I spent most of this last week in Sydney, so I don’t have much to report. Sydney time is desk time, and usually it’s fairly demanding desk time. This week was a real bag of bricks but it’s done now and I’m looking forward to getting in a ride or two over the next couple of weeks. I have some interesting things coming up.
The first is I’ve been given a Tomtom Rider 450 GPS to fool around with.
It’s a really nice unit and far more ritzy than my beat-up old Garmins. The thing is, I know my way around the Garmins, especially when it comes to running and following a track. I’m still trying to figure out the basic menu functions on the Tomtom, and the real test will be when I dump a couple of DualSport Australia’s routes on it and try and follow the pink line. I’ll be interested to see how the standard mapping copes, and what kind of off-road mapping is available. It runs GPX files, so with a little patience I should be able to get it working.
The really wild thing I have coming up is some sessions on a Ural sidecar.
Greg Jansen at Rocky Creek Designs is a mad-keen Ural owner and is going to try and run me through the basics of operating the thing, so that should be an interesting tutorial on its own. Greg’s a great bloke and we always seem to spend a lot of time laughing whenever we’re in the same place at the same time. I’m not at all confident about handling a sidecar – an adventure, off-road sidecar especially – so it should be entertaining…and maybe a little dangerous.
Apparently the Ural’s low speed is a big part of their attraction – so Greg tells me.
The biggest thing happening at the moment is Dakar, and I think Toby Price is riding a very smart race. After the seventh stage I reckon he’s in an excellent position to go for the win. Fourth and 13 minutes back might not seem so hopeful at first glance, but I think strategically he’s really well placed, especially if Barreda is indeed out (I’m not convinced of that yet). I’m backing Toby for the win, and I reckon the big threat is Van Beveren. Watch Yamaha go mental if the Frenchman pulls it off. Watch the zeros add to Toby’s sign-on price if he wins it again.
I’m backing Toby to match Despres’ five career Dakar wins, by the way. I have my fingers crossed for 2018 to be Price’s second win.