...or how to help yourself by helping others.
Even though its about 5 months left until the Tuareg Rally 2011, everybody in Team Rally Raid Sweden are well into their planning and preparations. We started Rally Raid Sweden in 2009 for the Tuareg rally 2010. Rally Raid Sweden can shortly be described as a concept for promoting rally raid events on motorcycles. It's non-profit and its main purpose is to help anyone interested in racing in rally raid events through collaboration and knowledge sharing.
|Team Rally Raid Sweden 2010|
A lot of motorcycle riders have a dream to be able to at least once in their life time take part of a desert race. Be it in Africa, Latin America, Australia or somewhere else. But unfortunately, because of the relatively large amount of work that has to be done before one even gets to the starting line, for many, the dream will just remain a dream. And for a first-time-wannabe-desert-racer, taking the step and actually submitting your entry form to your very first rally can be a daunting task. I had my dream for many years and it finally grew so strong that I took that leap of faith and entered my first ever desert race in 2008. It was one of the greatest experiences of my life.
So a year later, in 2009, my friend Carl Hagenblad and I thought that wouldn't it be really fun to do this whole rally thing again. We had done it once before so this time it would be a whole lot easier but how would we cut costs? If you live in Sweden you need to haul your bikes, gears, service trucks and what nots a whole lot of miles before you reach Africa. And hauling costs time and money. And if there was a way we could save some money we wanted to figure it out. The first rally, we drove our own service trucks down through Europe and did our own service during the rally. It worked, but driving 3000 km non-stop, and then racing 3000 km on a bike, and then driving 3000 km back home wears you out. So we figured that since the cost of transportation and bringing your own service truck is pretty much fixed. Get as many as you can to split that cost and each person will need to pay less. Basic economies of scale. And we'll also be able to bring some mechanics and split the cost for those too since you don't need one mechanic per bike anyway.
So how would we find all those people to come race with us. We knew there were tons of people with dreams but how do you make them take that first leap to realize their dreams? The solution was simple: offer them a complete package. Tell them you have a prepared plan to take everybody down to Africa and back at no extra cost. Make them part of a team and all the work that has to be done for the team, such as finding service trucks, hotel bookings, and all the other stuff, is evenly distributed among the members. So we all pitch in for the team and the benefits for the individual are lower costs, less work compared to doing it all by yourself, the advice and knowledge from those more experienced than yourself, and of course the pure fun of being part of a team rather than going solo. And having peers to help you out and support you along the way will make that leap of yours less daunting.
|Team Rally Raid Sweden 2010|
Said and done. Rally Raid Sweden was born and the team for 2010 became the biggest Swedish Rally Raid team in history with its 14 riders. Very cool. 13 riders made it to the finish line, the fourteenth had to quit the last day due to engine failure, three finished in the top 8 positions, and all four mechanics survived and made it back to Sweden. :) Pretty good track record in my opinion. Check out the final standings.
Retrospectively, the concept was so successful and so fun that we're doing it all over again for 2011. How big the team will be remains to be seen but there are so many great people involved that I'm sure it can't turn out to be anything but a success.