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Offline BlueBull2007

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A solo ride in the dunes
« on: December 31, 2009, 04:14:40 am »
After watching all these Dakar video clips, I was very keen to do something similar right here in Lima. Lima is like Swakopmund, although its on the Pacific, its surrounded by a very dry desert, huge mountains & dunes that have blown into the mountains. Its a big city of 9 million people with the typical challenges of getting free from really bad traffic.

Over the past 3-4 weeks while out riding I have found a series of awesome mountain single tracks that avoids the roads out of town. It is possible to link these together, and the route goes straight to a perfect dune playground. I just got back from that trip having ridden my wifes 450 Katoom EXC linking the little mountain tracks with the dunes to the south of the city. Ive been humbled by these dunes & mountains. I can feel my aching muscles as I sit here & type. Ive clearly still got a lot to learn from the Dakar boys.   :P

Here is a taster:




More coming soon.... :deal:
« Last Edit: January 01, 2010, 06:20:35 am by BlueBull2007 »
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Offline Aquatic

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Re: A solo ride in the dunes
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2009, 04:27:15 am »
.
The conundrum that is life...
You have to be absolutely smashed to have the guts to attempt it,
But perfectly sober to achieve any success!
 

Offline BlueBull2007

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Re: A solo ride in the dunes
« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2009, 04:30:31 am »
Heh  ;D gotta update the dakar thread first...
« Last Edit: December 31, 2009, 04:31:14 am by BlueBull2007 »
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Offline Aquatic

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Re: A solo ride in the dunes
« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2009, 04:38:42 am »
Heh  ;D gotta update the dakar thread first...


 :thumleft:
Just subscibing so I don't miss out.

Remember I'm way ahead of you. Here it's lunch time on the 31st already :biggrin:
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Offline BlueBull2007

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Re: A solo ride in the dunes
« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2009, 07:48:53 pm »
I set off around 2pm yesterday afternoon. Fifteen minutes from my house I am faced with the first challenge: A ride through the river. Good thing the water has dropped a bit.




The road on the other side of the river is a fast ride buts it´s busy and consequently dusty. There are a lot of heavy trucks carting sand and stone for building purposes, and this turns a lot of the road to fine dust & fesh-fesh. Trucks are also a menace and you have to assume there is one oncoming on every blind curve & corner. This one nearly took out the bike because his brakes weren´t working. Typical of peruvian transport in general.




Soon I was onto a fast track, with less traffic.




I love this piece of dirt, perfect for Plothond´s famous powerslide move  :mwink: All the time I am aware that Im riding alone so I take it easy.




I stop to take a pic and some of the scenery. This horse knows my bike - I met him on the road a couple of weeks ago - She does not like it that I stopped here  ;D




Although we live in a very dry desert, its crossed by numerous rivers from the Andes mountains, and consequently the valleys that do carry water are very rich and green, a huge contrast to the desert on the mountain slopes. Ahead of me is the turnoff to the left, up into the hills.




The road leads to a little village which has a wall (??) running around it.




Artists invited by the mayor are are in the process of sprucing up what otherwise would have bee a very drab place.






I´m impressed, people here take pride in the little they have. Instead of complaining about their circumstances they do something about it.




I notice this couple drawing water and go over to say "Hi".




Her name is Felicitana, and she has a precious smile:




She tells me that she lived here all her life, that her husband grows corn and potatoes, that this water from the canal can only be used for washing, it´s too dirty to drink. It still has to be carried up the mountain to their house. They have to buy drinking water from the other side of the valley over there, its far to walk.




Its also very expensive. I ask her what are her hopes for 2010. She smiles again and says, just that they can can get through the year will be enough for her.

The way on is over the ridge on the right:




I make it to the ridge without a problem.




Ahead of me is another ridge. Its getting higher and steeper fast.




I stop to take a pic but its too steep to put the side stand out. I remind myself whatever happens, dont put your foot out to the right!




Riding on for a some time brings me out onto a ridge where I can take in the view.




The track onwards does not get any easier. Im beginning to think perhaps I´ve over extended myself.  :-\







I decide to err is to look down. :o




I press on and the goat track deteriorates. Holy crap, there is no going back now.  :pale:



Part ii coming soon...
« Last Edit: January 10, 2010, 03:00:03 am by BlueBull2007 »
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Offline Iron Shark

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Re: A solo ride in the dunes
« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2009, 08:19:32 pm »
Lekka pics mate!  :thumleft:
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Offline Swanniebraai

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Re: A solo ride in the dunes
« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2009, 08:28:20 pm »
Wat 'n ride Bul!  :thumleft:
May the WORS be WITH you!
 

Offline eikeboom

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Re: A solo ride in the dunes
« Reply #7 on: December 31, 2009, 08:35:55 pm »
Holy cow the place is dry!
Beautiful though.
 :ricky:
Let's go into the mountains...there's likely to be peace and quiet
 

Offline Blou Zebu

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Re: A solo ride in the dunes
« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2010, 06:37:03 am »
I recognise the feeling of being overextended and the realisation that you can not turn back!

Glad you made it!
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Offline Brakenjan

Re: A solo ride in the dunes
« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2010, 01:18:51 pm »
Great stuff BB!! Thank you.

Please don't keep us waiting too long for the rest.  :ricky:
 

Offline Oupa Foe-rie

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Re: A solo ride in the dunes
« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2010, 01:44:33 pm »
Eish ........... what a ride  ;)
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Offline Big E

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Re: A solo ride in the dunes
« Reply #11 on: January 05, 2010, 02:06:36 pm »
Blikskottels.....ek hoop daar is nog
Nou kyk nou net waar het daai hond loop lê!
 

Offline Martin-DR650

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Re: A solo ride in the dunes
« Reply #12 on: January 05, 2010, 02:24:33 pm »
Wow,You are one LUCKY MAN!!!!!! ENJOY IT.. :thumleft:
Too much of a good thing can be wonderful !
 

Offline BlueBull2007

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Re: A solo ride in the dunes
« Reply #13 on: January 05, 2010, 04:01:33 pm »
Yes there is more, Im just really busy with the Dakar Thread at the mo. As soon as I get a gap I´ll do part II.
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Re: A solo ride in the dunes
« Reply #14 on: January 08, 2010, 06:34:32 pm »
Can't wait for the dunes!
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Offline BlueBull2007

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Re: A solo ride in the dunes
« Reply #15 on: January 09, 2010, 08:52:16 pm »
Sorry for the delay, its just we have been busy following the Dakar...Three cheers for the rest day! Hip hip hoory. Having said that the Dakar thread is now suffering thanks to this thread ::) and we plan to go outriding as soon as Ive posted this.  :ricky: :ricky:

Thanks for all the replies. Its good motivation to continue posting. Back to the story:

I push on, I quickly learn the trick it to keep moving, as soon as you slow too much things just get harder, its more difficult to keep the bike on the track. Its also really hard to keep your weight on the outside (the high side) to improve traction. If you go too far over on one side its a long, long way down.  

I also learn that going around the crests you have to take it easy, the curve is very sharp, and with the slope of the track its much easier to slide off the track. But its a lot better on the inside corners, you can literally "ride on the wall" and lean over at really cool angles!  8)


I go around the next corner and see this:




Its an awesome panorama and the track ahead looks kinda inviting. :deal:




Getting closer I see and AWESOME ramp. You can make out a paraglider above the ridge for scale.




I just have to see if I can get up this thing. I give it a go, but stupidly did not have enough speed going into it. My second gear runs out about half way up and then it was down to first. It is only a matter of time before I come off the back after riding on one wheel about three quarters of the way up. Luckily I avoid the falling bike as it bounces off its rear mud guard and tail light. Its so steep that the bike slides down on its side down the hill for about 20m. I have to chase it and nearly face plant trying to catch it. <You can actually see the drag marks from this drama  3/4 of the way up on the left side of the track.>  I am too s**t scared and exhausted to try ride it down from there, so I walk it down like a girl.   :xxbah: :angry7: I spend a good half an hour drinking water and recovering from the ordeal. I decide to leave it for next time when there is someone with me and press on.

Looking back at the approach track,



Yours truely, with the offending ramp in the background.




I follow the obvious track down this mountain as a reconcilition ride. Its steeper than it looks, but doable if you control your descent.




The track continues its contouring route to the south. There are a couple of cool ramps for the more adventurous but Im still shakey after my last attempt so I stick to the contour.




There are a couple of places where you really think you are going to slide away.




It requires weight on the outside, and a little bit of throttle, its not bad at all.


I pop down into the little town of Pachacamac (try say that after 6 beers!) for some fuel, and along comes a funeral procession, full brass band and all.




Riding through the town I come accross some old wheat mills




Its a poor town, but some people here have pride and make the best, so its really quite nice. I have some pics of the centre of town, I will post later. This is typical side street. Always curious people about.




Taking the road out of town, I am close to the dunes now.




There are some nice agricultural projects in the area, and I stop for another drink at this flower farm.




I talk to the guy there, he says its a profitable business for the owners, but he doesnt get paid enough.  :hmh:





Looking back at the bike it really is a beautiful machine with plenty of horses.




Even when the brake light has been smashed off by some windgat.  :laughing7:




At last




Being relatively new to powdery dunes, I aim straight for the highest point and open up. I quickly realise that unless you start them with a run-up youre not going to get very far. The bike is screaming under me and Im going about 20km/hr and losing speed. So I changed the attack angle and got further but simply not far enough.



I have to return to the base of these dunes. Its hard work, and Im sucking air big time. The bike performs beautifully though. One thing about going down dunes is you have to open up. You cannot allow the bike to slow on the back wheel or you just stall. Opening up also helps keep the front wheel up. Its pretty scary, because you pick up pace really quickly and there is no way really of slowing down without digging in with your front wheel. Going down a steep dune its hard to keep the weight off the front wheel so if you tap off it goes straight in like a knife into butter. Not good at all.

I get down okay, but the adrenaline is pumping. On my second attempt, I get over the first dune and am surprised by the steep drop on the other side. In front of me is a deep blind hole with a wall of dunes going up the moutain in front. I have to open up big time and its a bastard trying to keep my balance in the sand that changes angle constantly.

Eventually I run out of steam again and come to a grinding halt with the back wheel dug in.





OK folks you´ll have to wait until Im back from my ride now...sorry but I ran out of time and we cant not ride!  :ricky:

« Last Edit: January 10, 2010, 03:29:42 am by BlueBull2007 »
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Offline mrhyde

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Re: A solo ride in the dunes
« Reply #16 on: January 09, 2010, 09:57:16 pm »
 :thumleft:
 

Offline BlueBull2007

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Re: A solo ride in the dunes
« Reply #17 on: January 10, 2010, 12:28:03 am »
OK Im back.

I quickly realise I have to stay near the crest or on the crest. Well thats not easy either because these are short, convoluted dunes that end suddenly and while trying to increase speed I find myself in a couple of hairy situations where I have ramp off a drop. As I go over the edge I have to flat tap the bike to prevent it from stalling. Its very counter-intuitive because you feel like youre going to launch into space, but if you dont you stall and get bogged on the top of the dune.  :patch:

My bike is facing the wrong way. In front of me is the crest of another dune with another deep pit behind it. Not a good place to be. I have to turn my bike to the left because to the right is a very steep downhill slope and Im not confident enough to do it. Im beginning to feel very isolated. While I wait for the bike to cool down I, catch my breath, have a look around and think about how I am going to turn the bike.




It takes me an age to turn the bike, its bloody exhausting and suddenly I have an inkling what it must be like to be in the a desert rally. I imagine doing this after days of exhausting riding in the middle of nowhere and realise I have so much to learn I before I can begin rallying, never mind Dakar. Right now Dakar is for the supermen, not me. I have so much respect for those guys.

Eventually I get the bike turned a bit to the left like I want, but I realise I´ve lost so much energy doing it perhaps I should just retreat. The decision is made by the bike: It just decides to go downhill into the cool sea breeze. Getting down this time is still difficult, its really challenging to find a suitable route through the dune holes.

I decide on a different route around over a bigger, flatter dune and eventually get to the top. Looking back at the first route I can just make out my tracks on the dune on the right.




I press on into the hills, to get there I ride over the back of another huge dune (sorry no pics). The riding here is much easier, its flatter and barring one or two holes, and I learn that at speed its a piece of cake.  :ricky:

I follow a very sandy track up another steep mountain. Im feeling very, very remote and Im freaked about being able to do this the other way. Somehow I make it to the top without coming off.




There is no way Im am going back down there. Not today, anyway. There must be another way down, thats easier.










I can see the ocean in the distance and the route I took over the dunes.




Looking the other way there is a bigger mountain beckoning to be explored. The only problem is I have had enough. I want to get down, not further up.



Eventually I find a way down another ridge.




Im glad I got down from up there!




On the way I find a little track full of fesh fesh. Its challenging but not hectic like those dunes.





I still have to cross the dunes to get get home, but I choose an easier route back because Im tired, bushed actually.
It doesnt take me long before Im back on the single track home and towards a well earned beer.




Guys thanks for following along  :thumleft: I have more photos of these areas and more stories coming soon.

« Last Edit: January 10, 2010, 04:20:35 am by BlueBull2007 »
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Offline >>Thump°C

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Re: A solo ride in the dunes
« Reply #18 on: January 10, 2010, 01:36:51 pm »
That was awesome dude.
definitely has improved my opinion of a Blue Bull supporter :imaposer:

There seem to be a lot of tracks on the dunes and hills.

are there a lot of other guys playing in the area or what?

What in the cave, seems popular?


Thanks again for posting, I'm starting to think I need to start travelling abroad.
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Re: A solo ride in the dunes
« Reply #19 on: January 10, 2010, 05:09:26 pm »
Wow!  Thanks for that.  That's a hell of a place where you live!