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Author Topic: Buffs RR of the 2019 Tankwa XC Rally  (Read 1846 times)

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Offline YamaV

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Re: Buffs RR of the 2019 Tankwa XC Rally
« Reply #20 on: September 26, 2019, 05:27:17 pm »
Awesome!!  :thumleft: :thumleft:
 
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Offline billy-joe

Re: Buffs RR of the 2019 Tankwa XC Rally
« Reply #21 on: September 26, 2019, 06:19:32 pm »
loving this, keep it coming pls!
-There is no road to happiness...Happiness is the road.
-One cannot drink beer all day long if you do not start early in the morning says Welsh!!
 
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Offline Kortbroek

Re: Buffs RR of the 2019 Tankwa XC Rally
« Reply #22 on: September 26, 2019, 06:58:07 pm »
Good one Buff  :thumleft:

Last year I didn't have the money, this year work prevented me from going...but you're being bloody well convincing with this RR. I really need to pull finger and make a plan for next year.  :snorting:
- you reckon that thing will pop a wheelie? We're about to find out, SLAP that pig!
 
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Offline Buff

Re: Buffs RR of the 2019 Tankwa XC Rally
« Reply #23 on: September 26, 2019, 08:22:05 pm »
Good one Buff  :thumleft:

Last year I didn't have the money, this year work prevented me from going...but you're being bloody well convincing with this RR. I really need to pull finger and make a plan for next year.  :snorting:

If you want it bad enough then make it happen  :thumleft: My advice is to start the planning now already, a year passes very quickly.
Present bikes: BETA 300RR, KTM 690, Yamaha WR250F

If you're dumb you gotta be tough !!!
 
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Offline gmac

Re: Buffs RR of the 2019 Tankwa XC Rally
« Reply #24 on: September 26, 2019, 10:08:55 pm »
This is lekker - this is one of the things I miss most about racing - the post Mortems with your mates afterwards-


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Offline Buff

Re: Buffs RR of the 2019 Tankwa XC Rally
« Reply #25 on: September 27, 2019, 05:45:42 am »
This is lekker - this is one of the things I miss most about racing - the post Mortems with your mates afterwards-


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Absolutely Gav, sharing the experience with others just seems to enhance it. I could have ridden that entire Sat all by myself if my GPS was functioning 100% but I can garenttee you that I wouldn't have gotten the same life experience out of it. This ended up being one of my best days on a bike as well and it taught me a life lesson as well. When life hands you lemons, just add salt and tequila  ;)  :thumleft:
« Last Edit: September 27, 2019, 05:46:45 am by Buff »
Present bikes: BETA 300RR, KTM 690, Yamaha WR250F

If you're dumb you gotta be tough !!!
 

Online Kobus Myburgh

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Re: Buffs RR of the 2019 Tankwa XC Rally
« Reply #26 on: September 27, 2019, 06:04:32 am »
Thanks for sharing your experience buff.  It was an honor meeting you and you guys are all heroes in my book.  From a spectator perspective it was obvious how tough it was.
"If you have men who will only come if they know there is a good road, I don't want them.  I want men who will come if there is no road at all."

-David Livingstone-
 
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Offline JustBendIt

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Re: Buffs RR of the 2019 Tankwa XC Rally
« Reply #27 on: September 27, 2019, 06:34:52 am »
Lekker RR Brett ...well done
The older I get the faster I was
 
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Offline Kaboef

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Re: Buffs RR of the 2019 Tankwa XC Rally
« Reply #28 on: September 27, 2019, 07:12:40 am »
Great report Brett.

 :thumleft:
And Saint Attila raised the hand grenade up on high, saying, "O Lord, bless this thy hand grenade, that with it thou mayst blow thine enemies to tiny bits, in thy mercy."
 
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Offline Grunder

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Re: Buffs RR of the 2019 Tankwa XC Rally
« Reply #29 on: September 27, 2019, 07:42:56 am »
Thanks vir 'n lekker RR  :ricky:

Muscles can't buy mad dog!
 
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Offline Black_Hawk

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Re: Buffs RR of the 2019 Tankwa XC Rally
« Reply #30 on: September 27, 2019, 08:03:58 am »
I really enjoyy your RR Brett, keep it coming  :thumleft:
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Offline ETS

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Re: Buffs RR of the 2019 Tankwa XC Rally
« Reply #31 on: September 27, 2019, 08:27:01 am »
Really enjoyed with great jealousy ;) ;) :thumleft:
If i had to explain you would not understand anyway......
 
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Offline Buff

Re: Buffs RR of the 2019 Tankwa XC Rally
« Reply #32 on: September 27, 2019, 08:36:35 am »
A simple 50km liaison back to HQ sounds simple enough right? Well not when you have forearm pump so bad that you canít hold onto the bars anymore. My initial forearm pump had moved on from simply pumped and cramping muscles to just constant aching pain. The corrugations on the gravel road back where pure hell and nothing I did made it feel any better. I even stopped at one point and tried rubbing them out but even that was too painful. This was certainly a new experience for me and not one I care to have a repeat of. That evening I had my missus rubbing them out and applying liberal amounts of voltaren gel. The rest of me was holding up surprisingly well under the conditions. I made sure my ass was well protected each day by wearing cycling shorts instead of jocks under my race pants and my Progrip Rally grips combined with Palm savers had my hands covered. I never had a single blister.

We got back to race HQ fairly late due to some delays helping Ricky out with her WR250 that had cried enough, fortunately only after her finishing the stage. It ended up being terminal and that was her race done  :-\

A quick race prep was done on the KLX450 with a new air filter and chain lube. I also dialed back the high speed compression damping half a turn on the rear shock as I had a few close shaves during the day when the back end kicked up higher than expected when hitting lurkers at speed. The bike was holding up great and never missed a beat the entire day. Even the tires and mousse's were still looking good despite starting with a secondhand set. These Michelin Deserts have me converted, they might be expensive but they are tough  :thumleft: I actually felt rather guilty at one point because our pit was a hive of activity with people changing mousse's and tires and fixing rally towers etc. and here I was, feeding my face and drinking a beer  ;D
Then it was time for a shower and good chow down on a lekka braai pack compliments of the farmers once again.

By now the sun had set on HQ, race briefing was done (8pm) and there were still a number of riders still out there on the Rally and Gold class loops, including the Honda manne. It proved to be a proper marathon stage and in years past the organizers would have called a cutoff at certain refuel points but this year there was live tracking and they were confident that the riders were okay and moving well and could be recovered if need be, so they allowed them to continue with the stage. True to form they brought the bikes home soon after that. Well done guys, great vasbyt  :thumleft:

The camp site settled a whole lot earlier than normal, there were lots of weary bodies needing plenty of TLC. Sleep came quickly for me after I popped a couple of pain meds for my sinus infection, it had been a very long day since being awake from 1am  :o No dreaming this evening, just sleeeeepppppp !!!
« Last Edit: September 28, 2019, 08:56:52 pm by Buff »
Present bikes: BETA 300RR, KTM 690, Yamaha WR250F

If you're dumb you gotta be tough !!!
 

Offline Buff

Re: Buffs RR of the 2019 Tankwa XC Rally
« Reply #33 on: September 27, 2019, 02:38:41 pm »
The final Chapter:

Sunday, the final day had arrived. I awoke feeling like sh!t, my head was pounding and my nose blocked. I lay in the tent trying to motivate myself to get out of my sleeping bag. I mumbled something to my wife and daughter who looked at me and said something along the lines of ďDad, you donít sound healthy, are you still going to race today?Ē I totally pulled a Joey Evans on her and said ďWe didnít come this far too only come this farĒ. Her face beamed back at me, she knew it was game on  ;D
The weather was again cooler and the morning formalities were dealt with and just after 8am I was back behind the flag waiting for my countdown. The day would comprise of 2 stages, 4 & 5.

Stage 4 was 76kmís with a splash and dash refuel at around 60kmís. I had put 4l of fuel out for the outside refuel with the intention of making the call when I got there, depending on the speed and sand encountered. The stage was a repeat of the TT but in the opposite direction so the bust GPS wasnít needed, I knew the way. This would be followed by a 45min decontrol at race HQ where you could refuel your bike and attend to any issues. You could leave any time within that 45min window but anything later would be added to your Stage 5 time. I made sure my clipper card was secure after the holder had come lose on my saddle the previous day and the 10sec call came. Away we roared, chasing even bigger dust clouds that the previous days.

My new mate Riaan was just behind me on the line. He said if there were any navigational challenges I must just wait for him, heíll be there. But there was no waiting on this stage, I rode it as hard as I could and managed to put a few passes of some riders early in the stage. About half through the stage I got caught behind the young lady on the quad that I had helped the previous day and try as I may, I could not get past her, not without risking it all. The fesh fesh was just insane because parts of this route had probably been ridden 3 or 4 times over the course of the weekend and the dust hung thick in the morning air with very little wind to assist in clearing it. I tried two moves on passing her and both ended with me nearly seeing my naught so I eventually just conceded to giving her a dust gap and staying behind her. Her pace wasnít bad but I knew I had a little more to give. There was one clipper to stamp on this stage and I decided to skip the refuel as I was fairly confident the 450 would manage the 76kmís on the 8l tank.
 
Before I knew it we were back at HQ, stage done. It felt like it literally flew by. I crossed the line and reached for my clipper cardÖ nothing, it was gone  :'(  My heart sank. This was probably my only clean stage of the weekend and my card had slipped out the pouch when the pouch came lose on my saddle again. Iím not sure what penalties were applied but a missed clipper is normally anything between 30min to 1 hour. I pulled into our pits, threw a little hissy fit, swore at myself and then sucked it up. I needed to remind myself I was here to finish, not win.

I had a cold coke, refueled the bike and myself with an energy bar and went to collect a new clipper card from the race officials before leaving on the final stage. I was feeling great on the bike, my forearms still ached a little but my riding was feeling a whole lot sharper than on day one. Iím guessing it was the same for most of the field because the riders werenít hanging around.

This final stage was my favourite of the entire rally. It had a good mixture of everything in it, from sandy riverbeds to rocky mountain sections to open flowing stuff on the way back. After my misfortune of losing my clipper card I knew I wasnít going to place anywhere in Silver class so it allowed me to back it off a bit and just race at a comfortable pace. Weirdly enough, a comfortable pace is often a faster pace because youíre smoother on the bike and I think that might have been the case here. I ended up doing the 100 odd kilos without seeing another bike. It was shear bliss, no dust, just incredible Tankwa scenery. I still needed to stop a few times to switch on my GPS and confirm I was still on the right track, especially towards the end where Clive pulled a nasty and sent us on a 15km detour with the HQ almost in sight. I stopped a few times to double check because I was convinced I was on the wrong route. How could I be this close but going in a different direction?  ::)

I managed to collect the 3 clipper points on the stage and with about 40kmís to go I was already playing the 3 days over in my head. I couldnít believe it was nearly over. I worked for close on a year to prepare my bike for this race and I was so looking forward to racing on those tracks again, yet here I was, almost done with the 2019 edition. I felt melancholy about it; like I wasnít quite ready to let it go yet.

I finally crossed the finish line to rapturous applause from the crowdsÖ jokes, there was no one there, beside a race official. Not even my wife and kids. This achievement is was my own to cherish and enjoy. Clive, please tell me you have a medal for me?

The Tankwa is a truly unique place. Itís stark and harsh yet it embodies a warmth that brings me back every year, be it to race or assist with the race. Its people make it what it is, they are humble and appreciative and they embrace you like one of their own. We donít deserve or earn this right, itís something they give and if you give it back in return, you have friendships that will last forever.

Thank you to Clive and his team for another superb event. I had some rough calls over the 3 days but I still loved every minute of it  :thumleft:
Thank you to all the farmers but especially to Cornie and Braam and their families for making us feel like part of your family and sharing your playground with us.
Thank you to Dux for sorting out so many last minute things on the bike, like rebuilding the back wheel with 3 days to go  :) The KLX450 ran like a dream and she's cleaned , serviced and parked and ready to rock in 2020  :thumleft:
« Last Edit: September 28, 2019, 09:01:24 pm by Buff »
Present bikes: BETA 300RR, KTM 690, Yamaha WR250F

If you're dumb you gotta be tough !!!
 

Offline Kortbroek

Re: Buffs RR of the 2019 Tankwa XC Rally
« Reply #34 on: September 27, 2019, 02:59:31 pm »
Great stuff Buff. This really sounds like an awesome event. You're right, I need to make it happen.
- you reckon that thing will pop a wheelie? We're about to find out, SLAP that pig!
 
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Offline Black_Hawk

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Re: Buffs RR of the 2019 Tankwa XC Rally
« Reply #35 on: September 27, 2019, 03:05:07 pm »
Thanks for sharing this with us Brett, I really enjoyed this report  :thumleft:
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Offline Clockwork Orange

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Re: Buffs RR of the 2019 Tankwa XC Rally
« Reply #36 on: September 27, 2019, 05:31:35 pm »
Thanks Buff and well done. Now I really miss my racing days. You really captured all the emotions I recall from the racing days.
When in doubt...grab throttle!!!
 
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Offline Crossed-up

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Re: Buffs RR of the 2019 Tankwa XC Rally
« Reply #37 on: September 27, 2019, 05:54:23 pm »
Thanks for this great report, and well done on your fantastic effort!
 
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Offline gmac

Re: Buffs RR of the 2019 Tankwa XC Rally
« Reply #38 on: September 27, 2019, 10:23:33 pm »
Thanks Buff and well done. Now I really miss my racing days. You really captured all the emotions I recall from the racing days.

For real!


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Offline Mr Zog

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Re: Buffs RR of the 2019 Tankwa XC Rally
« Reply #39 on: September 28, 2019, 04:01:12 am »
Thanks Buff  :thumleft:


Riding an event like this will always be something on my bucket list.  :ricky:
Young enough to know I can, old enough to know I shouldn't, stupid enough to do it anyway.