Motocross in Namibia (Riding at the coast)

Taking a trip down to the coast is always fun, especially if you take a couple of bikes along on the trip.

The town we visited last weekend, Swakop, has their own Motocross track, and we were more than excited to give this new track a go. Saturday morning was a rush of excitement and anticipation as we hurredly loaded the bikes and the gear and set off to the track early in the morning. The coast was a bit more chilly than we are used to, but this was a welcome change and only added to the overall hype in the atmosphere.

Once we arrived at the track, it was not at all what we expected. We expected loads of bikers to be present and the track buzzing with activity, however there was not a single soul in sight. We thought that maybe it was only due to us being so early and that the people would arrive in due time. We started offloading and “suiting up” and in no time we were on the track.


The track exceeded all our expectations, it was beyond awesome. It was something completely different from the track we are used to back home. It was also quite a bit longer than the Gallina Motocross track, with more jumps and loads of fun to be had.

We spent a good couple of hours riding and playing, all by ourselves since nobody else showed up. We found this quite strange but we did not complain, as this made it kind of like a private practice session.

At last we packed up and headed back, thoroughly impressed with the Swakop Motocross track.

Advertisements

Motocross in Namibia (Endurocross)

An Endurocross event was held last weekend, Endurocross is an event similar to rally where riders follow a pre-planned route. Each rider’s time is recorded from start to finish. Checkpoints are also scattered throughout the course to ensure that all the riders follow the correct route.

Unfortunately I only found out the day before about the event otherwise I would have loved to participate. Non the less we went out on Saturday to watch some of the obstacles the riders needed to treverse over. Some of the riders also gave in their GoPro footage as they finished a certain course, which was played on a large projector for the spectators to get a feel of what the riders are going through. There was also a tent with music, food, drinks and more. It was an awesome event and something a bit different from the normal Motocross races.


Some of the obstacles that the riders had to tackle looked daunting to say the least. Huge wooden logs, a stone pit, tractor tires and much more, this made up the “technical” section of the course. The rest of the course was mainly offroad trails, over mountains and through rivers.

The whole day was alot of fun and next time I will definitely be more on the look out for the event, so that I can partake as well.

Motocross in Namibia (Best race ever)

It is safe to say that last weekend’s race was one of the most fun events in a very long time.

The new track layout received heaps of positive feedback from all the riders in all the classes. Some of the new jumps that were added looked daunting at first but proved to be fun as the day grew longer and more and more riders started jumping them.

However, as always with the addition of new jumps and turns there is always going to be a few crashes as well. Nothing serious luckily, all the riders that tumbled and fell quickly got up and tried their very best to get back in the race.

I personally had one of the most epic falls ever. As I was attempting to jump one of the new jumps for the first time, I misjudged the distance between the take-off ramp and the landing. I did not have enough speed and I hit the landing too short, as soon as I left the take-off I knew, this could not end well and waited for the inevitable as I soured through the sky.

After what felt like an eternity I hit the flat side of the landing and bottomed out the bike, this flung me forward and up into the air. As I was flying through the air, a good 3 meters off the ground, I did a complete frontflip and when I hit the ground I landed on my feet (none of which was planned of course), I stumbled forward from the momentum I was still carrying but managed to stay on my feet. I froze for a moment, not believing what just happened. And then out of pure joy and amazement I threw up my arms and yelled “that was awesome”. I rushed back to my bike and got back into the race.

I managed to finish 5th overall for the day in my class, but the main highlight of my day was that epic crash that could not have gone any better. I hoped and prayed that one of the photographers managed to catch my moment as an Acrobat on a photo, but sadly none did. Non the less it was great fun and an awesome day of racing.

 
 

Motocross in Namibia (New Bike Test Ride)

During the course of last week the Yamaha dealership in Windhoek reached out to a bunch of riders, asking them to test ride a few of the new bikes they shipped in and to give a short review about what they experienced.

I was lucky enough to be one of the chosen riders. Pure excitement rushed through my veins as I was busy reading the message. The thought of being chosen to ride and review one of the brand new bikes in stock had my heart pounding and I could not wait for the weekend to roll around. As Saturday drew near I grew more and more excited and finally it was time to head to the track.

When I arrived some of the other chosen riders was already there and others was still on their way. When we were all there the guys from Yamaha gave us a short speech and a few rules. When we were all “briefed” the moment I have been waiting for all week was finally here. It was very apparent that I was not the only one more than eager to get riding. All the riders rushed to put on their kits (riding gear) and get on their bikes. We were 4 riders in total, each testing a different bike.

The rest of the day was spent riding and having fun, I constantly had to remind myself that “this is not my bike, so please don’t break it”. I also had to remember to test the bike and not only enjoy it. However, the bike was amazing to say the very least, the speed, steering, weight, torque   everything was beyond anything I ever rode before.

A silent tear was shed when it was finally time to hand back the bike at the end of the day. Non the less it was great fun and an experience I will not easily forget. I wrote a positive, yet still honest, review and sent it to Yamaha, who were pleased to hear that I enjoyed the bike. 

The whole experience was very exciting and a heap of fun, I truly hope I get the chance again in the future.

1397499_1428840343996730_2094578466_o

Yamaha, Windhoek

 

Motocross in Namibia (Awesome race day)

No matter how much one trains and prepares for a race, one always wakes up with a ton of butterflies is one’s stomach.

The weekend that just passed (8th of June), was the 5th leg/race of the Gallina Motocross season. The day started relatively early just as any other race day, we arrived at the track about half past 6 and the pit areas was already buzzing with not only the sound of the people but the sounds of the bikes. We offloaded the bikes and set up everything to be ready once practice started.

Practice started at half past 7, all the classes had a chance to take a few laps around the track to warm up themselves and the bikes. After practice was done all the riders sat down for the “riders briefing” where they once again tell us the same rules as all the times before.

And at last ,after what seamed like an eternity, it was time for the races to start. First off it was the A class riders then B and then C, this is where I ride, and after us it is the D class and then the quads. It is always breathtaking to watch the A class riders race, the level of skill they show on the track is something I can’t put into words.

Finally it was time to head to the starting gates and line up for the race. It is hard to put into words the feelings rushing through one when lining up at the gates. It is a mixture of both excitement and terror, and then when the gates finally drops it’s as if the adrenaline just pushes everything aside. The second that those gates drop and the 15+ riders all gun it for the first corner is the most terrifying yet exciting moment of the entire race. I’m shaking just thinking about it.

All in all it was a pretty good race and even though I did not manage to win, I did get a 4th place in the first race. All the more reason to practice a bit harder and push just that little bit more.

The day however did not go as smoothly for everybody. One of the quad riders fell on the very last lap and broke his thumb, this has to be a quad riders worst nightmare as one is then unable to continue riding until it heals.

The second round of races was equally as fun. However, I crashed in one of the corners, luckily I didn’t get hurt, but it cost me valuable time and I only finished 6th.

The whole day was a blast, The food was good and as was the music, and as always the entertainment was to die for.

IMG_1270

 

Motocross in Namibia (S.A. vs Nam, round two)

Last week some of our riders toured down to Cape Town for a race against the South Africans, now it is their turn to come to us.

The Zone 7 club enjoyed having our riders there so much that they proposed that we have another race but this time they will come to us. The race will be held on the 8th of July at the Galina Motocross track outside of Windhoek Namibia. It will be an amazing event filled with adrenaline pumping action sure to get even the spectators’ blood pumping.

All the Namibian riders are very excited about the event, it is safe to say that all of the riders will ride like never before to show the visitors what we are capable of. This time we have the home track advantage, this does not mean much since anything can and will most certainly happen.

The riders along with the management hopes to make this a annual event, where each country sends riders to the other for a friendly, yet still competitive, race. I think an event like this benefits everybody as it pushes all of us just a little bit more to go a little faster while at the same time trying to stay on the bike.

Screenshot (61)

Motocross in Namibia (Last Practice Before Race)

This weekend was the last time we were able to practice before next Saturdays race, and to put the cherry on top of the cake practice only lasted until 1 o’clock.

Since it has been a month ago that the track received any form of maintenance, the last practice before the next race is always the worst. It is not only extra strenuous on your body but the chances for a crash is much likelier. Unlike on the race day where the track is nice and wet and “smooth”, this weekend it was rough and the wet dirt has been replaced with soft “tyre grabbing” sand. We call it “tyre grabbing” sand because when you ride through it (especially in the corners) ones front wheel has the tendency to get stuck in the thick sand and then if you are unlucky you hug the ground very hard.

However, the way I look at it is that by practising in the bad track conditions it only prepares you more, and then when you ride on the nice fixed track it is much easier and it boosts your lap time. So it may be very bad but it prepares you for the race day.

IMG_8306

Practice was unfortunately cut short due to the maintenance people showing up at 1 o’clock to fix and prep the track for next week. All the riders left after that, however me, my father, my uncle and a few other people stayed behind to help with the watering of the track. We sprayed water on the jumps and corners that they finished fixing to give the soil a bit of stability and harden it. The track will be wet properly again one day before the race as well as during the race day, to give the riders more grip as well as remove the dust that the bikes kick up.

The water that we use to wet the track we get from a nearby river that runs all year long. We pump the water from the river into the the water tanks on the trucks and then we spray it onto the track.

DCIM100GOPRODCIM100GOPRO

A quite unusual practice day but fun non the less.