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Author Topic: Racing Panda's AWESOME AMAGEZA 2014: START TO about halfway.  (Read 55484 times)

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Offline Pistonpete

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Re: Racing Panda's AWESOME AMAGEZA 2014: START TO FINISH!
« Reply #360 on: November 21, 2014, 08:25:41 pm »
Robc's  :sip:
'Routine is the thief of time'
 

Offline Scooterbike

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Re: Racing Panda's AWESOME AMAGEZA 2014: START TO FINISH!
« Reply #361 on: November 21, 2014, 09:15:05 pm »
 :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft:
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Offline BlueBull2007

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Re: Racing Panda's AWESOME AMAGEZA 2014: START TO FINISH!
« Reply #362 on: November 21, 2014, 09:44:48 pm »
Been waiting for this one....was almost beginning to wonder. Naaa not Ian He´s a raving petrolhead! ;D :ricky:
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Offline N[]vA

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Re: Racing Panda's AWESOME AMAGEZA 2014: START TO FINISH!
« Reply #363 on: November 21, 2014, 09:52:11 pm »
Cant wait! :D
So much of win it hurts! ^.^


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Offline lj111

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Re: Racing Panda's AWESOME AMAGEZA 2014: START TO FINISH!
« Reply #364 on: November 22, 2014, 11:24:42 pm »
Front row seats booked, bring it on brother  :thumleft:

+1  :sip: :thumleft: :ricky:
Some people feel the rain and others just get wet...
 

Offline BlueBull2007

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Re: Racing Panda's AWESOME AMAGEZA 2014: START TO FINISH!
« Reply #365 on: November 23, 2014, 01:00:33 am »
and then....? (ah, Married life  ;D )
Rally nut. What could possibly go wrong?
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Offline bonova

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Re: Racing Panda's AWESOME AMAGEZA 2014: START TO FINISH!
« Reply #366 on: November 24, 2014, 08:01:15 pm »
Give us MORE!!!!  :biggrin:
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Offline MaxThePanda

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Re: Racing Panda's AWESOME AMAGEZA 2014: START TO FINISH!
« Reply #367 on: November 27, 2014, 07:16:01 am »
Team Skywalkers are rally veterans. Yoda hadn’t slept for a week due to the heady mix of excitement/terrror chemicals coursing through his veins. I’d been man down under an inter-gallactic virus attack - no doubt all stress motivated - and Chewbacca had been using the last precious moments to get his vehicle in a condition of prime, tip top rally readiness.

So when I arrived in Somerset West at 10pm the night before departure to drop off my bike and kit off, this is what I saw:



This, my fine, furry friends, is the 1999 production version of KTM’s cutting-edge rally domination vehicle… circa 1996! I think I’m right in saying it was the oldest bike at this year’s Amageza. OK, it leaks a little fuel, the instruments go on the blink from time to time and it has pretty serious carb problems, but none of this was likely to stop Chewy from challenging for a podium position.

How do you fit Tubliss again?

Luckily we had Skywalker mini-me's to do the hard work packing the car.



Never underestimate the value of midgets! There was more nervous giggling than a bunch of school girls before dance night, and we were due a 4am departure, so I extracted myself around midnight and drove the hour back to Cape Town so I wouldn’t have to get up before I went to bed.

Before I knew it the alarm was dragging me out of deep slumber and I was sitting drinking tea with my collection of garden gnomes waiting for the truck.



That’s our handlanger, truck driver and petrol attendant, Obi Wan, working the luggage. He’s far and away the best rider of the lot of us, so we restricted him to oil changes, putting up tents, and single-handedly wrestling the bikes on and off the trailer. There’s only so much beating three men with healthy egos can take. There wasn’t space in the cab, so he had to travel on the back, which is appropriate as he feels too much comfort is deeply damaging for the soul and a serious impediment to top performance in battle.

Anyone who has left Cape Town on the N7 recognizes this Wimpy. It was also the scene of the crime of the departure for our Ngola Kingdom misadventure just over a year ago.



The journey to Tatooine took several light years, which left plenty of opportunity for continued education about all sorts of important matters, including:
  • Highs and lows of die groot trek
  • Where to buy the best biltong (Calvinia)
  • 101 ways to kill jakkals (top hint: helicopters)
  • What souped up bakkies are currently the rage in Dubai
  • Which music is currently hot on the sakkiejol hit parade



We ate all the biltong we bought as race food, laughed a lot, listened to very bad music and bumped into half of the Amageza participants and organisers every time we stopped to refuel the ship. What does one have to do to get away from these people?

Arrival in Tatooine/Upington was in high spirits. Yoda had organised us a fancy guesthouse, so we unloaded, ate the biggest steak I’ve seen in my life, and crashed, wondering what joys scrutineering held in store. Tomorrow it begins.

Offline LoopSoosStroop

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Re: Racing Panda's AWESOME AMAGEZA 2014: START TO FINISH!
« Reply #368 on: November 27, 2014, 07:41:41 am »
Always enjoy good writing!  :thumleft:
 

Offline MaxThePanda

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Re: Racing Panda's AWESOME AMAGEZA 2014: START TO FINISH!
« Reply #369 on: November 27, 2014, 07:43:18 am »
Obi Wan was up early checking on the machines



…and before long we found ourselves in a big queue outside a shed.



I was lined up immediately behind the most famous Big Man of the Amageza, Lord Kamanya himself, who soon arrived to bestow trinkets of wisdom on the apprentices, before leaving on some Very Important Business.


(Antiques rule!)

My fine show pony, for the very last time in such spiffy condition. Honestly, you would think by now I’d worked out this was a knife fight in the desert and not some Malibu beach beauty contest.



And on to the battle registration hall, where the Overlords had strung up these pretty white cloths to pretend that all was well and dandy, and that we weren’t about to be thrust into the heat of dangerous battle like a herd of bleating lambs to the slaughter.



Darth Vader himself was curiously absent  - he’d left matters to his many luitenants - as he no doubt presided viciously over battle headquarters at the Death Star, trying not to worry about why Mr Stevens wouldn’t give him any penne arabiata and what the true meaning of the ‘tray’ really was.

Offline Kamanya

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Re: Racing Panda's AWESOME AMAGEZA 2014: START TO FINISH!
« Reply #370 on: November 27, 2014, 07:52:46 am »
A trinket for the masses...

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/W7PJR6PXFKs" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/W7PJR6PXFKs</a>
« Last Edit: November 27, 2014, 07:56:14 am by Kamanya »
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Offline Sláinte Mhaith

Re: Racing Panda's AWESOME AMAGEZA 2014: START TO FINISH!
« Reply #371 on: November 27, 2014, 08:10:04 am »
 :peepwall:
 

Offline BlueBull2007

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Re: Racing Panda's AWESOME AMAGEZA 2014: START TO FINISH!
« Reply #372 on: November 27, 2014, 01:02:35 pm »
This tray is wet. And this one - and this one- and this one- and this one- and this one. :imaposer:
Rally nut. What could possibly go wrong?
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Offline THROTTLE JOCKEY

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Re: Racing Panda's AWESOME AMAGEZA 2014: START TO FINISH!
« Reply #373 on: November 27, 2014, 02:44:38 pm »
 :sip:
Ride it like you stole it!

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Offline MaxThePanda

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Racing Panda's AWESOME AMAGEZA 2014: START TO FINISH!
« Reply #374 on: November 27, 2014, 06:00:35 pm »
A day spent travelling to the far reaches of the known universe, cramped in the back of a transport ship loaded with battle supplies, isn’t going to do any gangly-legged creature any good and my back had duly gone into spasm by the time we arrived.



I have a bit of a weak back, and although my lovely wife has been nagging me incesantly to go to yoga, I’m evidently both: (a) lazy, (b) pig headed, and (c) a bit whiny… but this is my party and I’ll cry if I want to.

I had sent Obi Wan off to the market looking for illegal drugs to ease my pain, and started stuffing anti-inflamatories down my gob like they were smarties at a 5-year old’s birthday party. Oh, and pain killers. Not a good combination… which explains why I felt more than a little high come Sunday morning.

I drifted down to the rider’s briefing in a pleasant haze, and we listened to a surprisingly muted Lord Vader brief us on what to expect over the coming days.





I was expecting a lot more fanfare, chest beating, and dire warnings… something like:

Quote
[bugles]

“Attention. This is the Amageza and you better all pay attention.

Welome all of you! Look at me, now back at the person next to you, now back at me, now back at the other person next to you.

Do I know who you are? No, I don’t fucking know who you are. DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM????!

I am Lord Vader. Lord Darth Vader. Lord of the Amageza . Lord of all I survey. I can kill you with a single thought. I can kill you with the push of an SOS beacon. I can kill you with a motorcycle. I can kill you with this hall.

Look at me. Don't look back at him. I am the Lord Amageza Vaderer. The Darthest Vaderer of them all….”

[more bugles]

Then we were off, down to the local short-circuit race track for a brief, and probably quite dangerous race  around the cones, that would both entertain the local tribesmen and establish our starting positions for the first real day in the desert. We assembled on a dusty patch of dirt, and awaited starter’s orders. There was a lot of nervous laughter, backslapping and making light of the situation, but you could see from the yellow-tinged whites of their eyes that everyone was afraid.





I bumped into Commander Kamanya, who was looking around shiftily and muttering something about there being not a lot to gain, and everything to lose, and that he intended to tread very gently on the pebbles. The knife between his teeth and clenched jaw told a different story.

Obligatory 'proudly South African' shot:



But seriously - this is a proudly South African moment. A true triumph of boer-maak-a-plan determination and ingenuity to pull of such an extravagant event for such a niche interest group of people across such vast distances of our beautiful country! Congratulations Commander Nel!

I watched the first groups go off with a mixture of apprehension at my own turn getting closer, and relief at watching some of them cock it up on the slippery corners. At least I wouldn’t be the first. Team Leader Yoda set a sparkling time and came breezing home in in the middle of his batch.

Chewy on the other hand, set off in a blaze of glory, wrestling his antique rally beast around like it was a 125 pitbike on steroids. He was about 150 yards ahead of his batch and flying, when he overcooked it badly, spun out and binned it grandstand-style, disappering from view in a dramatic explosion of dust almost the size of that ash cloud that wiped out Iceland in 2012.

When the soot had cleared about 3 minutes later, we noticed said forlorn-looking rider slowly pushing his race bike back to the ‘pits’. Clearly, in a fit of pique, the Fritz-machine had thrown an Austrian-style temper-tantrum and refused to move one inch further under its own power. I can hardly say I blame her - it’s not a nice experience to be thrown on the ground at light-speed in full view of the assembled hoardes. The indignity. The shame. Chewy would be starting from the back on Monday.

Soon my name was being called. I was lined up with two other fellows - one a rather inconspicuous clean-cut smaller person (lined up left) on a basic KTM 500. I didn’t recognise him at the time, but it was none other than Hentie Han Solo Hanekom of Tatooine, fearless warrior and masterful lightsabreman, who would make short work of battle, put his enemies to the sword and emerge victorious just five days later:



Tough crowd.

But first things first. This is what happened. I got the jump on them as we left the photography arch and picked my chosen spot on the start line. I fingered my custom starter button and imagined racing away at the gun, leaving these jokers in my dust.

Suddenly, Starter John waved his fingers at us, counted down and jumped out of the way with a flourish, as he gave the all clear.

I whacked the Big Red Button, revved the guts out of my beast and lept towards the first corner.







Actually...that’s not precisely what happened. In actual fact, I stalled in unceremonious fashion and watched the other geezers racing away while I frantically tried to start my machine. That was the last I saw of them, while I serenely made my way around the course, trying not to make a fool of myself. It seemed to take a very long time, and I think they possibly delayed the start of the next batch for me.



Off goes Hentie, never to be seen again.

And then comes me:





Slow and steady doesn't exactly win the race... but it does keep you in it!



Here’s the finish of my heat - as you can see, I’m not exactly in the immediate vicinity:





Oh well - I would line up at no 51 in the morning, and I didn’t break anyhing. Job done.


Offline alanB

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Re: Racing Panda's AWESOME AMAGEZA 2014: START TO FINISH!
« Reply #375 on: November 27, 2014, 08:23:41 pm »
Loving this!

Really impressed at your determination to push through all the pre-event set backs  :thumleft:
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Offline Scooterbike

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Re: Racing Panda's AWESOME AMAGEZA 2014: START TO FINISH!
« Reply #376 on: November 27, 2014, 08:59:51 pm »
as a team Skywalkers member, this is extra special to read  :thumleft:
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Offline MaxThePanda

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Re: Racing Panda's AWESOME AMAGEZA 2014: START TO FINISH!
« Reply #377 on: November 27, 2014, 11:18:52 pm »
as a team Skywalkers member, this is extra special to read  :thumleft:

Don't you mean: "Special to read, this is"? :)

Offline Stef@n

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Re: Racing Panda's AWESOME AMAGEZA 2014: START TO FINISH!
« Reply #378 on: January 03, 2015, 11:35:44 am »
Where is the rest??  :patch: :lamer:

Stef@n
 

Offline MaxThePanda

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Re: Racing Panda's AWESOME AMAGEZA 2014: START TO FINISH!
« Reply #379 on: January 05, 2015, 03:46:50 pm »
Where is the rest??  :patch: :lamer:

Stef@n

Yeah :) Had a shameful end of year from a ride report point of view... but at least it included some riding ;) Took some punters (read: my dirty Angola crew) down some of the Amageza route for an end-of-year holiday. Heat fried my brain, though, and now I'm stuck in Maputo without photos, so the story will have to wait. It's coming though, it's coming...