Blog: January 16. Dakar’s over. Troy Bayliss Classic plan

It’s a rainy Sunday and Dakar wound up last night with KTM in the top three positions. It’s such a huge event it’s hard to point at any particular highlights or major happenings because they happen every day, but of course Toby Price crashing out and breaking a femur is a big deal. Not just for Australian fans, but it must’ve been a big deal for his competition, too. Toby showed last year what he could do when he decided it was time to push on. At not even the halfway point this year all the pro competitors had had a thorough spanking from Price, and they must’ve been wondering just how fast he was going to go in that final few days.

But the event that looms largest in my mind for the 2107 Dakar is the one-hour penalty for several riders – especially the Honda team riders – for refuelling in a prohibited area.

I don’t know the details of how the penalty was incurred, nor does it matter much to me as a spectator. The impact of the penalty is highlighted by one of the Honda riders, Joan Bort Barreda, finishing 58 minutes behind Sunderland. That means, without the penalty, the third step of the podium would’ve been filled by a Honda. That’s without considering what other effects the penalty may have had as far as the psychology of the rider is concerned, and a million other undefinable details.

In any case, it doesn’t matter now. It’s done for another year, and those of us who enjoy following the event can relax a little until the rallies kick off again. The FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship is the basis for Dakar of course. That’s where we see which riders and bikes are looking good and doing something new for the next Dakar, so we don’t have a year of sitting around. The first round is the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge in April.

Meanwhile, closer to home, and a little less demanding than Dakar, I actually made it out for a quick ride on the Ducati this last week.

I can’t remember what day it was, but a very good friend phoned and said he was in town with his Sertao, so we went for a quiet lap on a fairly warm afternoon. We scooted around and stopped for a coffee at what used to be Juan’s in Dorrigo. The folks at North Coast V-twins had fitted some new Pirelli Scorpions and I was keen to keep the rear in good shape for the Troy Bayliss Classic ride coming up this weekend.

I meant well, but the bike just invites irresponsible behaviour on the road, and the tyre looks a little less healthy now than it did in the pic. It’ll be fine though. I hope.

I’ve also been wearing a new cool vest that I haven’t sorted yet. When I get it worked out I’ll tell you about it. The other new product I was given through work was a Nexx helmet, and I really like it.

It’s light and comfortable, and I’m keen to see how it feels on a multi-day ride.

Okie-dokie. The Troy Bayliss Classic ride is looking good. So far AC Darren, Dino, Craig and Trev have all indicated they’ll be part of the crew. Marty B put together a route and e-mailled me a map with coloured lines all over the place and a detailed explanation, but it made my brain hurt. When I’m finished with this blog entry I have to sit down and work through it. No matter how all that ends up though, here’s the basics we all need to know:

  • Start: The Pub With No Beer at Taylors Arm at 10.00am on Friday, January 20
  • Everyone needs to sort their own accom
  • It’s likely to be a fairly easy ride aimed at the 1200s…unless I get us lost
  • Anything could happen
  • I’m coming home straight up the highway on Saturday night

After those points everything’s wide open. We’ll make it up as we go along. I’m really looking forward to the Friday having no pressure from schedules or appointments. I’ll have some to work to do on Saturday, so Friday will be for fun.

If you want to join us, be at Taylors Arm at 10.00am on Friday.

I’ll let you know how we got on in next week’s blog.

TF

 

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