HOW THE HELL... Com­plete the Dakar

12-PAGE SPECIAL Son of Si­mon Pavey, he com­peted with his dad in 2015, fin­ish­ing the Dakar Rally at his first at­tempt

Motorcycle News (UK) - - How The Hell -

‘Get­ting to the fin­ish line of the Dakar is one bat­tle, but even mak­ing it to the start is in­cred­i­bly tough and eas­ily half the war. Just en­ter­ing costs £60,000£80,000 per per­son. That’s in­clud­ing bike, flights, sup­port, tyres, fuel, ev­ery­thing. It’s a mas­sive lo­gis­ti­cal ex­er­cise to find this money and it took me two years to put my en­try to­gether, so it’s al­most a re­lief when you ac­tu­ally start the race.

“A lot of the Dakar ter­rain isn’t dif­fi­cult, it’s ac­tu­ally pretty easy. A few bits are hard, but a UK na­tional en­duro is tech­ni­cally far harder. Where the Dakar bites is the length of time you are on the bike and the ex­treme con­di­tions. You ride be­tween 300-650 miles a day, ev­ery day, for 14 days – and it wears you down. We were rid­ing in 51°C heat for 12 hours solid after just five hours sleep. The next day it would go from freez­ing to 38°C for an­other 12 hours of rid­ing. That’s men­tally very chal­leng­ing and tir­ing, which causes mis­takes.

“Rid­ing an off-road bike is phys­i­cally de­mand­ing, throw a road book in there and your brain loses con­cen­tra­tion. One tiny mis­take and you’ll be in a world of pain. When you fall off it hurts, but you can’t give up and you won’t give up.

“The few times I got in a sit­u­a­tion where I con­sid­ered quit­ting I just looked at the op­tions. I could dig deep and make it to the end of the stage or sit on a rock in the middle of the desert on my own. The harsh re­al­ity of be­ing on my own in a desert wasn’t very ap­peal­ing – I’m not Bear Grylls. You just have to put up with the suf­fer­ing, which I ac­tu­ally ac­cli­ma­tised my­self to by do­ing two sea­sons of na­tional en­duro while fat and un­fit!

“To be honest, fin­ish­ing the Dakar was an anti-cli­max. I crossed the line, went for a meal and fell asleep at the din­ner ta­ble. You are phys­i­cally de­stroyed, but once it sinks in and you are look­ing at your fin­isher’s medal it’s an in­cred­i­ble feel­ing.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.