I had the honour of writing a piece for Dainese following joining their Expedition Masters
Extract from Dainese:
It’s ironic how you feel most alive when your heart skips a few beats. We’d been warned during the morning’s training on some rocky terrain with a mix of deep sand, hard cracked slabs and loose stone that it might be tricky at times. But as my eyes skip ahead reading the terrain, I knew I needed to focus. A deep breath as I calmed my mind, relaxing into the bike’s rhythm and powering on. The deep sand laces its fingers through the Ténéré’s wheels, like a million little sand hands all desperate to guide me away from my chosen path.
I roll on the throttle, throwing my 62kg weight as far back as possible to let the Ténéré’s front wheel float through the shifting sands. Our rhythms settle and it feels like we’re part gliding, part surfing. My peripheral vision captures flashes of the sea crashing down below the jagged cliff tops just metres from the track as I try to keep my focus on what lies ahead. My senses are in override – but I’m feeling smooth. And then ‘bang’ – we hit the hidden slabs of bedrock like icebergs in a sea of sand. The front wheel jumps up towards me as the suspension compresses, quickly followed by knees, and we absorb the shock like one long spring. It’s awesome riding here.
Pulling to a stop a mile later, my heart is racing, breath coming fast and deep, and a smile spread across my face as wide as the expansive views. I was just delighted to still be upright, and the adrenaline fuelled smiles of the other riders with me told the same story. A glance over my shoulder reveals that not all the others following have been quite so lucky. I spot two bikes laying down in the deepest patch of sand. Bars dug in, bikes a dead weight.
Watching the riders as they draw on their strength and training to lift them free of the sandy embrace, feet struggling for traction, I was very grateful to be watching and not down there with them.
The full adventure package
On a trip designed to deliver awesome adventure riding and training in one package, it’s becoming clear why it’s such a winning concept. We’re in Sardinia with Dainese’s Expedition Masters team, riding a lap of the island on a fleet of Yamaha Ténérés, soaking up as much training as our tired brains can absorb, while riding through some of the most incredible mixed riding terrain on Earth. […abstract from Dainese]
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