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Travellers' Advisories, Safety and Security on the Road Recent News, political or military events, which may affect trip plans or routes. Personal and vehicle security, tips and questions.
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Old 12 Jan 2009
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Originally Posted by AliBaba View Post
Do they drive trucks and motorbikes at the same time on a RR-competition?
Yes, the almost always follow the same route at least (only occasionally there may be a special stage/test section that the trucks miss out). The bikes usually start first (that's why you often see them starting in the dark at 4am!), then it's the cars a set period of time later, then after another gap the trucks (quads usually go off after the bikes, before the cars).

The organisation usually ensure there is sufficent space between them so that each group don't come across the other... however, with something like Dakar that has such long stages (and thus a higher potential for things to go wrong for competitors), it is inevitable that the following group may well catch up the slower or unfortunate members of the previous group... (of course there are also some bloody fast cars, and even bloody fast trucks in the Dakar!)

As for the situation with Pascal Terry, as I understood it from a news report here in the US a couple of days ago, he initially ran out of fuel, then got some from a fellow competitor.

He then checked in again saying he felt unwell (which I presume is when he went and found shade away from the rallye track). Unfortunately, while the rescue party was dispatched initially, it seems there was a confusing report that he had actually reached the end of the stage, and the search was called off. Of course as soon as the mistake had been realised the search resumed, but by then it may well have been too late anyway. I was surprised to hear it took them 3 days to find his body, even though I understand he was about 100m from the rallye track/his bike.

It is very sad, but like so many things in life, a knee-jerk reaction to this sort of tragedy is not going to help the event in the long run.

I imagine there will be an official enquiry?

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Old 12 Jan 2009
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Originally Posted by JMo (& piglet) View Post
Yes, the almost always follow the same route at least (only occasionally there may be a special stage/test section that the trucks miss out). The bikes usually start first (that's why you often see them starting in the dark at 4am!), then it's the cars a set period of time later, then after another gap the trucks (quads usually go off after the bikes, before the cars).
Sorry my fault....

With RR I meant Road Racing. What I tried to say is that it’s not common to race bikes and trucks at the same track on the same time.
They have always done it in the Dakar rally but they used to have loads of space, now they mostly follow dusty single-tracks.
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Old 12 Jan 2009
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Originally Posted by Billy Bunter View Post
This very sad thread has given me a little new knowledge on dehydration, thanks.

But, so what is best for the regular bike traveler? I am sure we have all been there, you are dressed in your full bike gear, the compromise gear you have for your trip whether it is cold or hot... but today it is a very hot day, 38/40C and you are stuck at a border in the sunlight with the official giving you some hassle and wanting a 'gift', you are getting very frustrated and with the heat you are sweating heavily... you finally sort things out and are on your way again, but the going is very tough and you are having to work hard to keep your heavy bike upright and heading in the right direction... you are still sweating heavily in your bike gear making slow progress through the sand and dirt tracks for several hours.

You now feel drained and are drinking water but it doesn't seem to refresh you as normal and you are in the middle of nowhere with no Lucozaid Sport around!

So, what would be best??? add sugar to your water? try to get some fruit juice? or go for a Coke sugar boast and some water?
Hi Will, for my twopennyworth it goes like this:
I guide off road in Morocco regularly on enduro bikes, mainly off road for 5 to 8 days at a time, our routes take us into the Atlas, into the dunes and along the Atlantic coastline.

All I can say to you, and anyone else that will listen, is that hydration is the key to your well-being.

I'm not sure how many of us realise that the "P" gauge should be used at all times. Your "P" should actually be clear and odourless at all times. Your kidney(s) are designed to filter the impurities and waste in your body, if your "P" is heavily yellow and has an odour, you have so many impurities your kidney(s) cannot process them and is simply passing them out of your system to rid you of them. You are DEHYDRATED! It is very hard to re-hydrate yourself after becoming dehydrated and therefore prevention is better than cure!

Please always have water with you, better to be out of fuel than out of water, I typically drink between 6 and 9 litres of water per day (three refills of a three litre bladder system) when guiding in Morocco. If you can, take some re-hydration products with you (salts) and use them wisely regarding the "P" gauge in the evenings when you stop.

Many enduro-style jackets have an internal facility in the back for a bladder and internal routing for your drink tube (I use an OF3 enduro jacket. This is much more convenient than a separate pack on your back and is less to take off/ put on/ lose. In this way, while you are tired/ hot/ frustrated at the border, in traffic etc, you can be happily slurping away inside your helmet. So choose your clothing carefully when you are considering your trip. A jacket with a removable lining can also help regulate temperature.

Finally (what a killjoy) stay off the ! As much as they feel good after the day's ride, they de-hydrate you, the opposite of how they feel! If you must, and for sure we all do, have one , one water, one , one water, etc.

I have had riders collapse after two hours of riding in the morning (around 11am), this is danger time for me and is always time to be diligent for the guide. They had a few the night before, and it comes and bites them on the ass! It takes a long time to re-hydrate them, usually in the support vehicle with their bike in the back for the day.

Hope this helps, I guess be prepared is always the motto for anything! Also be as flexible as you can with your clothing, many thin layers and adjustable thickness in items such as jackets really helps, also internal drink systems are unobtrusive and helpful. I also choose helmets very carefully regarding the ability to vent a hot head (and close up when the temperature drops).

Safe riding!
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Old 12 Jan 2009
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Re-hydration salt is one tea spoon of salt and two of sugar, to be disolved in 10 litres of water if memory serves. A real life saver, zero cost and zero weight.

It is worth labelling it though. Small packets of white powder found at a border crossing will make dehydration seem a minor concern right then!

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Old 12 Jan 2009
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Way too weak. One teaspoon of salt, eight of sugar in one litre.

This link describes why the salt is important (to encourage you to keep on drinking). It also mentions the fact I alluded to earlier, that dehydration thickens the blood and could have contributed to heart failure.

I love the Moroccan coffee (nus nus) but like it's not helpful for dehydration, so it is completely normal for the waiter--unasked--to bring a glass of water at the same time.

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Old 16 Jan 2009
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That all sounds very solid and sensible advice and i do think i personally do need to take more care concerning dehydration... as my instinct is always, plug on and get to your destination and sort it out there! but some times i have felt shattered and probably put myself at risk. So, many thanks and i am now carrying salt and sugar with me now. Feel a little more knowledgeable.Ta

Some day so soon....
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Old 16 Jan 2009
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Anyone coming through the US southwest deserts or northern Mexico possibly starting in late March (not a rule of thumb for the timing, but it could happen this early) needs to read and heed this advice.
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