BILL “BAR­NA­CLE” BRYANT

Hot Bike - - Life -

I’m the fat­test, old­est and have one of the shorter in­seams on our team. I knew I was go­ing to strug­gle with this bike in these con­di­tions, but I made sure I got my share of hard sec­tions and long days. In the six months be­fore the race, I changed my diet dra­mat­i­cally and hiked a lo­cal trail with my friend Aaron three days a week, re­li­giously. The only two days I missed were days we were test­ing the bike in Barstow. I dropped 25 pounds and felt great be­fore, dur­ing and af­ter the race. I know our guys might have thought I was crazy along the way, when we had to do some­thing twice, three times or what­ever. Test, re­fine, test, etc. In the end, the plan worked out.

Many mov­ing parts con­trib­uted to our suc­cess, and one wrong de­ci­sion or a stroke of bad luck could’ve eas­ily been the end of the race for us. One sad il­lus­tra­tion of this was the death of Jake Bat­ulis on day five. Westy was one of the first guys on scene and called me at the next pit, where I ra­dioed in the re­port and tried to help get med­i­cal at­ten­tion out to them. I didn’t know Jake, but I know his type. A strong, hard­work­ing, in­de­pen­dent desert racer who liked to go fast and have fun. Things can go from fun to deadly pretty quickly in the desert, and my heart aches for his fam­ily and friends. Stay strong!

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