/987367373_2UAhJ-L.jpg)

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0618/987367859_S6FMQ-L.jpg)
Sorry, I forgot to post these pictures earlier

I wake up early as usual and strangely enough the first thing I think of is whether my bike will be sorted out today. I chuckle at the irony. Iíve already given up on the idea of testing the bike on some dirt road outside Goiania. I face the fact that itís simply too late, any crash now would be a ridiculous disaster. Iím just going to have to learn the bike on the prologue circuit tonight at seven.

All our team riders, including me, are in a ratty mood. We all just want to ride now. This preparation has been going on for too long, our budget is totally screwed, our credit cards are all maxed out, and there has still not been enough time to complete all the preparations, particularly in my case. Worse, none of us are able to draw cash in the stupid banks. The support guys Des, DD & Randall joke that all they say to us these days is ďOkay, okay, okay,Ē because it seems to satisfy us no matter what we say or what they do. Itís true, and itís actually very funny. The three of us have become like petulant children and to some extent it is justified given how much we have committed ĖWell, not really- but that doesnít stop us anyway.

A couple days ago, Randall and I took the Yamaha to bits and got a 180 main jet and 145 pilot jet installed for the fuel problem in Brazil, moving the needle up two notches as well. But putting the bike together again was a PITA. The pipe from the special air box mounted between the front tanks would not go over the carburetor and there was no way to get fingers in to get it on. Eventually we thought we had it right and the bike reassembled. I took it for a spin but it started bogging about 25 minutes into the ride, before I got to any dirt so I came back. Des told me to relax and took the bike to the Uruguayans to adjust again. The battery had also run flat during scrutiny, so it went over to the Uruguayans camp to have them work on it. Despite all the assurances I am still very tense. I donít know if my bike is even going to get around the super prime track and that is later today. I canít do anything about it. Des (rightly) wonít let me near the bike because I need to rest while I still can.
 
The support team is also feeling a little put out, because they were severely limited in what they could buy yesterday. There were still so many unknowns, what food to get, how much water, do we have enough mattresses etc. After we all had agreed on the shopping list, Dave went with the support guys taking his credit card to buy boxes, coolers, chairs, table etc. other  needed bits and pieces. There was apparently some disagreement as to what should be and would be bought. As a result they spent several hours doing circles in the Walmart loading the trolleys with essential items while Dave, desperately trying to conserve cash on behalf of the riders, moved in behind them offloaded the same items. Somehow they got out of this vicious circle, and returned to the hotel to finish the home-made roof racks for the Fiat Doblo. All 18 tyres had to go on the roof rack, along with the back seat of the Kombi to make way for all the gear going inside. Space was a premium, and the support guys made full use of the last few days to do a great job of packing and repacking so they could get everything in these two ridiculously small vehicles.

Before you ask why didnít we go for something better: We had a budget to stick to, and anyway we learnt that in Brazil it is impossible to hire a commercial vehicle without a driver. Having an unknown person registered on the team was simply not an option.

Somehow, as a team we collectively pull together and made an effort not to let personal frustrations get the better of any of us. I think we are doing pretty well under the circumstances, weíre all hopeful that once the rally starts things will relax a bit. At least the support guys have been incredibly helpful and bundles of joy and laughter; it lightens the riders dark moods a little.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/10/989331908_TdYZW-L.jpg)
We go to the riders briefing at 11am, and are handed our road books for the first stage. Splendid! Pic: Webventure.com.br

The English speaking competitors put on headphones and listen to the translator. We are introduced formally to all the officials. After the route is briefly discussed and described as a shakedown ride by the clerk of the course, the race doctor stands up and delivers a great safety talk. He touches on the benefits of bringing oneís own headache and anti-inflammatory tablets. The medical station is for serious emergencies, and is not a pharmacy. He emphasizes his point by holding up two huge syringes with large, hideous-looking needles 20 cm long. The brown one is for anyone with a runny stomach, the baby-puke green one for headaches and aches and pains. It brings down the house with laughter. We are also instructed on emergency procedures and communication during the rally. First bike starts out at 07h00s on Stage 1 tomorrow. Tonight results will be published at the start at 06h00s. They tell us to enjoy the show tonight and wish us a safe and enjoyable prologue and rally. We applaud. :ricky:

Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: BlueBull2007 on August 31, 2010, 01:12:21 pm
I have an early lunch with DD and then take a nap. Itís my first moment of proper rest since I got here.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/box/989332626_dWMH5-L.jpg)
Pic: Webventure.com.br
At 4pm I return to the box area where the atmosphere is a carnival one. There are plenty of pretty girls wandering about, photographers everywhere and lots of people from the general public trying to get in to have a look. Bikes are revving up and moving to the park ferme. This is it, the waiting is almost over at last.

How far the Uruguayans have got with my bike? Not far at all I think, but then what do I know, it looks the same to me. Marcelo says ďTodos esta bien, no problemo no problemo,Ē everything is fine.  Itīs okay they reassure me, and hand the bike to me to take to the park ferme where the bikes will be left until the start at 7 pm. It starts okay, and the light works but they warn me not to use it, the stator is unable to produce enough voltage to power everything on the bike. They will re-wire it tomorrow after the 1st stage and install a new regulator, the stock one would melt on the upgraded stator. I look at the mechanics, bewildered. I have no idea what they are talking about. They nod back at me and pat me on the back.

I get on my bike and ride it to the park ferme. The atmosphere is thrilling. Hundreds of people mill about taking video and snaps on cell phones and cameras. Some of us pull wheelies and pose big-time on our flash machines. Girls in tank-tops scream and jump at the sight of us on our machines. We weave out of the box area into a mad traffic jam around the park. Itís great to slip through on our bikes. The din is incredible. Little roadside shops have sprouted up everywhere selling curios and fast food.

Absolute chaos abounds until I arrive at the park ferme, where again I am met with strict control.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0504/989328889_w55SJ-L.jpg)
 I am allowed into a large fenced-off parking area, sterile of people and I park up in the one of long rows of bikes near the edge and turn off everything.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0502/989328791_8GAaK-L.jpg)
My bike is one of the last in before the cutoff time of 16h30. Guys on the outside gaze covetously at my bike and its characteristic design. They ask me to pose for a picture. I oblige willingly, before being chased out of the area by an official. Nearby the local radio station is broadcasting live from a vehicle overlooking the track. Huge speakers boom out an excited voice calling talking about the event.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/parkferme/989333392_PJt3J-L.jpg)
Pic: Webventure.com.br
Helicopters full of pressmen snapping pictures buzz around like angry mosquitoes. Iím beginning to feel what itís like to be a hero and I havenít even started riding yet!

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0902/987391647_3p2hZ-L.jpg)
I meet up with Phil and Dave and we walk the track. It doesnít look too bad at all.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0655/987372217_z7fee-L.jpg)

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0501/989328701_gGaty-L.jpg)
A huge flag has been setup off two cranes over the track


I return to my room for another short rest, a meal, a couple of calls and to dress for the start.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0002/986299749_pTYvD-L.jpg)
We walk kitted up to the bikes around 7pm. Now if this is not an advert for Acerbis gear, I dont know what is!  :biggrin: The air is electric with anticipation. Crowds walk with us to fill the stands. There is time for us to go into the VIP area and have a glass of water, served by awestruck waiters.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/a2/989329144_Pxs6c-L.jpg)
Phil & Dave are also a little pensive. Their Brazilian championship numbers are 44 & 45, the last bikes on the list. The reverse start order for the prologue means they will be among the first bikes out there after the Brazilian quads and Sertoes Series bikes. Other VIPs come up to us and ask to take photos of us. We oblige happily, but battle to look relaxed and smile over our nervousness.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/9/989332267_NKEAj-L.jpg)
Pic: Webventure.com.br

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0007/989328173_eFXM8-L.jpg)

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0011/989328361_qt65S-L.jpg)
We have made it to the start! Itís quite an achievement in its own right and we toast one another with our cups of water.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/a3/989329143_L5hLc-L.jpg)
The event kicks off with the national anthem and followed immediately by a breathtaking fireworks and laser display.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0021/989328423_b7iMB-L.jpg)
 Itís pretty impressive. The first quads go flying out while the crowd of perhaps 25,000 people go absolutely nuts. Itís very contagious. Brazilians are clearly exceptionally passionate people. I line up with all the riders to watch the first bikes as well. The crowd is roaring in approval and excitement, a Mexican wave following the riders around the track.

One poor guy cooks it on a corner and low-sides and spins out beautifully, almost face-planting as he goes down. The crowd bellows some in sympathy and others with delight, while he bravely leaps up and tears off again like a man possessed.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0030/989328471_9grHv-L.jpg)
Dave and Phil look at each other and are off to the start. I smile as Phil, in his element waves at the crowd. They hoot with approval; he has won their hearts instantly as the DJ yells over the intercom about the ďDois Americanos Phil y Dave!!Ē They shoot off and make the two laps without mishap.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0010/989328267_Cx7BY-L.jpg)
I decide to go to my bike and warm it up, riding it up and down in the Park Ferme with the light off, to give the battery a boost and to warm it up. Well, that is my theory anyway. I take my position in the line and wait for my turn, turning off my bike and pushing it forward.

Being in the world championship means I am riding with all the expert riders.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/a4/989329160_pwzch-L.jpg)
Iím racing with this Chilean guy Rodrigo Caballero, he looks like he should still be in school! I fool myself into thinking he will maybe be a walkover. Ludo Boinnard has No. 110 and is starting behind me, with guys like David Casteau, Dimas Matthos, Ike Klaumann, Kuba Przygonski, and Marc Coma with Ze Helio just behind them. Holy crap! Ludo just winks and gives me a thumbs up! He must have seen the whites of my eyes. I grin and wish him all the best.

We roll the bikes forward gradually to the top of a 20m ramp down to the course without starting engines. The two rows of two bikes waiting at the edge of the track with engines running, and then one row is waved onto the start.

Itís our turn to go down. I switch the ignition on. Nothing. Darn. Check switches. No light, no fans, nothing. I try the starter. Nothing. F***!!!  I notice my HID light switch is on, I canít remember which way is on or off now. Has it drained the battery?  F***, didnít I turn it off? I was sure it was off, I must have bumped it on somehow. Is it off now? Shit, I hope so. Not to worry, just take it easy Neil. You can still kick start the bike easily enough. Check fuel valve. Okay, its on.

Kick, kick, kick, kickÖ.kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick...nothing. F***!!!!!!! :BangHead:  :angry5:

Kick, kick, kick, kick, Iím kicking my ass off and nothing. I stop, breathing heavily and wonder if Iím going to have to pull out, when Ludo comes forward and suggests he push me down the ramp. I wheeze a thank you, and off we go.

Change into 2nd gear okay clutch out. Nothing. I roll down some more this time getting a bit more speed, clutch out: Nothing. Shit, I only have 5m left! I roll on gravity paddling as I go nearly flattening two camera guys as the bike bursts into life at the last bloody second. Holy shit.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/a5/989329184_U6WGG-L.jpg)
Iím sucking air like an oxygen thief as I barely stop the bike on the edge of the track. Once Iím sure the engine wonít die on me when I idle back, I ease off on the throttle. The guys in front of us wiz past on the first lap. Iím too scared to let the clutch out in case I stall it. I rip on my goggles with my right hand, but theyíre so steamed up I canít see jack shit. I can clean them but I need two hands. No way Iím risking that now. I donít yet know the sweet spot on my clutch. I think Iím in second still so I kick down to first. Check all support circuits and lights are OFF. Not ideal, but this is survival, the stadium floodlights will have to do.

Then I notice the bloody photographer trying to get a close up of my face. Well the photo will just have to be crap. Iíve got more important stuff to worry about right now. I can just see some of the track through the goggles with one eye. Once Iím going I know they will clear. I have 30m to the start, letís hope thatís enough.

We are waved onto the track and I charge off, stalling the bike. Oh F***, this is it. Iím going to have push the bike off the field in front of thousands of freaking spectators. There nowhere even to push it, Iím on the track. The shame!

Praying, I get the kick-start lever out and first kick the bike is running again. Iím stunned.

I scream in 1st up to the blurry figure at the start line. My vision is still crap. At least I can see the timing board. Amazingly, there are still 35 seconds left to calm down. The official tells me I must do the longer outside loop first, after the first loop, suicide switch onto the inner loop and complete the second round. 15 seconds.
 
(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0050/989328532_WXYCx-L.jpg)
I instruct myself to take deep breaths and relax. Please God donít let me stall again. Iím so distracted I miss the green light and young Rodrigo appears in my peripheral vision. I zoom off hot on his tail before splitting off on my loop.

(http://www.webventure.com.br/multimidia/fotos/111_rs10_davidsantosjr_001748_g.jpg)
Itís a soft, deeply rutted track with really sharp curves. No problem, but I find second gear is longer than on my KTM back home, not that much torque so I am forced to take it wide. The next corner is better because itís a left hand one and I work the back brake sliding the bike around. A small jump in front of the crowds who cheer the South African, one of the few foreign pilots. The course is not hard but Iím battling to get used to gear ratios and Iím peaking at the wrong places, at one point get into third too soon and miss a gear completely going down and scream along a straight in first. What a drama class.

I get a nice power slide on the last curve and some air on the finish ramp before taking on the second loop.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/a7/989329198_LahRh-L.jpg)
It goes a little better, and despite my poor performance I donít see Rodrigo anywhere, wow I must be in front. I start enjoying the ride, I can see a bit better now, I can hear the crowds cheering me. The jumps are very small but I manage to get a little air. The springbokkie and I are going to make it. I get to the finish and follow the route out of the stadium only to see Rodrigo pulling off after accepting from a small prize from a rally girl in a lycra suit for winning our bout. Hahaha! Time to eat some humble pie. It all seems over in a flash. I am thrilled as I ride back around to the box area. Itís nice to be out on the road cruising along after all of that, even if I have no light. I stick close to Rodrigo, I donít want to be hit by a car now.

I later learn I was out there for only 00:01:59.10, Rodrigo was exactly 15 seconds faster than me. He came 24th while I managed 53rd out of 68 riders. Dave came in one second faster and got 51st position while Phil took it easy and came 66th with a time of 00:02:21.30.

(http://www.webventure.com.br/multimidia/fotos/001_rs10_marcelomaragni_008091_g.jpg)
Marc Coma takes it easy and came 12th, seven seconds behind the leader, with Ze Helio coming second and Brazilian Felipe Miranda winning with a time of 00:01:27.10.

Frankly, I am just glad to finish. I get back to Marcelo and tell him my problem. He would look into it. I get back to see the first cars tearing the track and danger tape up, very impressive.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0052/989328670_mfC9r-L.jpg)
After watching a couple more cars and trucks I leave for the hotel and an early nightís sleep after calling Mrs. BB and Rallyraidio. Tomorrow was Stage 1, we would be starting the real rally in earnest. I want to make a strong performance.
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: the_wes on August 31, 2010, 01:13:22 pm
 :happy1:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Aquatic on August 31, 2010, 01:33:53 pm
This is GOOD SHIT. :ricky:
I have goosies just reading it!

I really enjoy your writing Neil. Keep it coming.
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Diesel & Dust on August 31, 2010, 01:42:19 pm
Wow wow wow :drif:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: funacide on August 31, 2010, 01:48:29 pm
Awesome stuff, Living the dream!!
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Kenisis on August 31, 2010, 03:27:45 pm
Well Done Neil. Awesome RR so far!
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: KAT-WP on August 31, 2010, 03:51:30 pm
Just reading ur 'chaotic start' with the bike not starting, i can feel myself getting so angst for u!

U describe ur experience brilliantly, one can really 'feel' the moments u went thru :)
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: keithk on August 31, 2010, 06:36:23 pm
This amazing I only hope that after the first "episode " everything went a little better, keep it coming  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Marnus on August 31, 2010, 07:55:51 pm
HAHAHA!!!! I also went O SHIT!!! when the bike wouldn't start  :laughing4:

Awesome - it's like being there with you man!
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: BlueBull2007 on August 31, 2010, 08:43:55 pm
Thanks for your comments guys, Im glad youre enjoying it. It takes ages to string all this together so its very encouraging to get your responses.

BTW...

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/box/989332626_dWMH5-L.jpg)
By the way can you spot our killer Kombi support vehicle in this pic?    :deal:

Apart from that did you notice there are no rally vehicles apart from support vehicles in the Box area or under the easy ups? It must have been when all the vehicles were already in the park ferme.
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: domstes on August 31, 2010, 09:09:13 pm
Thanks Neil for taking the time to tell the story. It is BRILLIANT!!

I am loving it!
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Marnus on August 31, 2010, 09:44:15 pm
I was also thinking - all those countless hours and laps around the MX track probably saved your ass in the Prologue!!!  New bike... starting problems, and only coming 15 seconds short!  Once you got going, you knew exactly what to do :)  I guess if they added 2 more laps, you would have stopped at the Lycra babe  >:D
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Minora on August 31, 2010, 10:08:49 pm
WOW inspiring stuff

Thanks Neil for the effort, dis regtig lekker om deur die report te lees.

Hats off for going through with everything and finishing Dos Sertoes
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: BOER! on August 31, 2010, 10:34:28 pm
 8)
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: GlenInk on August 31, 2010, 11:19:35 pm
Mods please send this ride report to ROLL OF HONOUR please !  :deal:

Brilliant stuff  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Rbacknz on September 01, 2010, 02:42:45 am
This is awesome.  :ricky:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: EtienneXplore on September 01, 2010, 07:23:10 am
Mods please send this ride report to ROLL OF HONOUR please !  :deal:

Brilliant stuff  :thumleft:

+1000000

This ride report is going to be an EPIC one, I am so proudly South African and so proudly a Wilddog with a report like this, man you cannot get a better example of commitment and hard work to achieve your dream.

This is truly inspirational stuff!!!

Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: letsgofishing on September 01, 2010, 07:50:34 am
Damn, BB, reading the prologue, I felt like I was there with you!!!
 :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Uiltjie on September 01, 2010, 08:41:06 am
Ag nee shit, ek is vasgenael..... :thumleft:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: CorCorlia on September 01, 2010, 10:26:20 am
Excellent stuff!!!  I'm really enjoying this...  :thumleft: 
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Rokie on September 02, 2010, 09:23:28 am
wow! this is like eating pudding and surfing big waves at the same time!!
 :drif:  :o  :drif:  :o  :P  :eek7:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: GSJeri on September 02, 2010, 12:37:51 pm
G....lued

 :thumleft:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Kreef on September 02, 2010, 03:55:43 pm
(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0647/987370589_rvgQD-L.jpg)
Thereís 10 places on the bike where they paint green squares, in this photo there are seven; can you spot them all?

I can only see 6 :(
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: domstes on September 02, 2010, 03:57:44 pm
(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0647/987370589_rvgQD-L.jpg)
Thereís 10 places on the bike where they paint green squares, in this photo there are seven; can you spot them all?

I can only see 6 :(

The two that are easy to miss is on the back of the bottom tripple clamp and on the crankcase below the barrel...
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Kreef on September 02, 2010, 04:06:45 pm
The two that are easy to miss is on the back of the bottom tripple clamp and on the crankcase below the barrel...

Ahhhh, I missed the one on the bottom tripple clamp... Thanks for putting me out of my missery :)
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Berm_Rooster on September 02, 2010, 04:17:36 pm
I could also only got 6. The crank case below the barrel? My screen must be kak, cuz I dont see nuddin'! ???
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: domstes on September 02, 2010, 04:19:10 pm
I could also only got 6. The crank case below the barrel? My screen must be kak, cuz I dont see nuddin'! ???
Just make the photo or you screen a bit brighter. Then you should see it.
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Berm_Rooster on September 02, 2010, 04:40:12 pm
I could also only got 6. The crank case below the barrel? My screen must be kak, cuz I dont see nuddin'! ???
Just make the photo or you screen a bit brighter. Then you should see it.

OK, now I got it!
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: g1_ on September 03, 2010, 05:08:10 pm
subscribed
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: keithk on September 03, 2010, 06:15:54 pm
Hey guys has the race finished  ??? whats happened to BlueBull2007  :peepwall:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: BlueBull2007 on September 03, 2010, 07:22:49 pm
Sorry I have been a bit sick this week, my foot got infected! :o

I plan to have the the next update later tonight.
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Sir Rat on September 03, 2010, 08:06:51 pm
(http://i401.photobucket.com/albums/pp95/RovRat/987370589_rvgQD-L.jpg)
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Captain Zef on September 03, 2010, 08:20:17 pm
Subscribe
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: White Rhino on September 04, 2010, 07:22:31 am
BB you've sucked us in....

get well mate, you've a story to finish......
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: BlueBull2007 on September 04, 2010, 07:24:57 am
Stage 1 Goiania Ė Caldas Novas

34km - Initial liaison  
133km Ė Special
36km Ė Final Liaison

204 km Total


I am up at 05h20, unable to sleep anymore. I hit an early breakfast and feel bad immediately afterwards. Must be the nerves. I donít normally eat breakfast, but I know itís bad and I will need breakfast every day on this rally. Might as well get used to it.

I go down to the hotel basement to look at my bike. I heard Des bring my bike back from the box area about 2 am. Iím hoping they fixed that electrical problem. At least the battery seems charged. Not much else I can do but go and get ready. Again. Iīve packed and repacked so many times I forgetting where I have left stuff, like my leather man.

DD is up and wishes me all the best, what a guy: He even bought me some safety pins with little blue baby ducks on them to attach my bib to my jacket. I look at him with a jaded smile while he sticks to his story that they were the only ones he could find for me. I think itís his way of having a good laugh at my expense.

I make my way down the elevator for the last time in a week feeling as if I have left something behind. Itís a strange feeling, Iím embarking on a 4,480km journey and I have left my luggage behind. The support crew owns it now, and will be carting it all over the place after us. All I have is my helmet, earplugs, what Iím wearing and my camelback. Admittedly my jacket pockets are filled with two-way radios, Rastro devices, a bottle of octane booster, energy bars, my cell phone etc. I have left even my wallet behind; instead Iím carrying some cash with my phone and my international driverís license in a sealed plastic bag.

I get on my bike and start it first time. Wow. Thatís nice. Letís hope it stays working. I do not to run my HID light, because we now know the bikes stock stator cannot produce enough voltage to supply the rally equipment on the bike. I have to conserve power and hope the battery lasts. Marcelo and his crew will ďupgradeĒ the stator when they have more time tonight at the end of the first day. Iím not happy that they were unable to help me before, but at least the bike is working okay this morning. So far. The threat of mechanical/electrical failure makes me anxious, but thereís nothing I can do now except give it up to God and hope for the best.

I cruise out into another brilliant day. There is not a cloud to be seen and the sky has a deep, clear blue colour to it. Itís not cold at all but there is crispness to the air that makes my heart sing. I arrive at the McDonalds Ė Yes, the start of initial McLiaison is next to a McBreakfast. Well, it is supposed to be. I donít see anyone.

Okay, no need to panic Ė The first bike goes out at 07h00 and its only 06h35, but surely there would be someone out here at this time. All I see is morning traffic. I decide to ride over to the box area, about 500m away. Ah, there they are, a group of about 30 bikes standing around, and a couple of race officials. Yes this is the place. I spend the next hour standing and sitting around, looking at the nice bikes, watching more guys arrive and chatting casually to a couple of other pilots looking equally nervous.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/goiania/989333073_EzThq-L.jpg)
Pic: www.Webventure.com.br The start turned out to be at the top of the road between the circuit and the box area (you can see all the cars lining up in this photo).

The results have been posted on the back of a bus stop/station and a small crowd of men jostle to see where they are positioned. Eventually I get in there and Iím horrified to see that I came 53rd, my only redeeming factor being that I still get to start in front around forty other pilots thanks to my world championship category. Iím hardly a contender but the status sure has its benefits. So on the start list I find Iím only 25th . Awesome. My start time is 07h35 and 09h35 at the start of the special at kilometer 33.78.

There is some kind of delay, and eventually I see the front guys leaving. I see Marc Coma and the other big shots standing around, looking relaxed. He arrived at 06h59, so heís clearly in the know who is who and where he stands. I guess his support guys have their own copy of the results. Eventually they leave and my turn to get ready draws near.  Iím glad I have taken note of the two guys numbers before me, all I have to do is wait and watch for one of them. Eventually No. 117 appears and he gets his time card. I approach the officials, they check my number and hand me my time card, after writing in my time. I can leave in one minute. I return to my bike and prepare to leave. We are leaving the start of the liaison in one-minute intervals.

Finally I am waved to go. Itís a strange feeling for me, to suddenly be riding by myself after the super prime and all the activity. I see no other riders anywhere as I reset my ICO (rally odometer) to 00.00 as I swing past the lamp post outside McDonalds. The road book guides me onto the highway south west out of the city and its pretty easy ride out. Itís such a great feeling to be out riding. We have to stick to the speed limits here, and most of the traffic is moving faster than that, making things a little bit hazardous. It's not so nice being passed by big old 18 wheelers, when I know I can hit 150km/hr on this machine. I stick to the inside lane and cruise along close to the emergency lane. After a while I notice the trucks and cars are actually slowing down to have another look at me. The hoot and wave. People are taking photos of me on their cell phones. Iím feeling a little self conscious, but I hold up my hand in a victory sign for them anyway. They love it. It feels like everyone knows what this is about.

A little further out of Goiania a KTM 990 and an 800 GS blast past, then they pull over on the verge. I wave as I cruise past at a leisurely 90km/hr, and they wave back. Soon enough I am aware of the bikes behind me again, and this time they escort me, perhaps the last 15 km to the start of the special. What an honour. It's Tuesday morning, but it feels like a Saturday outride, it's really really special. I am more relaxed and confident because the bike has been running fine so far -The jetting must have been sorted out by the mechanics after all. All I have to worry about is the power situation and that seems to be holding up fine so far. I figure so long as the bike stays cool, the radiator fans wonít turn on and the stator will only have the road book, GPS & ICO to worry about. The latter two donít draw much power at all, and I canít think the motor on the road book is that big a load on the bike.

We turn off the highway, and I am escorted by the two DS riders through a little village and onto a red dirt road. The similarity of the grasses, trees, and the blood-red colour of the dirt makes it feel like Iím riding in Africa. Itís bizarre.

After a couple of kilometers we arrive at the start of the special. Iím confused to see Dave and Philís bikes there, with neither of them to be seen. Strange, I know they are starting about half an hour after me, but they have arrived before me. I hope they did not come here directly and not pick up their time cards. It later transpires I am right. They also never found the start, and assumed they just had to go on. So they both pick up a penalty later on for not having a time card. Somewhere in front of me I can hear a motorbike pulling flat-taps from the start into the wilderness. Every minute its another one.

I have 20 minutes before my time. The waiting is the worst, Iím nervous as it is and now I have time to think about it and it feeds my apprehensions. I have ten days of racing ahead of me. Ten days like this. Ten days of pressure. I start to realize how much this whole thing is a mind game. I remind myself that my goal is to finish, only finishing, and that I would be a fool to think that I will perform well against all these professionals and serious-looking rally guys standing around me. They all seem so relaxed, greeting one another, patting each other on the back, and cracking jokes with one another. Wow, these men are so hard-core. What the hell am I doing here?? Iím so out of my depth itís a joke.

"Just relax", I tell myself repeatedly. Think of today, the goal is just to get through today. Its only 140km away after all, like my daily training trips to and from the enduro events. I can do this. I will do this. Yeah. I pray.

Itís time for me to get on the springbok and go. I hold my breath, as I hit the starter. It turns but does not want to take, so I help it with the kick starter. She fires on the second kick, easy enough, she sounds good.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/a/993322669_ThwUK-L.jpg)
The officials check that my Spot tracker is working properly and permit me to move to the final check. Its that orange thing centre bottom of my picture half out of the picture. It has two little blicking lights that tell us it tracking fine, apparently.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/b/993322696_rZB2d-L.jpg)
They take my card again and write in my start time, only 3 minutes away. Two riders are ahead of me, a minute apart. They take their turn at the start line and roar off. Draw up to the start line, advance my road book and check my ICO matches with the start.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/c/993322717_VVAe8-L.jpg)
There is an electronic beam across the road at this point. In front is a board with the time and a countdown clock. Thirty seconds.
Fifteen.
Ten.
Five, I rev up and lean forward.
Four,
Three,
Two,
One,
Go! The back wheel spins and the bike pitches forward, in seconds Iím speeding along a narrow track. Itís tremendous, almost too good to be true - Iím riding in the Sertűes rally!

Iím surprised how many spectators there are along the track for the first twenty kilometers or so. After that itís just me and the bike. Iím not riding all that fast, because I am following the road book and donít want to make a mistake. It takes some getting used to and for me itís makes rally really challenging.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/e/993322769_B7nLw-L.jpg)
For now itís a series of lefts and rights with a couple of dangers like these thrown in to keep us on our toes. Quite scary stuff.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/f/993322782_MVMP5-L.jpg)
They call these cattle grids mataburros or donkey killers. Most of us later agree they can be rider killers too, thanks to the gigantic holes in the middle of some of them. Some of them are missing rails, or are in a really poor state of repair. Where I can I jump them at high speed.


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/d/993322764_eSYv9-L.jpg)
A series of anti-erosion humps in the road are perfect for a bit of air time. The photographers are having a field day.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/Stage1/993530129_ncKKn-L.jpg)
They get some pretty awesome pics (these are somewhere else on the 1st day). Pic: www.Webventure.com.br

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/Stage1b/993530169_JeQCY-L.jpg)
Pic: www.Webventure.com.br
I'm low on this one because I notice I can squeeze another 10-15km/hr out of the springbok if I wring its neck and keep the air resistance down.

I manage to relax a bit as I get into it, and I start to enjoy the ride. The road is fast but has some really sharp turns, T-junctions and twists past the odd farmhouse and burrow interspersed with mataburroís and every now then a small creek or bridge to negotiate as well. I am battling to keep up with the road book, you know to keep it scrolling and to read all the tulip diagrams on it; it is very detailed and the distance between them is short, which means I was moving it up very fast. As a result I miss a couple of turns and at one point, lose about 10 minutes tearing off down the wrong track realizing my error and backtracking again. I am angry with myself for this, but itís all about concentration; Iíve forgotten how much I have to concentrate.

So I slow down and start again, pushing the pace only when the distances between road book waypoints are greater than 400m. In some place waypoints are less than 100m apart and this is where it becomes more difficult because unless I modulate my speed I donít have time to look down and I miss things. Not good. Itís a game and you start to second guess yourself.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/h/993322831_TdEqi-L.jpg)
I nearly overshoot another turn and stall the bike in the process, losing more time. I hear a motorcycle hovering like a wasp behind me so I let  him pass; though I donít realize it, its Vincente Benedict, a fellow ADV rider inmate, and Dakar 2010 finisher. Legend. We end up playing cat & mouse all day.

Following him, I slip into that bad habit of not paying attention to the road book and soon enough we both miss a left turn. He realizes first, but I gain some ground on him anyway. But donít pass him. Darn! A bit later, his bike kicks up a lot of dust and I pull back, preferring to lose him than crash in the blinding red stuff. I had a bad crash a couple of years back chasing a quad like that, and Iím now terrified of dust. Kuba Przygonksi, a world-class Polish pilot was chatting and reinforced the value of doing this last night when he kindly gave me a couple of pointersďWhatever happens, if youíre in dust, rather stop if necessary till it clears enough to see. Thatís what I do.Ē Great advice. I was so chuffed that knowing this was my first rally, he took the time to talk to me about some of the dangers and things to watch for.
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: White Rhino on September 04, 2010, 07:52:36 am
No sooner had I opened my mouth and you were back.... in full splendour!!

Love the shots fro your head cam it captures the rider's moment. From the early pics, you could be somewhere in Africa.

Looking forward to the next post
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: BlueBull2007 on September 04, 2010, 09:08:34 am
Around kilometer 100, we come into a radar zone, a small town. The speed limit is strictly 30km/hr and we cruise down the main street. People are out watching the spectacle everywhere, at shops, at on their verandahs and the kids are really excited. Vincente is just ahead of me but I canít catch him, we are both riding exactly 30km/hr. I hear my fans come on, itís quite hot and the bike is getting hot too.

After fifteen minutes we are out the other side and the radar zone ends. We blast away and I immediately start to gain ground on No. 106. Then the worst thing happens.

My bike starts to bog again, It fires up and then bogs, like the mixture is too rich. What theÖ? I watch Vincente disappear. The worst is this section is a wide-open dirt highway. I should be pinning it and zooming along. Instead I cannot wring more than 80km/hr. Dammit! I slack off on the revs and it appears to run a bit better, but as soon as I gas it, it chokes ďBlabaraÖ.blarblara-BANGÖ.blabla.Ē Oh man what do I do? I have like 40 km to go, and Iím going to be out because of the stupid jets! When Iím down to 60km/hr I realize Iím going to have to stop. Ignoring this will not work.

I pull over and shut off. The fans are going like hell, so I shut them off too. I stand back and look at it, as if that is going to somehow change something. Everything looks okay. Well, I canít change the fuel. I canít change the jets out here either. The fuel has octane booster in it. It was fine till now. Maybe the needle or jet is blocked. I watch another bike come screaming past. And another. Iím losing mega time here. Seeing my diagnostic exercise was a total success Ė NOT Ė I mouth a prayer and climb back on the bike.

It wonít start on the electric start, but I manage to kick it to life after building up a decent sweat for five minutes. Bloody electrical system. Damn fuel. Stupid carburetor. Saying these things to myself helps, somehow. I pull away. Itís like nothing is wrong. WOW! I pick up some speed and before long Iím pushing the envelope. Five hundred meters later I start bogging again. F***!!! No this is ridiculous. I modulate my speed and the bike performs better in the lower throttle range. This is frustrating, but at least I'm still going. I have a sinking feeling it won't last.

I carry on like this for a good five kilometers, but I notice that I have to gradually go slower and slower to stop the bike bogging and farting. In frustration I turn off my navigation system. The bike immediately starts to perform better. Iím suspicious, so I leave it like that for a while, turning the road book by hand now that the normal little thumb switch on the left bar is no longer activates the little road book scrolling motor. Of course I miss another turn, but the bike is behaving. Maybe it is power after all! I turn on the navigation switch, the  bike seems fine for a little while and then starts bogging again. Turning off the switch again, brings the engine back to life. Amazing. The electical system on this bike is completely poked.

I realize I have to finish the special by manually scrolling, no GPS (not that we needed it anyway) and no power to the ICO. Thank God the ICO has a little battery as a backup. Itís really dangerous riding and scrolling by hand, and it slows me down even more. I get really angry, because I had the same problem back in April with this bike and it wasn't addressed.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/i/993322851_haT7i-L.jpg)


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/m/993322920_JKqbg-L.jpg)
I try to enjoy the scenery, itís pretty, but Iím not happy with the bike at all. I just want to get to the finish. Iím passed by the three lead quads and this slows me even more. I hate quads. Bastards.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/n/993322934_ci66W-L.jpg)


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/o/993322941_gPWxe-L.jpg)
They produce almost as much dust as a car, and I nearly wipe out in a bad section of deep erosions even though I was slowing down.

Did I tell you I hate quads?




(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/p/993322948_YZren-L.jpg)

Even though Iím limping along, I gas it on the open stretches to try and make up lost time. I notice Iím gaining on someone.



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/q/993322981_sJZDE-L.jpg)

I follow him down this very rough and steep downhill switch back (the photo hardly does it justice).

He gets away from me in the dust and technical bits that follow; Iím battling with the freaking road book and more dust from another fast bike. It must be the front of the Brazilian championship.




(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/1a/993539823_Sg68J-L.jpg)
Eventually, I catch my man on a series of horrendous mataburros, itís my old friend, No. 6. Iím flying over the mataburros, and he is being far more cautious. Iím frustrated and pissed-off and I ride fast to stay in front, following only the road, which is obvious because the tracks are clear on this section.



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/1bb/993539949_tqGs7-L.jpg)

Great. Flying into a shallow valley and over a rickety old bridge (sorry about the poor picture quality), realize far too late, that I may have just been though a radar zone of 30 at a spead of around 120km/hr!!  Iím devastated and furious with myself for abandoning the road book to get some distance in front of Vincente. Itís the unforgivable sin of rally. I slow down, and fiddle my road book, while trying to remember what the penalty is, is it 5 minutes per kilometer over the limit?


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/1e/993540060_UAoTZ-L.jpg)
I hit a series of erosions, and because Iím not focused on them and looking at the road book, I get a nice up-close up view of the road for my lack of focus.



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/1f/993540131_3JMuP-L.jpg)
Just 2km from the finish of the special, Springbok takes a hammering. Itís ok though, only some of the paint bubbling off the tank has been helped off a bit. Iím suffering a sore knee and a very sore little finger, but apart from that everything is okay.





(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/1h/993540244_H25Ts-L.jpg)

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/1g/993540174_QTXDr-L.jpg)
Vincente, Iím sure bemused, passes me followed by another rider, I give them both a thumbs up, indicating Iím fine so they donít stop. You can see in the second picture the erosion that took me out, not too deep, but enough to throw me off because I was not watching the road.

I take minute to collect my thoughts, condemn my own stupidity, and calm down. I check the bike again. It seems fine. But it wonít start. Eventually I run it down a slope and bump start it, concluding it must be the electrical system doing its thing.  At least Iím near the finish. More lost time. Boy, although itís been relatively simple, this has been a shakedown ride for me all right.

I get to the finish without further ado, and move straight onto the final liaison section, a short 30km through Caldas Novas, a town not unlike Bela-Bela (Warmbad) in South Africa, complete with hot springs, and some kind of Adventura resort. The finish is at the town square, they have lots of people there watching us come in. My time card is taken in, I get handed the road book for the next day, and I follow the road book poorly out of town. 10km later I realize Iím on the wrong road and backtrack to the right one with another lost pilot.

We roll into the bivouac and are surprised hardly anything has been set up, the support crew have also only just arrived. Iím very pleased to be there, though. The first stage is down. Only nine more to go. Itís nice and early, I can relax. The mechanics will have a look at my bike once they arrive. Everything is good in the world.


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/Sertoess0080/993882674_Vfwzm-L.jpg)
I get started on marking my road book for the next day.



The next day would bring more challenges and a lot more drama. But first the results and some more on the bivoac. (I'll try all of this out later today)
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Marnus on September 04, 2010, 09:42:04 am
Thanks for the detailed report Neil! I know it's a lot of effort.  You have no idea how much I enjoy reading it!!!
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Patman on September 04, 2010, 09:54:59 am
Its unbelievable how you made us feel part of such a great event, the pictures of the helmet cam make everything so realistic, thanks for your efford
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Aquatic on September 05, 2010, 02:12:40 pm
5 Pages and only stage 1 completed. This is going to be epic
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: JC on September 05, 2010, 06:45:35 pm
AWESOME! this is definite honour roll stuf in the making.

Thanks for taking the time to write it up for us, this is riveting stuff.
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Temik on September 05, 2010, 06:46:59 pm
well done !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Alan on September 05, 2010, 07:32:50 pm
Awesome.. keep it up buddy.

regards

Al :thumleft:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Rokie on September 05, 2010, 08:21:59 pm
ossim  ;D

oh, you have to keep it coming. i know it is hellava hard work to write all of it up, but i'm a junkie now, and i'm gonne need my next fix quite soon!!!

thanks!!!
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: BlueBull2007 on September 06, 2010, 12:16:55 am
I learnt a lot today, mostly that I need to get my emotions on this trip under control. I am my own worst enemy if I canít. I am reminded how foolish it is not to keep following the road book. But, again, Iím so happy to have made it to the end of the first stage. At least I never fell into that one deep creek like the one poor bastard I passed trying to pick his bike up out of the water. I drenched the poor bloke when I went past.

Earlier, the support guys had their own fun and games.


(http://desmcd.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Rally-Dos-Sertoes-2010/Dos-Sertoes-2010-w-Wild-West/989557891_oUoTD-XL.jpg)
First, all the tyres had to be lashed to the home-made roof-rack  on the Doblo along with the rear seat of the Kombi.

(http://desmcd.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Rally-Dos-Sertoes-2010/Dos-Sertoes-2010-w-Wild-West/989559278_WAKqm-L.jpg)

Then the Kombi was packed and they were off, Des and Randall in the Kombi and DD driving the Doblo. The Team URO Mechanics drove in a Sprinter full of stuff for Mauro and Laurent. Of course both our cars were way under-powered and they had lots of fun getting run-ups on the down hills to pass the trucks before the up hills came.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/Sertoess0056/994865739_AG3QU-L.jpg)
The road was good apparently.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/Sertoess0057/994865844_6SVmx-L.jpg)
The scenery was very much like home.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/Sertoess0055/994865601_GjGQN-L.jpg)



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/Sertoess0059/994866243_cBBBG-L.jpg)
As were the refreshments.


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/Sertoess0068/994867968_uNvKA-L.jpg)
A beautiful sight-The Doblo having arrived in the bivouac.



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/Sertoess0067/994867772_ivzFV-L.jpg)
The Kombi only overheated once, and this was only a 220km stage today. We were onto a good start.




(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/Sertoess0069/994868166_7Z9Mz-L.jpg)
Our Sergeant Major barking out instructions.



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/Sertoess0070/994868285_AobfS-L.jpg)
Dave looking decidedly happy to be at the finish of the 1st stage. Phil also came in without incident.



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/Sertoess0074/994868992_vSUto-L.jpg)
Here we are doing our road books, a car support truck in the background.




(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/Sertoess0079/994869724_pbTCL-L.jpg)
Complete with huge oil tanks, spare engines, gearboxes, and of course a fridge for beer!



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/Sertoess0077/994869432_y38Jr-L.jpg)
Marking road books becomes part of our daily routine.  



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/Sertoess0076/994869312_Eqt5A-L.jpg)
Normally we use 2-3 colours, the blues and greens for highlighting navigation and red for highlighting dangers. I use green to mark the faster open bits, if I see green then I know I can pin it and not worry about turns or turn-offís.  There are three types of dangers marked with  !, !!, or  !!! exclamations. The single exclamations are normally for cars and can easily be negotiated by bikes, so we ignore them. But the double and triple exclamations are serious risks that can kill a rider. So we have to take notice of them.

I am still fairly new to this so I take a lot longer to do mine. You'll notice that Im incorrectly marking the single exclamations in red, this is normally unnecessary. Iím also still trying out different systems of marking the road book. The better you mark them, the less you have to look at them to understand what is important and what is not. Most of the info provided is very important, but the ability to rapidly read and understand each tulip (or picture) and the codes associated with it are critical to a successful race.

At 18h30 we pile into the Doblo to go to the briefing, which is 35km away at some or other resort. The organizers in their wisdom have thrown us a curved ball. No-one knows exactly where it is and we have a very stressful ride into the darkness looking for the damn place. We cannot miss the briefing because they often hand out changes to the road book and other important information about the next stage.

Eventually we find the Quente River lodge and are bundled onto a coach bus to be driven 300m (WTF??) to a white beach where we get the briefing. We are all bitching about the inconvenience and wasted time. Des maintains its all done specially to F*** with our minds. The briefing is nothing special, but we do get some road book changes and a brief description of the next day. We also watch a video clip of the super prime stage which was great. We are then lead to a open air restaurant, are handed flower wreaths by pretty girls in bikinis and sit down to a great meal compliments of the lodge. Nice. Especially seeing as meals are not part of the organization.

After a 40 minute drive back to the bivouac, I finish my road book, drink another 2l of water and hit the sack, to the sound of generators, angle grinders, some drunk people partying close to our tent. Cars  and motorbikes being revved to the limiter or tested on the road past the camp all night. Even with earplugs, itís very difficult to sleep, but somehow I shut it out and am gone in 5 minutes.


Results -Stage 1
___________________________________________________________             Scratch.........Penalty..TotalTime........Difference
1st 100 JOSE HELIO G. RODRIGUES FILHO Speed Brain - BMW / Brasil moto Tour         01:40:15.40 * * * 01:40:15.40
2nd 105 FELIPE AUGUSTO MIRANDA ZANOL - Honda 450                                       01:42:24.00 * * * 01:42:24.00 ........02:08.60
3rd 1 MARC COMA Red Bull Brema & Menichetti AMV -  KTM 690                             01:43:22.30 * * * 01:43:22.30.........03:06.90

39th 4 LAURENT ROGER LAZARD Off Road Uruguay - KTM 690                                02:08:31.00 * * * 02:08:31.00.........28:15.60
42nd 54 DAVE PECKHAM Team Wild West Rally - KTM 525                                      02:14:14.70 * * * 02:14:14.70.........33:59.30
54 55 PHILLIP BOWMAN Team Wild West Rally - KTM 525                                       02:22:03.00 * * * 02:22:03.00.........41:47.6
60 111 NEIL TORBEN RINGDAHL Team Wild West Rally - Yamaha 450                         02:35:39.50 * * * 02:35:39.50........ 55:24.10

Did not Finish (DNF)
NC 39 ROSALDO NOGUEIRA FERNANDES 4XM Rally Team - KTM 450
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: BlueBull2007 on September 06, 2010, 01:00:52 am
Stage 2  Caldas Novas to Unai

39km - Initial Liaison
214km Ė Special Stage
193km Ė Final Liaison

TOTAL 446km



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/Sertoess0088/994870892_6Pj33-L.jpg)

The next morning we awake before dawn to Marcelo and Fernando ďwarming up the bikesĒ. Whaarrm!! Whaaarrp-Whaarrp-Whaaarpp!! It reminds me of the last WD "Boegoeberg" Bash I attended where some of the guys got really upset by a couple of clowns revving their bikes in the middle of the night. Over here itís the normal thing, there is no room for hissy fits or peaceful sleep. You just have to accept it or not do rally.

In case you never realized it yet, everyone attending these events are completely, totally and absolutely whacked in the head, believe me.


 (http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/Sertoess0083/994870126_XWYqF-L.jpg)
Fernando thinks itís hilarious. Heís also been up all night working on the bikes.



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/Sertoess0090/994871227_dwAFY-L.jpg)




(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/Sertoess0091/994871462_A3q3c-L.jpg)

I donít normally eat breakfast, but force down a lot of milk, cereal and water. It doesnít help, because I overdo it and end up chundering all over the campsite. Dave looks at me in pity and Randall in horror; they must think Iím nervous or sick. Iím angry with myself because I know itís not. Anyway at least my sinuses get a good clearing. Itís not pretty, but thatís rally. I disappear, with Laurent to the start.



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/Sertoess0081/994869920_eNy7e-L.jpg)
Dave & Phil fill camelbacks and prepare to leave.

We leave Caldas Novas, first bikes out at 07h00 and ride the initial liaison along a tarred road through valley filled with quite chilly air. At the turnoff to the special stage we are told they have shortened the special to 158km, and we need to ride another 20km liaison to get the new start. When we arrive there we are told its been shortened because there is a problem with the famers whose land we are crossing. We end up waiting around for about an hour for the clerk of the course to confirm the stage is open and safe to run. I suddenly realise I dont have any petrol money with me! Dimas (a famous Brazilian rider who started the Sertűes) and Sergio Klaumann (quad) kindly help me out.

Then we are off. I have a great run. My navigation is a lot better and Iím making less mistakes. Itís quite rocky as we ride up and down hillsides, with lots of sharp turns. After 60km the road becomes fast and windy, itís also wider, and takes us through corn fields that are lying fallow, waiting for the first rains. I am riding flat taps, sliding through the corners having an absolute blast. I wish I could get more out of the bike, and I hide behind the fairing to get as much as I can out of the bike. I figure itís about 130km/hr. Itís quite sandy and rocky and the bike bounces and flicks around under me a fair bit. The guys later tell me my top speed for the day according to the ICO was 149km/hr, more than I thought, but not that fast. Still not bad for a little WR 450 on these roads.

Marcello has re-wired my stator and replaced my regulator, the system is producing 14V without a problem, and everything is working well. No more bogging bike, no more power problems, but I still err on the side of caution and leave my HID light off. Around 130km into the special we reach a refueling point. You get a stamp and then you enter a 15 minute neutralization area, where you wait to refuel, have drink and eat an energy bar.
Itís really not a lot of time at all but at least itís a time to snap out of it a bit. Then itís back out into the hot sun.

 Itís not long before it follows a road on the edge of a huge, flat cultivated area, twisting and turning along the edge of an impressive escarpment. I am able to cut a few corners and passing a few bikes, Iím thoroughly enjoying myself.



(http://gsnorcal.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Rally-Dos-Sertoes/111rs10ricardoleizer020671alta/968320144_BGwRj-XL.jpg)
Pic: www.Webventure.com.br

I glance down and see a triple danger in my road book coming up; its covered in red marker, must be a bad one. I get to this log bridge over an old canal of sorts with cameramen scattered about in strategic positions. This means danger for me and spectacular photos for them. I look at the bridge: Itís about 6m long and consists of curved, 20cm-thick tree-trunks as separated by hand-sized spaces between them. Oh boy. This is no place for hesitation. Either I get off and walk it or I risk everything and blast through. Holding my breath, I choose a line and wring the neck of the Yamaha launching myself at the challenge. The bike hops off solid ground and onto a log. I look at the flat ground on the other side, trying to keep my line. I feel the back wheel slide off the edge of a log, but keep the throttle pinned. Iím way over the front of the bike, somehow the rear grabs hold of something and it flicks up at the same time as my front hits the ridge at end of the bridge. The bike bucks through the air, living up to its name and somehow I land safely on the road beyond. Its a steep downhill section off the escarpment that I manage just fine. What a rush! With all the mataburroís and dodgy bridges, this course is turning out to be pretty scary.

I canít believe how well Iím riding, as I continue to pass other bikes. Yet during the day Iím still passed by a couple of riders, the front runners of the Brazilian Championship who start not far behind me. Im pleased with this, it means my time is quite good because its over 120km into the special before they start coming by.

The scenery changes again, and it feels like Iím in the Belfast-Dullstroom area in South Africa. A long rocky descent leads to a river, something I have been dreading for a while.



(http://gsnorcal.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Rally-Dos-Sertoes/054rs10eliseomiciu020187alta/968320203_Yfyn2-XL.jpg)
Here is Dave on that approach. Pic: www.Webventure.com.br



(http://gsnorcal.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Rally-Dos-Sertoes/055rs10ricardoleizer020982alta/968320225_GWzyr-L.jpg)
Phil coming off the escarpment. Pic: www.Webventure.com.br



(http://gsnorcal.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Rally-Dos-Sertoes/055rs10ricardoleizer020990alta/968320247_BPfZe-XL.jpg)
Pic: www.Webventure.com.br


(http://gsnorcal.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Rally-Dos-Sertoes/055rs10eliseomiciu020206alta/968319926_RFmUS-XL.jpg)
Pic: www.Webventure.com.br

No problem, I tell myself, just take it easy, you will be fine. The road down into the river is very steep. The water looks shallow enough so I go for it. The water is cold, and a lot deeper than it looks, and I slow a little, remembering my skills learnt on the BMW academy in Amersfoort. Big mistake, Iím going to slow. And Iím looking down, mesmerized by the beautiful green rocks under the shimmering surface. My bike comes up against a big, submerged rock and stalls. I put my foot out to keep it up, but instead my foot disappears into a hole. Oh shit.







(http://gsnorcal.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Rally-Dos-Sertoes/111rs10eliseomiciu020148alta/967934641_f9orw-X2.jpg)
ďSubmariners: Dive! Dive! Dive!Ē  Pic: www.Webventure.com.br

I go for a swim, bike and all. Somehow I keep it from being completely submerged, but itís pretty close to it anyway. At least itís lovely and cool.



(http://gsnorcal.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Rally-Dos-Sertoes/111rs10davidsantosjr-3alta/967934617_dV6gF-L.jpg)
Pic: www.Webventure.com.br
A couple of photographers wade up to help me, and slowly we push the bike out. What a drama class, with cameras rolling. I feel like a real dunce out of breath and staggering about, my boots filled with water.    

Iím devastated. How the hell am I going to get this bike working again? I know how difficult it is to get to the carburetor. We stand the bike up on its rear wheel to drain the water from the exhaust. It comes sloshing out for ages. I take off the seat and wring out the air filter. I can see water in the air box. Crap. I take off a front tank and look at the carburetor. I donít have the right Allen key to open the drain plug at the bottom. Fortunately, my Leatherman does the trick instead and a mixture of fuel and water pours out onto the ground. The freaking cameraman is still doing close-ups of my face, and he is pissing me off big time. Enough already. I think of Robbie Gordon stuck in deep sand, shoving the cameras away on Dakar and somehow refrain myself from doing the same. Instead look pathetically into the lens and shake my head. What a hopeless situation I have gotten myself into.

Bikes are passing me, all are hitting the water faster than I did and making it through. Only one bike stops, the rider gets off and walks it through, engine screaming and controlling things with the clutch. It's Marieta Moraes one of the ladies competing. I look on longingly, as she brings it across and out the other side. She looks over at me briefly before climbing on and disappearing into the dust up the hill. Dave also passes, looking over briefly, but does not stop.

I put it all together and start the bike. Apart from a couple of loud clanks, nothing. Then I realize I have forgotten to take out the spark plugs and kick the water out. Oh crap. Iíve probably bust something now. I hold my head in my hands. I canít believe I am out on Day 2 being so stupid. I'm wearing out the starter motor and battery. Even crashing out would be better than this. Please God, not now. Not so early.

The cameraman has stopped filming, the look of pity on his face says it all.
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: acidfreak on September 06, 2010, 08:39:23 am
Damn! Wow... What an adventure!! Thanks for the posts!! Keep it up!  :ricky:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Minora on September 06, 2010, 09:32:36 am
WOW, ENOUGH SAID
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: mtbbiker on September 06, 2010, 09:37:14 am
 :happy1:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: wacko on September 06, 2010, 10:03:57 am
Very good I'm hooked, keep it coming :thumleft:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: The Badger on September 06, 2010, 10:39:08 am
Bloody fantastic........................Thanks Neil.
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Eggs on September 06, 2010, 11:45:38 am
I have my letter of resignation typed up, a spreadsheet open to see how much money I need and all the inspiration from your fantastic adventure.

Now all I need is my wife's permission...mmmmmm

This report is a makin a me a crazzeee
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Wooly Bugger on September 06, 2010, 02:18:33 pm
awesome
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Dustdevil on September 06, 2010, 05:29:21 pm
I still have pages 4 to 6 to read but already do you have me hooked. Great report and fantastic adventure you've had. Been dreaming about doing something like this for a long time but have given up already, now you are starting to make me think again.
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: BlueBull2007 on September 06, 2010, 05:34:00 pm
I still have pages 4 to 6 to read but already do you have me hooked. Great report and fantastic adventure you've had. Been dreaming about doing something like this for a long time but have given up already, now you are starting to make me think again.

Awesome bru! BTW, Have you healed up 100% yet?
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Outthere on September 06, 2010, 07:49:10 pm
Take the plug out quickly you wasting time .
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: letsgofishing on September 07, 2010, 09:20:50 am
Absolutely awesome BB!  :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: funacide on September 07, 2010, 11:49:57 am
Damn this is awesome reading... Please where is the next part  :deal: :deal: O0 O0 >:D
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Would I? on September 07, 2010, 12:36:07 pm
I have my letter of resignation typed up, a spreadsheet open to see how much money I need and all the inspiration from your fantastic adventure.

Now all I need is my wife's permission...mmmmmm

This report is a makin a me a crazzeee

 :biggrin: :biggrin: :biggrin: :biggrin: I am starting to feel the same!!! :thumleft: :thumleft:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: SilverSurfer-- on September 07, 2010, 06:08:58 pm
 :notworthy: :notworthy: :notworthy: :notworthy:

AWESOME!!!
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: BlueBull2007 on September 07, 2010, 09:32:52 pm
Ag sorry okes I now you have been waiting a long time, its just the time zones are screwing with me not to mention Im in the middle of a sales process of the mining company I work for.  ::) I know its not really a real/acceptable excuse, but in the meantime I have recieved some more awesome pics to add to the story. I will post very soon and more regularly I promise! Please bear up with me.

Oh, BTW, I will be in Pretoria on the 1st of October to give the WD's a talk about Dos Sertoes, future plans and rally raid in general :mwink: at our new wild dog club house (Check Patman's thread). I hope to meet you all there if you have the time it would be great to have a beer or three with you and meet those of you I do not know. If any of you are seriously aspiring rally nuts like me, you should not miss it!  :deal:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: EtienneXplore on September 07, 2010, 09:36:05 pm
Ag sorry okes I now you have been waiting a long time, its just the time zones are screwing with me not to mention Im in the middle of a sales process of the mining company I work for.  ::) I know its not really a real/acceptable excuse, but in the meantime I have recieved some more awesome pics to add to the story. I will post very soon and more regularly I promise! Please bear up with me.

Oh, BTW, I will be in Pretoria on the 1st of October to give the WD's a talk about Dos Sertoes, future plans and rally raid in general :mwink: at our new wild dog club house (Check Patman's thread). I hope to meet you all there if you have the time it would be great to have a beer or three with you and meet those of you I do not know. If any of you are seriously aspiring rally nuts like me, you should not miss it!  :deal:

Neil, I think you going to need a bigger place to meet all your fans, you are a freaking Celebrity now man!!!!

 :laughing4: :laughing4: :laughing4:

Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Just Blip It! on September 07, 2010, 11:01:46 pm
Wow...........wow...........I'm speechless.  :eek7: :drif:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Puddles on September 08, 2010, 08:32:01 am
Wow ... wow .... wow.  This adventure of yours is so AMAZING.  Congrats on "going for it" & "living your dream".  :drif:

Love how you converted your bike - looks awesome ... definitely the best one there  :thumleft:  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Berm_Rooster on September 08, 2010, 08:35:06 am
xxx
Oh, BTW, I will be in Pretoria on the 1st of October to give the WD's a talk about Dos Sertoes, future plans and rally raid in general :mwink: at our new wild dog club house (Check Patman's thread). I hope to meet you all there if you have the time it would be great to have a beer or three with you and meet those of you I do not know. If any of you are seriously aspiring rally nuts like me, you should not miss it!  :deal:

Only PTA? Does your itinerary include the Cape at all?
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Gat Slag on September 08, 2010, 08:58:11 am
 :happy1:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Alan on September 08, 2010, 10:33:52 am
Agreed! Fark that! You can't JUST do PTA... The whole Country's keen bru.. I need you to sign my Tee shirt...  :3some:
Seriously, if you have an option of Slaapstad, let us know Neil..

chaars

Al
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Rough Rider on September 08, 2010, 10:34:09 am
Awesome
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: domstes on September 08, 2010, 10:43:25 am
Agreed! Fark that! You can't JUST do PTA... The whole Country's keen bru.. I need you to sign my Tee shirt...  :3some:
Seriously, if you have an option of Slaapstad, let us know Neil..

chaars

Al

I am sure we can get some money together for an airticket en someplace to stay?
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Rokie on September 08, 2010, 11:12:48 am
Agreed! Fark that! You can't JUST do PTA... The whole Country's keen bru.. I need you to sign my Tee shirt...  :3some:
Seriously, if you have an option of Slaapstad, let us know Neil..

chaars

Al

I am sure we can get some money together for an airticket en someplace to stay?


I said the same on Patman's thread . . . 25 dawgs at R100pp can buy Mr and Mrs BlueBull some tickets to Slaapstad. I'm very keen to meet our hero, but I'd also understand if he's not too keen to catch another couple of flights for an additional 4 hours on what (I'm sure) is probably already a hectic trip . . .
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: BlueBull2007 on September 08, 2010, 04:27:41 pm
Wowzers guys..Im stumped by your generosity! :hello2: Cape dawgs are just way cool! I would love to come to Cape Town, it was not in my schedule though, which is pretty tight as are the finances after this rally unfortunately. Let me reconsider and talk to Mrs. BB though.
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Leo on September 08, 2010, 05:00:11 pm
I am so looking forward to meet you at Patman's place.

That presentation is going to be awesum  :thumleft:

Thanks for sharing this amazing event  :3some:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: BlueBull2007 on September 08, 2010, 05:01:11 pm
The video camera guy tells me maybe there is water in the bowl of the carburetor, so I drain it a second time, and take off the air filter. I figure itís too late to open the sparkplug now, if thereís damage thereís damage. I kick the engine a few times and it coughs and clacks. I try again. Nothing. It seems hopeless. I watch a couple more bikes come through. Iím been here nearly an hour now.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/Sertoesw0023/997769785_2AxtW-L.jpg)
It looks like Iíll be out of the race after all.

Phil arrives and stops to help Ė Thanks Brother! There is nothing he can do so I give him the thumbs up, the universal rally sign that l that I am fine and he should ride on.

(http://gsnorcal.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Rally-Dos-Sertoes/055rs10theoribeiro031164alta/970645969_gs4mP-L.jpg)
I find out later he has crashed and thinks he dislocated his thumb, but he doesnít tell me until later. Apparently he freaked when he tried to start his bike and his thumb moved backwards when he pressed the ignition. Anyway he has overcome and gotten this far. Well done Phil!

I appreciate his gesture of stopping big time. There are a couple more bikes that pass after him and then the scene becomes quiet again. Apart from us passing through, itís an amazingly peaceful spot really, the overhanging trees, the sound of the gentle river, broken only by the odd photographer crashing about in the bush looking for a better position to take the next shot. I am aware of the sands of time draining away, and am expecting to see cars charging through soon.

The cameraman suggests we stand the bike up with the front wheel in the air and try and start it like that.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/Sertoesw0024/997769995_Jq4kG-XL.jpg)
We do this and it nothing happens. We drop it down again, and I have no option but to try again. This time it coughs and burps. Suddenly it bursts into life, so I keep the revs high, itís still coughing and spluttering. That feeling of relief washes over me big time. Eventually the motor evens out a bit and steam rises from the engine. Its a miracle! I let out a whoop of delight. Once Iím sure itís running okay I rush up and give the cameraman a high five and thank him for his assistance.  

Iím off and he films as I go. Iím so overwhelmed that the bike has survived the river, its difficult to concentrate on the road book. Iíve lost so many places but at least Iím still in the race. I stop at the top of a rise and look back; I see cars descending down to the river. Oh no! Iím suddenly anxious to get move on. They catch me in the end but are kind enough to warn me with the sentinel so I can get off the road. Itís stunning to have these vehicles pass so close to me. Theyíre simply awe-inspiring. One-by-one the front four cars catch me over the next 30 km. Theyíre nice to follow though, their dust trails can be seen from so far away.

Eventually I get to the end of the special. Somehow Iíve still made it before the cutoff time. Iím last in but I made it before the cutoff time. Brilliant.

I still have 193km of liaison to do, this becomes a very long, monotonous connection on tar. I find it wearing riding on asphalt, and I am amazed to find myself nodding off! I never thought it possible to fall asleep on a motorbike, apparently it is! I learn to keep myself awake by emptying my camelback, and stopping at refueling stations often. Each time, I buy three ice cold bottles of water and one red bull, I drink one bottle immediately along with the red bull and an energy bar, one bottle I dump over my head and pour down inside of my jacket, and the one I loosen and fit into my fairing for easy access. I use this one to dump down my jacket when I get drowsy on the road. The cooling effect of this is tremendous, even in the 40 degree heat. It works pretty well and I try and I do this as often as I feel tired.

Iím overjoyed at reaching Unai. Itís a mining town, there are mine dumps everywhere, reminding me of Renco in the hills of south eastern Zimbabwe. The box area is in the showgrounds of the town, and itís an open day for the local population to walk in the bivouac and meet the racing teams. This is the way it was to be at every town from here on.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/Sertoess0110/994874533_FV4Vc-L.jpg)
Thousands of people visit the box area, and we are inundated by fans seeking photos with the riders and autographs. Initially there werenít so many people, but after dark the place becomes packed. Itís really wonderful to be at the centre of so much attention. People literally queuing up for autographs from us. Fantastic. Unworthy heros. After todayís performance, I know Iím certainly no Alfie Cox or Marc Coma, but now at least I know what it feels like. The attention is overwhelmingly nice but I can't help but feel a little self-consious. (http://s3.amazonaws.com/advrider/shog.gif)

The support team tell us about their own challenges for the day.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/Sertoess0097/994872444_7xG5m-L.jpg)
The dust was appalling and very dangerous apparently. It was impossible for them to overtake the big trucks, they had zero visibility often but were to afraid to stop in case a truck behind them rammed them from behind.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/Sertoess0109/994874356_shf6M-L.jpg)
The Kombi overheated again. The air filters had to be replaced.  

Then they met up with the polish support guys (Kuba Przygonski & team) in some or other town, and asked for directions. Des goes up to this huge truck and talks to the driver.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Start-Dos-Sertoes/Sertoess0889/987389147_kgotE-L.jpg)
Iím talking about this support truck, the one that won the truck category of the 2006 Dakar.

Des brightly introduced himself to the driver saying, ďHey! Wow! Thatís an awesome truck you have there!Ē The truck driver leaned out of his window with this dour, frowning face and responded with a deep and very serious ďI know.Ē
ďOk thenÖHa, ha. Ahem, we are lost, to do you which way it is out of town?Ē
ďYes, my navigator who you cannot see says itís that way.Ē
ďI see. Thanks,Ē Des replied, the a little bit stumped by the super serious conversation. Not to be out-done, Des leapt into the Kombi and raced away, the challenge was on. In about 2 seconds the truck had passed them but made a wrong turn shortly after that. By this time Des and team had cottoned onto the right route and had another head start, but were apparently nearly killed by this monster vehicle charging out of another road that forked back onto the main one, pipping them to the post as they left town. Good thing too, imagine the story we had beaten these hard men in our 73 Kombi!

 (http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/Sertoess0098/994872582_MgnSo-L.jpg)
Once out of town onto good roads again, views were good, and

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/Sertoess0099/994872840_CNJNw-L.jpg)
There was even some wildlife to be seen. The DD & I felt like we were back in South Africa.

Back at the bivouac there is a carnival atmostphere. Actually, the bivoac always seems to be like that. The word that pperhaps best describes the bivouac is a circus. One really screwed up, insane, demented circus, filled with crazy men and even some women who have a passion for cars, trucks and bikes. No wonder its such a spectacle. Later in the night, the mechanics need to do some work on Mauroís quad, the frame needs some work.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/Sertoess0113/994874918_cotSN-L.jpg)
Out comes the angle grinder, URO rally-style! Being a mining guy, conscious of safety regulations and procedures, this was quite an eye opener for me.  :laughing4: I couldnít help but laugh Ė No gloves, no safety shoes and who needs eye protection!? Fire extinguisher? Hah! Fire extinguishers are for sissies. Is the area safe to work? Of course not! But somehow, the job gets done all right without anyone losing eyes or limbs and without burning down the bivouac either. Stunning.


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/Sertoess0114/994875050_WDnMj-L.jpg)


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/Sertoess0116/994875344_VQfjr-L.jpg)
We try our best to concentrate on our road books,


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/Sertoess0119/994875661_kCvxV-L.jpg)
while mechanics work hard on the bikes, much to the amusement of the others, and of course in front of lots and lots of spectators.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/Sertoess0120/994875808_h5Ltz-XL.jpg)
DD tries out a new G-string.  :biggrin: Its a carnival mode here.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/Sertoess0121/994875864_kEZ3B-XL.jpg)
Later a young lad gets to sit on it. He is delighted. The poor boy; if only he knew where it had been!

At the briefing it is confirmed I came last. Iím still beaming that I came in on time. Phil and especially Dave did very well. Phils hand is very sore but he thinks he can make it tomorrow. At least his thumb seems to be operating okay, but itís still pretty sore and swollen.  

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/stage2-results/999086976_TvXEm-L.jpg)
The dayís result. For those interested , the full results are here:  (http://www.webventure.com.br/sertoes2010/resultados/consolidado?lang=en)

Three pilots Did Not Finish (DNF) the stage. Although there were some crashes, no pilots are officially listed as DNF.  In Sertűes you can start the next day with a penalty if you do not finish.
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Fire Cracker on September 08, 2010, 06:07:51 pm
Wow, i'm hooked.  We are coming to meet you (Would I? - hubby) in SA to hear your stories and we just cant wait!  Thanks for the inspiring ride report, we look forward to the rest of your updates  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: funacide on September 08, 2010, 11:57:53 pm
Damn I am loving this so much... You have lived my dream and life is unfair..  :biggrin: :biggrin: :biggrin: :biggrin: :biggrin:

Well done BB (and to add to it we have the same first name), PLEASE KEEP IT COMING
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: BlueBull2007 on September 09, 2010, 12:21:47 am
Stage 3 Unai to Alto Paražso

29km - Initial Liaison
214km Ė Special Stage
192km Ė Final Liaison


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/Sertoess0125/994876453_yfFDF-L.jpg)
We are woken up to the usual sound of bikes warming up, I remind myself that would make a great ring tone or alarm. 



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/Sertoess0124/994876284_JEQTR-L.jpg)
Marcelo is out an about on his little scooter looking for breakfast.



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/Sertoess0122/994876008_ZhmsD-L.jpg)
Dave talks to Des about problems he is experiencing on his bike. Des looks concerned.



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/Sertoess0126/994876614_f4VcF-L.jpg)
Getting prepped after breakfast. Randall does the paramedic thing with Philís thumb.


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/Sertoess0128/994876932_xUmrk-L.jpg)
He going to try and ride with his ruined thumb. Go Phil! Notice the fancy anti-blister webbing he is using. I don't have that stuff, but its okay because I have nicely worn callouses on my hands - For me the best solution!


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/Sertoess0130/994877265_Uzt8B-L.jpg)
As I climb onto my springbokkie, I feel nervous for the fourth day in a row. Yet yesterday afternoon I was fine, so relaxed and happy. I realize Iím still allowing myself to get very intimidated by the unknown even though I know the outcome is not in my hands. Every night it builds up and the next day I find myself decidedly anxious. Iím quite angry with myself for allowing these feelings of insecurity to get to me because my job has taught me otherwise, and I have been very successful in that. This is not my job, and although Iím riding well most of the time, I am way out of my comfort zone. Everyone around me, the riders are all so professional, so focused. Even Phil & Dave who are also doing their first rally seem so calm and professional in everything they do. They do it faster than me, they are also more organized than me. Iím thankful for them though, because they were always encouraging me, always positive, when they speak to me.


Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: BlueBull2007 on September 09, 2010, 12:51:05 am
(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/Sertoess0132/994877596_yYsMP-L.jpg)
I realize experience does have something to do with it, so I take a deep breath, decide pull myself together, ignore that pang in my stomach and do my best to patiently wait for DD to finish with the camera so I can get on to the start, something I really want to do with a sense of urgency. While he finishes his shots I put on a brave face even though I'm not feeling brave at all. Actually, I feel a bit guilty for being so impatient with him.  

The scenery in this area is really spectacular. Itís an area of bushveldt overshadowed by the towering cliffs set of a karst landscape. The cliffs form little mountains and the road leads into and between these mountains. Astonishingly beautiful. But there is no time to admire the scenery we have a race to run.

I start, determined to make up for yesterdayís poor performance. We are riding straight into the rising sun and itís very dusty so visibility is low. The road is very rocky and covered by a thick fine dust called fesh-fesh. Itís tricky riding through this stuff because you slam into rocks and things hidden in it, and itís so thick it really plays around with bike, almost toying with it as one rides through it. It requires concentration and effort to keep the bike upright and in the right direction. Iím hammering along, and in my eagerness and poor visibility, I notice too late that Iíve sped through a radar or speed controlled zone. Damn! Iím going to pick a penalty for this lack Iím sure. Nothing I can do about it now. I have time to think about it and I conclude that this is a result of not marking the speed zones well enough in my road book, as well as plain inexperience. I really need to learn to read these road books better. Itís just so hard, while you are flying along at 120km/hr on a narrow, dangerously winding course. I need to get the balance between sacrificing speed for accuracy. Slower is faster, sometimes.


(http://gsnorcal.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Rally-Dos-Sertoes/054rs10gabrielbarbosa040229alt/970817587_MwGYc-L.jpg)

We cross a few small creeks, here is Dave doing what he does best. He loves the technical riding and gains on all of us in these areas. I prefer the faster sections with sweeping curves and the odd really dodgy bit, while Phil is the easy going consistent rider in our group. I love his attitude. Itís calm and relaxed and it rubs off on me.



(http://gsnorcal.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Rally-Dos-Sertoes/111rs10gabrielbarbosa040667alt/970822610_cwvmJ-XL.jpg)
After twenty minutes or so, Iím again back into my groove and lapping up the kilometers, here I am checking my road book on an open stretch. Itís very cool.

We get to another speed control zone and I catch this one in time, stopping shortly after that to receive a stamp at a road crossing. We follow the bitumen road for a couple of hundred meters before breaking off again onto another broad fast road, being encouraged on vigorously by an excited official. This is my cue and I give it gas, wheel spinning my way up to 140km/hr. I take a curve and realize then that actually we never got to the end of the speed control zone yet. Braking hard while scrolling back I confirm this to be the case and scold myself for being such a bloody idiot. NEVER EVER take cues from the numb nuts on the side of the road! I should know better than that. Oh well, my philosophical side of the brain takes over for a while and calms my inner rage.

The speed control end passes not long after that and I push on, the road remains fairly wide and straight but is interspersed with a lot more mataburros and bridges. Its fast, my favorite. We stop to refuel, and one of the lead pilots in the Brazilian championship, Marcos Finato comes up to me looking somewhat haggard and asks if I can let him pass, he has been eating my dust for the past 30km and cannot get past. Naturally, I agree, and he is really happy about that. Iím happy too because it means I have been too fast for him to get past!


I get to this one bridge, itís a triple caution and I soon see why. It consists of only four large, irregular logs about 10m long arranges in twos, with a gap of a meter between them exposing a six meter abyss into the stream below. Holy moly! How can they expect us all to get across!? The only option for a bike is to pick the top of a log and ride across. Choosing to ride between the logs would mean jamming a wheel in the gaps between them. I float across, preferring to keep my speed up and my head up as well at about 60-70km/hr. It works and Iím relieved but also worried, because I know we still have another 6 or seven of these to negotiate today. Iím just sorry I am unable to capture this on camera, so youíll just have to believe me, it was hairy as hell. Normally I would probably not consider something like this, but there is a huge pushing force (the race) that just willed me through.

At least in between these horrors lie some really awesome high-speed sweeping tracks with the odd jump and mataburro. In the end it turns out to be not too bad.


(http://gsnorcal.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Rally-Dos-Sertoes/055rs10gabrielbarbosa040260alt/970820462_GPcTw-L.jpg)
Here is Phil looking good on one of the many creek crossings.


(http://gsnorcal.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Rally-Dos-Sertoes/054rs10marcelomaragni044145alt/969961271_eQxgR-L.jpg)
Dave cruising.


(http://gsnorcal.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Rally-Dos-Sertoes/055rs10marcelomaragni044198alt/969961324_fZ5tc-L.jpg)
Phil

(http://gsnorcal.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Rally-Dos-Sertoes/999rs10stefansusemihl048092alt/993214929_k3wZv-L.jpg)
The scenery was very beautiful but we missed a lot of it, we had other things on our minds. I finish the stage without mishap, in other words very well, and apart from the penalties, Iím sure I will have a reasonable result.


The liaison turns out to be quite a ride as well. There are quite few of us who set out together, riding in twoís to stay out of the red dust. I end up with Pierluigi Clini, who turns out to be a very nice guy and prefers to ride a bit faster with me to get the liaison finished sooner.

We end up behind two quads and itís really hard to get past them in all the dust. Being a liaison we need to be careful as well because the roads are open to normal traffic. Eventually I see my gap and go for it, with Pierluigi close on my tail. As I pass the quad inadvertently moves over cutting off my line. I gas it to make the gap and slip though, unsure whether my new team mate made it. I slow down and look back and donít see much, so I stop. Still nothing. Fearing the worst I turn back and there is the guy getting up from the road and dusting himself off. It seems there was a collision incident with the quad, because they had both stopped.  Lucky Piereluigi is okay albeit a bit sore and press on.

We have to split up as the road narrows after 30 km and goes up an incredible pass perhaps 400m high. The road is narrow and steep, and actually very technical, it feels like we are riding another special. Its really beautiful though and I get tremendous views. The countryside looks like the Highveld again and there is a nice cool breeze to blow away the thick fesh-fesh near the top.

At last I reach a tarred road again and I finish the last 60km on it, passing our support team on their way to the next bivouac. Itís nice to see DDís face behind the wheel and we share a few kilometers in companionable tandem. He gets the opportunity to snap away some of my less imaginative riding positions.



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/Sertoess0139/994878485_iFmCV-L.jpg)
Avoiding monkey-butt at all costs becomes important in the long run on these liaisons.



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/Sertoess0144/994879159_txtpa-L.jpg)



Arriving at Alto Pariaso (High Paridise), the spiritual capital of Brazil really is a very pleasant experience. Itís a beautiful city, surrounded by rolling hills with deep valleys at an altitude of around 2,000m, high for Brazil. We learn itís a bit of a hippy hangout, and automatically I start looking around for fellow wild-dog member Ganjora.

The box area is set in an open area within the suburbs of the place, and once again there are crowds milling about everywhere.



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/Sertoess0150/994880029_cfL3b-L.jpg)
Iím the first bike in the camp and it is still being setup, the guys literally arriving minutes before I get there.



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/Sertoess0153/994880545_Q2Z5m-L.jpg)
We are settling into a bit of a routine: Randall normally sorts out a rehydration drink for me, a one-liter cocktail of powdered Cytomax, water and ice or something similar and I wolf down about 10 bananas, which are available everywhere.



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/Sertoess0159/994881704_FZZyN-L.jpg)
Eight tents are erected in minutes by DD and he also sorts out the mattresses and personal gear of each rider, ready and available outside each tent.



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/Sertoess0163/994882401_nh8Ku-L.jpg)
Randall, DD and Des complete the erection of the ďeasy upĒ, tables & chairs and are basically done as the other guys come in. They then of course go through the whole rehydration and banana eating routine as well.



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/Sertoess0166/994882950_pAeQG-L.jpg)
All our gear is wet from the river crossings, blood, sweat and tears, so it normally goes up to dry.



The bikes normally end up outside the mechanics ďeasy upĒ for servicing and Des makes notes of the problems of each bike as discussed with the riders as they come in. I normally double check with the mechanics in Spanish that they understand what needs to be done on my bike. They start working on the bikes immediately and on a good day are finished at about 3 or 4 am. Then we shower when we can, sometimes earlier, sometimes later. Theyíre always cold and pretty unpleasant, but afterwards we feel semi human again. Donít mention the ablution facilities, they are very character building. Actually theyíre mostly non-existent or in such poor condition that they cannot be used.  ThisÖis problematic.  



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/Sertoess0175/994884536_qSTvG-L.jpg)
Normally we have our road books for the next day with us, having been given to us at the finish, and we get started on them as soon as we can.



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/Sertoess0167/994883147_PJZmG-L.jpg)
Laurent and I discussing the dayís ride. It takes a couple of hours to go through marking the road books with interruptions, well for me anyway.



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/Sertoess0165/994882798_WJRsK-L.jpg)
Finally the generator comes out and lights are setup.



By the time we are finished with these we are normally famished and look around for some kind of pasta or rice based food. Sometimes the food for sale is not great or too far away. Sometimes there is no food and then Randall makes us some. We eat a lot. By that time its normally time for the briefing so we go to that. Half an hour after later it is done and we return to our camp to finish our road book, make preparations for the next day, maybe make a phone call if there is a signal, and then sleep. There is no time for anything else really.



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/Sertoess0161/994882076_Azy5C-XL.jpg)
My bike is looking a little bit used.



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/Sertoess0155/994880949_7qpCs-L.jpg)



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/Sertoess0156/994881137_Beve5-L.jpg)
Some of the paint on my tanks is bubbling off, helped by the occasional drop.



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/Sertoess0157/994881382_sZyRK-L.jpg)
I also have a problem wringing the neck of the bike: Oil comes out of the breather pipe and filter from the overpressure in the engine and leaks out over everything, making gear changes a bit of a drama. The maintenance boys are going to see what they can do about that. I also have problems starting the bike again. I think the battery may be flat. There is a power problem on the bike, and I have had to turn off everything again.  The boys will be rewiring cables tonight Ė looks like there may have been some short. Also the fuel line running near my header & exhaust is melting. The mechanics look horrified at the positioning and tell me I have been riding on a bomb. Then they start joking about the ghost rider. I learn that they have also decided to call me Pastrani!



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/Sertoess0158/994881605_dg38Z-L.jpg)
By the way,this is what my nav. Setup looks like. On the top left is my ICO, top right is my GPS, this will need to be replaced with the ASO GPS and CAP repeater if/when I do the Dakar in 2012. I plan to install the CAP repeater (which has your heading or bearing) in above the ICO. Then there is the MD road book, with key refueling and control points written in on the side. Those two little wheels on the left are what you turn if you need to operate the roadbook when there is no power. Over the road book motor (on the right), I have spare duct tape so I can stick pages together if I have to tear some out for clearance purposes/ease of use.

I also have the spare gear lever, brake levers (front & back), and clutch lever attached to the tower, along with a spare front tube, medical kit & liquid metal. Bigger spanners go in behind the bash plate along with tyre levers, and all the smaller spanners, allens & and sockets go in my camelback. Dave and Phil carry most of this on their backs, but I am not a fan of carrying a large backpack.


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/stage3-results/1000066182_AGKvK-M.jpg)
The results are good for all three of us, with Dave going up 11 places, myself 6 and and I think Phil 6 place as well. I realize that maybe the route was a little more technical than I thought, because I actually thought I did better than I ended up. But there you go, thats rally. Dave still holds 3rd in his class!

I have a lot of work to do to climb in the rankings. But the rally has just begun. There are still seven steps to go. This step also marks the end of those riding the Sertűes Series, the guys on the big KTM's.

From here on we are told the really rally begins, and things are going to get more difficult and challenging. Tomorrows stage is described like this: "This special has all sortsof terrain. it begins downhill with some erosion, followed by slow roads and log bridges and lots of rocks. The final part is more beautiful with tight stretches on farms and river crossings with rocks and sand. The technical level is high.

Little did we know it would also prove to be a day of carnage.
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: GlenInk on September 09, 2010, 01:42:48 am
I so look forward to this every night ! Definatly ROLL OF HONOUR stuff this  :deal:

Thank you Neil !  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Uiltjie on September 09, 2010, 05:13:11 am
Doing what we all admire...RESPECT!
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: madmike999 on September 09, 2010, 05:42:20 am
 :drif: :drif: :drif:


you are my hero, nice one much respect.
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: letsgofishing on September 09, 2010, 07:46:29 am
As I've said before, AWESOME stuff BB  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Ama ride ride on September 09, 2010, 08:20:52 am
Awesome. Lot of us really hate you now. :thumleft:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Pullaway on September 09, 2010, 08:28:16 am
Lekke! - Gooi mielies!
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Puddles on September 09, 2010, 08:37:41 am
Sjoe ... can't wait to read more ....  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: CorCorlia on September 09, 2010, 09:13:00 am
I'm really looking forward to the next stage!!  This is absolutely GREAT STUFF!!! Thanks for sharing BB!  Hoping to be at Patmans in October to listen to ALL your stories!  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: domstes on September 09, 2010, 09:25:09 am
Awesome AWESOME!  :thumleft: :thumleft:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Rokie on September 09, 2010, 10:18:10 am
yea! this is the stuff i'm looking for in a RR . . .  :headbang:

. . . day of carnage, you say . . .  :happy1: keep it coming!
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: BlueBull2007 on September 09, 2010, 04:05:51 pm
To the WD'S in the cape who have been baying for me to to a slideshow/talk thingy.

Thanks for your support! You make it really hard for me not to venture beyond the boerwors curtain (Yukskei river)!  ;D I spoke to Mrs BB, and while she is not happy with me hobbling all over the place on crutches, she is okay with the idea of a quick trip to CT. Im still on a VERY tight schedule, so I dont know when exactly I am going to fit a trip in both from a time and money POV!! I will start a fred in planning a ride section and see: If there is enough interest & support, maybe we can do it.

Thanks again!
Neil :paw:

Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Berm_Rooster on September 09, 2010, 04:10:25 pm
:thumleft:

I am not in CT, but I will come down if you manage to come this way! Thanks for trying.
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: wacko on September 09, 2010, 04:21:37 pm
Will really be cool to attend something in Cape Town if you manage to pay us a visit
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Just Blip It! on September 09, 2010, 06:17:22 pm
Excellent Neil, I am thoroughly enjoying this RR, please keep it coming! You surely are living the dream!  :drif: :thumleft:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Tenrider on September 09, 2010, 08:51:06 pm
Spell bound, brilliant stuff. :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: I am going to get in deep shit because of this. Productivity way down today. Keep it coming.
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: plaasjaap on September 09, 2010, 10:48:24 pm
Waarlik BRILJANT!
thanks for sharing- can't wait for the rest!!!
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: h≤/hh on September 10, 2010, 07:47:58 am
Damn! (plensh swear words) >:( >:(
When you do your presentation in Gangsters Paradise I'm down here in SlaapStad and when you will be down in SlaapStad I'll be back in TswaniToria.

Een bevange avontuur wat jy beleef het Neil, hoop ons kan mekaar raak drink terwyl jy hier in RSA is. Groetnis aan Daleen.
hh
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: KAT-WP on September 10, 2010, 08:21:36 am
To the WD'S in the cape who have been baying for me to to a slideshow/talk thingy.

Thanks for your support! You make it really hard for me not to venture beyond the boerwors curtain (Yukskei river)!  ;D I spoke to Mrs BB, and while she is not happy with me hobbling all over the place on crutches, she is okay with the idea of a quick trip to CT. Im still on a VERY tight schedule, so I dont know when exactly I am going to fit a trip in both from a time and money POV!! I will start a fred in planning a ride section and see: If there is enough interest & support, maybe we can do it.

Thanks again!
Neil :paw:



Would be gr8 if u could get 2 do a talk & slideshow here, will definately be there  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: MOGGIE on September 10, 2010, 10:55:41 am
Almal van ons het drome van so iets. Maar sekere ouens doen iets daaromtrent. Wel gedaan. ek geniet die RR baie.
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: domstes on September 10, 2010, 11:02:58 am
Almal van ons het drome van so iets. Maar sekere ouens doen iets daaromtrent. Wel gedaan. ek geniet die RR baie.

BlueBull2007, this is why we all think you are a hero. Very few people venture off the blackstuff with a motorcycle. Most of us that do would like to do something like this. But Only a VERY selected few actually MAKE this happen. That is why we hang on every word you say.

BlueBull2007 you are DA MAN!!!!  :thumleft: :thumleft:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Rough Rider on September 10, 2010, 12:03:57 pm
Almal van ons het drome van so iets. Maar sekere ouens doen iets daaromtrent. Wel gedaan. ek geniet die RR baie.

BlueBull2007, this is why we all think you are a hero. Very few people venture off the blackstuff with a motorcycle. Most of us that do would like to do something like this. But Only a VERY selected few actually MAKE this happen. That is why we hang on every word you say.

BlueBull2007 you are DA MAN!!!!  :thumleft: :thumleft:

I second that  :)
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Clockwork Orange on September 10, 2010, 12:15:25 pm
BB, If you are in CT, I will certainly be there
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: acidfreak on September 10, 2010, 12:50:52 pm
Going to say it again!! Wow.. this is more addictive than watching girls beach volley ball on a HOT summer day...! Damn!
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: GO GIRL on September 10, 2010, 10:59:21 pm
Neil stunning stuff I remember the early days of you wanting to do it then preparing for it and now DOING IT...DONE IT!!!
.COOL YOU ROCK...amazing stuff  :thumleft:

Hope to see you CPT... if you can make it  :thumleft: :thumleft:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Would I? on September 11, 2010, 07:39:18 am
Fantastic Stuff!!!!  Trying to make you talk in Centurion. Thanks for sharing this experience.
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: MOGGIE on September 11, 2010, 11:16:19 am
Did I read here somewhere about you wanting to do the Dakar next?
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Alan on September 11, 2010, 04:09:44 pm
Yup, I also read it.. maybe not this year, I think next years, (2011)..
Like Alfie, we'll have someone VERY CLOSE to shout for buddy..

regards

Al
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Rokie on September 11, 2010, 09:01:58 pm
still on the edge of my seat!!
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Gee S on September 11, 2010, 09:48:26 pm
BlueBull2007, Well done. This is a awesome report. :thumleft:
Your writing is just as good as your riding. :ricky:
Thank you very much for all the effort!!
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: MOGGIE on September 11, 2010, 10:35:06 pm
Do you want a support vehicle? And crew?
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: BlueBull2007 on September 12, 2010, 12:36:51 am
Seven riders did not finish the 3rd Stage for various reason, but they all managed to get to the start for stage 4 the next day, albeit with heavy penalties.

Stage 4 Alto Paražso to DianÚpolis

2km - Initial Liaison
220km Ė Special Stage
292km Ė Final Liaison

Total for the day 514km, and the first day of carnage...


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/Sertoess0185/994886483_DfFXd-L.jpg)

I leave the bivouac just after 07h00, itís a later start, but Iím nervous because my bike is acting weird again, when the mechanics start it, its popping and splatting. ďNo problem, no problem,Ē they say. I look at them disbelievingly and Marcello nods back. ďNo problemoĒ. Okay then, no problem. I tried to use the HID light yesterday and itís drained the battery. Iím not convinced it was charged during the night. Ah well, at least its running. I ride off into the morning freshness.

(http://gsnorcal.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Rally-Dos-Sertoes/poprs10theoribeiro065065alta/993215062_4cKCX-L.jpg)
Itís another beautiful day. Pic: www.Webventure.com.br

I get to the fuel station to fill up and the bike stalls before I get to the pump. Instantly I'm stressing again. Please donít tell me I have bad fuel, or a jet is blocked. I pay the pretty attendant and try to start the bike. The battery runs flat quickly, and I canít get it started again. Shit! My heart is instantly in my mouth, while I kick start the bike and myself into frenzy. I add another dose of octane booster hoping that will have a placebo effect in my mind. The young petrol attendant looks on helplessly. Crap. Maybe I put too much two stroke oil in and now itís clogged the jets. I try to phone the mechanics 1km away. No answer. Des Ė No answer. DDís phone is on voicemail. F***!

Another attendant comes out and helps me push the bike out of the garage. Luckily there is a nice steep downhill to bump start it. When it starts it blats, pops and backfires a bit. I hope leaving all the electrics off will help and circle back to the liaison start. I keep the bike revving high while waiting for my time to leave, hoping that I donít cook the engine as it heats up. Dicey, itís always so bloody dicey. Why does it have to be this way? I look around and notice the other riders, all relaxed, preparing themselves for the day ahead. All I can do is think about whether the bike is going to make it. I wonder whether my race would be better without these worries. Anyway, this is where I am, "Deal With it boetie," I just tell myself. There is no point in worrying, but I canít help myself. Itís very draining.

Finally I get my time card and am waved away. Those first two kilometers to the start of the special are so nice, so cooling and peaceful. My fogged up goggles clear out and Iím still on the move. With the start of the special being on the edge of town there is a large crowd of about 300 spectatorsí just in front of the start, cheering people off. No-one except competitors and officials are allowed onto the road; excited children and adults run and stumble through the undergrowth on either side of the barbed-wire fence lining the road to get to some better vantage point ahead. They are totally stoked on the dust, the smell of fuel, flash-looking bikes flying past, you can see excitment, wonder and even racing madness in some of their eyes as they look on at us.


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/Sertoesw0034/997772408_VnTFY-L.jpg)
My turn comes up to take the line. I take a deep breath and prepare myself for the road ahead. Pic: www.Webventure.com.br

The lights go green and Iím off into thick dust hanging between the tall clumps of bushes lining boths sides of the road. I shoot past are groups of people dotted about, screaming in excitement. A little further on I see three guys running off the road to get away from the oncoming bike. They have nowhere to go and charge into some brambles like escaping antelope as I go roaring past. I smile to myself, feeling the adrenaline of the moment, and sharing the exhilaration of these spectator nuts.

The groups of spectators quickly thin out, and apart from the odd photographer Iím alone again on the dusty road. Itís a odd feeling being out there alone all of a sudden. I've found that generally, itís only a small amount time cases that one spends time riding with or near someone else. Yet I feel a strange kinship with the other 67 Bikes and 15 quads out there somewhere. I imagine them all pushing along their own bit of track, some still back at the start waiting their turn and others pushing into the dust of the riders ahead of them looking for a gap to pass.

Those of us who ride recreationally know its a great time to unwind, but the only time you have time to do this on a rally is when the cautions in the road book are far apart. The first part of the special is just like that, separated by sections intense concentration. I realize my mind has been wandering, not a good idea because it means I've been riding slower. It makes it  easier to miss the next waypoint or worse, a danger caution, so I snap back into what I am doing. Watch the road; pick the best line, the fastest line, the safest line. As soon as it looks okay, glance at the road book, check the road again and glance at the ICO.


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other/Sertoesweb0018/1003294428_pVQcP-X2.jpg)
Ludo Boinnard pumping it through a river.                                Pic: www.Webventure.com.br



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/Sertoesw0030/997771535_MyydU-L.jpg)
Yours truely on the same crossing.                                                                   Pic: www.Webventure.com.br


We wind through some hills, crossing the odd river and the road opens out at around kilometer 50 to a broader, faster road that has been poorly maintained.



(http://gsnorcal.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Rally-Dos-Sertoes/111rs10eliseomiciu050059alta/970822725_wRGey-L.jpg)             
Pic: www.Webventure.com.br

There are some nice fast straight bits, separated by ugly dips, sharp curves erosions and bridges. Iím loving it and back into the groove, pushing the little Yamaha to its limit. Once again, I wish I was on a 690, I can't squeeze much more out of the little Yamaha 450. I come tearing around a corner, anticipating a double caution marked in the road book: The curve tightens suddenly and chicanes around a deep, ugly erosion gully that cuts off the natural line of the curve. A bike is standing at right angles in the road perhaps 20m beyond. Breaking hard, I see a rider in blue sitting on the ground about , next to his helmet, holding his leg. He has clearly broken some bones, and he grimaces as he gives me a thumbs up. An organization official is there and waves me on, itís okay I donít have to stop. I am going slow enough to see he is devastated; there are dusty streak marks down his face, the poor bloke. :'( He clearly missed the caution in the road book, hit the erosion hole, and high-sided hard. The bike looks pretty bad too. There is no doubt he is out of the race. Man, just like that.

As I accelerate away, the reality of what I've just missed hits home, I feel his anguish, and it really upsets me. I have already experienced what itís like to be faced with the prospect of being out, itís absolutely gutting. Thatís what this guy is experiencing now, and I empathize, big time. You always hear about the crashes, you know itís dangerous, but when you are caught up in the racing it is so easy to forget how fast you are actually going and how easily it can all come apart. The experience is exacerbated a few minutes later by the approaching helicopter, clipping the trees tops from on its way back from the lead riders. Thatís his rescue flight. Acutely aware of the risks, this sobering experience reminds me to be careful, and I adapt my speed a down a little. Suddenly itís not that fun anymore. I push on though, because I know to shrink back is not an option. Pissies will never be heroes.  After 15 minutes Im cruising again, only much more aware and alert than I was earlier.



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/Sertoesw0031/997771852_CmosJ-L.jpg)
Pic: www.Webventure.com.br





(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other/Sertoesweb0027/1003296025_xPeix-L.jpg)
Ludo                                                                                                              Pic: www.Webventure.com.br




(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other/Sertoesweb0030/1003296632_KtPAB-L.jpg)
Deni Nasciemento, who is 3rd overall giving it hammer & tongs                                       Pic: www.Webventure.com.br




(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other/Sertoesweb0028/1003296246_wjFUi-L.jpg)
Phil                                                                                          Pic: www.Webventure.com.br


Soon Im gunning it again, enjoying the thrill of this high speed road. I come into a triple caution a bit too fast and brace for the coming impact of the dip. WHAM!! The suspension bottoms out and flicks up again, bending both my feet upwards. It feels like my toes have been folded up against my shins and ripped off at the ankles. I bellow and puff in pain but manage to keep the bike under control. I bite my lip and take deep breaths, sitting down but maintaining the same speed. I just need to work through the pain.

After 20 minutes I'm feeling better and have worked out the basic cause of this error of judgement. Its the same reason why Daniel Goulet from Chile crashed earlier: Fatigue. We are losing concentration because we have been pushing it for four days, straight. This is where the all training really begins to count. I've been feeling tired at the end of each day but I haven't been totally bushed, which is good. Thanks to the heavy training, my recovery period is quick -About an fifteen minutes each day after strenuous excersize- but I know fatigue is still building up in me. I cannot imagine what it would be like for someone with little or no training at this stage. The long stages and connections everyday definitley takes its toll on the body, no doubt about that. It's as if we were riding to Vryburg from Johannesburg every day, on dirt. I remember riding back from the Boegoeberg bash last year and feeling zonked out for a couple of days after that. Back then I wasn't fit. But now, on the fourth day running, its catching up with us. Couple that with a little dehydration, some lack of sleep and the results come out in the wash.


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other/Sertoesweb0026/1003295787_QsJEq-L.jpg)
Dave zipping along.                                                                                                             Pic: www.Webventure.com.br




(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other/Sertoesweb0025/1003295601_bgwF7-L.jpg)
David Casteau                                              Pic: www.Webventure.com.br



The course becomes tight and more technical for a while, before opening up again, but the dangers are still lurking. in one place there is this triple caution, another erosion, in the road book on this narrow, straight farm track. Its fast, and I get up to a high speed along it, slowing about 100m before the caution. It turns out to be a monster donga or hole about 6m deep and 10 m wide cutting accross the track in such a way that its quite hard to see. The route deviates around it and as I go past I look down into it and see two officials trying to drag a bike out of it.  :o :o :o Holy Moly! That poor guy. He is nowhere to be seen...

Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: BlueBull2007 on September 12, 2010, 12:41:41 am
Yup, I also read it.. maybe not this year, I think next years, (2011)..
Like Alfie, we'll have someone VERY CLOSE to shout for buddy..

regards

Al

1st Jan 2012, maybe, but there are a couple of challenges, one of which is I can't afford it dont have enough money to do it yet :-\

But I really want to do it.  :mwink: I guess its the same as this rally, it seemed completely impossible a year ago.
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: BlueBull2007 on September 12, 2010, 09:25:39 am
(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other/Sertoesweb0023/1003295081_uDXfj-L.jpg)
                                                                                                           Pic: www.Webventure.com.br




(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other/Sertoesweb0017/1003294093_BHUFj-L.jpg)
                                                                                  Pic: www.Webventure.com.br




(http://gsnorcal.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Rally-Dos-Sertoes/055rs10eliseomiciu050103alta/970820534_9VcTh-L.jpg)
Phil not far from the bad erosion                                                         Pic: www.Webventure.com.br



Iím so glad I saw that hole on the road book. The last 70km of the special becomes a lot faster again, interspaced by a series of terrible log bridges radar zones and small creeks.
Even log bridges are not so bad any more, unless they are long. In most of the cases the faster you go the better it is, because you can keep your line, but if you make a mistake itís almost certainly going to be a stretcher case.




(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/bridge/1003995359_pgVFv-L.jpg)
I never got any good pictures of these bridges, but here is the one that took out hotshot rider Rodrigo Caballero last year.

Quite a few were actually quite good as well, and some of them were radar zones, so we had to go slowly over them anyway.




(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other/Sertoesweb0041/1003297924_kNoQt-L.jpg)
Marc Coma going over a bridge in a radar zone. You can see he is looking around. Pic: www.Webventure.com.br


I end up close to a quad in this radar zone, he slowed a little inadvertently allowing me to draw alongside him, so we ride together for a while. Now you need to know that though I am friendly enough with the guys off their quads it is quite the opposite on any special. I had been lumped with three quads since the beginning of the stage and I was tired of eating all their dust. The day before two of the barstards had roosted me badly and forced me to stop to avoid taking myself out in their dust. There is no way in hell I was now going to let this guy get in front of me again, I can see the next bit is going to be a fast bit and I am going to get in front. We look at each other just before the end of the radar zone, and think the same thing. GO! We both wring the necks of our bikes. The crowd whoop at us as we accelerate past them.

I get the inside of the first right hand curve as we hit fourth and I burst ahead over a hard road surface covered in marble-sized pebbles. I feel the bike power slide to the left and I let the back wheel go over a bit further, its soft, and I know the poor guy is almost definitely getting a mouthful of roost. Poetic justice. Okay I admit it feels delicious. There is no time to look back and I gun it, keeping low and fast, to stay ahead. Iím really racing now. Urgently looking for the next caution, I see itís a bridge, a double caution indicating holes in it. No way in hell am I going to slow down for it. If that quad catches me now, I will be done over big time.

There is a bit of a ramp at the beginning and I manage jump the whole thing. Exhilarating. And the next one as well. This is really splendid riding. I end up doing about 50km pinned like this, oil pissing out of the filtered breather and all over my left boot. At one point there is this long bridge, like the one in the picture above, only itís a good 15m long with a couple of pillars in the river supporting long, twisting sets of  tree-trunks a car width apart, set in twos. There are three pairs of logs set end-to-end for each car wheel to go on, separated by a yawing gap in the middle. The left side is relatively straight and about half a meter wide so I decide to give it horns and hit it at high speed in fourth gear. There is a drop-off to the tree trunks which I ramp, bounce the bike off the first trunk clear over the centre pillar in the middle which juts above the level of the logs. The bike lands neatly on the second two logs but bounces up again propelling me forward over the bars. I wrench the throttle and come down on last group of trunks at a bit of an angle but the spinning back wheel saves the day and I zoom onto the white gravel road on the far side. This all happens so fast, there is virtually no time to be shocked at what Iíve just done because Iím back up to 145 km/hr in no time. Almost immediately, I find myself power slide through the next sweeping curve, and it stays like this for miles. Even on the straight bits itís challenging but fun high speed stuff, the bike bucking and swaying, like a springbok beneath me in the sand and gravel patches.

After the terror of the log bridges I find the mataburros to be quite tame, almost friendly in their familiarity. Except the last one which has been broken by a quad. There are a couple of planks sticking up sideways like javelins threatening to skewer one of us. Iím shocked by how dangerous this is, there is just enough clearance to make it past on a bike, the only way to get across is to jump the mataburro because of the hole created by the missing planks. Shortly after that I pass an official on a bicycle coming the other way, I guess to fix it. Good on him.

I ride in style through the flying finish, feeling on top of the world. I think this has been the best riding experience of my life. It was really, really fantastic. I need to take it easy from now on because the bike has to last. Itís probably quite low on oil now, and itís hard to change gears because there is so much oil all over my left boot.



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other/Sertoesweb0021/1003294775_JRGGP-L.jpg)
Ze Helio did better today too.                                                      Pic: www.Webventure.com.br


After knocking a whole in his BMWís oil cooler yesterday he lost all his oil and his engine. I think he just took the 2.5 hour penalty and just started again this morning. Of course he would be out of the world-championship, but not the Brazilian championship. He started behind me and blasted past me about half way through the stage. I think he passed something like 30 guys today. He really is an awesome rider.



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other/Sertoesweb0022/1003294859_cP5qg-L.jpg)
                                                                                               Pic: www.Webventure.com.br



The long liaison is unbelievably hot. Riding through air that actually burns my face little. It is hellish. I have to stop every 50 km or so to have a drink and cool down. At the one place I stop at seems remarkably similar to any little dorp in the northern Cape. Only the bottle store is not as popular. It is uncanny, I watch a car cruising past with some young guys looking for talent in it, but itís pumping out music that sounds like Kurt Darren Ė I kid you not Ė in Portuguese!  :imaposer:   No way, I tell myself. Way. Where is DD? He wonít believe me.

Everyone out in these parts seem quite poor, but lacking nothing. Not as desperate as you see in Africa. People have been waving at me going through all the little towns, talking to me at the refuel stations.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other/Sertoesweb0032/1003297005_Wv8wN-L.jpg)
They take photos too of me, of my bike. All the time. Iím getting used to it. They such nice people, itís so refreshing.

Eventually I make it to Dianŗpolis, a friendly little platteland-type town, full of  relatively poor, yet excited Brazilians. Theyíre always excited. 

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/Sertoesw0037/997772801_5SjDs-L.jpg)
Iím tired but very happy to be here.                                                                          Pic: www.Webventure.com.br



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other/Sertoesweb0031/1003296884_5PyJ3-L.jpg)
It was an awesome stage today.                                                            Pic: www.Webventure.com.br

Iím and not the only one to be happy. 



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other/Sertoesweb0033/1003297057_Dg52e-L.jpg)
Marieta Moraes is over the moon at finishing this tough stage.                  Pic: www.Webventure.com.br

She is a heroine in Brazil.


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/Sertoess0191/994887368_kgNcq-L.jpg)
It has been a long day out on the road too for the support guys.

I look for our camp and cars in our bivouac and find only DD, jealously guarding a piece of ground from the other support crews still coming in. The Kombi is still out there on the road somewhere. By hierdie tyd was my arme maatjie DD die moer in met die ander kerels (3Drink kan self vir julle later verduidelik). Hy was rerig reg om iemand te hard bliksem 
:laughing4:

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/Sertoess0182/994886031_Wbvyx-L.jpg)

The Uruguayan Sprinterís trailer came off and rolled on route. Luckily they were able to put it all back together again with duct tape, and Marcello was road-side welding a new tow bar on. WTF??

Phil and Dave rock up about an hour later and are really happy to be home too. They found it tricky too.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/Sertoess0193/994887790_H4CUT-L.jpg)
We get a rare moment to relax and take in the moment.

We shower in some stables that afternoon, its a pretty rough setup. Randall makes us some pasta tonight becuase we are concerned about the local food quality. I get to talk to Kuba Przygonski at the briefing. He tells me there were five of the front guys who "jumped" that huge 5m erosion, you know, the one I saw earlier in the day with the broken bike being pulled out by two officials? I can't believe it.

He just nods back and says "Yes, only Marc Coma went around it, he was in front and saw it. The rest of us were riding in his dust and I saw it too late. Two of us including me broke our bikes on that jump, but we were still able to finish. It was terrible. One guy crashed but that was behind me. He is out with a broken collarbone." Holy moly, is that all? These guys are riding gods. Way, way out of my league. There is no way I would have survived something like that.   :eek7:


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other/Sertoesweb0019/1003294569_SKtui-L.jpg)
Ludo comes into the briefing as well, with a brave face, having to be picked up by the helicopter after crashing.  :'( Heartbreaking. Couldn't have happened to a nicer guy. He's a hero to me.

He later writes:
as you know, I had a good crash a couple days ago.
This is all my fault, I was riding very good, the best in a few years and was surprising myself. I always felt in control and smooth.

The day before, I had some gasoline problems that got me passed by a couple guys and then the bike started to work again but there was so much dust that I chose to play it safe and stay behind them for the remaining 40 miles of the day.

The next day, I started in 14th and was riding real good real soon. Then I found Jaime Prohens from Chile and one of his buddy, both stuck and crashed down in a big hole/erosion.
One of them had a broken leg so I parked my bike and helped them. I did activate the emergency beacon for them and grabbed my radio to alert the organization. My two buddies Dimas and Tagino who were starting after me, stopped for a mn and then kept going as we didn't need them.

Once all was set up for the two Chilenos to wait for the helicopter, I did get going as well.
I caught Tagino really quickly and then caught Dimas a bit later. I stayed in Dimas dust for like 80kms, but instead of playing it safe like the day before, I did a stupid thing. I got frustrated for slowing down so much and decided to pass Dimas. We were only 20 miles from the refuel so I could have just stayed there and just pass him then. Instead, right after a radar zone, he was so close to me that I chose to go for it. He was finally at striking distance when in the next curve, he hit the brakes really hard cos' it was a curve kind of closing in toward the end of it and I found myself in a big cloud of fesh fesh sand dust, not seeing anything. Once the vision cleared ok, I was on the edge of the trail about to hit a huge rock.

The next thing I remember is my teammate and friend Ramon Volkart above me, helping me to wake up. Tagino was with him also. It took me a few mn to remember what happened and I had apparently passed out for like 5mn.

They were already on the radio with the organizers and had a helicopter on its way.

I was hurting all over, and breathing was painful. Instantly I knew the collarbone was broken and some ribs felt like they were as well.

We had an hour flight to the next town with what resembled an hospital with very limited equipment but the organizer's doctors were always there with us. Once we finished the complete check up and saw on the Xrays that only my collarbone was broken (badly) , I was given some anti-inflammatory and a ride back to the bivouac.

I was sad to have finished this rally so soon, but I deserve this one completely. I should have been more patient...I was not.
In Rally racing, mistakes can be very costly. Once again, I am lucky to have escaped with only this.

Later at the bivouac, when my equipment got delivered, we inspected my Arai Helmet. It clearly is out of service and I am glad I was wearing this brand as I believe they make the safest helmets in the world. My Leatt brace was broken and seeing the marks on my neck, on my shoulders and on my face, I can say that this device has saved my life for the third time. I have chosen a few years ago to never ride an off-road motorcycle without wearing one and this is the smartest thing one can do. Don't settle for another brand, none of them can deliver what the Leatt does....None!

Cheers all, I'm about to fly out of Sao Paulo back to San Diego, time for Surgery with Dr Murphy to plate that collarbone and my buddies at Rehab United for all the rehab work.


A few days later we learn he/s fractured his collarbone in five places!

We learn that 16 people did not finish the stage, quite few of them injured.


I'm really pleased with the day's result:

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/stage4-results/1004157886_f9rmB-L.jpg)

I learn I have climbed 20 places on the stage to 31st and came 8th in my class, up four places. Thats more like it! Phil also did really well, climbing 10 places.

Of course looking at the overall results you can see the importance of consistently over my fast days in between slow days. All of us went up today, although Im sure some it had to do with the number of riders who did not make it. This rally was getting serious.

Tomorrow will have a trails section, and is one of the most difficult days of the rally. Lets hope it goes as well as it did today.
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: MOGGIE on September 12, 2010, 10:02:29 am
Ek het na die video gekyk op een van jou vorige post omtrent die ren. Motorfietse wat brand, bakkie wat gat oor kop slaan. Dit is skrikwekknd. Ek kan glo dat jy baie fiks moet wees. As ek n dag in die saal was is my sitvlak en rug baie eina. Seker die groot pens ook natuurlik. Ek is trots op you en dat jy dit met ons Suid Afrikaaners deel ook.
Sterkte
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: THROTTLE JOCKEY on September 12, 2010, 12:41:08 pm
This is like a fairytale (hard core guy style). You are living a dream of many! Well done! :ricky:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Rokie on September 13, 2010, 08:41:38 am
. . . still glued to it. SUPER, SUPER, SUPER stuff!!!  :drif:
thanks for putting so much effort into the writing!! VERY inspiring. VERY!
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Rough Rider on September 13, 2010, 09:32:48 am
If ever there was any doubt about the Leatt Braces saving lives, read Ludo's report.
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: funacide on September 13, 2010, 11:40:06 am
Frikking AWESOME!!!!

Keep it coming please.
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: roxenz on September 14, 2010, 04:54:42 pm
WOW!!! Eventually I've had time to read this, what a blast! Neil, congratulations on making it happen and completing it! I'm so so sorry I cannot make the evening at Patman's, would have loved to shake your hand!.

Start a fred on Dakar 2012, we'll all chip in a bit to make it possible!

Hat off!!!  :blob10: :blob3: :blob5: :blob6: :blob7: :blob9:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Rbacknz on September 15, 2010, 02:23:47 am
Everyday when I get to work the first thing I do is check to see what is new in this story. My business partner just shakes his head and mutters something under his breath. :dousing: BUT I have now caught him reading it.  :ricky:
Wish I was in SA to be there for the evening at Patmans.
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Aquatic on September 15, 2010, 05:05:33 am

Wish I was in SA to be there for the evening at Patmans.


Have say I'm have the same wish as you Rbacknz
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: BlueBull2007 on September 15, 2010, 07:07:36 am
Thank you everyone for your generous comments. (http://s3.amazonaws.com/advrider/shog.gif)

Its been a bit of a while scince my last update - sorry, lots of stuff going on here. Wish I could say it is riding, but Im still limping about on crutches!


Lets kick off with a bit of eye candy.

(http://desmcd.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Rally-Dos-Sertoes-2010/Dos-Sertoes-2010-w-Wild-West/989570040_oSMKe-L.jpg)
These are the bikes that win.

What gives them the edge? I think itís the riders, and all the moola they throw at keeping these machines running. Notice they arenít covered with mechanics either. Their mechanics actually sleep at night.  ;D

By the way in case youre wondering, the bike pictured above belongs to Brazilian Dario Julio Lopes de Souza. He is running fourth and he rides this bike something awesome. It the one with the big grinning face on the front of it in the last post.



(http://desmcd.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Rally-Dos-Sertoes-2010/Dos-Sertoes-2010-w-Wild-West/989569249_DDVAk-L.jpg)
Iíll leave these for you to work out who they belong to.  :deal:



(http://desmcd.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Rally-Dos-Sertoes-2010/Dos-Sertoes-2010-w-Wild-West/989568659_3F8SA-XL.jpg)
I think this is the last time we will see this particular bike in a rally.  :'( It is an AWESOME bike, the best there has ever been IMHO.


(http://desmcd.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Rally-Dos-Sertoes-2010/Dos-Sertoes-2010-w-Wild-West/989770980_9JXLq-L.jpg)
Some close-up shots of the Sherco. Naaaice.  :drif:



(http://desmcd.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Rally-Dos-Sertoes-2010/Dos-Sertoes-2010-w-Wild-West/989770319_JxF5o-M.jpg)



(http://desmcd.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Rally-Dos-Sertoes-2010/Dos-Sertoes-2010-w-Wild-West/989773499_mSTuP-M.jpg)



(http://desmcd.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Rally-Dos-Sertoes-2010/Dos-Sertoes-2010-w-Wild-West/989772872_ToJSJ-M.jpg)
ICO

(http://desmcd.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Rally-Dos-Sertoes-2010/Dos-Sertoes-2010-w-Wild-West/989766316_HuWik-M.jpg)


(http://desmcd.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Rally-Dos-Sertoes-2010/Dos-Sertoes-2010-w-Wild-West/989767016_bfzAh-M.jpg)


(http://desmcd.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Rally-Dos-Sertoes-2010/Dos-Sertoes-2010-w-Wild-West/989767684_NNBLG-M.jpg)



(http://desmcd.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Rally-Dos-Sertoes-2010/Dos-Sertoes-2010-w-Wild-West/989769064_vB8vU-M.jpg)



(http://desmcd.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Rally-Dos-Sertoes-2010/Dos-Sertoes-2010-w-Wild-West/989769645_mxy2r-M.jpg)






(http://desmcd.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Rally-Dos-Sertoes-2010/Dos-Sertoes-2010-w-Wild-West/989572483_3AJUL-L.jpg)
Actually this pic was at Unai (Day 2), but it gives you an idea of the typical setup in the evening.



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/Sertoess0195/994887958_qkPQj-L.jpg)
Some Shots from the bivvy last night.



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/Sertoess0196/994888160_j8wbc-L.jpg)
Iím telling everyone this is too big to be called a quad. No-one listens to me.



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/Sertoess0197/994888377_b4yDE-L.jpg)


Im writing the next update right now. Hopefully it will be out in an hour or two.
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: letsgofishing on September 15, 2010, 07:42:49 am
Thanks for all the work you're doing on this report BB  :thumleft:
Looking forward to the next installment !
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: BlueBull2007 on September 15, 2010, 10:07:50 am
 Stage 5 DianÚpolis to Palmas, Tocantins

28km - Initial Liaison
209km Ė Special Stage
218km Ė Final Liaison

Total for the day 455km.



The initial liaison consists of the usual hurry-up-and-wait sequence. I get going and take a wrong turn, getting lost within 200m and have to backtrack to the start. Typical. Then itís case of refueling somewhere and getting onto the start of the special.

Iím characteristically paranoid. Its day five and Iím still not into it yet.  This day is going to be a real challenge. A trials section, followed by some GPS navigation, another trials section and


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other/Sertoesweb0038/1003297620_92qac-XL.jpg)
at least ten river crossings with some of the usual challenges we have experienced so far as well.

(http://desmcd.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Rally-Dos-Sertoes-2010/Dos-Sertoes-2010-w-Wild-West/989585821_Q2rsv-L.jpg)

Within 400m of the start I miss a critical turn and immediately realize my mistake, plunging narrow, steeply descending and badly washed-out track. I battle to turn it around, dropping the bike. Then I battle to start it. I finally get back onto the right track and breathing hard from all the effort, I charge off. My ICO is out, and Iím not sure exactly where I am and make another wrong turn! I realize my error and repeat the same process again, including dropping my bike a second time. Aarrgh! Whatís going on? Just calm down Ringdahl! I decide to listen to my own advice, stop, and take a moment or two to sort out the ICO and try and work out where I am on the road book. Iím not lost, but I donít know where I am. Backtracking, I spot some bike tracks and a couple of spectators point me in the direction. I speed off, finally finding my correct position after about one kilometer. What a ballís up.

I finally get some composure, but I can feel Iím tired and I donít want to make any mistakes, so I decide here and now that Iím just going to treat today like a Sunday outride. If Iím slower, thatís okay, because I need a bit of a rest before the marathon, and anyway at least this way Iím not likely to take myself out on some sharp corner or obstacle Iíve missed. I took a bit of a chance on the bridges yesterday; today I will be pushing the envelope if I do the same, because I am not myself.

After a fairly short section of bridges and mataburros we get to a concrete bridge.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/ADV/Rallye/grid2/932813408_qU9iJ-L.jpg)
It looks similar to this, only it is twice or three times longer and obviously has no gate. Itís also got a serious drop to the water somewhere below. The gap in the middle is does not do much for my confidence. I still have some speed though and again decide speed is a better option to walking it, so I hit it obliquely planning to cross form right to left on the right-hand section. This works -sort of- but I feel my back wheel slipping into oblivion nearer the other side. Iím willing the bike onward, staring longingly at the nice level road beyond, standing on the pegs, leaning so far forward Iím practically hugging the navigation tower, thinking if my front wheel falls drops Iím going to turn into a sky-pilot.  My rear wheel drops in right at the end of the bridge, hits something hard and I fly off the other side of the bridge on my front wheel while I get a close up examination of the road immediately in front of me. Here comes the endo I have been waiting for!

"At least itís on road," I think. Somehow I holds it together and my rear wheel returns to earth safely with me. Somehow Im still in control and moving forward. Iím totally pumped with adrenaline and the next couple of kilometers is a blur. I later learn this same bridge caught the famous Brazilian rider Dimas Mattos who went over the bars, hurting his leg and getting a concussion for the effort. He told me he was lucky to be able to continue. Many wisely walk it. Next time I see a bridge like this, Iím walking it as well!

Shortly after that the route narrows and gets quite tight and gnarly. We are riding through was seems like high altitude bushveld, the kind you get on the top of the Transvaal Drakensburg; there are some amazing plants hanging out here that look a little bit like our famous Protea. I think immediately of Mike & Duke (guys I know who prefer to post pictures of flowers on ADVRIder instead of bikes), Iím instantly very sorry I donít have a camera with me to stop and take a picture for them.
(http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/Smileys/default/toothy4.gif)   (http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/Smileys/default/evil6.gif)  


The route becomes quite tricky, there are lots of rocks and tight turns in between trees and things. I lose it at one point and end up jamming my bike in a deep, narrow erosion. It takes quite a lot of sweat to get it out and I consequently lose a couple of positions. The creek crossings start small and are easy enough, as we are following a road along the side of a hillside. Itís very picturesque. The road is quite steep up from these little creeks and I would imagine a fair amount of sweat would be required to control a bigger big on this stuff.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other/Sertoesweb0086/1003305258_QBmvH-L.jpg)
Pic: www.Webventure.com.br

Soon enough we enter a fish farm marking the end of the first trial. The organization have made it a ďradarĒ speed control zone so as not to scare the fish. Okey dokey. Iím no fish farm specialist. I suppose if loud motorbikes can stop ostriches from breeding they can affect fish too. Itís a welcome time to sit down and relax. I usually drink a lot during the speed control zones too, itís just safer than doing any other time.  

Not far beyond that we enter the GPS navigation section, which simply consists of series of GPS points we have to follow, connecting the dots in a huge, grassy field filled with bush and small trees making it difficult to see more than a couple of hundred metres. We have to get within 10m of each GPS point before we could move onto the next one. I thought it was pretty basic, but I am amazed at how many bikes I see zooming off in different directions, hopelessly following imaginary route to imaginary waypoints. It is quite comical, because Dave and Phil both find it tricky too. Last night I was the one worrying because I was clueless about how it was going to work. I think many just made it over-complicated. Anyway I make up a lot of time on lots of other riders and leave the "fields of confusion", following a couple of bikes in the distance in front of me.

Itís fast, fence riding again and we are really gunning along. In front of me I suddenly see a huge cloud of dust. I slow for another caution in the road book. Then I hit it as well: A large, hard whoop in the middle of a flat field about a meter high. Itís one of those nasty ones that flick up the rear wheel and the poor guy in front of me has just high-sided badly.

He is rolling around in agony as I stop and run up to him. A quad rider stops as well attends to his bike, still lying in the middle of the road. I check his neck is okay before removing his helmet and brace. Poor bastard. He is out of it and a little incoherent. It appears from the way he is breathing he has broken a few ribs. He does not want to go on, he just wants to lie here. I give him a sip of water while Sergio, the quad rider, calls up the helicopter. Again, I feel a strange kinship with the poor guy and Sergio as we wait.
 

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other/Sertoesweb0016/1003293948_PmQXU-L.jpg)
It arrives in fifteen minutes and we can go on. Pic: www.Webventure.com.br


Again sobering stuff, I feel like weeping for the man. I tell myself again that this is a Sunday outride, nothing more. Just get to the finish today in one piece.


 (http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/Sertoesw0025/997770286_v7DRx-L.jpg)
The track is faster now, with a couple of river crossings to keep it real.       Pic: www.Webventure.com.br

Iím riding the creeks with a little bit more confidence now.




(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other/Sertoesweb0082/1003304732_us9wf-XL.jpg)
Others are chewing it up big time.                                                        Pic: www.Webventure.com.br




(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other/Sertoesweb0083/1003304893_oZzeY-XL.jpg)
.                                 Pic: www.Webventure.com.br




(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other/Sertoesweb0084/1003305064_2FkSx-L.jpg)
.                                                                                                            Pic: www.Webventure.com.br




 

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/Sertoesw0026/997770465_TpBAY-XL.jpg)
                                                                                                                         Pic: www.Webventure.com.br


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/Sertoesw0032/997772197_DN68T-L.jpg)
Pic: www.Webventure.com.br




The second trial starts as suddenly as the first one ended, with a couple of tricky corners that sends the unaware barreling along the wrong track, unaware of the error. The trial takes us through a very pretty and tranquil river valley, only today is not going to be anything like that. The navigation is not very easy, and the only things we have to guide us are occasional landmarks marked in the road book, like a cattle drinking trough, or a palm tree, only there are lots of the bloody things all over the place. The ground is very hard, so itís not possible to see any tracks. Confusing, but I manage, stopping now and again to think about the route. I would rather waste a few seconds doing this than 10 minutes tearing off in the wrong direction. The riding is somewhat technical again with deeper river crossings, thankfully not very wide. A very enjoyable piece of riding, but because I am tired I donít really appreciate it. I just want it to end.

Then I get to a more challenging river crossing. I know this because there are photographers lurking in the glades and shadows on the other side like panthers ready for the kill.  

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/Sertoesw0039/997773281_N6yga-L.jpg)
Itís intimidating and I hesitate trying to decide what the best line is.                    Pic: www.Webventure.com.br



Itís got a nasty, deep looking bit like the Mariana trench off the cost of Japan. Should I walk it?
A photographer walks forward and points out a line.


F**kit ek gaan dit net doen and klaarkry. Caution be damned.


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/Sertoesw0040/997773581_VWQZJ-X2.jpg)
                                                                                                    Pic: www.Webventure.com.br


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/Sertoesw0041/997773851_KPURT-L.jpg)
                                                                                                    Pic: www.Webventure.com.br
                
(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/Sertoesw0045/997774651_5gyfN-L.jpg)
Yeeeeaahhh baby!! Iím thrilled.                                                  Pic: www.Webventure.com.br

                                                                            
Iím through! Brilliant! Neil, you biscuit! That wasnít so bad after all! The road after that opens up again and Iím gone, singing happily into my helmet. Itís a good thing you canít hear me.


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other/Sertoesweb0040/1003297854_r6B4c-XL.jpg)
Coma thinks itís a piece of cake,                              Pic: www.Webventure.com.br



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other/Sertoesweb0061/1003301634_DgamM-X2.jpg)
Pic: www.Webventure.com.br
Vincente Benedict also makes it look easy,



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other/Sertoesweb0045/1003298442_rCRWz-X2.jpg)
Okay, maybe not that easy.              Pic: www.Webventure.com.br


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other/Sertoesweb0043/1003298280_44S3h-XL.jpg)
.                                                                                     Pic: www.Webventure.com.br


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other/Sertoesweb0048/1003299051_9mhwb-L.jpg)

"oh S**T........ "


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other/Sertoesweb0055/1003300648_iVWdz-X2.jpg)
.                                                                                    Pic: www.Webventure.com.br


(http://gsnorcal.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Rally-Dos-Sertoes/054rs10theoribeiro056354alta/971142615_TEvbC-X2.jpg)
Dave showing his graceful side ;D.                               Pic: www.Webventure.com.br








(http://gsnorcal.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Rally-Dos-Sertoes/125rs10marcelomaragni051324alt/971180568_mZHFm-L.jpg)
For others, in this case Phil, it was time for a quick bath. .        Pic: www.Webventure.com.br








(http://gsnorcal.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Rally-Dos-Sertoes/055rs10theoribeiro056437alta/971154516_iCNGW-X2.jpg)
Phil first tries sweet talking his bike,                                       Pic: www.Webventure.com.br


(http://gsnorcal.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Rally-Dos-Sertoes/055rs10theoribeiro053876alta/971154083_akyEM-L.jpg)
Then gentle prodding,                                                                             Pic: www.Webventure.com.br




(http://gsnorcal.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Rally-Dos-Sertoes/055rs10gabrielbarbosa050503alt/971036489_UNzk9-L.jpg)
And when that doesnít work..ÖPhil, is that you praying??           Pic: www.Webventure.com.br




(http://gsnorcal.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Rally-Dos-Sertoes/055rs10theoribeiro056521alta/971157397_PTqji-L.jpg)
Finally it is time to roll up the sleeves and give it a good thrashing. Pic: www.Webventure.com.br

Forty five minutes later the KTM bursts back into life and Phil presses on. Well done Phil, my brother!!

Phil wasnít the only one.


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other/Sertoesweb0035/1003297288_9WURZ-L.jpg)
Hey, not that way, ďCome back dammit!Ē                                  Pic: www.Webventure.com.br



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other/Sertoesweb0068/1003303080_QxSEn-L.jpg)
                                                                                                                 Pic: www.Webventure.com.br


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other/Sertoesweb0060/1003301545_PTYRN-L.jpg)
                                                                                                  Pic: www.Webventure.com.br



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other/Sertoesweb0065/1003302487_abMBQ-L.jpg)
                                                                                                                 Pic: www.Webventure.com.br



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other/Sertoesweb0066/1003302691_UMoWt-L.jpg)
                                                                                                                 Pic: www.Webventure.com.br


We all get to the finish in one piece. Iím feeling really tired, but Iím glad I took it easy.

The liaison is a mind-numbing and swelteringly hot ride to Palmas, a largish city not unlike Welkom in the Free State, except its on the shore of a massive and very beautiful lake.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/Sertoesw0044/997774426_KP3iD-L.jpg)                                                                                                                 Pic: www.Webventure.com.br

We have to do another Super Prime circuit in front of another big crowd. Itís quite easy, albeit with very tight corners. Quite fun, but not nearly as exciting as the first one in Goiania. I guess we are getting used to the attention and pressure. Either that or I am just too tired to care. Yeah, that must be it.



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other/Sertoesweb0037/1003297507_tNqRL-L.jpg)
That night we hear this guy also took a serious tumble after the river. Pic: www.Webventure.com.br
 
He rolled the bike over himself damaging his knee ligaments and badly lacerating his whole leg, the camera guys caught it all on video. We ďOohĒ and ďAhhĒ in sympathy when they show the clip at the briefing. Amazingly he is not worse off. He will start tomorrow. Incredible.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/stage5-results/1008645891_iFpJX-L.jpg)

We all move up in the ranking, Dave In particular who is still second in his class, well done Dave! I must still formally appeak in writing to have the 15 minutes time I spent helping the injured rider struc from my time. That will push me up a couple of places.

There were a couple of places where I nearly lost it today, so I am satisfied that I took a conservative approach. I think this is the right strategy, because tomorrow is the start of the marathon stages, and they get much, much longer from here onwards. There is also more sand. I needed to take it easy today so I can get through it all. This rally is really beginning to show its teeth.  

:ricky:

Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: XRV-Boy on September 15, 2010, 10:19:47 am
You biscuit!! Im getting some good questions here  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: domstes on September 15, 2010, 10:22:04 am
I am in in awe.  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: KAT-WP on September 15, 2010, 10:31:07 am
Brilliant stuff, love reading this :thumleft:

so hope we get to meet u in Cape Town ;)
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: BlueBull2007 on September 15, 2010, 10:31:19 am
Guys, just quickly refresh, some of those pics did not display correctly. I need to have a nap now  ;)
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Diesel & Dust on September 15, 2010, 10:45:35 am
I CAN"T wait for the next installment, and the next, and the next :mwink:

This is EPIC stuff  :drif:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: CorCorlia on September 15, 2010, 10:50:48 am
 :headbang: :hello2: :bounce: :cheers: :salut: :thumright: :wav:
This is really awesome stuff!!!! Have a nice nap!  Can't wait for the rest!  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: wacko on September 15, 2010, 11:57:17 am
Lekker, :thumleft: now I had my fix and I can do some work :wav:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Would I? on September 15, 2010, 12:28:11 pm
Fantastic Stuff!!!  :thumleft: :thumleft:

Will need to come see your talk in Pretoria on the 1st October with Wife, FireCracker and 4 of our kids.

Work is taking a back seat.... :biggrin: :biggrin:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Puddles on September 15, 2010, 04:08:59 pm
Wow ... those are such awesome water crossing shots of you ... WELL DONE !!!

I can just feel & picture your joy & singing to yourself after that one ... my teeny weeny little water crossings kinda give me the same inner feeling  :biggrin:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Tweets on September 15, 2010, 09:46:45 pm
Absolute magic pics. Looks like the riding is tough BIG TIME. Great RR, More Please :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Mudflapp on September 15, 2010, 10:06:16 pm
This is an epic adventure!! Well done on doing what most of us only dream of!  :drif:

Can't wait for the next stage...  :3some:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: letsgofishing on September 16, 2010, 08:37:16 am
Some awesome pics there!
Big respect BB  :headbang:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Rokie on September 16, 2010, 10:24:39 am
Lekker, :thumleft: now I had my fix and I can do some work

+1
thanks Neil!!
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: funacide on September 16, 2010, 11:04:17 am
Awesome stuff. Some of those pics need to be framed and put up in your bar...

I sign on every day and look at this thread...
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: acidfreak on September 16, 2010, 04:11:43 pm
Nice!! It gets better every day!!
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: goingnowherequickly on September 18, 2010, 08:26:26 am
please sir, can we have some more...
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Swanniebraai on September 18, 2010, 09:38:16 pm
Dis nou lekkerte hierdie hoor! Awesome race Neil, jys n yster!  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: DeonDj on September 19, 2010, 06:23:28 pm
Liewe hel man,dis freaken nice,bring it on
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: bud500 on September 20, 2010, 03:25:08 pm
Incredible!!
Its an emotional roller coaster and I'm only reading....

Well done and many thanks for all the effort with the writing.
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Footloose on September 20, 2010, 04:10:09 pm
Simply awesome. I love the RR. 
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: funacide on September 20, 2010, 09:10:51 pm
Hey BB

Where is the next day... PLEASE I NEED MY FIX  :biggrin: :biggrin: :biggrin:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: BlueBull2007 on September 20, 2010, 09:55:06 pm
:hiding:

Im working on it as we speak, it should be up in the morning. 
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Berm_Rooster on September 21, 2010, 01:41:17 pm
It has been mentioned before. This BELONGS in RoH!!!! It's a no-brainer!

Mods, assumingly you are just waiting for BB to post the last day before you move it? Right? :mwink:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: GlenInk on September 21, 2010, 01:50:20 pm
It has been mentioned before. This BELONGS in RoH!!!! It's a no-brainer!

Mods, assumingly you are just waiting for BB to post the last day before you move it? Right? :mwink:

If they don`t move it to RoH I vote we ban the mods  :mwink:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: g1_ on September 21, 2010, 01:53:59 pm
Agreed!

MJ recent Zambia trip also needs to be moved!
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Berm_Rooster on September 21, 2010, 02:30:10 pm
Thithz izh ridiculouthz

(http://i658.photobucket.com/albums/uu308/dldwet/Forum%20Tools/Sylvester.jpg)
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Berm_Rooster on September 21, 2010, 02:34:12 pm
Can someone press this button?

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Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: acidfreak on September 21, 2010, 02:38:55 pm
I seriously need a Dos Sertoes fix!!
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: funacide on September 21, 2010, 04:02:32 pm
I seriously need a Dos Sertoes fix!!

I agree 100%
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: BlueBull2007 on September 21, 2010, 05:35:51 pm
Just before we go onto the next stage I thought I would post a pic or two from last night that I forgot. Preparation for Stage 5:


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/camp/Sertoess0002/1016640580_m7xeS-L.jpg)
Just look at this road book Ė  Double and triple cautions flow like blood. Those that know how to mark road books properly will know that I left a lot to be desired. Later in the rally I would be see how Marc Coma does it and the difference is unbelievable. I always knew road book marking is very important, but the way it is done can make really make a huge difference to oneís overall speed. Itís critical, not important.



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/camp/Sertoess0003/1016640801_fs6G9-L.jpg)
Anyway the most of the stage today was cautions. People in-the-know tell me this rally is more dangerous than Dakar. I believe them.




 (http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/camp/Sertoess0006/1016640931_yM4EB-L.jpg)
I was so tired last night, Des pointed out I am loading my road book blank-side facing up. He gives me this resigned but amused look that kind of says "I pity you and your offspring".
ďNo, Neil no.Ē I am reminded of that British sitcom called The Young Ones, if you ever watched it, you would know Neil was the really thick hippy. I felt like that Neil right then. And Des sounded just like the guy ripping him off: ďNeil! Just stand back and let me do it.Ē He started to flap and wave me away ďJustÖStand back and let-me-do-it, dammit!Ē  :biggrin:



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/camp/Sertoess0010/1016641154_mZdV5-L.jpg)
I grinned sheepishly still trying to help. Eventually Marcelo stepped in and waved me away as well. I must have been out of it big-time. Kinda explains why I battled the whole day and decided to take it easy.



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/camp/Sertoess0016/1016641563_4dk53-L.jpg)
Setting off on Stage 5. Bike looking a little worse for wear. The paint is boiling off the left tank in the heat of the day. Really upsetting, but there is nothing I can do about it.

Our support crew had another adventure filled day too. DD ran out of fuel in the Doblo. A kind taxi driver took 50 dollars from him and returned half an hour later with some fuel. Wow. People in Brazil are so cool!



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/camp/Sertoess0026/1016642089_JkWdh-L.jpg)
Here he is helping with the refueling.  Muito obrigado!




(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/camp/Sertoess0030/1016642412_bsgkc-L.jpg)
Unloading at the camp in Palmas, at the end of stage 5. We wonder what the car rental company would say if they saw thisÖ



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/camp/Sertoess0040/1016642771_ydBJ8-L.jpg)




(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/camp/Sertoess0054/1016643117_mnPoc-L.jpg)
Palmas (palms) strikes me as being a bit of a playground, there is nice beach on the edge of the lake and plenty of nubile women strolling around in bikinis all day. Interested parties will have to speak to the support crew about that.  :laughing7:




(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/camp/Sertoess0063/1016643290_BYpEK-L.jpg)




(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/camp/Sertoess0067/1016643466_iSHZY-L.jpg)
Sitting in the briefing for Stage 6, I notice that there are considerably less attendees. The attrition rate of the rally has been high so far, but we have made it to the half way mark.



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/camp/Sertoess0074/1016644510_Zubic-L.jpg)
Itís quite an outlandish feeling to think we only have 5 days of racing to go. Unbelievable. But it feels really, REALLY good and we are all exuberant. There is a glimmer of hope that we might actually have a chance of finishing this thing. Just as long as the light at the end of the tunnel is not an oncoming train!



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/camp/Sertoess0073/1016644324_LXLEw-L.jpg)
These are the guys who have laid out the course, they take life seriously. Theyíre very serious about racing. Concerned that it all goes well. They talk to us about the day ahead, sand, more sand, plenty of tricky navigation and multiple roads that look the same but leads in different directions. We are warned not to get lost.

They tell us that tomorrow is the start of the marathon, and that we will not have the support crews with us for the next two days. We will be given only 20 minutes to work on our bikes at the end of the stage, using only tools and products we carry with us. Thereafter, the bikes will be locked away in the park ferme until 10 minutes before our start times the next day. This time is only to be used for loading our road books.  Anyone caught recieving external support in the next two days will be disqualified.

Our newly found confidence is suddenly shaken. Are our bikes up to it? None of us are that convinced.

 (http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/camp/Sertoess0072/1016644064_oVLrv-L.jpg)
The briefing is given in Portuguese, so we get ear phones and listen to an English translation. The soothing and calm female voice is way better than listening to gruff, hard-core bellowing coming from the front. Its a nice benefit the locals don't get.




(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/camp/Sertoess0070/1016643638_KDwXo-L.jpg)
Here she is. There are only about five of us who are English in the whole competition, itís basically the polish guys and us. So naturally we make friends with Marieta who we see every evening with her electrical equipment.

We moan and bitch that all our internet fans are not getting live updates. Where are the videos? Where are the promised photos? Itís all a bit disorganized, we learn the guy who is supposed to be updating the site was travelling back to Sao Paulo and is still finalizing the programming. She assures us she will talk to the press crowd and get their act together. Then she invites us into the pressroom. Its air conditioned and has internet, there are maybe 20 people working on laptops. Why the heck is the info not getting out? I guess it's mostly Brazilian sites. Anyway, I get on the web and update the Wilddogs on what has been happening. Very cool! Marieta and Co. are amazed at the level of interest on the forum  and support we are getting (thanks guys Ďn gals!!) and so she resolves to personally make sure the video and pictures get out on the net.



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/camp/Sertoess0076/1016644753_VvLJh-L.jpg)
I blow a kiss to all my loving supporters out there.

Itís worth saying here that the net is the new medium for following rallies here, TV coverage is always so crap, so the best thing to do is get out the search pages and look up the blogs. If anyone is toying with the idea of setting up a rally at some stage in the future, one of the most important things from a marketing perspective is good coverage, and the internet is the medium for it. Web TV, bring it on!


Stage six coming upÖ
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Kamanya on September 21, 2010, 06:00:13 pm
Aggh, nee fok man!

Must I come over there and type for you?
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: domstes on September 21, 2010, 06:07:59 pm

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/camp/Sertoess0002/1016640580_m7xeS-L.jpg)
Just look at this road book Ė  Double and triple cautions flow like blood. Those that know how to mark road books properly will know that I left a lot to be desired. Later in the rally I would be see how Marc Coma does it and the difference is unbelievable. I always knew road book marking is very important, but the way it is done can make really make a huge difference to oneís overall speed. Itís critical, not important.


Yeah sure we have done Lots of rallyes....   >:D

I would not know roadbook if it bit me...
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: BlueBull2007 on September 21, 2010, 08:46:10 pm
 Stage 6 Palmas (TO)Ė S.Fťlix do Tocantins (TO)

109km - Initial Liaison
424km Ė Special Stage
2km Ė Final Liaison

Total for the day 535km.



(http://www.sertoes.com/imagens/roteiros/2010.jpg)


Today's stage is the first of the really long ones, with over 400km of special section to complete, we expect it to be rough. Its going to be a long day so we are up early. Its still dark.

The mechanics are still working on the bikes, theyre doing final tests now. They are pretty rough bunch, donít even having tents to sleep in; nor do they have sleeping bags or mattresses Ė except for Marceloís camp bed.


(http://desmcd.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Rally-Dos-Sertoes-2010/Dos-Sertoes-2010-w-Wild-West/989595331_oVzc2-L.jpg)
They drive all day, and work all night.




(http://desmcd.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Rally-Dos-Sertoes-2010/Dos-Sertoes-2010-w-Wild-West/989598186_u4oai-L.jpg)
I walk over to my bike and see this. If only his mother could see him now, she would probably kill us all.  ;D

Rallies is nie vir sissies nie.  


The support crew arenít much better off, theyíve been working their asses off to keep us going.

(http://desmcd.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Rally-Dos-Sertoes-2010/Dos-Sertoes-2010-w-Wild-West/989596235_4GNh9-L.jpg)
Randall stands there wondering where he is and what he was supposed to be doing. Camp zombies stumble about everywhere, there has been little or no sleep for five nights in a row. We are all a bit zonked to be honest. The fatigue is catching up with everyone.


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/camp/Sertoess0084/1016645138_vinvG-L.jpg)
Des does a great job in keeping the atmosphere light. He is his usual, highly amusing self. He is ranting on about how the riders are not really important at all, all we do is ride all day and screw up the bikes for the support team to fix. Dave raises an eyebrow. His eyes are bloodshot, he looks pretty scarey. But then he forgets about it, he is supposed to be getting ready. Des is not preturbed in the least, he continues with his relentless diatribe, much to the amusement of the others. But it serves it's purpose of distracting us and I for one am pleased about that. Pre-race tension is diminished somehow with laughter.



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/camp/Sertoess0086/1016645366_iMJ9Y-L.jpg)
The condition of my bike's paint job is rapidly deteriorating, but that's the only issues thing for me this morning, and as I said earlier, there is nothing that can be done about that, it's just the way the cookie crumbles.



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/camp/Sertoess0087/1016645626_SyxfY-L.jpg)
The boys have been at it all night again. New tyres on my new rims, new oil, new filters. It starts okay, the battery has been sorted out and I feel better than I have felt about the condition of the bike since the beginning of the rally. I'm exceedingly happy with the Uruguayans, we have built up a great relationship and I can see they have fallen in love with a new baby: My bike. Its actually not even my bike anymore, its become their bike. They tell me to look after it and they will get me to the finish. Marcello points at me when he says this, and I believe him. I will get to the finish. For these guys. Meanwhile, Des checks to see where we have the oil breather, itís going to puke oil again today thatís for sure. At least this time it won't be all over my left foot and gear lever. This was a problem yesterday.




(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/camp/Sertoess0088/1016645931_JrJQc-L.jpg)
I set off, five minutes later, I get my time card and am gone on another butt-numbing 100km liaison to the start of the special. Just so long as I don't take the wrong artery out of Palmas.



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/camp/Sertoess0091/1016646741_vrwev-L.jpg)
Although it doesn't look like it on the photos, itís still pretty early and I am gone before the sun is even up.



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/camp/Sertoess0093/1016646956_DcWms-L.jpg)
The others start a little bit later so have more time to get ready.


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/camp/Sertoess0102/1016647201_s3ig6-L.jpg)
Some parakeets yell at the guys from a tree.


(http://desmcd.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Rally-Dos-Sertoes-2010/Dos-Sertoes-2010-w-Wild-West/989600157_NmkHa-XL.jpg)
Marcelo watches the one of the two medical helicopters leaving for its daily duty: Picking up broken and beaten pilots.

(http://desmcd.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Rally-Dos-Sertoes-2010/Dos-Sertoes-2010-w-Wild-West/989618722_W8hwS-L.jpg)
The boys are so thankful they have the day off. No more tyres to change, no oil changes, air filter changes, carburetors to strip, navigation equipment to work on, suspensions, and no more electrical problems. Until tomorrow night. Des books everyone into a hotel and they sleep all day. What a legend!

Des Reports in:
Charlie thanks a million for being the chief enabler of our USA team (s) ! We are in Palmas, Brazil next to a big river like you see in NatGeo. Ate super rad rainbow colored fish for dinner last night. All crew fried from very little sleep but we are now in a Hotel resting up for the blast to Balsas. The guys on the bikes are doing exceptionally well. We are very proud of them.

Brazilian people are just awesome, super, super, super.

The crews with real rally support trucks come over at gas stops and in the bivi saying stuff like "you guys are our heroes, we just can't believe you are going to try to make it in the kombi". We thank them and then cackle of down the road passing as many of them as we can. It is hard to get to the bivi before Dave, Neil and Phil each day. We are truly "full gas" and "peddle to the metal". I very much appreciate the times I have had the honor of driving a real Rally Pan Am prepped F350 (thank you Charlie). I am sure we will make it somehow. We got in a pretty fun race with Jacek's MAN Dakar truck. Their crew basically has sore ribs from laughing each time we get up enough steam to pass them in the Super Numero Uno Chingon Kombi or Pinche Doblo 24 tires on the fake roof rack mobile.

We will call the Organicao this afernoon to make sure all of our guys are in OK. If they have a problem we have some friends on teams with real support vehicles out in Sao Felix that will bring them here to us if something happens. But NOTHING IS GOING TO HAPPEN TO OUR GUYS TODAY I hope and we will just leave in morning and catch them in Balsas.

We are teamed up with Team Uruguay and Laurent Lazard. He has allowed us to share his mechanics from down near Montevideo. Antonio (farioli) has been a fantastic help in organizing the mechanical support from these amazing guys from Uruguay. As those that have been to a rally know, supporting a few riders at the same time is an awesome responsibilty and a mountain of work each day. It is working very well so far.

We saw a bird that looked like it had got its beak stuck in the end of a banana. Randy Fish said "idiot that is a Toucan".

Wow, just received text from Charlie re the boys in Mongolia all finishing safe, sound and in 1st place (Jonah). Fantastic.

Wish us luck. Thanks for all the well wishes. Bye. Must go change engine and transmission in VW now. Not.

Des and Randy




Meanwhile, I arrive at the start of the special. Iím tired already and I donít feel like sitting on the bike anymore. At least I suppose I will be moving around. I normally stand on the tighter stuff, but find myself sitting or ďhoveringĒ behind the nav. tower more often to minimize wind resistance anywhere I can go fast. So Iím not too pleased I have a numb ass already. Iím beginning to really appreciate the advice legendary Dakar privateer Christophe Barriere-Varju gave me: "Always wear a double pair of cycling shorts under your riding pants. You know, the type without the padding." The slippery material reduces wear and tear in the nether regions and believe me after 5-6 days in the saddle all day long you do not want a rash or horse-sores to get started. Mix that with some sweat and a quick trip into the bush somewhere on a stage and you can end up with a filthy, raw and bleeding, festering disaster zone that is simply too painful to sit on and can ruin your whole rally, never mind your day.  
:puke_r: :pottytrain2:  
Riders don't often talk about this for obvious reasons, but it happens and it can and does end people's rallies.  :sad2: At this juncture I would like to personally endorse Johnson & Johnson's baby oil, it does wonders for planet Uranus.  :biggrin: Oh ja, it also makes a great emergency replacement brake fluid. No rider should be allowed out there without a small bottle of the stuff.


Right...moving on.:biggrin:


My special starts smoothly which is a great change. Iím feeling relaxed as I follow a twisting track up the side of a steep hillside. The bike is sliding around beneath me, but Iím in control and its really good fun. Itís very dusty, but thatís because there are three quads in front of me. -Did I tell you I hate quads?- I canít get close enough to pass the bastards, it just too dangerous, so I ease back and enjoy the scenery a bit instead, relax and wait for an opportunity once the breeze picks up or the terrain changes.

After about an hour, we enter an area that looks like Zambian bush, lots of biggish trees growing in light brown sand. The road varies between very soft, and hard conditions and it take a little bit of getting used to moving through the different materials.  There are patches of soft stuff in the potholes and the bikes breakthrough in places into more soft stuff. I catch one of the quads and get past him smugly, on a corner he has taken too wide. The bloke is having a bit of drama, thrashing through thick undergrowth alongside the road.  



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/Sertoesw0049/997775820_UmUm3-L.jpg)
Iím loving it and the ride is going well.



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/Sertoesw0043/997774332_ttqX5-L.jpg)
It gets more and more sandy. The bike is all over the place but when youíre squirreling along 140km/hr it tends to self-correct. I relax on the bars and let it do its thing, rather shifting my weight on the pegs when itís necessary to change direction. This is so much fun.
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Snafu on September 21, 2010, 09:33:29 pm
Huh, its not the end of the stage!! :P
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: BlueBull2007 on September 21, 2010, 09:35:09 pm
Yeah the posts are limited to 20,000 characters, I will have the next one out in a lil bit, working on it now.
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Snafu on September 21, 2010, 09:37:43 pm
kk, just checking :)
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Brink on September 21, 2010, 09:39:14 pm
Great report Neil :thumleft:

You must be taking as much strain in doing the report than you did in the race :eek7:

Respect :notworthy: :paw: :notworthy:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Rooies on September 21, 2010, 09:55:00 pm
Great stuff BB2007, thanks for the effort!   :thumleft:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Just Blip It! on September 21, 2010, 10:30:52 pm
Lovin' it!! 8)
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Sir Rat on September 21, 2010, 11:28:18 pm
Waar's die res dan nou Oom?   :peepwall:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: BlueBull2007 on September 22, 2010, 06:44:37 am
(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/Sertoesw0049/997775820_UmUm3-L.jpg)

We stop for a refuel and press on. The bush gets smaller again and after a while we turn off the road and start following soft, sandy tracks.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other/Sertoesweb0074/1003303999_mtjWV-L.jpg)
Stuff like this. It is easy so long as you have some speed, but it gets more twisty and I need to do a lot more work getting the bike around the corners. I follow my friend and fellow ADVrider inmate Vincente Benedict (vbenedict) for a while, but he is riding slower and I end up working harder to keep the bike there. I wait for the road to straighten a little and blast past him, its narrow and I nearly take us both out as I make the gap thanks to the uneven tracks in the sand. Keeping the speed high, I dodge a deep, nasty rut that develops on the right hand side of the track. Vincente pulls in behind me but drops back a bit to get out of my dust.

Quickly we are into deep, white sand again and the track becomes more tortured as it turns and little twists around trees. We slide from one track into the other to get the best line through each corner, it's very hard work because most of the corners are blind thanks to the thick bush. Lots of emergency braking is necessary and in a couple of place, the bush is all flattened where faster guys have overshot and gone gardening. The bush has encroached on us and tears away at our bikes and clothes, it is time to really hang on. The road tightens even more and I have to slow the pace, spinning the bike MX-style through each bend: Left, right, left right, left fork, right turn, left right, right fork and so on. The navigation gets more complicated because everything looks the same. Its only a  matter of time as I miss a turn somewhere and after a while notice the tracks are no longer fresh. Damn. All the little turns look so similar. Vincente has followed me and realizing our error, has turned around before me, so I follow him, hoping he is not as disoriented as I am. We are soon onto fresh tracks again but it takes me a good ten minutes to work out where I am in the road book. All that time I am nipping we are going to hit a caution but it blessfully turns out to be unwarranted. Vincente's dust and my more cautious riding has slowed me down though, and it takes a good 20 minutes for me to catch Vincente again.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other/Sertoesweb0080/1003304561_T3i7G-L.jpg)
Here he is earlier in the stage. When I watch him riding he is very precise and cautious, and it pays off, because he always does well.

I manage to get past him again before we enter another hectic series of sandy track. The main track has some bad erosions in it and we're constantly twisting and turning on and off tributaries to the main track. The navigation is still difficult as is the riding technical and strenuous. After a while I get too tired and lose it on a corner, plumping down ungracefully into the soft sand. There is sand everywhere, in my boots, down my jacket and in my helmet. Somehow it even gets into my goggles and eyes. It takes me a couple of minutes to sort myself out, and get the overheated bike started again, but even so no-one passes me during this time.

Iím thankful for that, but Iím really exhausted, and I wonder how much further I have to go. I normally know from the mileage that I write on the edge of my road book each night indicating refuelling points, end of special etc. Today it has rubbed off. The ICO which only goes up to 99km tells me Iím at 0.230 km so I really hope Iím in the last hundred kilometers or so. I spend the next few minutes trying to remember how far the liaison is. Was it four or five hundred kilometers to the end? Eventually it comes to me that I already had a 100km liaison so I still have over 100km to go even though Iím on over 400km on the road book!

I suck at my camelback and it goes dry. Oh boy. Nothing for it now but to press onwards as fast as possible. I have a 3 litre water tank but trying to get water out of is just going to waste more time. This is not an emergency - yet.  The sandy road is unremitting, itís not so fun anymore because it is slow and I have to compensate with my arms twisting the bars back and forth the whole time. This is one huge endless MX circuit we are riding and it is almost comical in its monotony. I build up a kind of numbing rhythm, braking hard on the rear end to slide the bike into each corner, stamping the ground with my feet to keep the bike up, and wringing the throttleís neck as I burst through the far side of each corner. The tails whips out and I get a bit of a tank slapper each time as I pull away. There is wrestling to be done to keep the bike out of the trees and bush that is overgrowing the trail. Then its straight into the next corner, more hard braking again and so on.

I have lost my sense of direction, I cannot see the GPS reading thanks to the glaring sun, so all I do is count the kilometers on the ICO, ten, twenty, thirty, forty, each time working out that I have probably only one hundred more to go, because I donít remember exactly how far it was. Was it 580 or 530km? This is all I can think about, and force myself to keep it up so as not to start panicking about the water situation and the unbearable heat. The bike is really hot and I have had the fans running for most of the stage. Oil has been pouring out the breather vent and the front of my bike is a mess of sand and oil. This is a test of equipment all right. I drop the bike twice more but and its all getting a bit desperate when suddenly the track T-junctions against a nice welcoming, wide, sandy road. About thirty kilometers later I arrive at the end of the special. What a relief.

I think I have been battling when leaving the time control point, I pass a pilot running along, pushing his bike along the last 2km liaison. I stop next to him and ask him if he needs help. His handlebars have come completely off and are lying on his fuel tank. It looks like he has somehow stripped the main bolts holding them on. He just stares at me, through me really, his eyes look vacant and dead. Not a word. He passes me without stopping continuing up the road. I ask him if he is okay. Again he ignores me. How he is keeping the wheel straight is beyond me.

I quite disturbed by this, but shrug it off, I need to get out of this heat and to the park ferme myself before my maximum time for the liaison runs out. 


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/camp/Sertoess0507/1016863116_4UAoV-L.jpg)
The park ferme is a fenced off lot in the village.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/camp/Sertoess0506/1016862559_TkVZt-L.jpg)
Filling up at the only fuel pump, I pull in and meet the FIM officials. My Italian friend is looking very serious and tells me I have fifteen minutes left. What? What happened to the twenty minutes I was supposed to have? He tells me that includes refueling. Hmm. That leaves me with very little time, I had better get to it. I pull off my seat and replace the air filter. I top up my oil with a little bottle I have in a pocket in my jacket. There is just enough time for me to put my fairing on and park the bike.

I suddenly realize I am lost without our support crew. I feel terribly alone. Dave and Phil are still out there somewhere riding the sand track from hell. Where are we going to sleep tonight? I stand at the entrance of the par ferme and look about. This village looks not much better that your typical South African squatter camp. I stumble along a street for about 500m before I come across some Brazilian riders relaxing in the shade outside a hut. They welcome me, and tell me to sit down and relax. They kindly offer me a coke. Iím parched and down it really fast. It is so, so hot, it must be close to 40 degrees in the shade out here. I munch on an energy bar and start to feel a little bit better. Iím hoping I can share the hut with them but there is not enough space. Anyway there is Dave and Phil to worry about too.

How the heck am I going to find a place to stay? I canít speak the language, who do I ask? I have no idea. I canít exactly invite myself into someoneís house. It wouldnít be right. The Brazilians riders tell me they are off for some food, but I can use the shower in their rented house. I gratefully accept and relax under a cold shower. This solves all my problems temporarily, although itís a weird situation: The owner of the house, a old lady is bustling about and waits for me politely outside the shower. It all a bit awkward because all there is, is a curtain between us. I donít have a towel or a change of clothes, but Iím too tired to really care. I pull on my riding shorts and shirt again and stumble outside with my jacket, pants, knee braces, and armored vest in a bundle under my one arm with and my helmet under my other arm. She says something to me I don't understand. I smile back at her and tell her in Afrikaans: "Ek is moeg geploeg. Baiae dankie vir die stort."

What do I do with my boots? I have no spare hands. I donít have slops or anything so I figure I just have to put them on. I must look quite the sight: This pale gringo in blue underwear and riding boots, white legs reflecting in the sun, lumping this huge bundle of heavy kit along the street. I realize this is crazy, so I go back and just dump it all outside the house. If someone wants it they can take it. It stinks pretty bad anyway. I return to the fuel station see if I can find a place to eat as well. Iíve developed the usual post-ride insatiable, ravenous appetite and I need to sort that out fast.

Next to the fuel station is a little open-air hut made of grass. Theyíre selling food inside, Phil and Dave have arrived and are also there! Theyíre looking pretty worse for wear. Absolutely f***** actually, the same as me, there is no other way to describe it. I grab some stewed meat with rice and avoid the salad, a surefire way to get the runs. We sit at the table silently devouring the food before us. Dave finishes first and set about looking for accommodation outside with another rider acting as translator. I ask the cook in Spanish if he knows where we can stay. He disappears for a while and comes back with this elderly gentleman in tow who says he can help us. I call Dave who has also found a place but my guy sounds like a better deal, so we opt to follow him, slowly walking through the village of San Felix de Tocantins. We trudge out the opposite side and looking at each other we wonder how far he is going to go. Walking in boots is really not that fun and we are missing our bikes already.

We eventually arrive at the last house in the village, his place clearly. He opens it up and reveals a simple, very rustic, but functional layout. It turns out he is some or other government official, quite the big shot here. The fridge is full of oranges and fresh milk; he has some buns out for us and shows us the bedrooms. We have a bed each in two rooms. Real beds! A real, cold shower. He has internet! Amazing out here in the boonies and there is internet. Talk about luxury, especially compared to the revolting conditions we have been camping in so far. We wonder where he will be staying, because there are only three beds. He insists the place is ours, he will stay somewhere elsewhere and hands us the key, explaining where to hide it when we go out. We are stumped by his generosity. We ask him how much we owe him and he tells us it is his small gift to us. He wants no money.

We are flabbergasted. Do you know of anyone who is prepared to move out of his house for a group of filthy dirty bikers you have never met? I donít. Not until today. It humbles us immensely, we are so grateful. We have to leave something for this guy. I go back across town to fetch my gear while the other decide to visit a local spring for a wash.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other/Sertoesweb0079/1003304441_A8sfE-L.jpg)
It turns out to be really beautiful.

I take another shower to cool off instead and have a powernap as well. Sleeping on a bed without the sound of machines around me is a wonderful, wonderful thing indeed. When I wake up feel really rejuvenated, I think I must have got a little bit of heat exhaustion.

We stroll back into town, three muskateers dressed in only our underwear. We comment where would this be considered pretty weird behavior, but over here we only attract sympathetic smiles. Its time for the briefing, and we crowd into in a junior school classroom. Our translator is not there, but it wouldnt have helped the briefing was chaos. I spend the next hour trying to get my time back for helping the injured guy the day before. I have to apply in writing. I get this done and while I eat dinner, I get a response from the FIM race committee next door that my appeal is accepted, even though it is a day late. I celebrate by eating another dinner, washed down with electrolyte replacement I brought with me.

I trot back to our palace set into the shack and set to marking my road book with the guys. We feel like kings here, really. It's strangley quiet, real bliss. We discuss the day quietly, it was tough, very hot, but not so bad anymore. We are all a little concerned about our bikes. Phil has electrical problems, nothing works. Dave has a leaking shock and a fuel problem. I seem to be okay, but Im worried about cooking the engine. We can get through tomorrow. Its going to be another 450km of the same. We can do it again. We will do it. One step at a time. Its only four stages to go now. We cannot crash out. We will not crash out. As Phil aptly has written on his bike. Focus. Flow. Finish.

We hit lights out and instantly asleep. A really nice, peaceful sleep.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/stage6-results/1017634104_V8sJ8-L.jpg)

Phil and I have climbed 11 places today, and 10 & 9 places overall. We both climbed 4 places in our class. AWESOME. Dave holds his position in his class but drops two places, also fantastic. We feel like heroes. Phil and I would be if we could just manage our radar zone penalties! At least we have no new ones today.

As I dream about the hardships of my race today, I have no inkling of the epic experience that is about to befall me tomorrow.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other/Sertoesweb0073/1003303900_8NVYP-L.jpg)

Itís the second marathon stage bringing fresh challenges including this river crossing among others.

Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: BlueBull2007 on September 22, 2010, 06:51:11 am
Hmmm, too much petty detail/too much text? Let me know. :-\


Im sorry this stage didnt have many pics, we were in the boonies big time. 

Im flying out to RSA at 5pm your time, I hope to get the next issue out by then, dis harde werk mense. Brink jy's reg, its moeilike as die rally self!  ;D
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Kreef on September 22, 2010, 07:13:50 am
Hmmm, too much petty detail/too much text? Let me know. :-\


Not too much text at all!!! I love reading every single word!!!
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Marnus on September 22, 2010, 07:19:18 am
No way BB!!!  It's like reading a horror novel  >:D

Seriously, we really appreciate the effort you are putting into this RR  :thumleft:  For most of us, this will be the closest we'll ever get to the Dos Sertoes rally.

 :drif:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Aquatic on September 22, 2010, 08:11:35 am
"Ek is moeg geploeg. Baiae dankie vir die stort."
:imaposer: :imaposer: :imaposer:

Daai tannie het seker vir haarself gedink "Watse stront praat die Laanie nou?"

Hmmm, too much petty detail/too much text? Let me know. :-\

Oh hell no!!!

This was the best stage yet!!!! The stuff you find in coffee table books!
EPIC SHIT!


I still want an autographed copy of the book. Debst it way back.

If you are ever in Brisbane prepping for the Aus Safari :mwink:, I'll buy you a beer
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: letsgofishing on September 22, 2010, 08:17:54 am
Hmmm, too much petty detail/too much text? Let me know. :-\


Not too much text at all!!! I love reading every single word!!!

+100!

BB, your report/writing is fantastic - gives one a real insight into the nitty gritty and details of what's involved in an event like this!
I know it's a huge amount of effort to compile a report like this - thanks once again for your dedication!
Hope you have a good flight over to SA
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Puddles on September 22, 2010, 08:30:32 am
Your RR is PERFECT ...

Thanx for all the hard work in putting this together & sharing the experience ... you write it in such a way that we "live" it in the moment  :thumleft:  :thumleft:  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: RUPTO on September 22, 2010, 08:35:18 am
Perfect as is
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: ThinkMike on September 22, 2010, 08:35:52 am
This is just flippen awesome. Hero Dude!!!!!!!!!! BIGGEST RESPECT ever!!!
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Would I? on September 22, 2010, 09:05:59 am
This is fantastic!!!!!  Really loving it. Please keep it up.  :biggrin: :biggrin:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Crossed-up on September 22, 2010, 09:36:12 am
Keep it up to the very end.  :thumleft:  It's the best thing I've read since God knows when.  Thank you, thank you.
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: acidfreak on September 22, 2010, 09:48:48 am
100% as it is BB!! Thanks a lot for the effort!
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: funacide on September 22, 2010, 09:51:09 am
Absolutely Loving this, definitely not too much text...

Thanks for all the effort.
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: domstes on September 22, 2010, 10:05:19 am
BB REALLY thanks for the effort.  :thumleft: :thumleft:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Wheelman on September 22, 2010, 11:14:11 am
BB, you are really living a dream for us old bugger's  :thumleft: Fantastic reporting....what an adventure...

Take care
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: BlueBull2007 on September 22, 2010, 04:59:30 pm
 
Okay its boarding time, see you in the land of milk and honey  :biggrin:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: roxenz on September 22, 2010, 05:09:28 pm
Safe flight, bru!  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Footloose on September 22, 2010, 10:25:27 pm
This my daily fix.

And it is way better than Long Way Round or Long Way Down. In my view you have accomplished more than old Charlie and Ewan.

Thanks for the huge effort in doing this RR.
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Rbacknz on September 23, 2010, 05:21:48 am
You said earlier that you were worried about to much text or petty words. MATE!! we are living off every word you put here. To be honest I dont want it to finish.  :ricky:
Have a good time in S.A.
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: KTM Jagermeister on September 23, 2010, 01:39:49 pm
Stunning! I am enjoying every second!
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Rokie on September 23, 2010, 03:00:35 pm
. . . have I mentioned  :drif:  :drif:  :drif:  :drif:

SO cool of you to put all this effort into the RR!! SEROUSLY good stuff.

Looking forward to meeting you in Slaapstad!!
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Kenisis on September 23, 2010, 03:26:47 pm
Hi Neil.

Keep the Words coming. It gives the rest of us a feeling of what you were going through!

Cheers

A
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: MOGGIE on September 24, 2010, 10:36:04 pm
Welcome home Niel I hope you have a great time here. I would like to be at your Presentation but it is unforunately to far foe me to come. Keep it up.
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: zetman on September 24, 2010, 11:51:00 pm
Ja welkom in die land van magau en zamalek sien uit na jou kuier en gesels sien jou vrydag 
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Ian in Great Brak River on September 25, 2010, 05:29:20 am
Man Alive  !!

Neil this is the "Cool Bananas" of adventure racing .... stunning RR, what could possibly be coming next ??

Respect with a capital "K" china.

Ringdahl..?  moske lidt dansk i dig ?   ...I'm married to a Dane.

Can't wait for the next installment.

 :thumleft:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Alan on September 25, 2010, 01:24:35 pm
Welcome home Neil, hope you had a good flight, and all is well. Looking forward to meeting you in slaapstad dude.  :thumleft:

regards

Al
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Rbacknz on October 03, 2010, 10:54:45 pm
MORE PLEASE SIR.  :pot:We havnt had our fix for a while now.  :3some:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Mr. Python on October 05, 2010, 06:59:45 am
 :thumleft:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Diesel & Dust on October 05, 2010, 07:48:55 am
BB - gooi us a bone PLEASE :lamer:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Tenrider on October 05, 2010, 09:18:21 am
I have not had my .....daily....fix ...yet today :'(.....having withdrawal.....symptoms :diablo_ani_fire:.....need more :tard:!!!!!!!! Keep it coming bud. :thumleft:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: BlueBull2007 on October 05, 2010, 02:00:33 pm
Hi Guys, sorry, I have been really busy this week and will be until Sunday/Monday. When I fly back to Peru  :-\  I will update and finish the last four days then...believe me it is worth the wait.
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: funacide on October 05, 2010, 03:02:04 pm
Hi Guys, sorry, I have been really busy this week and will be until Sunday/Monday. When I fly back to Peru  :-\  I will update and finish the last four days then...believe me it is worth the wait.

Unacceptable.... Need a fix soon  O0 O0 O0
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: acidfreak on October 05, 2010, 03:07:38 pm
Hi Guys, sorry, I have been really busy this week and will be until Sunday/Monday. When I fly back to Peru  :-\  I will update and finish the last four days then...believe me it is worth the wait.

I'm sure it will be! Can't wait!
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Rbacknz on October 08, 2010, 02:07:44 am
Had to bump this back up to the top of the list. It is too good to be forgotten about.  :biggrin:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: BlueBull2007 on October 10, 2010, 12:01:31 am
(http://www.sertoes.com/imagens/roteiros/2010.jpg)

 STAGE 7 -  S.Fťlix do Tocantins (TO) Ė Balsas (MA)

12km - Initial Liaison
501km Ė Special Stage
7km Ė Final Liaison

Total for the day 520km.


We wake before dawn as usual; itís amazing how refreshed we feel. What an nice snooze it was indeed! These marathon stages sure do have their advantages. We shove down a few rolls and oranges lock up and trot over to the park ferme. There is a crowd on eager bikers being held back by the officials. No-one is allowed in before their time, and when they do go in, itís carefully recorded as is their time coming out. They donít even allow us to start our bikes, we have to push them out and start only when we have been waved off.
 

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/camp/Sertoess0507/1016863116_4UAoV-L.jpg)

I get my time and move in with my road book rolled up ready to go. I have stuck some strips of duct tape to the side of my road book and I fiddle with the motor and the rollers to get the scroll lined up properly and onto the machine. Itís a 500km road book which rolls up too big to fit the whole thing in. If you load too much paper, then the little motor does not work and you have a mare to deal with that will lose you a lot of time, so it is very important to spend time on the loading process to make sure the paper winds on properly.  In this case I have to tear off about half and put it in my pocket, and roll the other half onto the machine. I make sure that the section I tear off is past the first refueling point, where we have 15 minutes neutralization time to fill up and sort out our lives. I can roll the other half on then.

Good stuff. I have about 4 minutes to hang about, and I take the time to relax and just chill. I watch a couple of quad bikers getting ready. One of them had some kind of technical problem with his bike and he is prodding something in his engine. An official comes up to him and instructs him not to touch, he has to wait until his bike is outside and he is on the liaison. The poor guy has to push his bike out of the park ferme and then work on it outside. I think itís pretty anally retentive, but I also remind myself that this is racing, and the Dakar is far worse with this kind of thing.

I get called and I start my bike. The damn thing doesnít want to start! I try again, helping the engine with the kicker and it fires. Thank God. I set off on the short liaison, basically reversing our route from yesterday for the first bit. Then it turns off to the north and I get to the start of the special. I take my place in the line, get my time card stamped, have my time written in and line up for the start. Everyday there is the same excitement and nervousness, Its old hat for us now, weíve done this for seven days running, but the butterflies just donít disappear. The start is in deep sand, and the official has to dive away every time he does the countdown to avoid being covered in sand. He is wearing a dust mask as well. Must be an awful job.

I brace over the bars and at 3 seconds to go I lean forward and whack the throttle, dropping the clutch at one second. The bike slowly pitches forward and in a few seconds

Iím doing 130km/hr along a little two track, literally floating over the sand like a ship. Itís great. This road is not as tight so we can really fly along. The area has seen a huge veldt fire and there is nothing left, the road is open and itís easy to see what is coming up. The gap between the cautions in the road book is big so I can focus on the riding and enjoy myself.

Iím just thinking how fast I am going when Ze Helio who started a minute behind me blasts past me ten minutes into the stage.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other/b/1039980100_nbj7E-L.jpg)
He is really moving on that Speedbrain BMW of his, and he waves his leg in the air to thank me. Shit. Itís a pleasure boet, I never even knew you were coming! Good thing I held my line.


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other/a/1039979936_9JM8q-L.jpg)
I feel a sense of honor to be sharing the track with a guy like this.  I accelerate to keep up with him but the speed at which he corners is too much for me and I can only stay with him for about 10 minutes, all the time he is edging a little further away. Itís really impressive but at the same time I feel great being able to keep up with him to some extent. He has nothing to lose, no wife, no kids, a paid professional. I donít have the same situation, I need to walk after the rally so obviously I donít take the same carefree attitude he does into the corners! Even so, Ze is a human being after all it is possible to ride with these guys albeit for only a while. It does wonders for my confidence.

Iím enjoying todayís riding a lot more than yesterday, its similar riding but my ďflowĒ is somehow better: Iím cornering better, navigating better and probably riding the same speed but it feels faster. Of course itís possible to flick the ICO over to show speed with the control switch on my left bar, but then you canít see your ODO. I guess that is why some guys have two of them on their bikes. Iím doing just fine with mine.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other/Sertoesweb0102/1003307260_gNd2C-L.jpg)



Decyphering a rally road-book

Some of you may be wondering how a road book and ICO is used to navigate.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/roadbook/1040364797_gt2vJ-XL.jpg)
Looking the above example, the road book is divided into three sections vertically. In the left column are the distances of each waypoint (WP) from the start in kilometers in big, bold numbering. The first one on the top right of the above photo is 231.22km. The little number beneath it in the white box is the distance to the next WP in kilometers, in this case 0.17km, or 170m.

The middle column has the tulip diagrams representing each WP, always shown in plan-view. North is not necessarily at the top of this ďmapĒ, the direction you are travelling in when you reach a point is always upwards, with an arrow showing the direction you will be travelling, starting with a dot at the bottom, in this case, highlighted in green at point at 231.39km. The dot always marks the ďstarting pointĒ just before each WP. In this tulip, a solid arrow indicates a left hand turn off from the main road. In other words at 231.39km there is a sharp left hand turn off the road you are travelling along. The type of line is important, for example a solid line (as shown in this case) represents a road; if it is a thin line a small track; a dashed line a very small path; and a dotted line is no track but only the direction you should be heading, normally accompanied by a CAP heading (or compass bearing).

On the right hand column of the strip there are normally codes and other important information related to that particular waypoint. The single exclamation (!) mark represents a single caution or something of importance. A double exclamation represents a double caution, something that could cause you to crash. A triple caution (!!!)  like the one shown in the photo at 231.22km is something that is highly dangerous that could result in very serious injury or death of the rider should he or she ignore it.

There are also letters that are codes for various obstacles to be negotiated or landmarks that can be used for navigational purposes. So for example reading from the top I know that I have a very dangerous dip, followed by a sharp right (D, ďderechaĒ or right in Portuguese) onto a small track (narrower line). 170m after that there is a sharp left (E, escierdo or left) that I need be aware of, easy to miss. Then I have 730m before WP 232.12 where I continue straight through a hole in the road, this is not cautioned, so itís more of a landmark than anything else. So I know to expect this landmark and when I get there, check and adjust my ICO reading to match the road book as I go through it, knowing that I only have 260m before another very dangerous dip (pink, behind Marceloís right hand/pen).

The ICO is simply a fancy albeit a very accurate odometer that works off a magnet situated on the front disc, it works like an ABS system on any bike. It feeds to a digital display that is back lit at night. Checking the ICO at point 232.12 it would be very typical for there to be a variation between the ICO reading on the bike and the kilometer indicated in the road book. Sometimes itís slightly over, sometimes slightly less. Over 700m I found my ICO to be around 0.02-3 or 20-30m ahead of the road book. Itís very important to regularly ďsetĒ the ICO to the road book, so you stay with it, by pressing the downcount or upcount button an equivalent number of ďclicksĒ or ten-meter increments so your ICO is the same as the road book.

Of course this is not easy because if you are say traveling at 60km/hr or 16m per second, the ICO continues to count and you can ďlose your placeĒ for lack of a better description. You can also be concentrating on this so much you end up riding off the road or into some obstacle you have not seen. So one does not have a lot of time to think about anything else other than navigation on a route like this, especially if the distance gaps between tulips are short.  A good example is the easy section of road as indicated below Marceloís hand. Remember the pros are reading this and riding along at an average speed of 140-160km/hr including the turns. Thatís 100 meters every two and a half seconds!. Try it yourself, try to read the partially hidden tulips in the picture, because in reality that is all you see as you glance down at the road book for not more than a second each time:

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/roadbook/1040364797_gt2vJ-XL.jpg)

236.05, km, left hand turn, check ICO on or 10m after the corner and adjust;
Open up, you have 1.4m to the next point, look ahead and judge how far that is;
237,48 look for a junction left, straight on. Check and adjust ICO;
237.95 keep right;
238.21 2nd turn right, watch out of sharp curves before that, check ICO, and so on.

In most rallies, CAP headings are also supplied, in Sertűes not. Most of the Sertűes route consists of is tracks, and when there are open areas and dunes GPS navigation is the norm. This makes navigation a lot easier in Sertűes than in other rallies in some respects. So I wonít go into CAP headings until itís time to do a ride report on a rally that uses them. The road book is enough to deal with for a start.

Im writing the rest of Stage 6 now...


Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Alan on October 10, 2010, 01:46:18 pm
Thanks dude.  :thumleft:

Regards
Al
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: madmike999 on October 10, 2010, 08:47:56 pm
 :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: BeefQueen on October 11, 2010, 10:04:24 am
Fucking hell mate!! Epic stuff!  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: BlueBull2007 on October 12, 2010, 01:24:31 am
The riding is going well, Iím flying along and really sliding through the sandy corners.
The road conditions gradually begins to change from sandy and loose to hard-packed but dried mud sections covered by sand.

(http://gsnorcal.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Rally-Dos-Sertoes/999rs10gabrielbarbosa070184/993215136_9isbx-XL.jpg)
The trees also get bigger as we go.                       Pics courtesy www.webventure.com.br
It feels like we are riding somewhere in Zambia, with less open savanna between the bush and trees. Itís beautiful countryside.



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other/Sertoesweb0053/1003300277_afryd-L.jpg)
Sometimes its really very thick.



(http://gsnorcal.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Rally-Dos-Sertoes/d08054rs10marcelomaragni086957/1038826119_spFo3-L.jpg)
Here is Dave barreling along.


(http://gsnorcal.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Rally-Dos-Sertoes/d07054rs10ricardoleizer070302/1038824925_XrXjM-L.jpg)
Pics courtesy www.webventure.com.br

Exhausting as the route is, I love the riding, and begin to impress myself with my ever improving power sliding prowess. Iím thinking even fellow wilddog Plothond would be impressed when it all goes to pieces on a corner in hard and quite slippery conditions.  I donít adjust my riding technique from the last couple of sandy turns and the bottom slips out and I go down like lightning, not time to react at all. The rubber side is definitely up and I land hard on my left side, spinning off the narrow track. It hurts big time, but nothing seems to be broken on me or the bike. Im angry with myself as I limp about in a bit of a daze. Again, itís only two kilometers to the refueling point where we get 15 minutes of neutralization, enough time to rest and refocus. My bike seems to be okay and I ride on, nursing my bruised shoulder sore head and ego. Three cheers for the Acerbis ballistic jersey I am wearing; again I escape and am able to ride on. The bike seems to be fine as well, which is good, because being the second day of the marathon, we still have a lot of kilometers to cover without any real maintenance on these machines.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other/Sertoesweb0021/1003294775_JRGGP-XL.jpg)
Five-time Sertűes winner Ze Helio in action on Stage 6 on his Speedbrain BMW.




(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other/Sertoesweb0039/1003297711_kQVyn-XL.jpg)





I get to the refuel point at 120km and have a bit of a break. There isnít much time to relax though, because I have three tanks to refill and each one has to have its measure of octane booster and two-stroke oil added, as recommended by the mechanics. I eyeball the amounts and push my bike away from the refueling vehicle to make way for the other riders coming in. Its only about 10:30 am but its swelteringly hot already. I down a bottle of water and shove down an energy bar while I rip out the first 100km of the road book. I find I can just squeeze in the rest of the roll for the day without causing it to jam in the machine. I run out of time and have to leave again. The official tells me that the special has been cut to 222km. ďWhy?Ē I ask. They tell me they were unable to secure access and it was felt by the organizers that it would be too unsafe to race. We would still have to finish same route it would form a liaison instead. Pity about that, but as Im waved away Iím happy that I only have to race another 100km because the fatigue factor is really beginning to count against me. The riding has been energy sapping stuff and progressive exhaustion is still setting in.

(http://gsnorcal.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Rally-Dos-Sertoes/111rs10gabrielbarbosa060166alt/972383696_PDkuN-L.jpg)

The route gets a bit faster and its going great. At about km160 I notice Iím battling to read the road book. It takes me a another little while to realize that its moving around with the vibrations. I have to stop and look. A sinking feeling hits me like a punch in the pit of my stomach as I peer down over the bars. I experienced the same thing in the rally training four months earlier. The soft aluminum of the navigation tower had been damaged in the fall and the whole thing has been vibrating loose, the whole friggin front sub frame and fairing. "F***!!!"

I waggle it with my hands and it only moves about an inch so I decide to just live with it and whack it for the next 60km to the finish of the special. Luckily the riding is a little more open here, so I do just this, and really fly. All the time the whole sub frame is wobbling more and more. Its very disconcerting to see the front of my bike moving about at speed. At the 200km mark the shaking is too much to ignore so I stop again and tighten up a couple of the good bolts that have been working loose. One is literally about to fall out. I lose a good ten minutes in the process. I notice that to situation looks hopeless, the torn metal is exerting too much stress on the remaining bolts and with the torque of the bike bouncing over the rough track the good bolts will loosen up and fall out if left unattended. This is a disaster, but I have only 20km to the end of the special. From there I reason I can limp on and get to the finish without too much pressure.


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other/Sertoesweb0094/1003306196_AeD6s-XL.jpg)
Guys are passing me. Im losing time.

I have no choice really, lose mega time or hope it does not fall apart in the next twenty. I leap on the bike and ride on. In a minute or two the vibrations are too much and everything is wobbling around again. Then my road book stops working. "Magtig!!" The power cable to it must have been cut. I ride on winding the road book by hand. Each time I touch the roadbook, I feel like I am holding the whole front end of the bike in my hand and it is going to fall off if I let go.

I have only fifteen kilometers to go before I am able to stop and work on it, only fifteen, if I can get that far! After that I have nearly 300km further to go before I see a mechanic. I consider how ridiculous the situation is really, after my experience last April.  That time I only rode five kilometers before it became unrideable. That time I had professional help. This time I am on my own and I have no spares for this. "Please God, just let it hold together!"

Just as I say this, I hear that characteristic blinging, tingling sound of something metallic falling off the bike and hitting something under the bike. There goes another bolt. Oh crap!

I ride on. There is no stopping for freaking bolts at 145km/hr.
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Aquatic on October 12, 2010, 02:12:01 am
I ride on. There is no stopping for freaking bolts at 145m/hr.

That says it all!!!

Neil, you are like 'Hood' drug pusher!
You get us addicted
Then you leave us to suffer withdrawal
Just as we get over the withdrawal and over the addiction you give us another shot in the arm and we're fucked
Addicted all over again!

Keep it coming please! Need another "FIX"
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: BlueBull2007 on October 12, 2010, 02:27:28 am
I ride on. There is no stopping for freaking bolts at 145m/hr.

That says it all!!!

Neil, you are like 'Hood' drug pusher!
You get us addicted
Then you leave us to suffer withdrawal
Just as we get over the withdrawal and over the addiction you give us another shot in the arm and we're fucked
Addicted all over again!

Keep it coming please! Need another "FIX"

;D
Glad youre enjoying it bro! its 2:26 am here and Im desperately trying to finish Day 7 before I head out to the bushveld for a couple of three days.
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Aquatic on October 12, 2010, 02:38:32 am
I ride on. There is no stopping for freaking bolts at 145m/hr.

That says it all!!!

Neil, you are like 'Hood' drug pusher!
You get us addicted
Then you leave us to suffer withdrawal
Just as we get over the withdrawal and over the addiction you give us another shot in the arm and we're fucked
Addicted all over again!

Keep it coming please! Need another "FIX"

;D
Glad youre enjoying it bro! its 2:26 am here and Im desperately trying to finish Day 7 before I head out to the bushveld for a couple of three days.

Nee fok!

Another intermission.
The show has been more than worth it though!

Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: BlueBull2007 on October 12, 2010, 05:12:14 am
I donít know quite how, but the bike makes it to the end of the special. Itís in a little village. I ride another couple of hundred meters and find a nice tree with lots of shade to park under. There is crowd of about fifty people standing there, watching the passing racers. They are delighted and watch me with great interest as I strip off the fairing and use about 100 cable ties to lash the fairing together.

The damage is horrific. Bolts have been stripped and Iím missing crucial spacers holding the structure together, moreover a couple of aluminum plates have been badly torn by the vibrations since my last stop. Itís painfully obvious that this is just not going to last. I use my towing rope to lash the whole lot together in a bunch and tighten the remaining bolts. I consider using liquid metal as well, but all the surfaces are too dirty to provide a decent bonding surface. There is nothing to clean this up out here without embarking on a major strip of the whole front sub frame, and even though there is only a liaison to complete, I need to get to the finish before the maximum time to avoid a 2 hour penalty.

Finally, after a good 45 minutes of work I think I have managed something workable and the whole lot seems to be relatively solid. The whole time I am putting this all together the crowd watch me, commenting and discussing my prgress among themselves. There is a sweet little old lady no higher than four feet with no teeth gabbling away happily the whole time and making exclamations of excitement that make me and everyone else laugh. I think the poor lady has Down syndrome, but she seems to be so loved and supported by those around her, it does not appear to be much of a handicap. Everyone in this village clearly have so little, they are all so poor, yet appear to be living very happy lives in spite of the obvious hardship. For them today is just one fun day in a whole set of long, tedious days farming in the heat. What a humbling experience it is to be with them, to share these moments with them. A couple of guys help hold my rope tight as I tie knots. I wish I had my camera with me, the scenes would make such an awesome photo sequence. Here are some others instead that I think captures the essence of these really wonderful people to some extent:

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other/494641136650b7a20fb0b/1043805524_bxf3C-XL.jpg)
Pic: www.Webventure.com.br


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other/4945824163b5e9772880b/1043799184_KisRu-XL.jpg)
Pic: www.Webventure.com.br



 (http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other/4946404754cdfcf82f53b/1043803669_FSGmn-L.jpg)
Pic: www.Webventure.com.br



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other/4945820229032d3ab82bb/1043798937_7Ht2z-XL.jpg)



Eventually I am ready to push on and I thank them all and wave. They cheer and clap. The little old lady, jumps up and down despite her great age, giggling and laughing excitedly. Everyone laughs with her rather than at her. Tears come to my eyes as I pull away. What precious people.

Almost immediately, my system of ropes and cable ties begin to work lose and fifteen minutes later I have to stop and re-tighten everything up again. It becomes a pattern and I resign myself to limping along for 15 minutes and then spending ten minutes tightening up again. Its going to be a long day.

Iím not the only straggler though. I come across another rider who has broken his chain. He does not have a master link either. He is trying to push the pin back in with his thumbs. Itís not working well. I donít have the tools to help him. Just then Dave arrives and comes to the rescue. He whips off his backpack and produces not only the tools but another master link. Only one problem: It does not fit!


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/Sertoesw0060/997778530_jhHWP-XL.jpg)


I decide to leave them as I have a long way to go with my own problems and I am beginning to realize that at this speed I might not make it myself. Reading the road book is problematic; ropes holding my bike together are crisscross the viewing window of my road book and make reading each tulip a bit of a guess. I just know if I marked it in red, there is something dangerous coming up and I deal with it. It means careful riding. Fortunately, the area we are in is so remote there seems to be only one track to follow. Soon enough, Dave and the guy with the broken chain come blasting past, while I am on one of my lashing stops. I am unable to catch them again.


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/camp/Sertoess0508/1016863617_iWNrF-L.jpg)
When I get to the second refueling stop for the day, I meet up with Phil.

We are wonderfully happy. The special is behind us, we just have a long liaison to deal with. Phil has no power on his bike. He is also operating the road book by hand. This is now the second day running he has been doing this and he is not very pleased about it.


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/camp/Sertoess0510/1016864881_ZpvkU-XL-1.jpg)
But right now, we have autographs to sign, even if itís on the little guyís arm,


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/camp/Sertoess0511/1016865372_LNY9V-L.jpg)
and pictures to take. Again, we are treated like heroes. We feel unworthy, but itís a huge ego boost regardless, and it is exactly what we need for the challenges ahead. I spend some time retying my subframe and this time I think itís a better job. I also have some huge cable ties someone gave me that really help. Just as well, as all the other ones I used have been cut through by the sharp metal.

A couple of other guys catch up with us and we herd out in two groups of two, Phil with his new found friend Arndt, also on a Katoom, and me with a wild looking guy on a Yahama. Riding next to my partner becomes a real pain in the ass. His exhaust is missing (as in gone) and its wailing like a banshee. Even with my earplugs itís a serious case for hearing loss and I decide this riding-with-a-partner thing in this case is for the birds. Iím also eating the dust of Phil and Arndt in front of us.

I pass Phil and Arndt in front of me in an open corn field and nearly wipe out on a huge series of whoops. Somehow the suspension keeps me upright and I break away. The guy on the Yamaha keeps up with me and we ride together until it gets twisty again and I get ahead, despite having to dial the road book manually.

Having had some water and a bite to eat has done wonders for my confidence. Iím more upbeat about my front sub-frame and I have some strength back after the shade. I have to stop after about 25 minutes to tighten the ropes, just enough for Phil and Arndt to pass me, but I catch up and pass them again. It becomes a pattern for the afternoon: I ride on ahead and they catch me later. Perhaps two hours later, I come across our friend with the chain problem again. His chain is broken again. He looks me in the eye and we are both thinking the same thing: This is the end of the race for him. But he doesnít give up, and tries to fix the chain. I admire his fighting spirit. We are brothers in this thing now. I tie up my bike again; the ropes have worn through in several places now. Phil and Arndt rock up and help the poor guy just as the first of the cars come blasting through.


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other/untitled26/1043828260_cQdQ6-L.jpg)
They are so freaking fast and scary, bikes and bikers scatter in all directions. Once they are close a bike is no match for them. Despite popular belief their average speeds are way higher than ours and being caught on a narrow road with three tons of flying metal behind you is absolutely terrifying.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other/494579151191ab5fbeb9b/1043797338_hpsXU-XL.jpg)
Iím just so glad we seem still seem to be staying ahead of the truck boys. Cars are bad enough. Trucks are far worse.


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other/494579120553a2b1a7c4b/1043797064_vxZXZ-L.jpg)
It seems I am not the only one who holds trucks in disdainÖ ;D Just donít let the bastards catch you, whatever happens!

I press on and at my next stop, the guy who broke his chain comes by me. I have just finished tying up my bike up again and try to stay with him. Itís getting late and we still have over 150km to go. He is not wasting time and I am battling to keep up with him. Just then I notice a buzzing helicopter and it distracts me enough in a deep sandy section to cause me to dig in my front wheel in. I am going too slowly and endo onto my head. Its soft sand but the shock to my head dazes me. Sand has filled my helmet, and gone down my jacket. There is nothing I can do except wrestle the bike up again and get back on. Pulling away, I struggle in a river crossing and realize that Iím going to have to dig really deep to get through this.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/Sertoesw0059/997778268_McqNs-XL.jpg)
The river crossings are endless. [size-8pt]Pic: www.Webventure.com.br[/size]

Most of them are small, thank God. The riding between the rivers is challenging. Technical, but not ridiculously so I suppose, but after seven days of nonstop riding its really, really debilitating. Iím in that zone where you are too tired to care, where everything is merely mechanical and the mind wanders. I dream of the others ahead of me, of Mark Coma and others having probably finished this hell and are enjoying a late afternoon snack and perhaps Red Bull in the comfort of their super-luxurious bivouac setup. Theyíll be working on their road books for the next day, while Iím slogging away in the boondocks. The bastards. We dont even have any water left.

(http://gsnorcal.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Rally-Dos-Sertoes/poprs10davidsantosjr050004alta/993214999_zimXT-L.jpg)
All the while the day gets longer. Light is going to be a problem. The snowball effect Charlie warned me about in rallies is about to catch me and overtake me. Iíve been dodging it the whole rally, but now it finally has me in its clutches. Tomorrow, if I can make it will be even harder thanks to the events of today.

My anger refocuses me on the task ahead, another bloody river crossing, this time with submerged planks to ride along. Iím too tired to care about walking it and cruise through. The cold water on my legs and in my boots wakes me from my zone a bit and I ride better for a while, still stopping now and then for a while to fix the navigation tower. I have lost all power to the navigation systems, the fans, the light, itís all been severed by sharp blades of broken metal. I hope that my ignition cable holds out. Luckily my ICO has a little battery that powers the LCD panel so that still works while there is daylight. Car after car have been passing me. There are no other bikes about. I know most are in front and the only comfort is that there are still a number still caught behind me somewhere.

Arndt and Phil catch me again and wait for me to finish tying up my bike for the nth f***** time. They look on, concerned.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/Sertoess0518/1044011144_FyQfz-L.jpg)
Arndt takes a few snaps of me working on my bike.



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/Sertoess0512/1044008046_PPbVb-L.jpg)



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/Sertoess0513/1044008591_7V567-L.jpg)



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/Sertoess0514/1044008977_M8Zws-L-1.jpg)



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/Sertoess0515/1044009459_yvtea-L.jpg)
Itís a really beautiful afternoon. Looks like somewhere in the bushveldt doesnít it?


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/Sertoess0517/1044010456_voLVB-L.jpg)


Iím greatful for the company but talk is of the failing light and the distance we still have to cover: 80km. We only have half an hour of light left, max. Itís going to be epic for both Phil and I who will have no lights at all. At least Arndt has kindly offered to ride with us. His bike seems to be okay.

I press on in front and pull away from the guys, aware that the faster I go now will mean less riding in the dark later on. Itís only a matter of time in my condition that I crash and I wait for it anxiously, fighting to stay alert and focused. I remember Philís logo written on his bike: ďFocus, flow, finish.Ē Its very apt when youíre thoroughly knackered.

It happens in the growing twilight about twenty minutes later, I low-side the bike on a gravelly curve that tightens halfway through. The bike lands on my left leg and spins me around, twisting my leg the wrong way and ripping ligaments and cartilage in my knee. I desperately try to roll over to minimize damage but its too little too late. I burst into tears, the frustration of failure is just too much to handle at this point. I lie there for a while, but only until I remember that no one is coming to rescue me at this time of day. I have to get myself out of this or stay here for hours waiting for help. Worse, Phil and Arndt will be coming any minute and see me in my pathetic state. What will my reason be for stopping? That Iím too tired?  Hell no! Get up, damn it! I get up, and pull myself together. There is still some twilight left. Maybe five or ten minutes. Thatís maybe 15-20 km further if I donít waste any more time. I struggle to get the bike back up on my good leg, and set about turning it around. Of course, I manage drop it a second time before kick starting it and setting off. Iím too tired to worry about the fairing and navigation tower now. I just want this to end.

I canít read my ICO anymore. Itís now too dark to see much at all. I take off my goggles and ride, peering anxiously at the road ahead of me. There is no moon, and I canít see jack. The only thing guiding me is the very dark shapes probably representing undergrowth on either side of the very dark but slightly paler road. If there is any livestock on this road, any rocks or sharp turns, and Iím in deep shit. I ride like this for perhaps half an hour, feeling the sandy and rocky patches. Itís quite a weird feeling not having any idea of what to expect. Here I am in a 3rd world country doing 60 with no lights at night. I brace for the inevitable, concluding crash and praying to the Lord that I do not.

Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: BlueBull2007 on October 12, 2010, 05:35:48 am
It goes on and on. I canít believe what Iím doing, but I find myself at peace, able to just make out the general direction of the road. I get to a junction and am not sure which way to go. Even my tracking abilities wonít help me here. I consider retrieving my light from my medical kit, but Iím too dog-tired to cut it loose and open it. I see in the distance a glow, the glow of a town. That must be the town of Balsak, I mean Balsas. I giggle at my own toilet humor and choose the most likely direction- I hope.

Soon enough a little moped pulls onto the road ahead of me towards what I hope is the town. Itís a feeble yellow beam bouncing along the road away, but to me itís like the rising sun. Iím still hundreds of meters away but the silhouette of the moped draws me like a moth, I speed forward, on the assumption that if I can see it, there is nothing between me and the moped. Except the dust. Furiously blinking it out of my eyes I somehow catch the moped without going totally blind. He does not know I am there behind him and I sit down, happy to bumble along with him. Soon enough he turns off to the left. Oh no, the townís light is in front!

I fall behind and have brake hard having lost all night vision I had built up and being plunged back into darkness. Its just too dangerous to try and catch the guy again so I spend five minutes waiting for it to return before blundering on in the same direction. Great. Now Iím going to be lost as well. The road goes over a hill and on the other side there are a couple of houses and one street light. Stunned that this may in fact be the right road after all I battle along into the dark and dusty road on the far side and after a little while a row of lights come into view at right angles to the road Iím on. I get to it and turn along the road, hoping that it takes me into the town. It is so nice to see where Iím riding, all my other problems are temporarily blotted out. I stop under a streetlight try to work out where I am in the road book. This town is bigger than it first appears. Its hopeless, I have been riding for over an hour in the dark and there is no way I can try and navigate from here. I decide Iím going to have to ride the town until I find the bivouac. It canít be that hard to find 700 people. After a couple of wrong turns I muddle my way around the town and finally after perhaps twenty minutes arrive at the finish. Iím amazed there are still officials waiting there for us.

After the usual GPS swap, and time card verification, I spend another twenty minutes riding around on my bike looking for our support guys in a very sprawled out campsite in the sports centre of the town. It been two days since I have seen them and Iím delighted when I hear the familiar whistle.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/camp/Sertoess0252/1044115888_UCxox-L.jpg)
Iím home!



Immediately tourists want me to stand with them for photos.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/camp/Sertoess0254/1044116634_9TnfZ-L.jpg)
I happily oblige. I don't know quite how, but I have made it.



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/camp/Sertoess0255/1044117158_hRAhx-L.jpg)



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/camp/Sertoess0256/1044117607_3WYsa-L.jpg)
Standing (barely) with Randal


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/camp/Sertoess0257/1044118013_LyGSy-L.jpg)
Pretty zoned out man...Ganjora, rallies are better than your stuff bro.  :laughing4:


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/camp/Sertoess0258/1044118582_upFa2-L.jpg)
My bike is not looking all that good at all...



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/camp/Sertoess0260/1044119522_uNLcp-L.jpg)



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/camp/Sertoess0262/1044120518_z7xjq-L.jpg)



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/camp/Sertoess0294/1044135308_Hm585-L.jpg)
Who knows if the guys can fix this?


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/camp/Sertoess0298/1044137442_kbyNV-L.jpg)



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/camp/Sertoess0268/1044123457_NdwFh-L.jpg)
Phil arrives about 20 minutes after me, another epic day.



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/camp/Sertoess0270/1044124357_QTHFn-L.jpg)
Well done brother! Marcello is delighted we are back, but horrified at the condition of the bikes. We are not sure if we will be able to continue tomorrow.


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/camp/Sertoess0273/1044125591_jBUjb-L.jpg)

Boys, lets get started on the rehydration and those road books, its time to prepare for the next day. Snowball effect in action!  :biggrin: :biggrin:


Will we make it to the finish? At this stage I really dont know or care, Im just glad I made it.


Thanks for following, please stay tuned for the final epic days..
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Tr0jan on October 12, 2010, 06:29:38 am

It happens in the growing twilight about twenty minutes later, I low-side the bike on a gravelly curve that tightens halfway through. The bike lands on my left leg and spins me around, twisting my leg the wrong way and ripping ligaments and cartilage in my knee. I desperately try to roll over to minimize damage but its too little too late. I burst into tears, the frustration of failure is just too much to handle at this point. I lie there for a while, but only until I remember that no one is coming to rescue me at this time of day. I have to get myself out of this or stay here for hours waiting for help. Worse, Phil and Arndt will be coming any minute and see me in my pathetic state. What will my reason be for stopping? That Iím too tired?  Hell no! Get up, damn it! I get up, and pull myself together. There is still some twilight left. Maybe five or ten minutes. Thatís maybe 15-20 km further if I donít waste any more time. I struggle to get the bike back up on my good leg, and set about turning it around. Of course, I manage drop it a second time before kick starting it and setting off. Iím too tired to worry about the fairing and navigation tower now. I just want this to end.




Sheez dude, im sitting here with tears in my eyes. I(we) share your heartache and emotions!
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Aquatic on October 12, 2010, 08:13:07 am

It happens in the growing twilight about twenty minutes later, I low-side the bike on a gravelly curve that tightens halfway through. The bike lands on my left leg and spins me around, twisting my leg the wrong way and ripping ligaments and cartilage in my knee. I desperately try to roll over to minimize damage but its too little too late. I burst into tears, the frustration of failure is just too much to handle at this point. I lie there for a while, but only until I remember that no one is coming to rescue me at this time of day. I have to get myself out of this or stay here for hours waiting for help. Worse, Phil and Arndt will be coming any minute and see me in my pathetic state. What will my reason be for stopping? That Iím too tired?  Hell no! Get up, damn it! I get up, and pull myself together. There is still some twilight left. Maybe five or ten minutes. Thatís maybe 15-20 km further if I donít waste any more time. I struggle to get the bike back up on my good leg, and set about turning it around. Of course, I manage drop it a second time before kick starting it and setting off. Iím too tired to worry about the fairing and navigation tower now. I just want this to end.




Sheez dude, im sitting here with tears in my eyes. I(we) share your heartache and emotions!

+1
Don't forget the goose bumps
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Would I? on October 12, 2010, 08:54:14 am
 :thumleft:  :thumleft: :thumleft:

Absolutely riverting stuff. Thanks again for the effort in writing this sharing so freely.
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Gee S on October 12, 2010, 09:19:06 pm
Awesome read!
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: funacide on October 12, 2010, 10:21:53 pm
Frikkin awesome stuff, I can't wait for the next episode.

Thanks N
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: domstes on October 12, 2010, 10:26:23 pm
Vasgenael!  :thumleft: :thumleft:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Rokie on October 13, 2010, 01:23:54 pm
Shot Neil!! The Legend continues - and continues to inspire!!!!
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: bud500 on October 13, 2010, 03:02:42 pm
I'm a bit breathless from stressing about the knee, mine has a numb ache....

Really impressive and inspiring stuff. THANK YOU!!
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: KwaiPappaGaai on October 13, 2010, 04:34:32 pm
Was awesome meeting you at the Presentation! thanks again! Was very inspiring   :drif:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: MellowJo on October 17, 2010, 10:29:06 pm
I am completely hooked ......

As with any rally, mechanical reliability is one of the corner stones needed to build on. Rather reliable than "flippen-fast-with-breakdowns".

Second corner stone is resourcefulness, ability to fix with duct tape, cable ties and Pratley steel .....

Can't wait for the next installment ....    :thumleft:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: TornadoF5 on October 19, 2010, 04:14:52 pm
Only got one word for this chaeewa trip Neil.....  MUSHI !
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Kenisis on October 19, 2010, 07:05:32 pm
Hey Neil.

I dont want to be the one to state the obvious but i hope you realize that as soon as you have completed this ride report you are going to have to do your next rally!

You have massed a huge fan base!

Well done!
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: funacide on October 20, 2010, 12:32:18 pm
Please SIR May we have some more ????  ??? ??? ???
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Mr. Python on October 20, 2010, 09:08:05 pm
Maybe we have to rescue the Peruvian miner to get the rest of the story  >:D
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: MellowJo on October 21, 2010, 05:21:02 pm
Yeoh, BB ...... so did the machies manage to rebuild your console .... ?   ???

Come, come, don't quit (writing) now ...... :deal:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: the_BOBNOB on October 21, 2010, 10:14:47 pm
absolutely awesome stuff - only found the thread now after someone mentioning it in another thread  :thumleft:

really living the dream  :ricky:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: yaartbrak on October 22, 2010, 08:01:22 am
Why are we waiting ...why are we waiting .......!!!!!!  ;)

The first thing i do every morning is come here and check if it has been updated yet, please ag pretty please finish this report!!!!!!!!!  :'(
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Diesel & Dust on October 22, 2010, 08:14:15 am
Ek is nou al drie weke lank op fyndraai - ek weet nie hoeveel langer ek kan terughou nie :patch:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: funacide on October 25, 2010, 12:56:52 pm
BB

Time for another fix please. We want to hear the end. Come now don't let work or travel get in the way  :biggrin: :biggrin: :biggrin:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Dustdevil on October 26, 2010, 10:57:25 pm
I have finally caught up with the end before you did.
Boy what a story :o so far. You are really letting us live the events and giving us a good insight into the emotional experience of undertaking something like this. Its most likely why most of us are only dreaming about it, not everyone can cope well under these kind of circumstances.
I have great respect for your tenacity and the way you are keeping your focus and cool when things start to go south. :thumleft:
Patiently waiting for the rest of the story.
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: pieman on October 27, 2010, 03:43:47 pm
BB, next installment PLEASE (I'm like my mother-outlaw with here bloody Doctor Phil crap)!!!!
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: kwagga-sakkie on October 27, 2010, 06:54:32 pm
Thanks BB. Recording ,memorizing and sharing your experience with all of us is the real hard part.It must have been tiring every night to record some details. Thanks for doing it.You are just a passionate biker like all of us,but the difference is you pursued what most of will never attempt.WELL DONE ! Thanks for sharing. "Die Springbokkie" Looks great,especially in the beginning.Now, let's continue......!
Thanks again. :thumleft:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: BlueBull2007 on October 28, 2010, 03:42:41 pm
Hi Guys,

Thanks again for all the new comments.

Well Im finally back in Peru so now I can finish my report. It was impossible to post while in RSA as much as I wanted to finish this RR, the braai, biltong, whiskey n coke, currie cup and late nights with old friends etc. got in the way big time. Now that the Bulls are out of the CC I can finish.  >:D

In the interim I have recieved over 1,000 new photos  :eek7: from the photographers; I wish I had these for those talks I did back home. Anyway, I plan to publish the best of them perhaps at the end of the RR, so I hope it will be worth the wait.

Anyway enough kak praat - I'll do my best to have the next edtion in print later tonite or early tomorrow morn RSA time.- Let me get on with it!


Thanks BB. Recording ,memorizing and sharing your experience with all of us is the real hard part.It must have been tiring every night to record some details. Thanks for doing it.You are just a passionate biker like all of us,but the difference is you pursued what most of will never attempt.WELL DONE ! Thanks for sharing. "Die Springbokkie" Looks great,especially in the beginning.Now, let's continue......!
Thanks again. :thumleft:

Actually I never made any notes, and now Im racking my brains for day 8...  ::)


A taster pic:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Yefimovich≤ on October 28, 2010, 04:17:12 pm
Discovered this today, in a way im glad i only saw it now and got to read it like a movie and not like a tv series :D

Thank you so much for sharing your adventure and much respect for you in undertaking such a daunting challenge.

The tenacity and dedication shown is truly an inspiration, a truly remarkable feat and I for one hope your Dakar dream is realised!
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Rokie on October 29, 2010, 01:22:57 pm
. . . classic pic!!!  :drif:
here we go again  :happy1:
can't wait
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Kreef on November 01, 2010, 07:54:16 am
Anyway enough kak praat - I'll do my best to have the next edtion in print later tonite or early tomorrow morn RSA time.- Let me get on with it!

 ???  :patch:  ???
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: RUPTO on November 03, 2010, 07:02:38 am
Think we're watching the wrong fred ???
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: BlueBull2007 on November 07, 2010, 10:20:19 pm
You are watching the right fred, its just me... :P
 
(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other/4945792829c68aa0f369b/1043797627_WUhpU-L.jpg)
Sorry about these unreasonable delays folks Ė Especially after committing to deadlines, I have no excuse. The truth be told, being jobless has suddenly brought up a whole bunch of new priorities! Finishing a report like this appears to be harder than doing the rally itself! Letís continue:

The Cytomax rehydration powder mixted in with a litre of water perks me up tremendously. I pile through a small bunch of bananas. And then another litre of water. Water is the best thing in the world  when you are dehydrated as I am. The last time I drank anything must have been five or six hours earlier and I have been riding all afternoon and evening without it. Iím too tired to attend the daily briefing, anyway it finished before I got in.

Iím still a little stunned that I actually made it. Missing the cut-off time by a couple hours means I will have picked up a five-hour penalty but Iím still in the race. Brilliant. Pity about my left knee, which is really sore. But the knee-moania is reduced somewhat by my success in finishing this stage despite major problems with the bikes navigation tower. Des tells us that one of the sponsors ĖGillette- have setup a complementary shaving centre for us.  A shave sounds like a great idea so I drop everything join Dave.


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/camp/Sertoess0247/1044114100_98Cn8-L.jpg)
The pretty Gillette girls have everything a man could want: Clean water and shaving gear.

Sometimes a shave is a really wonderful experience. This was one of those. It was a bit odd doing it in front of fifty spectators though.

I limp back to the bivoac and prepare for Day 8: Eat a monster dish of pasta, find a hose somewhere to shower, fill camelback, fill riding gear with energy bars and boosters, drink some more,


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/camp/Sertoess0282/1044129586_mXdKw-L.jpg)
prepare and pack our concoctions of 2-stroke oil and octane booster, eat another monster plate of pasta, and get on with the road book.


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/camp/Sertoess0300/1044138458_UEPSt-L.jpg)
We pause for a team photo. Left to right: Dave, Des, Yours truly, DD, Phil, and Randall. The mechanics are noticeably absent because they are hard at work on our bikes.


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/camp/Sertoess0302/1044139256_8gz85-L.jpg)
You can see in this pic that the strain of racing for days and days is affecting DD as well. All of the support guys are pretty tired.

Sleep is a luxury. DD was a tremendous support to me. As a fellow South African, it was great to have someone yakking away to me in Afrikaans. As small a thing as this is, it makes the otherwise totally alien experience of rally easier to deal with. Itís hard to be on the support team, apart from having to baby a bunch egotistical riders, you have your own race: Hundreds and hundreds of kilometres along a longer, roundabout route to get to the next bivouac each day.


(http://desmcd.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Rally-Dos-Sertoes-2010/Dos-Sertoes-2010-w-Wild-West/989631537_4V9NA-L.jpg)
The fact that we are using budget support vehicles means plenty of stops, this time to wait for the engine to cool down!

On arriving at the bivouac the guys in the first vehicle have to jostle with other support teams for an area big enough for our others vehicle, the Uruguayan truck and itís trailer. DD is usually first on the scene every day, which is good because his presence commands attention. This means we usually get a reasonably ďniceĒ place to hang out in. Then itís a case of putting up tents, the easy up, tables and chairs, preparing the maintenance tools, food, and energy drinks for the riders when they come in. Later they assist us by finding out our start times and positions. The support guys also have to get up really early in the morning to break camp and get on the road as soon as possible. Any delay will mean that they will be caught behind the plethora of other support vehicles and trucks, which have to be somehow passed en route to the next bivouac.


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/camp/Sertoess0291/1044133813_inSFL-L.jpg)
Dave has time to get a massage from Randall, our team medic, nutritional and fitness coach.

Phil and I are both so late so we have to get on with our road books. Having just finish 500km of hectic riding we have to prepare another huge road book covering nearly 700km we need to do tomorrow, the longest day of the rally. Itís going to take hours and Iím getting really sick of marking road books.


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/1mb/1081344785_42CY9-L.jpg)
Iím tired and I canít seem to find a way to mark them so that it makes it easier.


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/camp/Sertoess0288/1044132509_dytLG-L.jpg)


(http://desmcd.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Rally-Dos-Sertoes-2010/Dos-Sertoes-2010-w-Wild-West/989624204_imToH-L.jpg)

Interest in what we are doing keeps us going somehow and Phil and I take turns explaining how it works or signing autographs. Itís nice to have all the attention but itís very distracting and to be honest we can do with some peace and quiet.

(http://desmcd.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Rally-Dos-Sertoes-2010/Dos-Sertoes-2010-w-Wild-West/989625201_RkHcW-L.jpg)




Result-wise for the stage I think I had one of my best days. Things we smooth on the course, and despite losing time in my off and checking out my disintegrating nav. tower, I was able to keep the pace up until the end of the shortened special. Had I not wiped out, I think I could have come in somewhere in the upper teens for the stage. But the real drama happened in the 300km liaison after that when I was forced to limp along at a ridiculously slow pace and resulted in a fat penalty.


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/Stage7/1081467193_XY6mX-L.png)


Thinking about it now, I probably picked up some heavy penalties for speeding as well, seeing as most of the time I was unable to navigate by road book. Very disappointing, embarrassing even to see how far behind I am behind the leaders, but then I am comforted that this is my first rally and I am still on target to getting a finish. Also guys Like Coma and Casteau ride at speeds most of us consider to be insane. They have nothing to lose, they get paid to ride. Guys like me have to go back to work after this rally. You donít get paid for being in hospital after all!

Phil and I werenít the only one to epic.


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other2/d07040rs10stepannorairchahinia/1078995542_zDxnX-XL.jpg)
Eduardo Lara was the guy who broke his chain three times today and still managed to limp in on his KTM520 after his inadequate field repairs somehow held together. I passed him all three times, but in the end he still finished well ahead of me in 26th position despite picking up a penalty as well.


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other/49464119845082588685b/1043805775_nyqop-L.jpg)

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other/49458277130ee5901e59b/1043799653_mVWr8-L.jpg)

Perhaps most impressive was Moara Sacilotti, the leading female pilot on the rally who came 35th on the stage and ahead of Phil & I overall at 32nd overall. Respect.


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other/4946412964143b085b0eb/1043806074_Fbsc8-L.jpg)

I think she also had problems today too because she picked up 3 hours of penalties as well. The number of DNFís in the race increased to thirteen. But she is the Brazilian heroine allright. Everyone loves her chitzpa!

I finish up my road book sometime after twelve. I feel for my mechanics working on my bike. When they first saw my bike when I came in, they looked distraught but instead said ďNo problemo, No problemo! We will fix it.Ē I have to look at my bike again and see how they are doing.


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/camp/Sertoess0298/1044137442_kbyNV-L.jpg)


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/camp/Sertoess0294/1044135308_Hm585-L.jpg)
There is no way I will be able to load my road book tonight. Marcello assures me he will see what he can do, but he is not sure. It needs a miracle all right; there are no spares, so I start praying.

Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Harry the Buffalo on November 07, 2010, 10:24:35 pm
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Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: BlueBull2007 on November 08, 2010, 12:48:20 am
STAGE 8 Balsas - Teresina

178km - Initial Liaison
183km Ė Special Stage
292km Ė Final Liaison

Total for the day 653km



I donít sleep well, and after a few hours lying in my tent worrying and just talking to God, I decide to get up.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/camp/Sertoess0304/1044140044_YpoQy-L.jpg)
In the pre-dawn this is what I see.

My heart leaps because even from here the green glow of my road book backlight can be seen! Itís seems to be working! Marcello, Ivan & Fernando are all zonked out, they have been working flat-out on my bike for seven hours.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/camp/Sertoess0305/1044140517_nmKff-L.jpg)
But somehow they have been able to piece the wreckage together. Theyíve certainly been quite ingenious, scrounging sparkplug sockets for the vital missing spacers and doing a bit of aluminium welding. I am so happy I hug them.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/camp/Sertoess0307/1044141425_DGDat-L.jpg)

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/camp/Sertoess0309/1044142621_oJogi-L.jpg)

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/camp/Sertoess0310/1044143123_jpoGt-L.jpg)
As the day breaks and people begin waking up, Randall joins in with the final preparations while I shove breakfast down and try to drink another two litres of water.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/1mbb/1081345029_9CJtK-XL.jpg)
As I get dressed, Iím feeling tired, but now is not the time. I need to focus on the day ahead.

The liaison is another mind-numbing morning session that saps our strength before we have even begun racing. The good thing is that my navigation tower is holding up well, it looks and feels very solid. Iím really pleased about this.


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other/untitled34/1043829357_mPhZ8-L.jpg)


The start of the special starts on a rocky and narrow road but later opens out onto faster road, winding up a mountain.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other2/d06rs10marcelomaragni062328/1078994690_2Ub9G-XL.jpg)

Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: zetman on November 08, 2010, 12:52:08 am
Hey Niel bly jy nog aan di gang skryf pappa skryf 
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Ian in Great Brak River on November 08, 2010, 01:17:15 am
Holy Shit boet.......!
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: BlueBull2007 on November 08, 2010, 01:23:40 am
Ringdahl..?  moske lidt dansk i dig ?   ...I'm married to a Dane.

Can't wait for the next installment.

Yeah its Norwegian actually, but Im third generation Souf Efriken now.
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Kamanya on November 08, 2010, 01:52:28 am
How did we ever manage without zipties before they were invented?
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Dustdevil on November 08, 2010, 02:48:06 am
(http://i397.photobucket.com/albums/pp55/Dustdevil/997770465_TpBAY-XL.jpg)

I was looking at this pic thinking to myself "Neil, you are taunting fate over here!!! having your weight so dead on the saddle almost hanging of the bike on the inside looks like dangerous stuff."
The back end might come out more impressively this way but then do you want to look impressive or do you want to be faster and safer through the turns?

Listen to me, giving advice and I haven't even raced an endure before in my life. But seriously this is one thing I have tested to the max, I always go into any turn on the pegs no matter what the speed. I always shift my weight onto the outside peg with my upper body way out almost next to the fairing no matter what the speed. This just puts me into the habit of weight shifting even when the speed does not justify it. It needs to almost become a subconscious action.

The weight on the outside peg will provide more traction and will in fact prevent the back wheel from braking that easy, but more importantly once the back does come out you are on top of the situation with perfect control. Trying to recover from a out of control slide with to much of your weight on the saddle and the inside of the bike will call for a nerve wrecking moment or two and can at worse be fatal.

The next step would be to have your upper body to the outside of the bike but getting the pressure down on the inside peg as you enter the apex of the turn. This will brake the back out easier to line the bike up quicker for the exit out of the apex and then shifting your weight to the outside peg to gain control of the slide once the bike is pointing at the exit of the turn. This style of riding is only for the gutless and fearless and as you put it "paid riders with no wife's and kids." It allows them to go through the turns at much greater speed than would normally be possible but takes great courage, precision and concentration. Locking the back wheel also forms part of this technique and further help to step the back end out more and faster but weighing the inside peg is still crucial here if you want to make the bike slide sideways.

Forgive me for putting up advice here, but it would be nice to hear your viewpoint on this and I am sure you must have some kind of input and advice on how the pros are doing it.
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: BlueBull2007 on November 08, 2010, 02:57:48 am
How did we ever manage without zipties before they were invented?

Actually the zipties never helped on this occasion, they lasted less than 15 minutes. One guy borrowed me a huge one (one cm wide) and it held for about an hour. The only thing that worked was that tow rope, and failing that duct tape. Hoving said that I found zipties indispesable for zillion other little isses all over the place (more on that later).
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: BlueBull2007 on November 08, 2010, 03:09:56 am
I was looking at this pic thinking to myself "Neil, you are taunting fate over here!!! having your weight so dead on the saddle almost hanging of the bike on the inside looks like dangerous stuff."
The back end might come out more impressively this way but then do you want to look impressive or do you want to be faster and safer through the turns?

Listen to me, giving advice and I haven't even raced an endure before in my life. But seriously this is one thing I have tested to the max, I always go into any turn on the pegs no matter what the speed. I always shift my weight onto the outside peg with my upper body way out almost next to the fairing no matter what the speed. This just puts me into the habit of weight shifting even when the speed does not justify it. It needs to almost become a subconscious action.

The weight on the outside peg will provide more traction and will in fact prevent the back wheel from braking that easy, but more importantly once the back does come out you are on top of the situation with perfect control. Trying to recover from a out of control slide with to much of your weight on the saddle and the inside of the bike will call for a nerve wrecking moment or two and can at worse be fatal.

The next step would be to have your upper body to the outside of the bike but getting the pressure down on the inside peg as you enter the apex of the turn. This will brake the back out easier to line the bike up quicker for the exit out of the apex and then shifting your weight to the outside peg to gain control of the slide once the bike is pointing at the exit of the turn. This style of riding is only for the gutless and fearless and as you put it "paid riders with no wife's and kids." It allows them to go through the turns at much greater speed than would normally be possible but takes great courage, precision and concentration. Locking the back wheel also forms part of this technique and further help to step the back end out more and faster but weighing the inside peg is still crucial here if you want to make the bike slide sideways.

Forgive me for putting up advice here, but it would be nice to hear your viewpoint on this and I am sure you must have some kind of input and advice on how the pros are doing it.


I hear you bro, and I agree with you completely.  I also prefer to stand on corners, but in this case this corner was particulary sharp, requiring a MX-style turn. What you can't see is my leg kicking the ground on the other side, I think in this case because I did in fact use my leg to keep the bike from low siding.

If you watch the Stage 2 bike vids of the 2010 Dakar on youtube, you will see the boys turning like this in the muddy conditions, so its great for that. The only other time I would sit on a turn is if its very tight, or when your foot is broken and you cant stand as you will soon read about.

I have found on the very sharp turns this method is the best for getting around a corner with a minimum amount of time. If I had done it standing, I would not have been able to do it at the speed I was going at, but mush slower. I've wiped out on hairpin turns standing both on my training bike and on my 800GS. Mostly I think I was going to fast, and the lean angle on such a tight turn does not allow much for error (you go down really really fast!). But had I been sitting I would have been able to save it with the foot. On wider corners it always makes more sense to stand turning  for the reasons you have mentioned. A powerslide is also great fun!

Brake hard on the rear to kick it out as you go into the corner, foot out in front on the inside and gas it. It requires balance and skill (ie. practice to get right) and I wouldnt recommend it to most. Looking at the photo you posted, I would agree my technique needs improvement in that I don't think my weight was forward enough; I was sitting too far back actually you can also see it in that my arms are not in the attack position.
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: BlueBull2007 on November 08, 2010, 03:20:34 am
DD, have a look at this pic, also from the Sertoes:

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other2/d06117rs10marcelomaragni062123/1078990477_YNJ7M-M.jpg)

The corner is not even that tight. But look at the angle of the bike. Its because its a tight turn.  Watching the pros I saw many of them going into a sitting position as soon as the turn tightens up. Notice his weight, on the outside, and you are almost not-sitting because you are pushing down so hard with that outside foot.

But on the wider sweeping turns its far better to powerslide standing up like in this photo>

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/Sertoesw0064/997779666_yC6dT-M.jpg)

Hope this helps! Thanks for your great comment/question.

Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Dustdevil on November 08, 2010, 03:28:13 am
One thing that's always impossible to tell in a stills image is what kind of speed the vehicle is traveling at. In this image it looks like you are going quite fast esp. with all the sand and dust flying. But when you look at the angle of the bike and steering it becomes more obvious that the speed must have been very slow but still aggressive enough to make it look quite spectacular.
I must also agree that I have found especially in very loose stuff or sand that a very tight turn can sometimes best be done by sitting down and allowing the bike to almost rotate around the spot where you put your boot down.
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Dustdevil on November 08, 2010, 03:37:38 am
DD, have a look at this pic, also from the Sertoes:

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other2/d06117rs10marcelomaragni062123/1078990477_YNJ7M-M.jpg)

Notice his weight, on the outside, and you are almost not-sitting because you are pushing down so hard with that outside foot.




That way of doing it can really take it out of you if the road has many turns. You need to be super fit, tried it for short distances but found my legs eventually cramping from the workout and I also could not shift my weight as quick as when I am standing. Obviously I only stand when there is a turn or blind rise or any section or danger coming up that might need faster reaction and weight shifting or emergency braking.
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Dustdevil on November 08, 2010, 03:41:07 am
By the way, the anticipation have grown to great so I had to go look at the final days standings to see if you managed to finish. :biggrin: I will keep it for myself though. :mwink:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Dustdevil on November 08, 2010, 04:01:45 am
Found this little video on YouTube; 


You are the third bike coming past. Fantastic what YouTube have manged to do, a spectator somewhere alongside the road films a bit of rally action and publishes it for the entire world to see. :biggrin:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: BlueBull2007 on November 08, 2010, 06:08:15 am
Thanks to the link DD, its from Stage 9, I'll embed it into the RR at that stage.

Itís pretty hectic stuff at first with some really tight turns, the ones that creep up on you and scare the crap out of you as they tighten up. I manage to overshoot one and end up in some heavy undergrowth. Fortunately the corner is very tight indeed and I can see the road ahead of me through the undergrowth. I open up on the throttle, blast over some rocks and crash through some more bushes to continue the shortcut back onto to the road. Coming out I have that roughed-up feeling as if I have just been in a rugby ruck, bits of bush and creeper trailing off the handlebars and my arms. Three cheers for ATTGAT folks!

It is not long before I come across Zť Helio standing in the shade of an overgrown area, looking very, very distraught. Itís clear he has only just come off; heís had time only to get up and take his helmet off. I slow down, thinking that he had started in front of me today so there was no way anyone had seen this apart from the two of us. He waves me on wildly, his body language is angry and tears of frustration are smeared in the dust on his face. Clearly itís over for him but he seems fine. Confused, I glance down and see his navigation tower on the front of his bike smashed beyond recognition. Shit, the poor guy; I guess his dream of beating Coma on his home turf is now well and truly over. Feeling terrible for his sake I ride on, glad only that I have not yet come to a similar final demise.

Fifteen minutes later I catch up with quad in front of me. Itís really difficult to get past him, because the road is so narrow and twisty. Iím eating a lot of his dust and bitch quietly to myself every time I get too close and then am forced to drop back in thick clouds of dust. I cannot build up my rhythm and its stressing me out. Iím following this guy now some distance off, looking for the gap that has to come up soon. Again I have to stop to let a cloud of dust clear in an area overgrown by thickets.


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/Sertoesw0056/997777434_FYJdX-L.jpg)
As it begins to clear I hammer it to catch up with him again. I get up to a good speed and going round the next corner - Holy ShitĖ I see this quad flying straight back at me in my line. We both take avoiding action, missing major disaster by a hairs breath. Thank God we both turned in the right direction or we would have been a goner, for sure. I donít have time to reflect and I almost lose control of my machine trying to recover. I come to a stalling-stop and catch my breath for a minute. My mind battles to come to terms with how close that was, Iím shaking like a leaf.

I remember Iím still in a race, so I swing round clumsily and following him. As if I did not have enough adrenaline in my body already, its making my body stupid and riding is suddenly hard.  Iím so angry at myself for not focusing on the road book enough. The thing is, when you are behind someone itís you start second-guessing yourself when it comes to reading a road book, and a right-hand turn is easily overlooked because the guy continuing straight in front of you must be on the right road.  I know this but still time and again I get caught by this simple error. Admittedly in case the turn was well hidden, but we had both gone wrong for more than five minutes, so more time had been lost.

I take it easy having narrowly escaped serious injury and knowing full well that others who have made the same mistake may be coming my way. Itís just as well I prepared myself, because within a minute, no less than four guys on top of one another come blasting past me at pace. Its chaos because as each one flies past there is more dust as they all start wheeling around. I am nevertheless to avoid them more easily, but it does not detract from fright each time one comes into view. Each time there is less than a second to react. Itís still one of the scariest moments of the rally and highlights the cardinal rule of never riding against the traffic. The problem is what else do you do it if you go wrong somewhere? Thinking about this I get onto the correct road but lose more time because I overshoot it in my pumped-up state. Iím disgusted with my performance as three of the others pass me in the gap I have left. They have obviously not ridden as far before realising their mistake, no chance of me getting that leading quad for a while now. What a disaster.


The road opens up and we go into a fast section, where I am able to catch a one guy at least. It great fun riding along these roads overgrown by canopy growth broken regularly by some sharpish turns perfect for power-slide posers like me. Iím very comfortable riding at high speeds by now, and Iím loving it. Just as Iím getting into a decent rhythm again I arrive at a wide fast flowing river, filled with photographers. Oh crap it think. I must avoid another epic here. No way am I going to try and ride this, so I dismount consider a line and begin walking it.


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/1o/1081345922_HZo9m-L.jpg)
It goes well for a while, but in the deep part I slack off on the throttle a little too much and it dies on me.

 

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/1n/1081345589_Ukymz-L.jpg)
Perhaps I was subconsciously worrying about hurting the engine, I just donít know, but no amount of fiddling about with the starter gets this damn engine going again. I have to push it the rest of the way over large slippery boulders. Wonderful.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/1p/1081346283_YfVUo-L.jpg)
I push and I push. Itís bemusing how deceptively difficult pushing a race bike filled with fuel through a river can be. The current is pushing me downstream as I go forward and Iím really battling to keep the bike pointing in the right direction.


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/Sertoesw0046/997775143_KMjCF-L.jpg)
Getting it over the big rocks is freaking exhausting. Iím also a bit panicky that somehow water got into the engine. Logic says otherwise but I will just have to wait and see. I make it to the other side only just where I stand and lean against the bike sucking air like a stream train going at full tilt up an incline.


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/1q/1081346507_teYfd-L.jpg)
Looking back, I see poor our Uruguayan team mate Laurent Lazard stripping down his bike. Heís obviously fallen in and is now going to have to spend some time drying things out.


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other2/d06004rs10davidsantosjr060840/1078988828_6tSxg-L.jpg)



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other2/d06101rs10davidsantosjr060093/1078989709_3bPK9-L.jpg)
Here is David Casteau doing it the right way. I have a pic of Coma doing the same somewhere, so at least Iím on the right track.



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other2/d06106rs10davidsantosjr060106/1078990334_vA6CQ-XL.jpg)
Not everyone walks it thoughÖthis is Brazilian leader Felipe Zanol. How he stays on that bike is simply amazing.



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other2/d06046rs10ricardoleizer060552/1078989091_tmH7L-L.jpg)
But most choose to walk it, and get through fine. Above is Marieta Lopes the other lady pilot giving it gas.



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other2/d06208rs10davidsantosjr060700/1078992096_KfgUG-L.jpg)

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other2/d06206rs10davidsantosjr060120/1078991615_mtD95-L.jpg)

Uruguayan Mauro Almedia showing us the handy shower function of his quad.


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other2/d06358rs10davidsantosjr061369/1078994084_7dYJ3-L.jpg)
A number of cars picked up problems in this river as well.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other2/d06328rs10davidsantosjr061577/1078993604_mzsiz-L.jpg)


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other2/d06327rs10davidsantosjr061781/1078993311_idi9R-L.jpg)


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other2/d06405rs10ricardoleizer061146/1078994509_uh6y3-L.jpg)

Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: ThinkMike on November 08, 2010, 08:09:11 am
WOW!!! :thumleft:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: RUPTO on November 08, 2010, 08:45:41 am
Die forum gan darem n vervelige plek wees as jy klaar is met die rr
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Would I? on November 08, 2010, 03:36:00 pm
awesome stuff Neil. Thanks!!!! :biggrin:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Rokie on November 09, 2010, 12:38:12 pm
+1
Dang, how I have been missing this fred!!
and how I will miss it once it's done - thanks for keeping it up Neil - a serious labour of love . . . hang in there
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: BlueBull2007 on November 10, 2010, 06:48:52 am
Perhaps this is the right time to make mention of the guys from Brazilian photo company Webventure (http://webventure.com.br) who go out there every day to take these awesome photographs.
 
(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other2/d05webvrs10ricardoleizer050106/1078988562_QBRcA-XL.jpg)
They are all top guys, passionate about what they do but were also chilled enough to have a beer with us before the rally.



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other2/d10webvrs10davidsantosjr100353/1079008195_8TZhq-L.jpg)
I must say it must be a great job: Following rallies and taking awesome pictures, seeing some pretty amazing and exciting stuff, surrounded by a exotic and beautiful landscape


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other/2i/1043791263_L5Adx-L.jpg)

Quite high risk too, often the guys would be out there on the outside edge of a bend trying to get that ultimate shot. I would ride past cameras attached on the end of long sticks hanging over the road. Sometimes I spot one in a tree or river from time to time but most of the time, unless it is really obvious I donít see them at all.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other/Sertoesweb0116/1003308160_FtURp-L.jpg)


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other/Sertoesweb0115/1003308046_JHxWD-L.jpg)

To get these photos the guys have to basically stay five to ten hours ahead of the field. The route of the rally is naturally closed to all from the time when sparrows begin to fart until the last rider is in. This means that all their travelling has to take basically take place allong appalling roads in the middle of the night, with some camping rough in the bush after that so that they are in the right spot for the next day.


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other/Sertoesweb0113/1003307938_oWQN3-L.jpg)


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other/Sertoesweb0114/1003308056_wPFMX-L.jpg)

I think it takes a toll on the boys, but Iím sure you agree with me the results make it really worth it. Andre, Ivan, thanks again for the awesome work you produced!

Back to the story:

Ivan, stops taking pictures in the river and helps me to get my stalled bike out of the water and up the bank. He offers me some words of encouragement and pats me on the back like an elder brother. Grateful for his help, I manage to kick start the bike easily enough once itís out of the water and set off, still breathing hard from the effort of all that pushing. It takes a good ten minutes for me to recover and during this time I donít risk pushing it too hard. The sun is already high in the sky and I dry off quickly.

Itís getting really hot already and its only 10 am! Fortunately the route after the river is quite fast and I get into a great rhythm and cool off a little racing along these narrow and fast straights, broken only by the odd mata burro or curve. These sections are pure perfection for me, you know, that feeling when it all comes together and you are in unison with the bike.


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/1t/1081347101_9i7rr-X2.jpg)
I feel the bike beneath me, just gliding and sliding over the sand, there nothing to disturb my utopia, nothing to interfere with my thoughts. Everyday life is so far removed now, the only input are from anomalies in the surface ahead of me and I feel like I am flying. I switch my ICO to check my speed and I realize I am flying: 150km/hr! Awesome.



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/1ma/1081344667_tcpQo-XL.jpg)
Better keep your head screwed on straight, Ringdahl.


We cross through in to a section of mountains with lots of criss-crossing tracks and the navigation gets a lot more difficult. The trees here are awesome, it looks like we are in Eastern Zambia again with all these big Acacias about. I take wrong turns twice, both times losing quite a bit of time trying to get back onto the right track. It highlights either an inability on my part to mark the road book well and, or, more likely, my lower level of concentration thanks to yesterdayís epic. I'm aware that although Im not tired or sleepy, I feel fatigued. I think about the snowball effect that Charlie always talked about, and shake my head as if to deny that it is happening to me. But it is and there nothing I can do about it at this stage except to just survive. The last three days have been really hard for me and its beginning to seriously affect me despite months and months of heavy training. Focus Neil, just focus. You have broken the back of this thing...almost. You're on Stage 8! Wow, thats's awesome! We have all made it, are we going to beat the odds and be the first rookie team that gets all three riders to the finish. I start thinking about Dave and Phil and wonder how theyre doing and if they have what it takes to finish. Then I stop. Concentrate on the bloody road, you stupid f*****g  fool!


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/1r/1081346772_v5WCE-L.jpg)

Riding for this amount of time continuously really does something funny to ones head. The riding and navigation becomes something you start doing without thinking at all about it. In some respects this is good because what we normally find challenging or exciting on a ride just becomes another obstacle, but it can also be a bad thing because you get lulled in not thinking about what youíre actually doing. It becomes automatic; I look down at the road book and there are the all too familiar tulips and numbers need computing and calibration with my ICO. They determine my very future, but after miles and miles the obvious risks somehow fade.



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/1s/1081346892_8vuwH-X2.jpg)
The road is open and wide with big, sweeping curves. Its great fun. I continue without incident and I start deluding myself that I'm Alfie Cox. Before I know it I look up from my road book and I'm see myself going into a corner too fast. Way, way too fast. Too late. I lean into it and stamp on the outside foot.

Now I'm power sliding out of control at at least 130km/hr on a left-hand corner that I would normally do at eighty. What happens next takes only a second or two, but time slows completely, I see the end of the rally right here. I see helicopters, and stretchers and drips. My first reaction is to slam on the anchors, but I flinch at that. It will just flip me and result in more pain. I'm surprised at myself. What the f...  Too late. Here goes.

The trees in front for me loom threateningly as I break off onto the shoulder of the road. My sphincter clenches and tries it's best to hide. Riding instinct kicks in and I find myself wrenching the throttle big-time. I can't believe what I a doing. Im about to crash and I'm absolutely wringing it's neck. Unbelieveably, the bike sweeps on and on along the shoulder and after a couple of seconds I find myself speeding down the road, quite untouched at the same speed I came into the corner. My heart races and it feel really good to still be alive. F*** that was close. It must have looked really awesome.
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Dangaboy on November 10, 2010, 07:00:10 am
Man! Jy mag maar!! Dink jy lewe my en elke dude met 'n bike se droom! Hel ek sal my huis en alles verkoop om so iets te kan doen!!! Thanks vir die report! Doen die brein goed!!  :mwink:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: TornadoF5 on November 10, 2010, 08:58:35 am
and then.......!
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: BlueBull2007 on November 10, 2010, 09:03:17 am
(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/1v/1081347459_2ypLQ-L.jpg)



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other2/d07307rs10gabrielbarbosa070344/1078996489_PMjpp-L.jpg)



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/1z/1081348546_gaZGY-L.jpg)
Refuel zone on the special: 15 minutes neutralization time.


Iím no Alfie Cox, my riding skills are nowhere even close, but despite the earlier butt-clenching moment, I still cling to a ridiclously vain hope. Consequently, I manage to low-side the bike about twenty minutes later, again coming too fast into a corner. I am too hard on the brakes this time and down I go, at least not at high speed. Itís not good because my bad leg is under the bike and I battle to pull it out. Not very nice but I come away with only few scratches only, thank God my leg is still working even though my twisted knee hurts like hell. The navigation tower modification is also holding up great, dare I say it, better than the original. Why to go Marcello. But this is no time to be congratulating mechanics, I have a special to finish. I limp around to and swing my bad leg over the bike. It is swelteringly hot, perhaps the hottest day we have had. I unzip the front of my jacket to allow more air in and gulp down some water before setting off, encouraging myself that I only have 50km to go.


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other2/d07307rs10marcelomaragni076349/1078996848_TZHt2-L.jpg)
One of the many little streams that we cross.


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/1l/1081344381_5ANmN-L.jpg)

I havenít covered ten of these, when my chest starts to burn like hell. It takes me about a minute to realise that a hornet or something has somehow flown in there and now getting squashed under my ballistic jersey. He is not happy with the situation and neither am I. I puff out my chest in hope of squashing him, but he anticipates the move, dodges over a bit and starts to zap me some more. I have no choice but to stop, dance about and rip off all my gear and camelback to get him out, much to the mirth of a group of nearby spectators. Bastard hornet. I guess the group watching must have understood because they were all hooting when I was finished.




(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/1x/1081348028_Yj4Ja-L.jpg)


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/2b/1081349165_kJYxK-L.jpg)

When I get to the finish Iím really pleased with myself. Iím home early and there are no problems apart from an easy liaison. The race official offers me ice-cold water which I graciously accept.  Then he tells me there is something leaking out of my bike. What? I thought I had smelt fuel in the last twenty minutes. I leap off my bike and I see a hole in the fuel line from my front left tank. A steady sream of fuel is pouring onto the road. Holy shit!

I whip out a leatherman and cut the fuel line off, fold over the hose and tie it off to seal it.  This of course does not stop fuel pissing out from the other end, due to the back pressure from the other tanks. I sort this out by closing the main valve to the tank, but not before in inadvertently pulling out another fuel line and pouring more fuel onto the ground. Freaking hell. It takes me a couple more minutes to plug the lines back in again. By now Im sweating and panting like a pig. I figure I had better check at the fuel lines on the other side of the bike. I notice that one has moved out of position and is nearly melted through on the exhaust. I have been literally riding on a bomb since my crash when it must have moved! I rig a complicated setup with string and duct tape to keep it out of the way, but not before pulling one of the hoses out again. What a drama class; it stresses me immensely and I donít enjoy the 292km liaison to the city of Teresina at all.


(http://desmcd.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Rally-Dos-Sertoes-2010/Dos-Sertoes-2010-w-Wild-West/989644678_2GVeX-L.jpg)

Teresina is a big place, but despite this, the bivouac turns out to be bloody awful: There must have been some kind of mix up because we end up having to make camp on the island in the middle of a double-lane road that has been shut off for us.



(http://desmcd.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Rally-Dos-Sertoes-2010/Dos-Sertoes-2010-w-Wild-West/989646297_77vp2-L.jpg)
There are zero facilities, guys are crapping behind their tents, trucks and generally behaving like animals. Perhaps its because we have been roughing it for over a week, I don't know. Then we are told the briefing tonight is to be held on the other side of the city, an hourís drive away. Des tells us itís the organiserís sick way of showing us that we are not through the woods yet. There are no vendors to get food from so itís a good thing we have our own backup cooking facilities and water too. Despite all of the unpleasantness, everyone is upbeat and happy, there are only two days left.



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other2/d07poprs10stepannorairchahinia/1078998313_XcPZh-XL.jpg)
We also still have lots of the usual spectators visiting us.



(http://desmcd.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Rally-Dos-Sertoes-2010/Dos-Sertoes-2010-w-Wild-West/989633937_BmcyE-L.jpg)
I do manage to get my bike washed by group of fire fighters who come by on their engine. The mechanics are really happy about that. Working on dirty bikes is always unpleasant.



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/Stage8-correct/1085169591_HG2wW-L.png)

Iím really not happy with my result for the day. I spent too much time picking myself up off the ground, staring into space on the stage and fighting hornets instead of riding. Still we are pleased that the penalties from yesterday late arrivals seem to have vaporised, and my position overall is up to 30th and 7th in my class. I know I can better this.

Itís good to see my friend Kuba Przygonski up there in position No. 3. He got there by consistently coming fourth almost every day. And of course Iím pleased that Dave and Phil are still doing well. Phil is getting really frustrated with his bike electrics. Itís been the third day he has been riding without a road book. Heís done amazingly well under these conditions. Iím not sure what the problem really is.



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other2/d07001rs10marcelomaragni075925/1078995304_2i5Ju-L.jpg)
Coma has been riding like a nut on his 690 as usual.


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other2/d07001rs10stepannorairchahinia/1078995456_22G2h-XL.jpg)
He is naturally pleased with his performance, I don't think he has been going at his limit; but he just has to hold it together to get this one under his belt.


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other2/d08001rs10StefanSusemihl084258/1078998542_9aP4x-L.jpg)



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other2/d07101rs10stepannorairchahinia/1078995672_QiAEd-L.jpg)
David Casteau is currently running fourth overall. Pretty impressive stuff.


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other2/d08101rs10stepannorairchahinia/1078998738_P4EGk-L.jpg)
Here he shows a young fan the ropes.

By the time we are back from the briefing itís late and I still have to do my road book. I get to it and end up having another late night. This time Iím using road book markings I picked up from Marc Coma himself. I was lucky enough to sit next to him during the briefing so I had the opportunity to look at his system of marking. Itís very different to mine, and I like it instantly. Iím going to give it a bash on the road tomorrow.


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other2/d07999rs10stepannorairchahinia/1078998272_dHTSu-XL.jpg)



I canít believe it  - Only two stages to go! Only two stagesÖ


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other2/d07303rs10stepannorairchahinia/1078996170_9rP4S-L.jpg)

Work continues all night as usual, this time with vehicles test right past our tents! Make for another restful night Ė not.




Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Diesel & Dust on November 10, 2010, 09:10:14 am
At the risk of repeating myself (again)  :3some:

This is awesome - Thanks for the effort :thumleft:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: funacide on November 10, 2010, 09:11:02 am
Frikken awesome, one of those reports that you want to finish so you can know what happened but also don't ever want to finish cause it is so kewl...

Thanks for sharing and PLEASE keep it coming
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Gat Slag on November 10, 2010, 10:32:55 am
Bef*k!!!  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Dustdevil on November 10, 2010, 10:37:02 am
This is not just a ride report, this is epic.
It's like an insiders view of what really goes on inside these rally's. Charlie Boorman and Elixir Productions have got nothing on this story of yours.   
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: roxenz on November 10, 2010, 10:40:46 am
Man! This is epic!  Leaves me with post-traumatic stress disorder just reading...
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Kamanya on November 10, 2010, 10:53:31 am
And what was the difference in Coma's marking of his route book to yours?
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: BlueBull2007 on November 10, 2010, 11:10:05 am
STAGE 9 -  Teresina Ė Sobral

71km - Initial Liaison
245km Ė Special Stage
138km Ė Final Liaison

Total for the day 453km


(http://desmcd.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Rally-Dos-Sertoes-2010/Dos-Sertoes-2010-w-Wild-West/989638907_oSwJj-XL.jpg)
The mechanics crash in our tents for an hour of rest when we get up. Itís a great day. Day NINE!!! Wahooo!!

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/camp/Sertoess0327/1085232308_ZTyPQ-M.jpg)
The boys are pretty spaced outÖ

(http://desmcd.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Rally-Dos-Sertoes-2010/Dos-Sertoes-2010-w-Wild-West/989637050_2H5pV-L.jpg)

(http://desmcd.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Rally-Dos-Sertoes-2010/Dos-Sertoes-2010-w-Wild-West/989636452_7auHr-L.jpg)


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/camp/Sertoess0343/1085232805_P8bJV-L.jpg)

Everyone is upbeat, joking about and relaxed despite hardly any sleep (again) and, more importantly, that we have been warned that this stage will be one of the most technically challenging of the whole rally. We figure that once today is over we will be almost assured of victory.


(http://desmcd.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Rally-Dos-Sertoes-2010/Dos-Sertoes-2010-w-Wild-West/989639484_5QTCW-XL.jpg)


(http://desmcd.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Rally-Dos-Sertoes-2010/Dos-Sertoes-2010-w-Wild-West/989641613_ZuLiY-L.jpg)


(http://desmcd.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Rally-Dos-Sertoes-2010/Dos-Sertoes-2010-w-Wild-West/989640822_Bo7Bx-XL.jpg)
Marcello doing the evil eye thing at five. He checks to make sure that my GPS is charging correctly, it has been off for a couple of days now.



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/camp/Sertoess0337/1085232492_dhvsZ-L.jpg)
Meawhile one of the Uruguayans comes in and tells us he got lucky last night. We are all to scared to ask with whom...
:imaposer: :imaposer:


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/camp/Sertoess0341/1085232743_6S9fj-L.jpg)
Then he decides to give us a demonstration.  :laughing4:  :laughing4:

Lets just say I think we were all at that point where you're a trifle hysterical from lack of sleep.


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/camp/Sertoess0339/1085232576_ytibt-L.jpg)
Clearly something happened to Mauro in town last night and seeing his is still beside himself, and his road book has not been marked, Marcello kindly does it for him.



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/camp/Sertoess0347/1085232897_vbNs3-L.jpg)
I find out at number ninety nine that my fuel lines have not been sorted, and quickly manage to slip into my comfort zone: Surpervising. ::)  But after yesterdays experience at the finish I'm not thrilled with the idea of becoming the Sertoes very own "Ghost Rider". Just as well its a later start than normal.


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/camp/Sertoess0348/1085233000_dMe6M-L.jpg)




(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/camp/Sertoess0352/1085233108_u2yWm-L.jpg)
Finally I get away.

The liaison ride from Teresina is uncharacteristally short and it seems like in no time we are at the start of the special on the edge of a village.


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other/Sertoesweb0101/1003307178_YcocQ-L.jpg)
I catch up with Vincente de Benedictus, a Brazilian Dakar legend and we chat about his plans to do the Dakar again in 2011.
 

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other/Sertoesweb0104/1003307349_iGCRd-XL.jpg)


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other/Sertoesweb0099/1003307017_zoNk7-L.jpg)
He has had a good run in the Sertoes, and is just "Enjoying himself and treating it as a training ride."  :eek7:
Its an education so see how relaxed he is. Dakar must be a lot tougher than this, or he is just one of those hard core special forces guys who get kicks out of riding rallies where there is pain and suffering.


I think about myself. I'm feeling okay, I'm still pretty fatigued, but its stayed the same the past few days.  My left knee is really bothering me and I am favouring my right leg quite bit more as a result. I have more than enough reserves to do this stage today, and for the first time on the rally I am not totally nervous.

My time comes up and I am off without further mishap. What a pleasure. My bike is working, all the instrumentation is working and Im riding again. I can do this.


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/Sertoesw0063/997779350_ojC3c-L.jpg)
The first section is a nice fast section of good road. As Skinny likes to say: "Flat taps, pappie"



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/Sertoesw0060/997778530_jhHWP-XL.jpg)



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/Sertoesw0061/997778874_M7iqC-L.jpg)
But the road soon enough gets quite bit narrower and everything slows again to series of short runs with sharp turns of generally rough ground. I notice that I am taking left hand turns a little bit wider than normal, and Im not sure why. Its almost as if I am running out of road everytime. Perplexing as it is I assume its just fatigue and try to focus on technique a bit more.






(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/2bc/1081349907_dhKj5-XL.jpg)





(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/2bb/1081349766_ieABq-XL.jpg)

I end up dicing another guy for a while through an area that apart from the odd palm tree, increasingly looks like farms in the Limpopo province somewhere. We take turns over shooting turns, but I notice immediately that my road book is much easier to read. This new system of marking is working! I'm making less mistakes, definitely and I eventually get ahead of him.


I'm enjoying the ride and my pace is up but Im not overdoing it by any means.


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/2c/1081350563_xph8v-L.jpg)


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/2ba/1081349417_8bM3o-XL.jpg)


Then the unthinkable happens.

I get to an unexpected and unmarked 45 degree left-hand turn onto a track between two fences with tree stumps as fence posts. It does not surprise me all that much because I see the turn coming, but Iím still moving quite fast, perhaps 80km/hr, I end going into another power slide a little too wide. Suddenly I'm decidedly anxious as the bike is now too close to the barbed wire. I am just thinking about the wire ripping my leg open when I feel a white-hot wave of pain in my right foot as the bike kicks violently out to the left.

Bellowing loudly into my helmet, I somehow control it and pull over as fast as I can brake. I nearly go down but Iím in too much pain to care. I know immediately what has happened - I have connected a fence post straight-on with my foot. I also know itís serious because, swinging myself off the bike on my good foot I find I am quite unable to put any weight on it at all. The pain is unbearable and I nearly drop the bike trying to get the side stand out with my hand. Bawling like a child I hang over my bike to get the weight off my foot. I donít know how I stay in this position, just trying to engage and cope with the pain.

This is it. My rally is f****g over. Oh my God. My foot. Please God, let my foot be okay. Please, please, please. Oh God, oh God. Itís so f*****g sore.  


I open my eyes and look down at my foot peg.



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/2ja/1081352282_wXs7u-L.jpg)

Oh my God, Oh Jesus, if thatís what the peg looks like, what does my foot look like?

I hear an approaching bike. I stand up. What do I do? I can hardly see through the tears. I look around. Thick bush surrounds me. No way a helicopter can land here. Youíre not going to get a helicopter here, Neil. The bike comes into view and slows. I donít what is worse the latent pain or standing on this freaking foot. This is not good at all. I look away from the rider and raise a thumbs up. He drops a gear and speeds past, probably thinking I just have a technical fault. I have not even taken my helmet off. Im not waiting for a freaking ambulance either. I guess I just have to.

Dammit this is terrible, Lord, especially after all this, having come so far. After drowning the bike, after all those other problems, now this. Must I just accept it, what are you trying to teach me here? I try to put a little weight on my foot. The pain is unbearable, I must have smashed all the bones, it feels shattered. I look at my foot and try to stand on it again. I grunt and bite holes in my lips. ďF*** no, no this, not now, not so close to the finish. Please Jesus help me.Ē I try repeatedly to put weight on my foot and each time I scream. It is like some kind of sick game. Me refusing to accept what has happened and each time getting a very rude awakening. Itís too much.  I lean over my motorcycle and howl at the ground long and hard, ďNOOOOO!!!Ē

Another bike comes past and I go through the motion of waving everything is okay again. I can call a rescue team easily enough on my radio, but I donít want to have people around me, no one near me, I just want to suffer and deal with this alone. Oh GodÖWhat about all those following me? Theyíre going to be so disappointed. What about the Wilddogs following on the internet, what about the ADVriders? There are so many who have wished me all the best, so many who are living this dream through meÖ They will understand I suppose. They will get the news tonight I will expect. Itís not that bad going out with a broken foot, itís a valid reason. I burst into a fresh bout of sobbing. They were all so keen. Theyíre waiting for news right now.  Maybe some of them have seen that Iíve stopped on my satellite tracking. I donít think I can take letting them down.


Slowly though the haze, I become aware someone has come out of the bush to see what is going on and is standing near me helplessly looking on. While I understand I have been making a helluva lot of noise, and the reaction is normal, Iím instantly angered by his presence.
 
ďŅEstŠ tudo bem?Ē he asks quietly. I avoid his eyes and ignore the question. I am too ashamed to be a pathetic loser. The bastard, what te f*** does he want with me? What canít he leave me alone? Others have finished the Dakar with broken feet. Maybe not smashed feet but broken feet. Itís my right foot. I can ride without a brake. I canít stand. Well f*** that. F*** this pain. Lets see if I can still ride. I have nothing to lose except more pain. I swing my leg over the saddle. The pain is pretty freaking heavy but slightly less than earlier. I bite my lips some more, hawk loudly and spit into my helmet. I donít care. This is all just too much. I rummage around in the pocket above my knee for one of those squeegee, orange, energy-burst, gel sachť thingy's, tear it open and suck its contents into my mouth. It steels me a bit and provides some very much needed glucose to my system. I toss the wrapper onto the ground, angrily, defiantly.

Thank God the electric starter works. The bike growls to life. I look his way and say in Spanish ďEstoy f*****g duele mucho pero no hay otro optcion, siga defrente!Ē I f*****g hurt a lot, but donít have another option but to go aheadĒ.

I drop the gears, pull away, and almost immediately break into another fit of sobbing. The bike wobbles dangerously in the deep, soft sand.
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: BlueBull2007 on November 10, 2010, 11:20:06 am
And what was the difference in Coma's marking of his route book to yours?


Boet, I was thinking about how to describe that and it's not so easy and would probably detract a bit from the story.

Also, its kind of a trade secret. I need a competetive advantage somewhere after all! 

But the next time we have a beer, ask me and I'll show you.
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: IDR on November 10, 2010, 11:43:03 am
mate - this is riveting reading....

(http://www.threadbombing.com/data/media/52/Kyle_Moar.jpg)
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: ThinkMike on November 10, 2010, 11:55:17 am
No No No No Noooo. You cant stop it here????

I can  / maybe cant imagine the shit flooding through your mind. This brings back a similar emotions I went through, but certainly not with the Impact and consequence you were living through.

When I was at school, I was recovering nicely from 2 consecutive left / right shoulder breaks that had kept me off my bike and out of MX for a few months and was on the road to recovery. Showing a bunch of mates how I could stand on the seat and wheelie, I went over backwards. I knew instantly as I hit the ground, there was big problems with my left ankle (you cant run at that speed). But that absolute dispare and anger that I was hurt again - Dunno who I was fooling but I WOULD NOT accept it. Got to my feet and walked over to where my bike ended up- each step so much pain I was almost throwing up, biting my lip and saying fuck you fuck you fuck you fuck you this is not happening, its not broken, it will ease up soon -  Haha yeah right!!

Keep it coming I just gotta know what transpires!!

Fantastic writing Neil!!!!
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: the_wes on November 10, 2010, 12:11:26 pm
DD, have a look at this pic, also from the Sertoes:

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other2/d06117rs10marcelomaragni062123/1078990477_YNJ7M-M.jpg)

Notice his weight, on the outside, and you are almost not-sitting because you are pushing down so hard with that outside foot.




That way of doing it can really take it out of you if the road has many turns. You need to be super fit, tried it for short distances but found my legs eventually cramping from the workout and I also could not shift my weight as quick as when I am standing. Obviously I only stand when there is a turn or blind rise or any section or danger coming up that might need faster reaction and weight shifting or emergency braking.

DD, I'm no expert, but I do know you'll struggle to do that on the HPN - it works well on lighter bikes AND part of the technique is getting your tenders right up against the tank, even the bars if you can. But what do I know, hijacking this brilliant thread!!
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Gat Slag on November 10, 2010, 07:13:55 pm
Nee man, dit klink k*k seer... Bliksem!!!
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Sir Rat on November 10, 2010, 10:43:53 pm
Shees nou het ek lekke gelees. Nog asb!!  ::) ;D
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: cca on November 11, 2010, 03:15:17 am
ROLL OF HONOUR  :3some:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Nevar on November 11, 2010, 08:32:04 am
subscribe
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: funacide on November 11, 2010, 10:12:39 am
WE WANT SOME MORE PLEASE!!!!
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Puddles on November 11, 2010, 10:27:45 am
I feel your pain !!!  :o
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Dustdevil on November 11, 2010, 08:03:23 pm
I fractured one bone in my right foot while stretching my legs before. We were traveling on the N1 back to Cape Town and moved over to the yellow line for faster traffic from the rear. As I started turning back onto the road the tip of my boot caught a cat eye.
The pain was so intense I nearly fell of the bike. Nobody else knew of my problem as we just kept riding, I realized sitting on the seat while moving is the best way of keeping pressure of my foot. I just kept it hanging on the side as even resting my boot on the footpeg caused intense pain.
I was not doing a rally and only had 400km of smooth tar to contend with. The X-ray revealed only a small crack in one of the bones. The did not even bother putting into a cast.

Respect for getting back on the bike and riding a sandy track with that kind of pain. :thumleft:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Footloose on November 11, 2010, 09:02:54 pm
I have no words for this.......it is way past amazing, awesome and what not.

Again thanks for the all effort and time that has gone into the RR
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Eggs on November 11, 2010, 09:32:55 pm

Quote
The pain is pretty freaking heavy but slightly less than earlier. I bite my lips some more, hawk loudly and spit into my helmet. I don't care. This is all just too much.

Amazing how we just 'spit into a full face helmet and not care a toss' when we break something.

I did exactly that recently when I fractured my foot and again when I fractured my wrist 4 weeks later.

One day when I grow up, I want to be like you....Thanks

Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: BlueBull2007 on November 12, 2010, 06:18:44 am
I realize part of what also got me going again was the spectre of having the cars and trucks running me down in the narrow alley where I stopped between the fences. I must be fooling myself. How can I possibly ride with this injury? I decide to see if I can make it a few hundred metres and then stop in a safe, quiet, open area for a helicopter pickup. I get to one soon enough, and the road is now straight and smooth. What am I going to do now Ė Stop? Iím reminded again of one of my favourite sayings ďPissies will never be heroes.Ē I swearing at myself, I ride on, hawking and spitting out more phlegm build up. Maybe I can do ten kilometres. If I get that far, I can re-evaluate my options. Thatís a big if. I have nothing to lose.


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other2/d08poprs10ricardoleizer080019/1079001920_xpT4f-L.jpg)
Whatever happens, when I do stop, I want to avoid the masses and people that come fast from everywhere.  Iím not in a state to do people at all.  Itís too hard to stand up on the pegs, my foot is literally on fire.

There is still another unanswered problem to deal with: What am I going to with my freaking foot? Putting it on the peg is unqualified agony, so thatís not really an option. I try holding it in the air close to the engine. Iím terrified of hanging it down in case it hits something again. But riding through a series of erosions in the road does just that Ė It bangs against the bike and I shriek in agony. I lean over, with my head close to the road book and squeeze the bars tightly until the wave of pain washes away. The Yamaha is wobbling all over the place like a newbie getting to grips with riding; somehow I manage to keep it on the road. I'm sticking my foot  out to the side like some kind of stupid trick rider move. But I canít hold my foot in the air forever. Shit itís so freaking sore. Eventually I settle with the edge of my heel on the peg. The pain is worse, but this way I can maybe ride a bit further. Every time I see an undulation, rock or erosion gully I lift my heel up so as not to generate more pain.


After while I start freaking out again, as the realisation of what I am trying to do sinks in. I must stop fixating on the trauma and try to focus on something else, anything else - like the road book - to get my head back to ďnormalĒ mode. Itís hard to see through all the snot and tears. Iíve become a bit of an emotional wreck. This is so freaking hard and I have to force my mind to concentrate: 116.76kmÖhard turn to the right, then 116.86kmÖturn left off the roadÖICO is..116.29kmÖ Ok, five down-clicks on the ICO for calibration and five hundred metres to go before a hard turn right in deep sand. Shit. I canít do this.


Yes you can, you useless, pathetic shit, I scold myself. You are doing it boet, just keep her upright. Pissies will never be heroes and remember not to put your f*****g foot out. I gear down fast without the clutch to emulate a rear wheel brake and manage to slide the back around. I donít put my foot out and I almost lose it because Iím still sitting down.  The left-hand turn is a lot easier, but my foot is not at all happy with all the movement. Then I see from the road book that I still have 337km to get to the end of the stage. Holy shit. Plus 390km for tomorrow, thatís over seven hundred kilometres to go!! Freaking hell, thatís far. There is no way I can make it in this condition, not in this freaking sand. Just try. Look, youre youve done ten kilometres already. Try and do another ten. Then you can stop. Then you can say you have tried.  

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/2f/1081350985_9z7vZ-L.jpg)

It's not so fun anymore now, eh Neil? Cost a shit load too. What a fool I am. The sand and bumps and humps are just too much. I canít go on like this. Maybe I can stand and just hang my foot out. I try that. It works okay for a while, but my left leg starts to get really tired in all the deep sand. Everything is now just sand with deep ruts and tight turns, though this huge, flat area filled with smallish palm trees. Its very hot and dry. I ride perhaps eight kilometres standing on one leg, pushing my sore foot dangling next to the peg. I have to hold out my right leg away from the bike a lot of the time though to avoid the peg catching on it in the up-down movement of the bike. A couple of times it does and I bellow and snort like a wounded animal each time. I am forced to sit down not long after that because I simply don't have the strength to keep it up like this in the deep sand. I still have 329km to go. I have to rest both my glowing foot and my left leg. My left knee is now also very unhappy thanks to the aggravation to ligament damage I picked up two days ago, but this pales in comparison to my foot. Man-up and suck-up.


My mind wanders. I look down to see if I can see blood coming out of my boot, and realise this is not a good idea at all because riding stability goes out of the window. Focus Neil, focus. You don't want to end up wrapped around a palm tree. Like Phil says: Focus, flow, -finish. FocusÖflowÖfinish. Maybe my foot is not just fractured. Maybe itís totally crushed. It feels crushed. Itís probably all jellified flesh down there filled with sharp bone fragments. I don't know. The nightmare in my mind continues and it just gets worse. I start sobbing again. Please Lord, let my foot be okay.  
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: alanB on November 12, 2010, 08:10:39 am
Not quite sure what a "pissie" is, but I have no doubt I am one, in comparison!

This thread is making my eyes water!!!  Almost need a pain killer myself! 

Riding a couple of hundred k's through bad terrain holding one leg in the air because its too excruciating to put it on the pegs, and still managing to engine brake to slide into corners  faaaark!!!!   :o


Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Tr0jan on November 12, 2010, 08:24:31 am
Amazing stuff!

Makes me think of that french dakar rider who also broke his foot, and rode till the finish, stopped, and fell over, bursting into tears of pain!

Jys 'n legend pappie!

Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: BlueBull2007 on November 12, 2010, 08:40:26 am
I wrestle the bike through the sand. Riding sitting requires a lot more concentration and arm-work. Iím counter-steering like a fiend, fighting the bike to keep the rubber side down. But it keeps me occupied. I check the ICO and compare it with the road book. 321 km to go. Another biker blasts past me. I feel embarrassed that Iím riding so much slower.  It ignites new fire in me and I speed up a bit, but Iím tired and its impossible to keep it up for very long. I have to stop and rest so I do just that. I drink another about a litre of water and force down an energy bar. Itís ridiculously hot. Iím not cooling down. This means I will dehydrate faster. I have to get moving at least. Another rider comes past. The sobbing starts again and I pull away like this, hurting my foot in the process.


Watching the road book and counting down the kilometres becomes a game. I cheer up. Every few hundred metres is a part of one kilometre, every kilometre is part of ten. There are 32 tens to do. Soon there will be less than thirty. 


I'm surprised in these conditions to be able to make out the three distinct characters of myself: First there is the calm, calculating, clear-thinking person with the soothing voice that is my spirit, then there is the self-pitying, snivelling, emotional wreck of my soul, and lastly my exhausted and traumatised body, filled with pain but fighting to go on and doing it best to absorb, decipher and obey commands from both my soul and spirit. My spirit sits out there and looks at my body and soul with detached pity. He is pretty calm and confident under the circumstances.  He knows that everything will work out fine. My body and soul are not so sure. My soul is swings and round abouts, one second full of hope, the next overcome with despair. My body is fed up, plain and simple. The luxury of rest, of sleep is all it wants. Theyíre plotting together for the easy way out and battle for it at every opportunity. Iím not sure who is going to win, but either way itís going to be close.


Another ten kilometres miraculously pass. The road improves somewhat, but despite this my soul wins the argument. My body agrees; we will stop at the next corner and call it a day. I am at the end of my tether after all. I have tried and fought in vain. I get to the next corner and start slowing down. A crowd of perhaps twenty people come into view. Theyíre standing there, right on the corner, leaning out, some are taking pictures on their cell phones. I hear them screaming, whistling and whooping from some way off. ďGo, go, go!!Ē They are leaping around with excitement and applauding.


What beautiful, lovely, lovely people. I think it is the applauding is what does it for me. As if I am somehow worthy of their applause. Little do they know whatís going on in this head of mine. Isn't the human spirit so amazing?  I unsuccessfully try to fight the tears back and ride on. Iím so tired. I think again of the ADVrider supporters, the Wilddogs. They are also applauding no doubt, I just know it. I freaking saw their posts with my own eyes just five days ago. There are some who are watching my progress on the GPS spot tracker, if its working properly.
Thatís it. There is no f*****g way I am going to stop now. Maybe I will have to stop a bit further on, but not now, and certainly not if I can help it. This simple experience energises me somehow to ride on. My spirit takes over again: Ignore the pain. Pain is a feeling. Feelings come and go. Feelings cannot be relied upon. Lord, please give me the strength to finish this.


The track screws and twists through the bush and comes to cross a small, dry gully. I bounce in and coming out I gas it too much, pull a wheelie and go down on my right side with the bike on top of me. I lie there with the bike on my leg screaming in agony. I donít have the strength to get it off my busted-up foot. Two bikes appear out of nowhere in the thick dust and nearly go over me. One just misses my head. They leap off and charge over. Its rescue time. At the same time four or five young spectators run up. The riders pickup the bike while others pick me up and start dragging me over to the shade of a tree. My foot drags along the ground as well and howling, I fight hell and tooth, swinging punches to get my weight onto my good foot and them to let me go. They do this and stand back looking at me with wide, fearful, but adrenalin-pumped eyes. They've just seen a crash right in front of them.


Fabriacio Bianchini takes one look at me and starts to unpack his radio. Pierluigi Clini, the other Brazilian rider holds me up and asks me how I am. I tell him my sad story and this is not a major, itís just that I fell off now and needed some help. Do I want a pain pill?
ďSure, thanks very much!Ē Hands me the pill, and looks at me with suspicion and worry all over his face as I gobble it down, actually enjoying its bitter taste. ďItís just that I think I broke my foot.Ē Pierluigi looks down at my foot. ďShitÖI'm so sorry.Ē

Then I notice Fabricio trying to call up a helicopter. ďHey, whoa, wait stop,Ē I yell.
ďEh?Ē
ďDonít call them. I donít want a f*****g helicopter rescue.Ē
ďBut youíre badly injured, you canít go on like this.Ē Pierluigi agrees
ďLook guys, this is my rally, I paid to be here. I get to choose if I want a helicopter or not.Ē They both look at each other and then at me, unconvinced.
ďGuys, we have one more stage. One. You have to let me try. I will not hold it against you.Ē
ďErr...Okay, but first come and sit down here under a tree and rest a little bit.Ē Pierluigi takes me by the arm.
ďNo brother, if go and sit there, I will not get up again. Rather help me onto my bike.Ē
"Yeah but-"
"But nothing. I can do this." I can see twhat they are thinking in their eyes. He is not going to make it. poor bastard. I know they are wondering if calling a helicopter now will be better in the long run, so I repeat what I say with more resolve, "I can do this. Really. I will do this."

They kindly oblige, with help me over to my bike. Suddenly I feel like all my strength is exhausted again. But I have to go on until itís physically impossible for me. Until someone picks me up off the ground on a stretcher. I thank God that my battery is okay and I don't have kick start the WR, despite flooding it. I pull away in more deep sand. The bike is all over the place, I am so shakey and weak I can almost not hold onto the bars. But I do, and manage to ride at a slow pace through the sand. Slower is harder but I cant handle the higher speeds with my foot the way it is. They follow me for about fifteen minutes, and when it seems like I will be okay and will just carry on continue plodding along, they zip off in front waving a thumbs up, all the best, brother.


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other2/d09poprs10gabrielbarbosa090273/1079004101_pDNTq-L.jpg)
As soon as they are gone I aim the bike for the nearest palm tree and stop so that the shade of it trunk is over my body. I need to rest a little, I don't consider getting off. Man it is hot out here, and so dry. There is nothing but glaring white, white sand, making it difficult on the eyes. I shake my head. I have no strength left. I cannot afford to fall again. If I fall again I will be unable to get up. I finish the water in my camelback suck another energy squeegee and press on. 286km to go.


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other2/d09001rs10marcelomaragni097027/1079002364_qZXs7-L.jpg)

I think of the leaders, they must be on the final liaison by now, having finished the special.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other/untitled35/1043829607_haQdN-L.jpg)

 (http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other2/d08103rs10ricardoleizer080079/1078998877_2UV5z-XL.jpg)


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other2/d09025rs10eliseomiciu090105/1079002669_3oxAt-L.jpg)
Iím falling behind fast as others continue to pass me, cowering in the shade of a palm tree. I am past worrying about what they think of me just sitting here. Soon the cars will be coming and then Iím in deep shit if I canít get out of the way fast enough.

Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: BlueBull2007 on November 12, 2010, 08:44:17 am
Not quite sure what a "pissie" is, but I have no doubt I am one, in comparison!

I doubt that ;D  A pissie is a ... hmmm... well just someone who will rather take the conservative option in case he gets hurt, someone who is risk averse I guess.
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: funacide on November 12, 2010, 08:54:21 am
Loving your writing - well done. Please keep it coming SOON
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: BlueBull2007 on November 12, 2010, 10:06:36 am
(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/d09111rs10gabrielbarbosa090253/1087528798_VoKj4-X2.jpg)
The sand goes on and on. And on. I am really hating it in my condition. But there are two ways out of this. One is in front of me, and the other will be only after a long, painful wait in the sun until someone comes to help me. I must just not fall again - no matter what. The kilometres are inching past so slowly, and I count them down meticulously. If only I can make it to the end of the special. Im not sure exactly how far that is, somehow I wiped off the mileage mark I wrote on the top of my road book this morning.

Sometime later, after the refuelling point I stop for another rest and Dave comes up.
ďHey whatís up?Ē
ďI broke my foot.Ē
ďOh shit. Well, hang in there.Ē He rides off.
Iím angered by his lack of empathy, but really what can he do? He also has a race. He is doing well too. But this anger steels me to ride on. I battle pulling away as usual and wonder where I am going to get the strength but somehow I find it. It is nevertheless getting increasingly difficult. I can feel myself fading.



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/d09111rs10theoribeiro099101/1087528891_BeFqH-L.jpg)

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/d09111rs10theoribeiro099102/1087528979_e9cPx-L.jpg)

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/2h/1081351531_5ZcBC-L.jpg)

Sooner or later I know I am going to go over too far on one of these corners. I pray and will myself not to.




Just then I hear ďBEEEEPÖ..BEEEEEPÖ.BEEEEP,Ē a little pause and ďďBEEEEPÖ..BEEEEEPÖ.BEEEEP.Ē I immediately recognise my sentinel alarm on my bike. It indicates one thing and one thing only.




(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other/Sertoesweb0097/1003306741_nSkeD-L.jpg)
Oh f***!!! Here they come!!!


 (http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other2/d09334rs10marcelomaragni097245/1079003951_nmFmh-L.jpg[img][img] http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other/Sertoesweb0098/1003306943_JPkzH-L.jpg)


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other2/d09334rs10marcelomaragni097245/1079003951_nmFmh-L.jpg)



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other2/d09307rs10ricardoleizer090482/1079003554_wreug-L.jpg)
Luckily in this part of the Stage I have a place to get off the road. The first three are right on each otherís asses. Believe me when I say it is an helluva experience to be cowering on the outside of a curve when these guys come past. I would say they are 20-30% faster than the fastest bikes. You do absolutely not want to be on the road in front of them, because they drift and bounce as they go past and one little undulation can make the difference between life and death.


I am pleased to survive the first onslaught and press on, only now I need to prepare myself mentally to get off the road at any moment too. In some places this is quite impossible. Again, I have something new to drive me on: fear. 



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other2/d08poprs10marcelomaragni082880/1079001297_siGBk-XL.jpg)



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other2/d08poprs10theoribeiro084848/1079002200_sJcbS-L.jpg)



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other2/d08poprs10marcelomaragni086752/1079001508_tLE28-L.jpg)



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other2/d08poprs10marcelomaragni082864/1079001164_LpK7N-L.jpg)


Eventually I get to the trial section of the special with only thirty kilometres to go until the end of the special. Iím really nipping that this going to be some horrible sand monster, but it turns out to be rocky instead. What a relief. It is very rocky, in places the route goes so straight over bare outcrop, but I find it easier somehow even though I'm taking a hammering not standing up. Of course there are very sandy bits in between and it on one of these bits that I manage to come off a second time, again falling on my foot.


Im convinced it was only by Godís grace that it also happened to take place right in front of a farm house. The second part of the special is deviod of people except for this one place. It's residents people just stare fascinated at me lying there on the ground, struggling and snivelling pathetically under the stricken Yamaha. It is only after I beg and plead with them that one guy ventures out to help me up. I think they had been warned not to get onto the track, so the guy who helped me was a very brave man indeed.  At one point he charges back into the house, when a car comes past, squeezing between my fallen bike and the building. I am extremely grateful and clap my hands in thanks when he comes out again. They cheer vivaciously. Amazingly, although the whole event was just as agonizing as my earlier fall, I have found a way to just sort-of ignore the waves of pain. Perhaps the vibration of the bike somehow massaged my foot a bit, I don't know.


The trial section only lasts about twenty kilometres and after that the track opens onto a dirt highway. Iím bushed, my kidneys and ass has taken a hammering of note, but I have made it. I cruise to the finish of the special and happily hand in my time card. Itís hard to explain how I am feeling. Iím too tired to be overjoyed, too thirsty and sore to relax; yet I have a great, liberated feeling of satisfaction. Iím naturally very, very grateful. I have literally ridden myself out of shit and I find myself in a zone of exhaustion where the pain is just a throbbing nuisance.

Outside of any injury, I thrive on riding in the "Zone" as I call where you are too thrashed to carry on but have no option but to. Its in this place - Where one has to really dig deep - that I operate well and enjoy. (Yes I know, I'm a sick puppy and should see someone about it, but for it's living!  :biggrin: ) I still have a 137km liaison to push through, if I can get there, then maybe, just maybe, Iíll still have a fighting chance to finish the last Stage. But small steps first. I need to get to the bivouac tonight. 
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: madmike999 on November 12, 2010, 11:01:49 am
 :drif: :drif: :drif: :drif:


CAN READ THIS RR OVER AND OVER!

dude you are still one of my heroes!!!
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Crossed-up on November 12, 2010, 11:40:34 am
This is the third time I've done this rally.  I followed your progress live, I went to your talk in Cape Town, and now I'm lapping up the RR.  Each time it just gets more intense.  Huge respect to you, Neil!
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: roxenz on November 12, 2010, 12:47:31 pm
Fark, boet that is just awesome. Awesome, I tell you! I'm in awe. Hat off. Respect.
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: ThinkMike on November 12, 2010, 01:03:46 pm
Neil - before this event (and I assume you have never been self pushed like this before) did you ever think this is how you would react / cope with this type of situation?

With absolute respect and admiration!!! :thumleft:

TM...
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Rokie on November 12, 2010, 01:16:14 pm
. . .  :eek7:

Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Sir Rat on November 12, 2010, 01:45:32 pm
You are inspiring Neil!  :eek7:  Please keep it coming.  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Would I? on November 12, 2010, 03:24:55 pm
Thanks Neil......... my fix for the day!!!1  :thumleft: :thumleft:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Sandban(g)k on November 12, 2010, 03:28:32 pm
Awesome, met n hoofletter A :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: yaartbrak on November 12, 2010, 03:45:05 pm
Nee wat Kerels ek dink dit is meer as net 'n groot A ... Awesome, dis sommer net BEFOK!!!!!!!!

Ek kannie wag vir die volgende episode nie, ek voel soos 'n "druggie" wat nie weet waar sy volgende strooitjie of grassies gaan vandaan kom nie, daai totale "not knowing" gevoel, moederloosheid!!!!!!!

Ek will net se , en mans erken mos nie die goed nie, maar fok, ek het klein knaters in vergelyking!!!!

Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Trooper on November 12, 2010, 03:47:21 pm
Great Reading with amazing pic's well done
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: BlueBull2007 on November 12, 2010, 04:23:04 pm
Neil - before this event (and I assume you have never been self pushed like this before) did you ever think this is how you would react / cope with this type of situation?

Mike, frankly no. Even though I consider myself a go-getter I have to say the big man upstairs helped me through this rally big time. Its hard for me exclude this stuff it even though I'm hardly the poster boy for it and I know R&P stuff is offensive to many, many think its nonsense. Thats okay, but this is really what happened and I need to be true to the story. After all it is my experience and how i see things. Writing this has been almost as difficult as the rally itself, especially the last couple of posts.

You know, I thought I had my head screwed on straight going into this rally. I was super fit, mentally prepared, ultra confident the lot. But from the very first day all that confidence had completely evaporated. I'm not used to operating under these conditions. It was a whole new adjustment, that I can do nothing on my own. But everyday brought new problems that took the wind out of my sails and  I nearly lost the plot completely every time. By Stage 9 I was kinda getting used to it and learning about real faith in the face of adversity all over again, and then disaster struck. I was back to square one in the faith department. Not in God Himself, but in myself, in the fact that He was with me despite everything; He has given us the ability to overcome the impossible. You will see, it does not get any easier.

Looking back on it, what I should have done was just give the whole thing over to God in the first place, this is how i have been succesful in life. But I did'nt and so the burden remained on me. It was a learning experience I will never forget, my life has changed and I am ready for bigger things going forward now.
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: BlueBull2007 on November 12, 2010, 04:27:30 pm
Here is a comment left by my co-rider Phil in the ADVrider thread, I x-posted it here, seeing this is the "main" thread.

Quote from: Bicycle Phil
Great report Neil!!  :clap

Thanks for taking the time to put "pen to paper"!

Your vivid descriptions of the emotional roller coaster are spot-on.
The description of the abject mental state you experienced after smashing the foot.....especially not wanting to disappoint your fans at home.
My mind-set was the exact same after smashing my thumb on day 3 or 4.
[SIZE="1"]PissyPissyPissy[/SIZE]....:rofl

Phil you were awesome man. That thumb was pretty bad. I remember you very anguished look at the end of the stage when it came out and how it wouldn't work the e-starter. I felt for you big-time, brother. Pissies will never be heros. :lol3 [/COLOR]

Quote
The water-crossing drama is a lot of fun to re-experience through your words and pictures. The Zanoli cat was (way)rad to ride thru that sort of widish, boulder infested watercourse :huh
I distinctly remember riding up to the bank of that river, immediately hopping off the bike, thinking their was no way in hell that I would attempt to ride this one, not after my submarine fun a few days prior.

Yeah me too, actually I forgot about the river on stage seven and I really had to slam on anchors or I would have gone straight in at pace! I think thats what may have happened to Zanoli cat. The difference is he's a legend.

Quote
The 2 ladies, Moara and ??? were both incredible. Moara told me this was her 11th Dos Sertoes :bow

Moara Sacilotti, the other one's name was Marieta Rodriguez Lopez Moraes, both rode WR450's, and both are Dos Sertoes veterans. I never knew Moara did it 11 times!! I know this was Marieta's 8th time. :gdog

Against this we seriously look like pissies. :D

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other/Sertoesweb0089/1003305698_QTrUg-L.jpg)

Here is Marieta, remember she was the nutcase who rode around with a baby's doll stuck to her front fender. :D  I have some more pics of her, will post them in the RR.
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Baches on November 12, 2010, 04:28:25 pm
Hierdie RR is soos goeie rooi wyn. Kan net nie ophou lees nie. BB jy is 'n yster. Jy doen wat ons ander net droom om te doen.  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Sandban(g)k on November 12, 2010, 04:30:48 pm
BB this testimonial is absolutely extraordinary, glad we can learn from you, as the same goes for everyday life...

Respect :thumleft: daar is min ouens wat die "ghoons" het om Hom die eer te gee vir jou eie prestasie :thumleft:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Bernoulli on November 12, 2010, 04:59:17 pm
Neil - before this event (and I assume you have never been self pushed like this before) did you ever think this is how you would react / cope with this type of situation?

Mike, frankly no. Even though I consider myself a go-getter I have to say the big man upstairs helped me through this rally big time. Its hard for me exclude this stuff it even though I'm hardly the poster boy for it and I know R&P stuff is offensive to many, many think its nonsense. Thats okay, but this is really what happened and I need to be true to the story. After all it is my experience and how i see things. Writing this has been almost as difficult as the rally itself, especially the last couple of posts.

You know, I thought I had my head screwed on straight going into this rally. I was super fit, mentally prepared, ultra confident the lot. But from the very first day all that confidence had completely evaporated. I'm not used to operating under these conditions. It was a whole new adjustment, that I can do nothing on my own. But everyday brought new problems that took the wind out of my sails and  I nearly lost the plot completely every time. By Stage 9 I was kinda getting used to it and learning about real faith in the face of adversity all over again, and then disaster struck. I was back to square one in the faith department. Not in God Himself, but in myself, in the fact that He was with me despite everything; He has given us the ability to overcome the impossible. You will see, it does not get any easier.

Looking back on it, what I should have done was just give the whole thing over to God in the first place, this is how i have been succesful in life. But I did'nt and so the burden remained on me. It was a learning experience I will never forget, my life has changed and I am ready for bigger things going forward now.

BB - I have been promising myself to withhold the standing ovation untill the last episode, but after this post of yours it is no longer possible!

So here it is:

 :hello2: :hello2: :hello2: :hello2: :hello2: :hello2: :hello2: :hello2: :hello2: :hello2: :hello2: :hello2: :hello2: :hello2: :hello2: :hello2: :hello2: :hello2: :hello2: :hello2:

I am in awe...
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: BlueBull2007 on November 12, 2010, 10:15:08 pm

The liaison is not as bad as I thought, its half as far as yesterdays and I stop twice mostly to rehydrate.  I find that I can hobble about on my heel without it hurting too much. Tigheting my boot straps helps hold it in position and a lot of my weight is transgerred to the boot rather than directly to my foot.

I talk myself into the bivouac. I feel a sense of victory when I hand in my time card. I have completed the hardest day of the rally. There is a very warm welcome from the team. They have heard about what happened from Dave and Phil. I am told to sit down and drink, and they faff about me like caring mother hens. I lean back in my chair and think about the achievement. Despite all the drama of today I have made it to the end of the ninth stage. I wasnít wiped out by any cars and the trucks were unable to catch me and crush me either. The finish is now only one day away, probably tomorrow this time in fact. I feel like Iím in a bit of a dream world. Itís hard to believe I am actually still in.

Time to look at the foot.
(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/Sertoesw0071/997781342_dKLaw-L.jpg)
A photographer comes up and takes some snaps. Iím immensely happy, and I know that no matter what I find in this boot, I will be able to finish tomorrow, provided I donít fall so I hold up a victory sign.



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/d09111rs10StefanSusemihl094410/1087796285_Mwm9L-XL.jpg)
You canít imagine my joy when I find my foot not a crushed blob of jelly, but only a somewhat swollen one. Itís undoubtedly broken, but the GS Boot I was wearing seems to have done an amazing job in protecting my foot. I notice my ankle is also not so lekker, but at least I can put my weight on my heel.

Some of the guys think I should go to the medical tent, but we are not in agreement. Iím concerned that they will find me unfit to continue the race something that often happens. Pissies will never be heroís. I can go to the doctor tomorrow. One more day is not going to be a train smash. The problem is my foot is not rapidly swelling up. I shove it back into the boot with ĖIt is not a pleasant task- and DD moves me over to the bivouac which we have setup some distance away from the bikes for a change. Itís in a park next to this little lake, very pleasant.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/camp/Sertoess0370/1087814862_a7U4V-L.jpg)
Randall organises some ice and I take my foot out and put it on some ice for a while, maybe that will reduce the swelling a bit.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/camp/Sertoess0372/1087815089_Jq4x5-L.jpg)

Once that is sorted, we treat ourselves to our first beers in over two weeks. We feel we deserve it. Everyone is in a relaxed and happy mood. We look at each other and keep saying stuff like ďGuys we are going to make it.Ē  Des stands up and give us one of his famous speeches. He is not easy to impress but he tell us he is serious impressed that the three of us have got this far and are still in. He looks at me and tells me Iím f*****g mad, tough son of a bitch. I just smile. I have one day to go.
(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/camp/Sertoess0376/1087815220_WPbD7-L.jpg)
He carefully makes notes of what need to be done on the bikes and goes over to them to talk to the mechanics.

We need to get to the briefing. Des & Phil tell me itís okay, I donít have to go, but I insist. Iím not out of the woods yet and what to hear first-hand what the course will be like tomorrow so I can mentally prepare. Iím limping into the Sobral gymnasium where it is being held and one of the FIM official comes up to me and asks me whatís up. ĒNothing,Ē I reply, hoping he will leave it at that. He may of course insist that I be examined. ďI just fell and hurt my foot a bit, butís okay now.Ē
ďReally?ĒHe says.
ďYes,Ē is my response. ďLook here it works fine.Ē I hop on my heel twice and think about anything but the agony. He smiles at me knowingly and shaking his head, walks away. I bite my knuckles till they bleed but I know that he knows more than he is letting on, and is choosing to ignore it. Itís so cool that he did not get anal about it. Normally they are, they have to be, but I guess at this stage of the rally we are all friends anyway. He knows I want to finish.

(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/camp/Sertoess0376/1087815220_WPbD7-L.jpg)
I make my notes diligently and enjoy the preview video they show of Stage 7.


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/camp/Sertoess0378/1087815352_VtweA-L.jpg)
Then its back to the bivouac to get more ice and do my road book.

The swelling does not go down, so I forfeit my shower and stay dressed in my riding gear. Iím going to sleep with my boot on, because if I donít the swelling will be too much to put it on in the morning.



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/Stage-9/1088028588_9GwT4-L.png)

The results for the day were obviously not great at all. I picked up a penalty for not finishing in the maximum time, and dropped from 30th to 37th overall. Though looking at the average speeds of the top guys you can see it was a pretty slow and technical stage.

Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: JAmBer on November 12, 2010, 11:08:46 pm
Riviting stuff! I'm hooked and can't believe I've only just discovered this story now.

Thanks for sharing Neil!

Now where's the next part?  :blob7:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: BlueBull2007 on November 13, 2010, 12:00:11 am
Working hard at it...  :lamer:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: BlueBull2007 on November 13, 2010, 12:09:39 am
STAGE 10 - Sobral Ė Fortaleza

44km - Initial Liaison
107km Ė Special Stage
240km Ė Final Liaison

Total for the day 390km


I donít sleep so well because of my foot, sleeping with one boot on is not very comfortable at all. Nevertheless it is the last day and all of us have a spring in our step. Well, if it wasnít for my foot, I would be too. This is the last day!

The guys have washed and prepared the bikes. My mechanics tell me itís amazing I got to the finish yesterday, my back wheel bearing was shot and I had been riding like that for a while. Didnít I feel it? To be honest, I did not. Perhaps that may have had something to do with me swinging wide on the corners, I donít know. Not that it matters now. Now I need to conserve energy, protect my foot and get to the finish. Arriving at the start of the liaison is a pleasant experience. The officials congratulate us wish us all the best for the last stage. There are smiles all round.

The initial liaison is a piece-of-cake ride on a tarred surface. Clearly we are getting closer to a big city, as there is also more traffic to deal with. The stage starts and is quite fast. I try standing on my heel and it works, thanks to a tightly strapped boot and lots of pain pills. My foot throbs quite a bit so I decide I will alternate and sit when I can, more so than usual.


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/Sertoesw0077/997782577_EaYBr-L.jpg)
Seeing it is quite fast, I give it horns while I can, figuring the faster I go the less I time I will have to suffer. The riding is really awesome, but I donít appreciate it very much.


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/Sertoesw0080/997783081_fHxJF-X2.jpg)
I just want to get to the finish now, and get the weight off this foot. Still I do manage to get myself back into the riding to some extent. Much more than yesterday anyway and more than I thought I would be able to. I  have the satisfaction of passing our fellow Uruguayan Mauro on his monster quad. it was not easy but I managed.


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/Sertoesw0078/997782820_m3tB8-L.jpg)
Iím still battling on the corners though surprisingly this time corners to the right! My foot is still pretty sore but it is generally behaving itself a little better then yesterday. There is still no-way I can use the rear brake through, but the lack of deep sand makes this a lot more doable, albeit a few places where I was pushing things a bit too hard and nearly cook my goose.

I keep warning myself to just take it easy and get to the finish, a crash now would be disaster. Just as well because I come around the corner and nearly take out a herd of cattle. Good thing my front brake is all fine! Pulling away I manage to slam my foot into a rock and I listen to myself hollering as a fresh bought of pain reminds me that my foot really is broken and not just a throbbing source of unpleasantness.



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other2/d10poprs10StefanSusemihl104589/1079008014_ezxoX-XL.jpg)



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other2/d10006rs10gabrielbarbosa100200/1079004816_NjTTm-L.jpg)
My friend Vincente ďpronkingĒ.



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other2/d10001rs10gabrielbarbosa100023/1079004240_jVUKc-L.jpg)

Of course, Come has no time for that. He just pushes all the way.




(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other2/d10336rs10marcelomaragni104142/1079006516_BjEqW-L.jpg)



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other2/d10403rs10marcelomaragni104202/1079006969_QoenZ-L.jpg)
Looking a little worse for wear.



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/Sertoesw0081/997783219_j49h5-L.jpg)
I arrive at the finish of the special and feel really tremendous! WAHOO!!!



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/Sertoesw0073/997781659_vLpus-L.jpg)
I sit there at the finish line for a bit and just bask in the glory of it all. A couple of others arrive soon enough and we are all back- slapping and hugging one another like long lost friends.



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other2/d10056026023rs10StefanSusemihl/1079005146_o6PMD-L.jpg)
My friend Fabricio arrives, his friends all waiting for him.



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other2/d10023026056013rs10stepannorai/1079005011_UNYwW-L.jpg)

We are in fine spirits. The boys are raging. Fabricio Hugs me and says to me ďYOU!! You are my f*****g hero man!!Ē I try to play it down, wincing as he pushes me off balance. ďYou finished this rally with a broken foot man! I never thought you were going to do it!Ē I blush and tell them they are heroís because they helped me. He starts to tell the others in rapid, Gatling-gun Portuguese of my epic day yesterday. Iím a bit embarrassed.

We stop a couple of hundred metres further on and all drink beers. I finish mine fast and press on though. I have a broken foot and part of the final liaison includes a ride through the big dune fields leading to the beach. There is still 240km to go to the finish, and we need to do it all on our own bikes. So Iím by no means out of the woods yet not with the handicap anyway. I still see this liaison as part of the race, and indeed it is.

On the way to the dunes Phil and Dave catch up with me and we ride together as a group. Itís great to be finally riding in a group, the first time we have in fact since we met, months ago, and even then we did not ride all together. I lead the way into the dunes.



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/2o/1081353389_8TspY-XL.jpg)
Itís beautiful white sand. The sky looks awesome. I feel confident, because Iím used to dune riding back home. The route takes us straight down a steep dune and in a moment of over-confidence I jump the bike on a dunette and go over the bars after digging in the front wheel. I land in the soft sand and roll, incurring no injury. My foot didn't even hurt! Laughing at my good fortune and scolding myself at the same time, I pick up the bike with a little difficulty and I jump on again. The others stop and when they see I am on and starting up, they ride off. I pull away in 2nd but I notice that I have almost no power, despite the fact that I am giving it full gas.

I am moving only very slowly, and I grind to a halt after perhaps ten metres. Even turning the bike downhill does not solve the problem. I try 1st gear. Nothing. The wheel is not turning in any damn gear. Oh no. No now. It must be my clutch. ďOh NOO,ĒI wail. Phil and Dave are disappearing over the horizon, they donít turn back. I have managed to ride all of six hundred kilometres nursing my foot and now a mechanical problem stops me so close to the finish. Not my foot but a freaking mechanical! Another biker stops and asks what up. I tell him my clutch. He shrugs, says sorry, and rides off.

I wave down another rider, frantically. I want him to tow me but that would be impossible in this deep trough. Instead I ask him if he wouldnít mind calling a 4x4 vehicle that I saw coming into the dunes. Iím hoping that somehow he can take me out to a point where I can get towed by another rider. Iím running out of time, there are not many riders left behind me. He agrees and disappears. While I wait I find myself decidedly anxious, and have a little pity party by myself. This is just about all I can bear. I have no energy left in me to think about the problem. I have no energy left to fight. Defeated, I slump down next to my bike. Well thatís it then. I have made it to the coast, but not to the finish. Iím gutted.
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: JC on November 13, 2010, 12:42:49 am
the f5 button on my keyboard is getting worn out

I know how it ends, but still sitting on the edge of my seat. Great writing (and riding) BB
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: domstes on November 13, 2010, 12:54:47 am
Niel, you have my utmost respect!
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Tr0jan on November 13, 2010, 08:09:43 am
NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

The suspense is killing me!  :eek7:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Baches on November 13, 2010, 09:59:21 am
And .......................................................... can't wait.  :deal:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: MOGGIE on November 13, 2010, 11:54:13 am
Hey man. If this was a book I would have been rivveted to it througout the night. Great wrigting and photo's.
I nkow the pain you were having. I ended with a concrete railway sleeper on both my feet and broke them and one ancle. The next day I started at a new project, in a wheelchair in the bush.
I am sorry I missed your talk.
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: GO GIRL on November 13, 2010, 03:25:08 pm
Hiya BB nice to read again in fact really inspirational...its a matter of setting your mind to it ...

The talk was great, makes one feel very anxious but also very much geared to go,..

Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Rooies on November 13, 2010, 06:52:49 pm
Just one question, when is this report moving to "'Roll of Honour' - Best Ride Reports" ?

Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: pieman on November 13, 2010, 08:38:06 pm
Just one question, when is this report moving to "'Roll of Honour' - Best Ride Reports" ?



AGREED!!!
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Gee S on November 13, 2010, 08:49:31 pm
Just one question, when is this report moving to "'Roll of Honour' - Best Ride Reports" ?



AGREED!!!
+1 :thumleft:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Kreef on November 13, 2010, 09:53:03 pm
Just one question, when is this report moving to "'Roll of Honour' - Best Ride Reports" ?



AGREED!!!
+1 :thumleft:

uhmmmm, it can only be moved once it's completed...
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: BlueBull2007 on November 14, 2010, 02:05:37 am
Standing next to this broken bike gives me a feeling of complete and utter defeat.

This is a great loss, a tragedy in the light of the amount of effort I have put into this event. I am totally dejected. I feel like I have been robbed. I ask God ďwhy?Ē even though I know I do not have a place to: It is by His grace that I have gotten this far. I thought I was prepared. I was prepared, physically, but I guess I am lacking the mental fortitude to do this. I think of the Dakar. Itís so much harder than this. I suppose I need to be grateful that I did not blow eighty thousand dollars and get to the same point there. Not that this has been a cheap exercise by any means either. To have spent so much money on the bike, and then on the race only not to get to the finishÖWas it worth it? What can I take from this experience? I guess God wants to teach me how to make the most of a bad thing. The way I feel right now isÖI feel like maybe this whole rally thing was not for me after all. I guess Iím not tough enough. Iím a pissie. No, thinking about it Iím not a pissie. Others would have stopped with a broken foot. I have pushed on, with a broken foot and torn ligaments in my other leg. My body has taken a hammering all right. Do I still want to do the Dakar right now? Absolutely not.


I watch the lead car come over the top of the dune, it ramps in the air and almost rolls down the dune. These guys are having fun, but theyíre taking a bit of a risk riding like that on a liaison.

 
I try to be philosophical about it, as difficult as it is: I guess what I can take from this whole is that we should never give up, we should die trying. I realize I should not give up on this bike now either, I still have opportunity. But what do I know about the clutch anyway? How do I fix it out here in this desert? I donít even have half the tools on me for crying out loud. I slump back down next to the bike depressed and disappointed and watch other bikes riding by. I see Maria Lopez come past. What a legend. Look at that. She is hard core, and she is a woman. I what her riding, not overly aggressive, just cruising along, she seems very consistent. I guess thatís the way to do it.


Finally a big pickup filled with organisation officials comes past and stops next to me and my stricken machine. I must be out of the race now. I stumble to my feet in vain hope. They ask me what is wrong. I tell them I think itís my clutch. The driver starts my bike and says ďOh, yes. Just wait a moment.Ē I wait, and watch him distractedly as he goes to his pickup and returns with some spanners. He fiddles about a bit adjusting the clutch. Why didnít I think of this? The answer is obviously apparent. I suddenly have a glimmer of hope. I am not thinking properly anymore. He starts the bike again and retests. ďVROOOM, VROOOM,Ē and a wall of sand flies out into the air from behind the bike!


Woohhoo!! Its working!! Forgetting my foot I hop in excitement and end up lying on the ground again, but despite the pain Iím overjoyed. I struggle back to my feet and hobble over to the guy and give him a big hug. I cry with joy. ďNow donít touch the clutch once you let it out, there not much left,Ē he instructs. I nod energetically at my new angel, hug him again and get on my bike. To me this is truely a miracle.

Nervously, I pull away and take a long loop on level sand to build up speed before I attack the next steep dune. I am away.



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/Sertoesw0079/997782985_UtXPt-L.jpg)
I come over the dune and blast past another group of photographers.



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/2q/1081353493_JXiie-L.jpg)
even though I am back in the race, I do not feel like celebrating at all. Iím nipping too much that the clutch is going to die in the deep sand again, or that I crash. I just want to get to the finish.



The ride takes me through this set of awesome dunes, and down onto the beach. There is no-one else about, just one car in the distance in front of me. I belt along the harder packed sand on the edge of the surf and time my weaving carefully in and out of the waves, thinking of that amazing bit of dune riding along the Angolan coastline. This is obviously a lot easier, and without the same risk of life, but I treat the sea with respect all the same, I can still end up in the water. This is faster than ploughing through the thicker sand on the edge.

After about 15km of riding along the coast, the route turns inland and onto hardtop. I take a deep breath. I have made it, I hope, so long as the clutch holds out. I start to relax and follow the rally car in front. Everything is going smoothly until we reach this police checkpoint. Iím just passing through when I hear this loud whistle. I guess I should pretend not to hear it, but I donít. A policeman walks up to me. He looks like Tom cruise in uniform with his fancy dark glasses in the movie Top Gun.  Oh shit.  He is a cop with an attitude and a chip on both shoulders.  He asks me in Portuguese where my number plates are. I donít have any number plates, my number plates are my race number, as per international FIM requirements. ďsorry,Ē he says,Ē you cannot ride that motorcycle on these roads, itís against the law. What?

Iím stumped. We have gone through dozens of similar police checkpoints and have been politely waved through every single one. Except for this last one. I try to protest, but he instructs me to park my bike and proceeds to wave down the next rider as well for the same offence. There is no point. I am not even surprised, it seems I am not destined to make it to the finish and limp over to some shade to sit and relax. After a while, there are about eight or so bikes and also two or three rally cars as well. Apparently they donít have the required number plates on the front of the vehicle, so theyve also been pulled off the road.

I let the Brazilians argue, beg and bribe, while I just enjoy the shade of his office. The cop is clearly not listening to any argument. He is doing his best to end our rally right here.  The guys give up and start discussing things among themselves. What now? We end up sitting there for nearly two hours. Again I am rescued by some guys in an organization pickup who agree to take two bikes on the back of the vehicle. The policeman makes us promise we do not ride them again. The two of us lucky enough to have our bikes lifted onto the back squeeze in with the guys in front and off we go. I think we drove all of one kilometre before we pull over and unload the bikes to ride on.


We get into Fortaleza, and Iím surprised to see that the streets are not lined with crowds; itís just the two of us battling through heavy traffic, still following our road-books faithfully. Clearly rally is not a way of life over here. We actually recieved a lot more support in the rural areas than anywhere else. We twist and turn for perhaps another forty minutes before arriving at the finish of the liaison, the Stage and the rally.


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/camp/Sertoess0420/1087819710_7X2jf-L.jpg)
I am swamped by my overjoyed crew and my wife appears out of nowhere to give me a congratulatory kiss.


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/camp/Sertoess0423/1087820148_xzzHj-L.jpg)
I am so happy to see her, she has been amazingly supportive of me, through thick and thin. Without her, I would not have made it.



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/camp/Sertoess0422/1087820027_W9Yfi-L.jpg)



(http://desmcd.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Rally-Dos-Sertoes-2010/Dos-Sertoes-2010-w-Wild-West/989678134_ditiw-L.jpg)
They have all been worried because I am nearly two hours behind Phil and Dave, there was talk that I had crashed out.




(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/camp/Sertoess0419/1087819571_XZPgd-L.jpg)


I have a few minutes to take it all in before I go up onto the podium. Iím feeling really quite stunned, it does not feel like the finish I expected it to be. I am so drained from the last few experiences that it doesnít really sink in that I have actually managed to cross the  finish line. But I have.


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/camp/Sertoess0395/1087815944_TbEne-L.jpg)
Medals are waiting.


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/camp/Sertoess0400/1087816254_A3QW8-L.jpg)
There are the dancing girls and everything.


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/camp/Sertoess0426/1087820741_Vu7H7-L.jpg)

DD gives me a flag and takes my helmet.



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/camp/Sertoess0424/1087820339_j8drV-L.jpg)



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/2t/1081354381_svn4i-XL.jpg)


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Stages/2r/1081353785_5WiVn-XL.jpg)
I ride up onto the podium and raise my hands, thinking of all the boys back home and around the world who have been cheering for me. Iíve just finished a 4,500km race. The second longest rally in the world. Itís a truely great feeling to be here.

Everyone is jubilant and euphoric. I am a little more subdued after all the drama in the field but very, very pleased with the result. It is chaotic, my bike is taken from me and I stumble into the VIP area and start drinking beers in rapid succession in between eating whole plates of finger snacks. Phil and Dave are in too.


(http://desmcd.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Rally-Dos-Sertoes-2010/Dos-Sertoes-2010-w-Wild-West/989699335_7Weds-L.jpg)



(http://desmcd.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Rally-Dos-Sertoes-2010/Dos-Sertoes-2010-w-Wild-West/989708405_fP4yz-L.jpg)
Luarent and Mauro have also finished!



(http://desmcd.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Rally-Dos-Sertoes-2010/Dos-Sertoes-2010-w-Wild-West/989709640_LyhMz-L.jpg)
As is Marieta Lopez :hello2:



(http://desmcd.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Rally-Dos-Sertoes-2010/Dos-Sertoes-2010-w-Wild-West/989694605_apmKw-L.jpg)
Moara and her brother made it too.


(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other2/d10001rs10theoribeiro109494/1079004585_RTS7H-L.jpg)
Marc Coma has come first.



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/camp/Sertoess0403/1087816829_ktVAX-L.jpg)
Apprently he dropped his motorbike on the podium!  :laughing4: :imaposer:



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/Sertoes-other2/d10101rs10theoribeiro109568/1079005316_ygN7y-L.jpg)
David Casteu


After the celebrations I report to the medical tent. They make an examination and send me off for X-rays in an ambulance with another quad rider who went over the bars and broke his leg. Four hours after a bit of a run around I find out I have three broken bones in the middle of my foot, all meta-tarsals. Its five weeks in plaster and then a month of rehab after that. Not too bad.


That night we celebrate with a meal but it is not too late a night, we are all bombed and crash before midnight. In a real bed. After a real shower. With proper soap. AWESOME! We all end up sleeping most of the next two days, before recovering to organise bike shipping back to the states. I get it easy, as my foot is broken and I am on strict orders not to do anything so the others guys sort my stuff out for me. Thanks guys!



(http://bluebull2007.smugmug.com/Sertoes/camp/Stage10/1089277073_FYR6Y-L.png)

The results speak for themselves. I am very happy with my result on the last stage in particular, because despite the injury I managed to keep my pace up. I know had I not been hurt, I would have done a lot better. The same goes for the over all results. 8th in the Production class 450 machines, and 35th overall is better than I thought I would have done under the circumstances. I know that

I just want to take the opportunity to say THANK YOU all for following this amazing story, especially those who followed my story online. Its quite true to say that you guys were my inspiration. A special thanks to all my sponsors, I greatly value your support. Thanks also to the guys who helped update the Wilddog & ADVRider forum threads as well. You are legends.

I also cannot forget our team:

Diederik Duvenage,
Randall Fish,
Des MacDonald,
fellow rider Laurent Lazard,
Marcello and his crew, for all the hard work you guys put in to keep us in the rally.
Special thanks to Charlie Rausseo who put together a beautiful and reliable bike. It had its problems, but it got me to the finish, which was better than 35% of the field who did not!

Thanks also to my Co-riders Dave and Phil, it was an education riding with two rally instructors!

Now for the question you have all been waiting for:

What next?

Well, I have had some time to think about it. This Rally changed my life. I loved it and would love to do it again, but I think the real challenge for me now is the Dakar, perhaps the Dakar in 2012, when they start to cross the continent of South America through three or four countries. Rumor is that it's going to start in Buenos Aires and finish in Lima.

I don't have the cash or the support to do it at the moment (especially seeing as I basically got back to Peru only to lose my job a couple of months later), but I have learnt that anything is possible, so I am going to put my mind to it. It's my hope that you all will join me on my journey to achieve this dream.


http://www.youtube.com/v/VES-oIQey2k
I will sign off with the official Dos Sertoes video footage, definitely worth a watch. You will see Marc Coma crash his bike, David Casteau drown his bike and lots of other drama.

Again, thank you all very very much!

Neil :paw:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Ian in Great Brak River on November 14, 2010, 02:26:46 am
What an inspiration to so many !!

Thank you for sharing and may I be the first to say ..."where do I contribute to your Dakar 2012 Race" ?

Huge effort and we're proud of you !

Ian
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: JAmBer on November 14, 2010, 07:50:29 am
Fantastic! What a motivation to get on my bike!

Thanks for sharing your story. It's given real insight into the real world of rally for us desk riders.
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: the_wes on November 14, 2010, 08:01:13 am
 :hello2: :hello2: :hello2: :hello2: :hello2:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: pieman on November 14, 2010, 08:19:40 am
UNBELIEVABLE!!!!  Well done BB
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Rooies on November 14, 2010, 08:24:07 am
Neil, all I can say is WOW!

Thank you once again for all your effort in sharing this with us.


Thank you for sharing and may I be the first to say ..."where do I contribute to your Dakar 2012 Race" ?

+100000
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Rooies on November 14, 2010, 08:27:07 am
Just one question, when is this report moving to "'Roll of Honour' - Best Ride Reports" ?



AGREED!!!
+1 :thumleft:

uhmmmm, it can only be moved once it's completed...

And now?   :mwink:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Kreef on November 14, 2010, 08:48:19 am
Just one question, when is this report moving to "'Roll of Honour' - Best Ride Reports" ?



AGREED!!!
+1 :thumleft:

uhmmmm, it can only be moved once it's completed...

And now?   :mwink:

NOW YES!!! :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft:

WELL DONE NIEL! This has been a truely amazing read. All the best for the future!
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Would I? on November 14, 2010, 09:01:57 am
 :biggrin: :biggrin: :biggrin:

Neil this was fantastic. Thanks again for sharing so freely..... now get on your bike for the next one, No first start by turning this in to a coffee table book :pot:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: alli on November 14, 2010, 09:20:57 am
WOW!!!!
Neil, well done boet. What an awesome adventure, you brought the whole experience to life by letting us in on the details, the trials and the personal triumphs. You are an inspiration to all of us.
Looking forward to your RR on the 2012 dakar :notworthy:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Kenisis on November 14, 2010, 11:06:54 am
Hey Neil.

Well done, You are a champion, Completing a rally is no small feat! Your RR has put me in two minds on my attempt at the Desert challenge! Sounds dof seeing as it is only half the time and Distance. Never the less i am too far forward now to turn back!

This is the best written piece that i have read. Next time we need  to get you Charlies film crew and make a proper documentry. Its a petty it couldnt be for this rally then the world would see that you are no Pissie!

Cheers
Al
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: MOGGIE on November 14, 2010, 12:35:11 pm
Well done Neil. What an insperation.
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: ChristoffGS on November 14, 2010, 12:45:02 pm
Thanks Neil for all the effort you've put into sharing this awesome experience with all of us.  Very, very inspirational stuff!  Hope that everything comes together for you and that you will be able to compete in the Dakar in the future.  We're behind you all the way!    :ricky:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: EtienneXplore on November 14, 2010, 01:36:27 pm


 :notworthy: :notworthy: :notworthy: :notworthy:

(http://www.tweak3d.net/forums/imagehosting/12254a885fadccc3b.gif)


Now mods, please move this EPIC REPORT to the Roll of Honour  :deal:

Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Aquatic on November 14, 2010, 01:39:35 pm
 :notworthy: :notworthy: :notworthy: :notworthy: :notworthy: :notworthy:
 :hello2: :hello2: :hello2: :hello2: :hello2: :hello2:

If you ever happen to be in Brisbane, Australia. Please let me buy you a beer while you sign a copy of your book for me.

Just plain farking Awesome!!

I am of mere working class stock. But will gladly contribute what I can to your Dakar 2012
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Rokie on November 14, 2010, 03:35:09 pm
once again, all I can say is:
. . .  :eek7:

you have to mention though about the spirit of the ralley award. when i was a kid i used to want the SA guys on the Camel Trophy to win the spirit award more than i wanted them to win the event . . .

well done also on doing the vasbyt thing with the ride report. what a mission! and a selfless one too!

now that it is over I may well suffer the same syndrome that the Americans did when the OJ Simpson trial was over. anyone know a good shrink?  :D
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: g1_ on November 14, 2010, 04:46:52 pm
 :hello2:  :hello2:  :hello2:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: pieman on November 14, 2010, 05:36:56 pm
Ek het die saak nou so mooi sit en bedink.  Neil, bloody hell!!!  WELL DONE.  This has been a huge motivation for me personally to get on the bike and enjoy.  I will most definitely be waiting for the run up, prep and RR for the 2012 Dakar.

Mods, move the thread PUH-LEEZE.....
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Waynan on November 14, 2010, 06:14:58 pm
All I can say is WOW, you sir are a Hero! One day when I am big I want to be like you  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: FarScape on November 14, 2010, 06:15:31 pm
Since the start of this tread in August and having to patiently wait for more every day all I can say is well done. You are the man.

The pictures are awesome and the way you describe your experience kept me glued to the PC.

+1 on the coffee table book. I do believe that there are a lot of other people that will find inspiration from your experience as well.

All the best for the future and just maybe we will meet up on the road some day and I can buy you a beer.

Now can we please get this tread moved to the Roll of Honor tread.
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Gee S on November 14, 2010, 06:43:51 pm
Neil well done. I don't know what more to say. You are DA MAN! :thumleft: Thank you very much for a absolutely fantastic RR, and good luck with the future.
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: airHEAD on November 14, 2010, 07:00:51 pm
Impressive stuff Neil  :salut:  :headbang: Even tough I had the privilege of hearing you tell the story live in Cape Town I couldn't wait for you to finish writing it down. I love the way you captured the detail and the drama. You couldn't have scripted it better if you tried, suspense all the way to the finish :o It would have made an amazing documentary but could still be an amazing book?

Well done on finishing the rally against the odds and a huge thanks for seeing the ride report through so that we could all share the experience with you  :thumleft:    
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Dustdevil on November 14, 2010, 08:16:10 pm
I am humbled.
You are a great inspiration and I would like to wish you good luck with getting into the Dakar for 2012.
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: funacide on November 14, 2010, 11:56:26 pm
What an awesome read, thanks Neil, much appreciated.

I bow down to your courage and determination to finish, many others would have given up at that point.

WELL DONE.
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: GlenInk on November 15, 2010, 12:04:28 am


 :notworthy: :notworthy: :notworthy: :notworthy:

(http://www.tweak3d.net/forums/imagehosting/12254a885fadccc3b.gif)


Now mods, please move this EPIC REPORT to the Roll of Honour  :deal:




+ 1000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000



Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: alanB on November 15, 2010, 07:08:40 am
Thank you very much for all the time and effort spent sharing your epic experience with us all.

Like many others, I really enjoyed reading this report and, and was moved by your courage and determination.

In today's world there are few people who can be considered real role models and good examples to us all.  You sir are one!

Well done :notworthy:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Baches on November 15, 2010, 08:18:25 am
One of the best RR's on WD. Good luck for DAKAR 2012.  :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Puddles on November 15, 2010, 08:24:09 am
That was absolutely BRILLIANT reading  :thumleft: ... WELL DONE Niel and thank you so much for sharing your experience with us. 

And a special word for your wife for standing by you & supporting you through all this - it could not have been easy for her .... WELL DONE D !!!  :thumleft:

 :hello2:   :hello2:    :hello2:    :hello2:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: TornadoF5 on November 15, 2010, 09:43:22 am
(http://www.myemoticons.com/images/communicate/praises/you-da-man-.gif)
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: KAT-WP on November 15, 2010, 11:45:41 am
Thankx Neil for taking the time to finish off what u promised ;)

Absolutely AWSUM, the stuff dreams are made of :thumleft:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: kwassi on November 15, 2010, 11:55:41 am
Maybe get a book published about this

Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Gat Slag on November 15, 2010, 12:16:11 pm
+1  Well done Neil!!!  All the best for the next endeavour!!!  :thumleft:

WOW!!!!
Neil, well done boet. What an awesome adventure, you brought the whole experience to life by letting us in on the details, the trials and the personal triumphs. You are an inspiration to all of us.
Looking forward to your RR on the 2012 dakar :notworthy:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: CorCorlia on November 15, 2010, 12:23:58 pm
EXCELLENT STUFF!!!  Well done and thanks for sharing your experience with us!  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: roxenz on November 15, 2010, 12:58:52 pm
Huge applause!!!!!    :blob10: :blob3: :blob7: :blob6: :blob7:

Neil, in appreciation for the emotional rollercoaster ride that you have entertained us all with for some weeks, I pledge to support the "Dakar 2012 Dream Fund"!  Go for it! The Dogs will help to make it happen, I'm sure!
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Tankwa on November 15, 2010, 01:38:47 pm
Thanks Neil for sharing your epic adventure. Really brilliant stuff.  Good luck with your future racing and I will look out for your Ride Reports. It was great meeting you down in Cape Town. :thumleft:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Minora on November 15, 2010, 04:17:50 pm
ROLL OF HONOUR!!!

Well done BB, regtig amazing. Hoop dinge werk uit dat jy jou droom kan bereik om aan te tree vir die Dakar!!!

Dankie vir die tyd en moeite met die report, 8863 views, ENOUGH SAID  :deal:

Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: BeefQueen on November 15, 2010, 09:29:27 pm
Epic Epic stuff!

Thanks for the effort. I know it takes allot writing all this up! Appreciated!!

Well fucking done mate!  :thumleft:  :thumleft:  :thumleft:  :thumleft:  :thumleft:  :thumleft:  :thumleft:  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: EddieS on November 15, 2010, 09:57:10 pm
Neil you are TOP Class!

Thank you for sharing.
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: madmike999 on November 15, 2010, 11:08:44 pm
ROLL OF HONOUR!!!

Well done BB, regtig amazing. Hoop dinge werk uit dat jy jou droom kan bereik om aan te tree vir die Dakar!!!

Dankie vir die tyd en moeite met die report, 8863 views, ENOUGH SAID  :deal:





+1000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 00
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: BlueBull2007 on November 16, 2010, 01:20:21 am
Wow guys, thanks very much! (http://s3.amazonaws.com/advrider/shog.gif)


I think I am going to write that book, talking to an editor and looking at some publishers. I will let you know if I can get it published.


Oh, I forgot to mention we won the trophy for the team with the best spirit of the rally: Three newbies, all finished with a fiat Doblo and a 1973 Kombi with a superman tied to the front of it! Anything is possible after all.

:imaposer:    Thanks for reminding me WouldI!  :deal:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Aquatic on November 16, 2010, 02:00:59 am
Oh, I forgot to mention we won the trophy for the team with the best spirit of the rally: Three newbies, all finished with a fiat Doblo and a 1973 Kombi with a superman tied to the front of it! Anything is possible after all.
.


Now THAT'S what it's all about! If the other competitors saw you that way, you know you made an impression! A good one too.

As a spectator this type of award is much more memorable than winning the race with a huge budget and someone wiping your arse. Talented or not!

Respect and Congrats :thumleft:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Minora on November 16, 2010, 08:01:08 am
Wow guys, thanks very much! (http://s3.amazonaws.com/advrider/shog.gif)


I think I am going to write that book, talking to an editor and looking at some publishers. I will let you know if I can get it published.




Een kopie vir my asseblief  :deal:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: MoJo JoJo on November 16, 2010, 11:24:18 am
What an inspiration to so many !!

Thank you for sharing and may I be the first to say ..."where do I contribute to your Dakar 2012 Race" ?

Huge effort and we're proud of you !

Ian

i can second that, together we all can make this dream come true........
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Footloose on November 16, 2010, 09:50:29 pm
I am at a lost for words, I have enjoyed reading this and thanks for posting.

Keep us posted on the book and the Dakar 2012, willing to contribute.
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: ThinkMike on November 18, 2010, 03:01:14 pm
Roll of Honour!!! :thumleft:

Well deserved Neil !!!!
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Would I? on November 18, 2010, 03:17:31 pm
Hi Neil

I am already looking forward to the book!!!  :biggrin:
I also think you must package the talk and market it on the motivational circut like the crowds that have climbed mountains, swum the channel, walked to the south pole......

Also pre-sell limited edition signed copies of the book.
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: zetman on November 18, 2010, 05:57:55 pm
Ja aangesien jy nou werkloos is kan jy ma net sowel Ů boek en foto/cd uitbring en begin solank oefen vir die 2012 Dakar
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: BlueBull2007 on November 18, 2010, 06:12:50 pm
Ja aangesien jy nou werkloos is kan jy ma net sowel Ů boek en foto/cd uitbring en begin solank oefen vir die 2012 Dakar

Exactamente! In fact I am going out for a desert ride in a couple of hours.
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Rokie on November 18, 2010, 10:36:20 pm
good to hear you are riding again.  :thumleft:
are you taking Mrs BlueBull's bike into the desert or is the Springbokkie in Lima?
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: BlueBull2007 on November 18, 2010, 11:08:18 pm
Yip, riding the mrs 450. The Springbokke is getting some TLC in San Francisco atm.
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Berm_Rooster on November 19, 2010, 09:59:13 am
ROH, finally!!!!

 :blob7: :blob6: :blob5: :blob3: :blob9:

 :hello2: :wav:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Kreef on November 19, 2010, 10:47:55 am
Hi Niel

Something that I have been wondering about is, how did you know that your preperation was actually preparing you for the race? What I mean is... did you train with guys who had previously done the race, or were you just training in any way, shape or form that you could and hoping that it would be applicable to the actual conditions that you would face?

You spend alot of time training on the MX course. I am assuming this was mostly for fitness. Then you also spend alot of time riding sand and doing hill climbs, but from your preperations thread, it does not seem that you did alot of extremely fast gravel road racing. (or maybe I just missed it)

What conditions did you face in the rally and were they what you expected? (aka, high speed sandy path and substandard gravel roads)

PS, again: Awesome effort man!!!
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: BOER! on November 19, 2010, 10:53:11 am
ROH


 :thumleft: :thumleft:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: BlueBull2007 on November 19, 2010, 06:15:56 pm
Hi Niel

Something that I have been wondering about is, how did you know that your preperation was actually preparing you for the race? What I mean is... did you train with guys who had previously done the race, or were you just training in any way, shape or form that you could and hoping that it would be applicable to the actual conditions that you would face?

You spend alot of time training on the MX course. I am assuming this was mostly for fitness. Then you also spend alot of time riding sand and doing hill climbs, but from your preperations thread, it does not seem that you did alot of extremely fast gravel road racing. (or maybe I just missed it)

What conditions did you face in the rally and were they what you expected? (aka, high speed sandy path and substandard gravel roads)

PS, again: Awesome effort man!!!

Hey there Kreef,

I had no prior contact with anyone who had done the race before. As you may know most rallies including the Dakar have quite a lot of bad dirt roads to deal with, but also with a lot off-road, hard, technical stuff thrown in to wear you out. So when you talk about what is applicable I suppose any dirt road riding will be applicable. But you should also know its more than that, because trust me after 400km of hard riding you don't want to be worrying about your skills getting over a pile of boulders, or up a 0.8m step up or something like that.  So when you train for an event like you you HAVE TO focus on the technical stuff more than just blasting along a road. Building skills and confidence is critical to finishing.

My training was to build fitness, stamina and technique. The dune riding I thought would only really be applicable towards stamina and some riding skill turned out to be indispensable because there turned out to be a lot of really difficult sand riding between trees. A switch in my mind said "Okay this is just sand, not dunes". So there was nothing to be concerned about at all riding through this stuff, except keeping my pace up.

On my training routes I made sure I got some high-speed dirt road riding in as well, but practicing high speed dirt also means high risk of injury before the rally so you need to bear this in mind too and be more conservative than you would normally be. I don't mean ride slow, but its all relative. In the first three months of the six months of training I put a lot of really high speed stuff in. After that I started riding super fast a less and focussed more on technique and stamina. So I found the most difficult routes I could find and thrashed them until I could ride for 8-10 hours/day and still go out for dinner with the wife afterwards and have a normal conversation!  ;D So towrds the end, the only high speed training I really got was around about an hour every session, you know, on the roads connecting to the technical stuff.

I know it was quite different to what we got in the rally, but you have to ask yourself how many times do you need to practice a powerslide or braking to tap off on the speed before a corner?

The MX training was my last bit of training that I did. By then I was so nervous of breaking something, that I stuck strictly to the MX track, where there was even less chance of me meeting a car coming the other way on a road or hurting something coming off a dune crest. But it turned out this that was probably the most applicable training I could get at the end of the day, because it wasnt so much the fast stuff that I found hard, it was all of those super sharp corners. I did not realise how tight a rally can be. I thought it was all fast, flowing stuff, but what you never see much of on camera on the Dakar or on Sertoes is the amount of really tight, sharp turning one really has to do. Also dont forget that the slow, technical stuff is also generally not very photogenic, so you dont get to see that. Even on the Dakar,  you dont get to see the guys wrestling with their bikes in gullies that much because it's not easy to get to and the views are often restricted.

Training on an MX circuit helps big time with tight corners, and 2-4 hours on a circuit one is like riding 15 hours anywhere else, believe me.

The only thing I would have done differently with my training is maybe spent more time practicing ultra sharp turns, i.e. U-turning on a single track, or similar.

In conclusion then, I was pleasantly surprised that the riding was generally easier than my training and although I did not expect as much fast stuff, the technical training I got gave me the confidence to jump bridges at 140km/hr! Where I lost time was on the tight corners and more technical stuff. So I need to spend even more time practicing that.  Comparing myself to the other riders in our group, I was the fastest of the three of us generally, being much faster on the open bits; but possibly the slowest on the technical stuff. So that says something - That I need more time riding enduros and in the desert, and more time in particular riding ultratight stuff.
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: zetman on November 19, 2010, 09:40:22 pm
What about mental training how do train to concentrate for so long in the rally an the tirednes and lack of sleep and tel us more about the roadbooks and trying to navigate while doing 140km/h
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Soundboi on November 29, 2010, 08:29:11 pm
Wow,wow, wow... I am humbled.
This is the best damned RR, no thing I have ever read.
Please keep us posted for 2012.
You are a great inspiration and I would like to wish you good luck with getting to the Dakar for 2012.

Hard Effin Core  :headbang:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Fuzzy Muzzy on December 09, 2010, 04:07:22 pm
I only stumbled on this rr yesterday and I am in so much crap at work cos for 2 days i have read every page.. what makes this rr so amazing is the way it was written with attention to detail and emotions it is almost like we experienced it with you.

RESPECT
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Walkaway on December 09, 2010, 04:09:10 pm
Yes well done once again - Very Good. :biggrin:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: GStry on December 29, 2010, 02:18:20 pm
ABSOLUTELY AMAZING.
I started getting an ulcer at the start of the first stage  :biggrin:, .
So far (page 9), no one has commented on your bike, it looks awesome.
Neil, any chance of a visit to Durban  :biggrin: ? 
 
 
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: BlueBull2007 on December 29, 2010, 03:26:42 pm
Neil, any chance of a visit to Durban  :biggrin: ?

After seeing some of the riding in KZN a trip to Durbs could definitely be on the cards next time I am in RSA.

What about mental training how do train to concentrate for so long in the rally an the tirednes and lack of sleep and tel us more about the roadbooks and trying to navigate while doing 140km/h

Sorry never saw your Q until now.

Mental training is all about confidence building. As you read I think I might have been lacking a bit in this area. I know that if I had better mechanical skills, the stress of something potentially going wrong on the bike that I could not fix would have been much less, for example.
The tiredness is another one I battled with on the long liaisons especially towards the end of the rally: I never realised it was possible to fall asleep riding, and I came close a couple of times! Not sure what you can really do about that, apart from practice having 2-3 hours sleep a night for a week or so and getting used to it. I bought a couple of bottle of water on the liaisons and every 15 minutes would spray some into my helmet, or pour some down the inside of my jacket. It has a great cooling effect in the wind and helps stave off drowsiness.

Navigation at 140km/h is always dodgey. You have a split second to look down at the roadbook and then remember headings, cautions, distances and landmarks. You also need to compare that to your ICO and if its off, correct the ICO to match the road book. If you focus too much on it you greatly increase the chances of having a rally ending and perhaps life-ending crash.  Bear in mind you are travelling at 40m/s (at 140km/hr) so in the second you take to look down and up again, and then react you have lost around 100m, including a margin too thin to stop in. So its case of memorizing the next two WP's and focusing more on the riding. It takes time to learn how to do it at speed; I was lucky enough to get 4 days of nav. Training in Nevada so it was a little easier. Even so it took me a coupe of days to get into it. Marking the road book well is critical to your safety; if you miss a double or triple caution because it was not highlighted properly can just as easily end your rally. This is also why I spent more time than most on my roadbooks every evening.
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: zetman on December 29, 2010, 03:46:32 pm
Thanx BB reading this rallyreport was the highligt of the year hope you have a go at the dakar 2012
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: GStry on December 30, 2010, 01:28:02 am
I've done nothing for two days, just as well I'm on holiday :biggrin:

What a fantastic read Neil, what a story, really awesome pics and so well done, a huge effort, many thanks, only sorry I missed this until now but had the benefit of not having to wait.  :biggrin:
So many of us know what the rest of the world looks like but to me, South American countries seem to miss out on exposure and it's an eye opener to see the real countryside, people, and landscapes, something the Dakar and Dos Sertoes have helped change.
One thing that stuck me was how crystal the rivers are,  really really clean, not something we are used to in SA, unless you live in Dullstroom or somewhere in the Berg, probably because there are no Mondi, Sappi or Hulletts tearing up the countryside.
From a rally point of view, your penalties cost you big time in comparison to Dave and as you acknowledged, faster is not always better. It seems to me one area we tend to neglect is more training in navigation, use of the Road Book and discipline.
Regarding your bike blowing oil out the breather, was this a general problem with this bike, were others having the same problem? I've had a number of WR's from 200 to 450 and never seen that much of a mess. An over full situation will blow out oil but normally it shouldn't, or maybe its the wrung neck for hours on end, either way don't think Yamaha would be happy if this is a general problem.
So many questions, bike related, financial implications, etc would love for you to come to Durban for a talk and slide show, I'm sure there are many KZN Dogs and others who would support it. Maybe a way of drumming up some support for your Dakar dream, and it could be capped off with a ride.
 
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: BlueBull2007 on December 30, 2010, 03:55:40 am
Thanks for the comments, they're really appreciated. I will consider a trip to Durbs when we are back, probably in the middle of the year sometime (that could change!).

Regarding your bike blowing oil out the breather, was this a general problem with this bike, were others having the same problem? I've had a number of WR's from 200 to 450 and never seen that much of a mess. An over full situation will blow out oil but normally it shouldn't, or maybe its the wrung neck for hours on end, either way don't think Yamaha would be happy if this is a general problem.

Yeah it is a thing with the WR's if you wring it's neck (read abuse) for more than 20 minutes you get oil blowing up out of the breather. Normally you dont see it because its situated in the air box! Actually it not really a problem unless you really push the engine. Of course if you do on a standard bike you eventually risk having oil getting back into the carb through the ait intake, and that would be bad, obviously.

I remember Fretigne talking about this oil thing in the 2009 Dakar.  Interestingly in both his and my case the bike still ran the whole day on around half a litre of oil! He was going on about how bulletproof those engines are, and I agree, though he also changed his engine at the end of the day;  I did not. My airbox has moved forward due to the rear tank (read subframe), and my oil breather was hooked up near the radiator. We thought having it higher than in the original position might help but this proved not to be the case. Worse, oil ended up all over the outside of the bike, and even on my visor until we repositioned it.

Really it would be quite easy to build a little reservoir to collect it as it blows out and let it drain back ino the the engine once things have calmed down a bit, that is something we will be addressing this coming month.

Although I had no problems with the engine, something recently has come up. Jonah Street's mechanic Niles went through my bike about a week ago to familiarise himself with the Yamaha's in preparation for the Dakar, and he found water in the cylinder! So we are sending the engine into Yamaha to have a look and see.

Quote
From a rally point of view, your penalties cost you big time in comparison to Dave and as you acknowledged, faster is not always better. It seems to me one area we tend to neglect is more training in navigation, use of the Road Book and discipline.

Yes that is a good observation. I learnt the hard way obviously. Still Im very happy with my preformance as a rookie. Next time I know it will go much better.

Quote
One thing that stuck me was how crystal the rivers are...

I also noticed this, but not all of those rivers are that clean. We were warned not to drink any river water, people have been sick in the past from it. The smaller stream do seem fine to me though, certainly in comparison to Africa. This continent has so much more rain though, I think that helps to a large extent.
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Ektoknbike on December 30, 2010, 05:51:58 am

Gister aand tot laat toe gelees om alles op een slag in te kry. Ek leef myself so in dat ek op 'n stadium glad uitasem uit was :ricky:

Sekerlik een van die beste RR, trips of avonture wat ek nog gelees het. Die manier wat jy skryf en dinge verduidelik laat mens deel voel van alles.
Dis seker meeste van die bikers of DS manne se droom om eendag so 'n avontuur aan te pak maar mens besef baie vinnig dat dit net beskore is vir 'n klein hoeveelheid manne en vroue. Dis nie soseer die geld nie maar die deursettingsvermoŽ en die  wil om deur te druk al lyk dinge hoe sleg.
Voorspoed met jou beplanning vir die Dakar en ek glo daar sal nog hier en daar 'n ander race ook wees wat jy aan gaan deelneem. Laat weet ons asb van alles, "die groot opbou na die Dakar".

Respek :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: MadDog on December 30, 2010, 11:54:41 am
WOW, what an inspirational RR.... Well done to you sir.
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Mzee on January 06, 2011, 12:44:53 pm
Simply awesome!
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Crossed-up on April 16, 2011, 05:19:34 pm
Last Saturday I rode in our new "mini-Dakar", The Amageza Run, in the Western Cape.  550km, almost all dirt, some of it slightly technical.  There were no timed stages and navigation was made much easier because I knew most of the roads quite well.  Nevertheless, I did get lost, and nearly missed the cut-off time.  My pace was thoroughly pedestrian except at the very end when it quickly became a mad flat-out race against the clock.   

I know that what I did was piddling compared to you, BB, but it made me realise all over again what an astonishing achievement your race was.  I realised, too, just how much of it is in your head.  The ability to stay calm and concentrate for hour after hour is what brings one home.  As long as the bike works the greatest part is mental.

That said, I was poked.  :P  (I'm an old toppie.) If you'd told me to do the same thing again on Sunday I'm not sure if I would have been able to.  Just the ride on the N7 home from Clanwilliam to Cape Town was more than enough, thank you.

Well done, Neil!  I salute you.  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: terminator1 on August 23, 2011, 06:47:59 am
Neil legend dude. Just read this whole fred again.

4580km is a VERY long way at race speeds.

I was moertoe after just a few hours in the Winterberg.

This is an official hero bump.  :laughing4:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: MOGGIE on January 07, 2012, 12:36:09 pm
Dear Niel.
I followed your experiance some time ago.
I have not had any contact with this thread for quite a while.
Have you enrolled in the DAkar this year?
I sopose if you did some of your buddies can tell me.
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: zetman on January 07, 2012, 07:40:12 pm
Nope he is our main spy and info man this year he will attempt the dakar in 2013 go and read the dakar thread you wil love it
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: killboy on February 02, 2012, 10:57:22 am
This is absolutely legendary! You sir, are a hero, and as of now my biggest inspiration!

I thank you for taking the time to write this, and is so much detail. Ride reports of pictures and places are one thing, but putting your mental thoughts in such vivid and often suspenseful fashion is outstanding to read. I'd get the hi res pics, and make a coffee table book. I'd want one.
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: BlueBull2007 on February 02, 2012, 06:19:11 pm
Hey Guys - Thanks for all your replies, they're most appreciated!

For the record, I am planning to do the Dakar in 2013.

I'm also planning a coffee table book on the Dos Sertoes, announcement coming soon :deal:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: killboy on February 02, 2012, 09:36:04 pm
Hey Guys - Thanks for all your replies, they're most appreciated!

For the record, I am planning to do the Dakar in 2013.

I'm also planning a coffee table book on the Dos Sertoes, announcement coming soon :deal:

Awesome. As of now, I am setting my targets on the Sertoes in 2014. Time to save.

Have you mentioned the breakdown of costs anywhere? I understand if its a sensitive topic, but if not, I'd love to get an idea to start planning.  :patch:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Hinksding on February 02, 2012, 10:06:16 pm
Sub, gaan later lees as ek kans kry, lyk baie naaais
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Puddles on February 03, 2012, 11:59:05 am
Hey Guys - Thanks for all your replies, they're most appreciated!

For the record, I am planning to do the Dakar in 2013.

I'm also planning a coffee table book on the Dos Sertoes, announcement coming soon :deal:

Good for you ... for both of the above "projects" !!!  :thumleft:  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: DirtyHarry on March 18, 2012, 12:17:07 pm
 :thumleft: What a great RR Neil. Shame on me that I only saw your RR now.
Truly amazing how you did finish the race.
I really like if people go out of their comfort zone to achieve a dream.
And thanks for your great effort to let us be part of the race  :thumleft:
Good luck for your future rallies.
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Camelman on October 02, 2012, 05:38:09 am
This is a epic journey Neil. Very well ridden and written!
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: washer6 on May 22, 2014, 08:46:36 am
Only read this now, as i have only found it now.
Standing Ovation Neil.

i also picked up a few things that i'm putting down on my list for things to do in the Amageza!!
Cheers Neil, was a great read!!!
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: BlueBull2007 on June 08, 2015, 11:19:19 pm
Fanks hey guys. :thumleft: I got the pictures working again, they went away for some reason :scratch:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: gser on June 09, 2015, 07:21:11 am
Hey Guys - Thanks for all your replies, they're most appreciated!

For the record, I am planning to do the Dakar in 2013.

I'm also planning a coffee table book on the Dos Sertoes, announcement coming soon :deal:

 BB Neil,
 Die koffie in my beker is  al koud, maar moenie warrie nie, ek gaan nou weer die ketel aansit vir nog ene.
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: BlueBull2007 on June 09, 2015, 10:13:54 am
Hey Guys - Thanks for all your replies, they're most appreciated!

For the record, I am planning to do the Dakar in 2013.

I'm also planning a coffee table book on the Dos Sertoes, announcement coming soon :deal:

 BB Neil,
 Die koffie in my beker is  al koud, maar moenie warrie nie, ek gaan nou weer die ketel aansit vir nog ene.

:imaposer: I guess Im just a poser

Sorri man. The plans of mice and men. Never had money in 2012 for the 2013 Dakar.  :-\ Managed to crush my tibia just after that Christmas anyway. Finally got the balls back to race last year in the Amageza but bad prep and planning screwed that for me.

What my excuse this year? I don't have one to be honest. I know I have not done enough racing to convince my Mrs that I am Dakar ready. She thinks I will die if I do it. Truth is I would need to do another decent rally to be accepted anyway. And then there is still the plates and screws and crap I still need to have taken out of my leg.

Listen to me yammering on ::) Need to get my mojo back.
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Kenisis on July 30, 2015, 06:44:02 pm
Maybe you should  stop flapping your gums and come and ride with us next Year?

 :deal:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Sardine on April 26, 2016, 01:52:02 pm
Wow!  :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: :ricky:

Love the colour scheme on the Springbok!
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: evansv on April 26, 2016, 06:51:22 pm
I just stumbled onto this story & have read all 23 pages (fark work)!!!

What a fantastic story of bravery & courage!

Well done BB, one for the grand kids :thumleft:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: BlueBull2007 on April 26, 2016, 09:49:31 pm
Thanks guys. Lekker that your are still enjoying it. Planning some new epic trips in Africa. :deal:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: gser on April 27, 2016, 07:32:39 am
Only with a real BLUE BULL sticker kit on your stead then BB ?
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: BlueBull2007 on April 27, 2016, 09:22:45 am
Hehe, the thought crossed my mind a couple of times, but I do not want to alienate myself from the Stormers and Sharks supporters :P
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: Kobus Myburgh on July 14, 2016, 11:56:15 am
I read through this entire story last night while I was supposed to prepare for a presentation today.  Just couldn't stop!

BlueBull2007, you now have another fan and I am super stoked to get my arse in gear for next years Baja.  Belated thanks for sharing your awesome adventure.  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: gser on July 14, 2016, 07:09:20 pm
What about Amageza 2016 , even beter ! . . . .\
I like  . . .
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: seankriel on October 28, 2016, 06:20:51 am
Awesome!!
Title: Re: Living the Dos Sertoes Dream: Racing 4,500km across Brazil
Post by: McSack on October 28, 2016, 06:29:04 am
Shot for necro-ing this fred dude
... how the hell am I supposed to get to work now that I have started reading ?

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