As the second edition of the Dakar Rally is getting ready, we are left with the question of how do you choose the best bikes and gears that will help you finish the tour successfully. Let's start with the basics first – make sure you're ready for the Dakar Rally by reading this article!
The biggest challenge of the Dakar Rally, as compared to any other bike event, is preparing and being fully prepared for the event. So here are the basics of what you need to consider before setting off on the adventure.
The first thing you'll want to do is to ensure that your bicycle has been thoroughly examined and cleaned, as dirt and grime will inevitably accumulate in these areas. Next, ensure that your bike is properly inflated, as too little air and speed will lead to frustration when you are struggling to reach the finish.
Once you've checked your bike, be sure to prepare your new gear. Try to choose a combination of long and short-distance cycles, to ensure that you're ready for the most difficult parts of the race. You might also want to get some 'fat bikers' which are specially designed for speed and agility. Don't forget your safety equipment too, including a helmet, gloves, and earplugs!
Once you've completed your preparations and you've chosen your bike, it's a good idea to check out the bikes and gears available. Check out the different types of cycle and see what sort of performance you require. If you're looking to hit the toughest sections of the ride, you may want to consider a more powerful type of bike – a cross-country mountain bike or an ultralight road bike.
Other things you can consider are buying different accessories to help you reach your goals, such as a GPS, lights, rain suits, and even extra fuel and tyres. Also check out what's available for you if you're planning to join a tour – whether it's a solo tour, a multi-day tour or a group tour.
The most important thing though is to have fun – so don't be nervous when you're first starting out as most people that take part in the rally are quite confident. Most people that do end up finishing the entire trip look back at the experience with great fondness, and are happy to share their experiences with others.
Remember though, that you must be careful when choosing your clothes! If your clothing is too tight or too big then you'll feel uncomfortable and slow down, so choose clothes that feel right for you.
Don't forget to pay attention to your food and drink – make sure you have something cold to drink while you're running and riding. Keep a water bottle handy to replace your cool water between runs and rides too. Always keep your water cool, and remember to carry plenty of food and energy bars so you can drink during breaks.
The first part of the race is going to be hard and the scenery will look like a forest. So don't be afraid to push yourself and push your limits, but also remember not to push too far. After you've been on your bike for about three hours you should be able to feel a bit tired but still ready to try and give it another go.
Try a few of the challenges at least. There's a big chance you'll be given instructions on the best way to ride a certain section of the course. Try to remember what was said and apply it when you are going through it. Don't be afraid of asking your instructor about any problems you have – many of them have been taught by some of the best professionals.
After all, you're trying to improve and get better, and you can only learn from your mistakes. Make sure that your confidence grows from your mistakes too.
Remember, the last step to having the best time possible is to enjoy yourself – have a drink! Be aware that this is only a one-off event and there are no guarantees of getting it right on the day. But if you enjoy yourself, your confidence will increase. and your results will improve.