Thursday, March 31, 2011

Day 4, Königstage (King's day)

Today was the infamous King's day. Probably the hardest and physically most demanding day of the Tuareg rally. It consists of about 250km of sand dunes and the entire day is a special. It has a Le Mans style start which is a neat twist on the rally. Navigation is not the difficult part but rather your dune driving skills is what determines the result of the day.

There are four laps of different length that the riders have to ride and there is a time limit for each lap so if you are too late you will not be allowed to start a new lap. Me and Carl had a good tempo from start and had a good flow throughout the day despite it being 32C hot. No navigation errors and no crashes and I think we came in on third position but it's not confirmed yet.

One funny detail with sand is that it will get softer the longer into the day you get. The more the sun is heating it the more dry the sand will get and when it's dry it's soft, and when it's soft its harder to ride in it. Today I really noticed how the sand got softer during the day.

Today will be a hard day for many riders and I am sure we will have some really tired riders in our team tomorrow. It is also not unusual for the rally that some bikes will spend the night in the desert after the drivers have been picked up by the sweep trucks.

I am still not sleeping properly because of the cold I have and I am more tired after the riding than I should be. I don't really think about it while I'm riding but I can feel it when I get to camp. As long as it does not affect my riding I can live with it. And especially while we are doing so good in the results list. :)

Tomorrow is a short day and most riders will be done by lunch. This gives everybody a chance to catch their breath, rest their bodies and give some TLC to their bikes.


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