Wednesday, April 09, 2008

All in a days work.

Once I had a taste for the awesome ride of the Honda CRF 450 and spending one morning watching a round of the Dubai Baja series I was keen to give racing a shot. And then thanks to Hein from South Africa I would get a chance to race in the last round of the season, riding his second bike he lent me.

Hein and I gearing up for the race, I was quite excited.

Racing is always something I wanted to get into and have always thought once I get home I will make it my next project to give it a go just for the personal challenge and the fun of it. Finally the day came around, I have never raced before in my life and had no idea what to expect, with a desert track through the dunes, a total of 85 riders, about 30 of them in my class and 2 and a half hours to get as many laps possible, should be fun or hell, I was excited.
All set for the flag to drop.
Well the race started of fast, fast for me anyway, and the track quite rough, by about lap one I could hardly hang onto the machine that bucked and kicked beneath me. Seemed I was not the only tired one out there, besides the top guys in the pro class who whizzed past me at a flying pace, there were plenty of tired bodies out there as the track became rutted and the soft sand swallowing front tires on occasion.

A wobbly start, it was a mad rush to the dunes.

The bike was absolutely amazing, its a Honda of course it is.

The highest I have been off the grond in a long time.

Well I managed to stay aboard with only a few close calls and cross the finish line but with barely an ounce of energy left, every muscle in my body exhausted, pretty chuffed with my efforts by simply surviving and finishing. There was a surprise to come, presenting the trophies saw my name called out for 3rd place in the class I had entered, ha stoked, got more than I bargained for, not only did I enjoy it but managed to pick up a place.

Couple of nice blisters for my troubles!

3rd place!

The following day saw a complete day of laying on the couch, I could hardly move, with two huge blisters on both thumbs, I even had to get Amy to open bottles of water for me, didn't enjoy it so much then hey!

So in the mean time....

....another week passes here in Dubai, it's been 9 weeks now in total since I arrived here and two days after arriving I had my bike stolen. I have yet to overcome the rego problem, but I should know more in a few weeks but can't say any more than that, what I can say is that I have lost all faith in the Australian system. After exhausting every avenue that I could reach myself, phone calls and emails to Honda Australia and Department of Customs I came up with nothing. SO I took it one step higher, I approached my local member of parliament and shared with him my dilemma of not getting the new bike into Australia, the reaction I received was very positive, after of a week I got more disappointing news, Australian Customs stated to him that they will never make special consideration for my case, great!

Spirits have continued to be kept high from support and ideas from many people to overcome this hiccup with an answer currently in the pipeline, all I can say at this stage is time will tell. I have had a huge amount of help from Amy back in Oz and now here in Dubai, Amy flew in with the out look of joining back onto the trip but with one hurdle after another it's becoming harder enough to try getting me back on the road.

Although it's been along time here in Dubai, not once have I been bored and it will be tough to leave, arrhh the joys of fast food! We have been kept busy with working on the new bike, catching up with all the great people we have meet since been here, the hospitality has been second to non. Amy and I have been taken out riding on a few occasions in the desert aboard CRF 450, Honda's of course, nice to actually ride a bike not weighing in at a quarter of a tone.

Amy and I on the CRF 450 X in the UAE Desert.

Amy on a CRF 250.

Still I have to patient and at this stage should be making my way to Iran in 3-4 weeks aboard a bike, which one and how will unfold in time. The momentum of my journey has been stopped in its tracks, yes it will be hard to cross the water into Iran but I am sure it will only take a few days to get back into the swing of things, at least this extended lay over here in UAE has allowed the winter to well and truly pass in northern Iran and the Stan's, by time I get there it will be almost the start of summer, perfect, one might say everything does happen for a reason.