Dakar 2013 Closing Comments

Dakar 2013 Closing Comments
All of this began with my passion for riding adventure motorcycles and looking for just the right event to turn sixty years old…riding along with The Dakar was perfect! It fit the challenge, the adventure, my interest in Dakar and my passion for backcountry endurance. At the same time, my friend, Jim Hyde of Rawhyde Adventures was putting together his fourth (year) team of riders…it was all coming together….I’m all in!

With the initial decision made, I began the process of getting me and my equipment ready. This was primarily about healing from a shoulder surgery and breaking in a new motorcycle. Both of these had to hold up to thousands of miles of abuse for two weeks, and both did! I wasn’t worried about the motorcycle but I was genuinely concerned about the shoulder, but after the first few days, it was no problem.

Many of you have asked about my day-to-day endurance and I am very pleased to say that I was exhausted and thrilled almost every day. Every single night I went to bed totally wasted of energy and every single morning, I was thrilled to get started all over again. There were days, and particularly nights of riding where the heat, or the rain, or the sand, or the dust seemed overwhelming, but it was always exciting. Everyday delivered something new, but the overall theme was consistent with the “adventure” of it all. Joan was my coach: “Stay hydrated and use sunscreen!” She was exactly right.

The big surprise for me has been the evolution of riding with The Dakar to experiencing the back world of Latin America. Moving every day with The Dakar was huge and it was fantastic, but the places that I got to see and the faces that I had smiling at me became an equal part of the experience. Over the next few weeks, I hope to have a video presentation that I am going to call “Dakar 2013, Faces, Places and Races.” They are equal parts of my two weeks and 4300 miles of riding The Dakar.

A couple of months ago, I was at The Ronald McDonald House Charity Awards of Excellence event in Chicago. RMHC has been a very meaningful organization for Joan and me, but this event really stirred something in me. I had this adventure coming up and the idea popped into my head that it would be super to turn it into something bigger than just me indulging being sixty years old! I wrestled with the thought of this fundraiser and it all came to fruition when Mindy Plumlee, our RMHC Idaho executive director, told me how excited she would be for this project. For me, I was ready and we connected the website to the fundraising page and it happened.

The goal was to raise one year of expenses (food and household expenses), which is $18,000. With this in mind, I decided to commit to a $20,000 goal and hope to meet this incredible need with for RMHC.

Well, I’m thrilled to let everyone know that today’s amount is $28,645!

Every single day, the experience was unbelievable to ride with Dakar, experience the people, see dramatic backcountry of Latin America, and watch the donations come in for RMHC! It was fantastic to have this happen every single day. Thanks so much! From the seriously sick children, their families, again, thanks so much! After seeing the children of Peru, Chile and Argentina, I’m a believer…if we get the children right, we get the world right. The health and welfare of our children are a primary and foundational need of our world. RMHC is moving around the world meeting these incredible needs.

Some fun Stats:
Miles Riding: 4300 miles
Average MPG: 39.8 mph
Average Speed: 39.7 (Some at 20mph/some at 80. OK, some faster than 80. My mother is reading this.) Days Riding: 15
Average Daily Mileage: 286 (The first couple of days were only about 150 and some days were as high as 500.)
Motorcycle: 2012 BMW 1200 GSA (Aftermarket from Happy Trails and Blackdog Cycles)
Gear: Klim Badlands Pro
Funds raised: $28,645
Total page views (this site): 12,523
Weight lost (me): 8 lbs.
Sunscreen consumed: two tubes

OK, I’m having some fun with the statistics. Seriously, thanks to everyone for your interest and encouragement. It is wonderful to have this support. When we see each other in person, be careful if you ask about my Dakar Adventure, I might wear you out with my conversation!

All the best,
Bill