The Dakar – a Pictorial
The Dakar continues south towards Valparaiso, but for me the spectacle is over. Following the race for a week has been something special: a whistle stop tour of South America’s amazing landscapes and people; riding spectacular roads through mountains and deserts; meeting other bikers from all over the world; a taste of celebrity; and a glimpse inside this remarkable, iconic event.
Here are a few images from along the way.
Just trying to find online blogs from riders who have participated in adventure organised rides following previous dakars. Am considering joining a tour for 2015 but would like to read others experiences before committing. I am concerned how much is spectating and how much is riding. I would like the ride to be extremely challenging for myself.
Hi Jo. There is inevitably some riding when you are nowhere near the riders. But a lot of the time you will ride along the routes of the ‘liaisons’ which are packed with spectators awaiting the rally. This alone is a great spectacle. As I said in my articles and posts on following the Dakar, you get caught up in the atmosphere, as the locals think you are a rider!! Before I followed Dakar 2014 I assumed the experience was mainly about watching the racing. But it turned out that this is only part of a very rich and varied experience.
If you felt comfortable with it, I would recommend riding independently, not as an organised group. You have much more flexibility to go where you want and when. At one spectator zone we had evaded the police and were literally on the race route. I was with a group from USA on a guided tour. The racers arrived a little later than expected and after only a few had passed, them guide said they had to move on to keep to schedule. They missed most of the action.
I am currently offering advice to a guy from UK who wants to follow the race independently. Happy to do the same for you. Also, I’m thinking of doing a post soon on “Following Dakar 15”. Because this year it starts and finish in or near Buenos Aires, logistics for bringing your own bike to Argentina or hiring a moto are much easier than normal.
All the best,