What inspired you to take on the massive challenge of the Dakar Rally?
The pinnacle of adventure motorcycling is truly experiencing the Dakar. I am always energized by experiencing the backcountry on a motorcycle. I will be 60 years old in February and I wanted an epic event that acknowledged my passion for experiencing the world. The Dakar certainly meets these criteria!
What’s your passion for and connection to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Idaho
A long time ago I became aware of the charity through the J.R. Simplot Company. I’m continually amazed and inspired by the endurance and courage of children with serious illness, as well as the plight of their families. Ronald McDonald House Charities was founded on the idea that there is strength in numbers – the number of donors, volunteers, programs and families that make up our network of healing. Every time I get involved with them, I want to do more. That’s the reason for the connection to “the ride of my life.”
What are some previous adventure rides that you have participated in?
I have not participated in any ride like the Dakar. I have done a lot of adventure motorcycling from Alaska through the western United States, and the Baja of Mexico, and most recently the Continental Divide. Up until now, the Dakar has only been an aspiration for me.
What is it about the Dakar that you expect to be your biggest challenge to overcome?
I have done a lot of adventure riding and it is physical but at some point it becomes mental. I am convinced that there will be circumstances that will be challenging. There will be many times when we will be very isolated and even lonely. Pushing through the challenges is fundamental to adventure riding.
I anticipate many times of exhilaration with the crowds in the villages, the experience of the South American scenery, and the local culture. There will be daily accomplishments and disappointments that ultimately create the adventure. Since we are riding the course and not racing it, we anticipate taking our time to enjoy these experiences.
Who are you riding with?
I am riding with RawHyde Adventure. RawHyde is the BMW off-road training center in California. RawHyde will provide a support crew. The crew will move our gear, equipment and mechanical every day along the route.
Who are your sponsors and supporters?
I have an all-Idaho team of sponsors, supporters, and facilitators. They are Happy Trails, Carl’s Cycle Sales, and Big Twin Cycles, all of Boise, Idaho; Black Dog Cycle Works, Sandpoint, Idaho; Klim Technical Riding Gear, Rigby, Idaho; and of course my incredible wife, Joan. All of these Idaho companies and people have been immensely important to outfitting the motorcycle and me for this ride.
Tell us a bit about your bike.
It is a BMW 1200 GSA. It is designed for long distance off-road riding with an 8.5 gallon tank, knobby tires, GPS, electronic suspension, fuel injection and a lot of aftermarket equipment. It is basically designed and built for challenging terrain.
Have a question for Bill? Just ask!