If you’re new to the Dakar Rally and you love motorbikes, I’ve got a way in for you.
Lyndon Poskitt has raced in the rally a couple of times now but this year he has raised the degree of inside media coverage to a new level. If you follow his site you should get daily inside looks into what it’s like to ride in the toughest class (Malle Moto is only the rider with no support crew doing everything from maintenance to navigation to riding over thousands of kilometres for almost two weeks, alone). Riding a motorcycle in Dakar is the hardest thing you can do. Some bike riders retire onto four wheels as they get older, but the bikers are the hardest of the hard core.
Lyndon’s media crew made an hour long documentary that reviews his race from last year. It introduces you to both the sheer physical exertion, luck and talent, both technical and riding, that is needed to get through the race as a malle moto rider. After watching this it’ll seem nearly impossible, but Lyndon’s back at it again this year.
You get a bit of background on Lyndon from the video. This isn’t a rich guy playing at racing. Lyndon’s magic power is being a mechanical engineer. His mechanical sympathy and technical talent allow him to prepare his bike as well as any mechanic would. For the past couple of years, since a near death experience, he has been riding around the world participating in races and rallies as he goes. He has sourced all his own support for this.
The Dakar is the mother of long distance rallies. It used to run from Paris, France to Dakar, Senegal in Northern Africa back in the Twentieth Century. The BBC made a great documentary about it called Madness in the Desert, if you’re interested in a detailed look at how the Dakar started.
Political instability in Saharan Africa moved the rally to South America in 2009 after decades of running from Europe through the desert to Dakar. The move didn’t make things any easier.
If you enjoy motorsport and watching people pushed to the limits of endurance and skill there is little that approaches it. While there are many factory riders and teams on their fully funded rides, the Dakar always has a healthy bunch of privateers racing, so it doesn’t seem like the millionaire’s club that a lot of motorsports do. There is something very genuine about the Dakar.
If you’re interested in other forms of motor racing beyond bikes there is everything from quads to cars to massive trucks. None of it is easy and all of it challenges competitors with thousands of miles of racing through every conceivable ecosystem, from jungles to Altiplano to desert dunes. This year it’s running from January 6th to 20th.
Follow the Dakar on Twitter. On Facebook. On YouTube. Carlton Kirby on Twitter (my favourite announcer on the race if you can find him on Eurosport)
Countdown to Dakar.
Dream Racer: another great documentary on privateering in the Dakar.
Last year’s Dakar: A Dakar with teeth!
Ever wanted to get old knowing you did something exceptional while you still could? Dakar Dreams…
n00b’s guide to Dakar.
If you’re interested in helping out Lyndon’s efforts, you can do so here: