A taste of things to come

Posted: September 27, 2010 in The Journey

Last Thursday, Jeremy and I joined in for the morning ride of the first day of the down leg of Q4Q 2010.  What an experience.

We arrived a little late after getting a wee bit misplaced en route to the start at Carnival City in Brakpan.  Then came TV interviews which were embarrassing and delayed us a lot but invaluable for the cause.  Dial a Nerd got some free airtime on SABC News on Thursday night, with our logo prominent on my T Shirt and on the bike.  Delores as she is now known turned out to be quite an attraction, both because of the funky branding and also the various accessibility mods.  QASA and the event itself also scored hugely, so a huge thank you to Theresa (our DAN PR Guru for those who don’t know) for organising the news crew.

The plan was for Theresa to ride along with me for part of the morning, then swap with Jerry where the dirt track and tar roads intersect.  Because we were so pushed for time and the organizers couldn’t give a foolproof location for them to play musical chairs, this idea was canned at the last minute.  After a few more photos while the other riders stormed out of the parking lot into the thick dust of Brakpan, we were finally able to fire up the ignition and get moving ourselves.  The highlight of the first few minutes was definitely the mud bog.  When we arrived, already pretty much last out of 400 riders because of our delayed start, there were a few quads and side by sides still stuck or in the process of being dragged out.  We shifted into low range 4×4, kept a constant speed and Delores pulled through with no problems.  Outstanding.

The rest of the day was a mixture of gravel or sand roads, goat tracks through rocky passes and the occasional river crossing.  Jeremy deserves a medal for his bravery; sitting in the vehicle next to a quadriplegic driver must be terrifying.  In the end we made it in one piece to the lunch stop at a place called Fortuna resort.  The scary part for me is just not knowing how far along the route you are and how much further you need to go to the rest stop.  We’re going to try use cell phone GPS tracking on the official trip to get a clearer picture of our progress.  With some luck our IT guy can post live progress updates.  How cool would that be!

I’m really happy with the RZR.  It handled everything thrown at it and more.  However, the time we have had to prepare for a ride of this length and intensity is nowhere near enough.  The fact that my hand control and power steering only arrived in the country 10 days ago sums up the situation!

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