It has now been and gone, so we caught up with Dave to see how it went…
To begin with, it was much, much harder than I had envisaged! The Rally involved 3 laps of a 42-mile course which worked out at nearly 6 hours back to back, this left just enough time to clean my goggles and refuel. It was also much more technical than I had thought it would be, with the Special Test being more akin to a full enduro.
Although the Rally was very hard physically and mentally, it was also extremely rewarding. It was cold, wet and I must have dropped my bike at least 6 times. It was brutal, but I think that is at the core of why people race endurance events. The enjoyment comes from rising to the challenge, to continue and finish even though it would be much easier to quit and go home.
I also learnt a great deal about equipment
As well as time and energy management for both myself and the bike. I started to get to grips with the course, figuring out when to push harder and also when to back off. I realised very quickly that even though I wanted to race hard and rank well, it would count for nothing if I didn’t finish in one piece..let alone ride the 200 miles home that day! So I took it pretty easy while battling on, there were about 20 DNFs in the end but I’m happy to say me and my BMW completed the rally.
I had planned so much for the actually Rally that I didn’t really think about the aftermath… assuming the gear I raced in would be fine to ride home in. But after 6 hours of rain and sweat, it wasn’t! However, I was lucky enough to meet Patsy Quick of Desert Rose racing, who let me use their van as a base and lent me some warm dry clothes to get home in. I would also like to thank Joe, Harry and Chris from her team who really helped shepherd me through my first rally and provided some much-needed encouragement.
Check out the video below to see what it was all about!