Blog: January 15. A desk week

‘Ay-oop, everyone.

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.

We looked at climbing into Greg’s own Ural outfit and riding to Sydney to pick up the second Ural, but Greg’s estimate of two days to get there and two days to get back put a stop to that.

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.

That’ll do for now.

TF

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