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About fudgypup

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  1. Garrett Poucher and Skyler Howes of Garrett Offroad Racing are headed to Dakar! These US privateers are headed there for their first times but Skyler is fresh off a victory at last week's Baja Rally, won the Sonora Rally in March and this team placed third in the Baja 1000. They have a fundraising link set up and could use your help. I raced with Garrett at Baja Rally last year and then both of them at Sonora and was honored to pit with them as well. They're both super guys and work their assess off. I think they both have good chances of not only finishing the 11 days of Dakar but placing well. They're doing some rally training events this Sat, Oct 20 in Santa Clarita, CA and then another Oct 28th in St. George Utah so if you've ever considered learning rally raid navigation, this is your chance! It's a lot of fun too. More info on that at the link.
  2. fudgypup

    Sonora Rally 2018

    As it turns out, Skyler Howes and Garrett Poucher whom I was pitting with (and met at Baja Rally) are both going to Dakar! And today this guy I met at the rally, Freddy Hernandez Banuelos, just sent me two pics of me on the bike at the start of one of the stages. I look WAY too big for that bike yeah? 🤣
  3. fudgypup

    KTM 990 Adventure R

    Yeah it does!
  4. fudgypup

    2019 Honda CRF450L Dual Sport has been announced!

    I was told “more than the 450R” but didn’t get a number
  5. Two more sponsors: Moto-Skiveez and Clearwater Lights!
  6. fudgypup

    Sonora Rally 2018

    A friend Joshua Jones I raced with just posted this video on FB from another racer we met, Jason Lan. My comments: "I really enjoyed meeting Jason and Saito, etc... at the rally. Saito is quite a rider! He passed me quite a few times. I also like how Mark Vanscourt was there at the end to greet Jason; that shows he takes care of his racers. This video is really what I love most about the rally experience. Skyler Howes won it and he's a great guy too but the rally is SO much more of an obstacle to overcome by guys like Jason and I that I think it's a much more interesting story. He tells it well!"
  7. Sponsors are providing us some amazing prizes to raffle off in support of Motorrad Angels
  8. Videos from past rides here
  9. fudgypup

    Sonora Rally 2018

    Some footage from the rally. Wish I'd gotten more, especially from day 3 in the BIG dunes but I'd left the camera on the day before at the finish and the batter was dead that morning and I was so tired each night that I'd forgotten to recharge it. Still got some good video though.
  10. fudgypup

    Sonora Rally 2018

    Did this video on how to prep your bike for rally raid racing...
  11. fudgypup

    Sonora Rally 2018

    So sorry about all the unpleasantness. This has been very disheartening to be attacked for simply racing an event and reporting the results. While I think Hari (and two others on Facebook) have an interesting point for discussion, I also think his frustration is misdirected as well as inappropriate. I think it damages the spirit of competition and the fun that was racing this rally. I mean, we go ride motorcycles to get away from this right? So I was pleasantly surprised to get another well thought out response from Scott Whitney, a volunteer with Sonora Rally, that I thought I’d pass along. “I generally agree that a stage DNF should put a competitor at the bottom of the overall. At the moment it does put competitors at the bottom of that stage result. But I have little sway on the rules, that's Darren's thing. I'm a volunteer now, like so many others. Also, one could use the same argument for opening or skipping waypoints. A competitor could ride through the start, skip a bunch of waypoints and ride straight to the finish, thereby avoiding a DNF while also avoiding wear and tear and a bunch of other risks. I myself would consider putting even higher penalties on skipping or opening waypoints, because they also take away from the accomplishments of the others who did 100% of the navigation, and 100% of the course. Hypothetically, who should be higher in the overall results, a guy who rides 95% of the full course and doesn't open or skip waypoints but DNF's the last 5%, or a guy who "finishes" every stage, but skips significant portions of navigation and/or significant portions of the course by opening or skipping waypoints? I myself feel that skipping or opening waypoints is a form of DNF since that allows a competitor to avoid doing the full challenge. Depending on what portion of course these infractions occur in, it might be more unfair to the "DNF" guy than the "skipping/opening waypoints" guy if "DNF" is always at the bottom. It's a tricky business trying to weight each type of infraction, and apply an appropriate penalty so it's fair to everyone. One thing I'm sure everyone will agree on is that in Sonora Rally a stage DNF or skipping too many waypoints does not result in exclusion from the remaining stages as occurs in Dakar. I know Darren is looking at all these issues carefully and may make adjustments for next year.” So whatever they decide on doing is really up to them. I’d just rather not be attacked or have my performance diminished by people with butthurt. Can you believe someone might actually suggest that I dnf’d on purpose so I’d gain the “glory” of 21st place vs. 25th? I’ll be riding my bike in the desert for the next three weekends and I’m sure by then I will have forgotten all this. Still to come is a video on prepping your bike for rally raid racing as well as a video featuring scenes from the actual rally.
  12. fudgypup

    Sonora Rally 2018

    Feel free to check the rules at SonoraRally.com as well as their own standings listed at the site. My place I quoted is from their own listing, not something I made up. A similar comment was posted on FB to which a response from a Sonora Rally staffer (Scott Whitney) was left: "EVERY cross-country rally I'm aware of worldwide, except Dakar, allows you to continue after a stage DNF. It's one of the ways rally is different from some other races. It is to a large extent because participants like to get the most bang out of their buck in such a long race, and we like to give them every bit of terrain torturer we can. After all, they paid for it! Also, in most cases assistance of any kind by crew is not allowed mid-stage, so it's tougher to keep a machine going all on your own for that many kilometers. A stage DNF does not come without major time penalty, so it's not like they can still be in contention for a top position. Their stage time will always be greater than anyone who finished that stage. One might ask a similar question about multiple riders on a team all being "Baja 1000 Winners", when none of them rode the full race. In rally every competitor is an ironman. It doesn't mean one event type is any more legitimate than the other. They are just different types of racing." There's only one DNF listed (edit: 6) and that's my friend Joshua Jones who snapped his achilles tendon on day 2. Carlos Gracida (edit: Yfarraguerri) DNF'd stage 5 with a concussion. I stopped and helped him. Yet he's still listed as finishing 6th. How about you go throw rocks at his house? Or how about Kent Choma who DNF'd a stage? Here's the official results: True, I wasn't "pulled by medics" out of stage 2 (day 3). I chose on my own to bail out at the gas stop at the advice of the Mexican Red Cross medics (not Sonora Rally medics like Jeremy Swallow) given my high bp/hr (didn't feel my hr was really that high). One thing I didn't mention was they'd only give me 2 liters of water given they were low. I felt I needed at least 3 right there and then plus another three to continue. It was my call, not theirs. Nonetheless, I was still able to continue the rally given THEIR rules (not mine). I got no special treatment. I said I might have finished around 15th had I ALSO finished stage 2 had I been running a 120 tire instead of a 110. I had to go around a lot of dunes and with better traction I would have most certainly arrived at the gas stop before 1:10. AND had I finished stage 4 without a melted mousse, I'm sure I'd be closer to 15th. But I wasn't and I'm not. I finished 21st according to their own list and I'm good with that. See? If you think they erred in listing me in the general standings then it's something you need to take up with them, not me. And I didn't get jack squat, let alone a medal. Not even a sticker. I got to race five stages and had a blast and am very happy for that opportunity. You seem to be very bitter for your own experience and for that I feel sorry for you because every racer I met there was extremely friendly and happy just to be there. If this still makes you unhappy then whatever.
  13. fudgypup

    Sonora Rally 2018

    Coma and Despres have their mousse changed after every stage. I had at least 200 miles of just highway and maybe 400 more of dirt by that time. What contributed to them failing was that I'm a bigger rider than most (~225 lbs; ~260 geared up) and that I ran 110 instead of 120 width rears. I've heard good things about Nitromousse and Michellin but they also have more of a dead feel and they weren't a sponsor. I was on a limited budget and had to go with what I could get for free. I should have had two rear mousse and changed after day three though.
  14. fudgypup

    Sonora Rally 2018

    My objective was simply to encourage other adventure riders to consider trying a rally raid event. The story here wasn’t that I’m some kind of professional racer but that I’m just a regular guy; a 50 year old dad from Irvine who likes to ride adventure motorcycles. I wanted to tell the story of what it takes to prepare for an event like this as well as race it from the perspective of an average rider. What did I do to prepare? I think I did a fantastic job of getting fit. I started a year ago when I went back to the gym (had taken a year off due to a broken wrist). I lost nearly 30 pounds by mostly changing my diet (paleo) but also put on a lot of muscle working out at a local gym doing mostly traditional type weights, floor exercises and cardio (HIIT on a treadmill). I think I could have done a lot more riding but didn’t have a truck or trailer and was getting help from Garrett Offroad Racing so I had the bike at his shop for the entire time so that limited my ability to go out and ride. Riding long distances over desert terrain would have been really good for me. I felt my fitness was really good but there’s certain things you get on a bike you can’t get from a gym like conditioning your hands and forearms to the standing position for long periods of time. I am extremely grateful to have received as much help as I did from Honda for loaning me the most excellent CRF450X as well as Garrett Offroad Racing for all his help prepping my bike. I didn’t realize just how much time that was going to take and I’m extremely grateful and feel indebted to him for all his hard work. I learned so much from Garrett about being a better racer and I’m incredibly impressed with his knowledge and work ethic. He wasn’t afraid to hold me accountable too and give me the hard truth when I most needed to hear it. I really appreciate that. Of course I got help from others like suspension tuning from Konflict, tires and mousse from Motoz, bars/handguards/pegs from Fasstco and a seat from Seat Concepts. Those all made the bike perform much better for my size and reduced fatigue by a large amount. I think they got their money’s worth as we’ve been able to generate quite a bit of views, impressions and reach across both XLADV’s and ThumperTalks’s forums and social media network. We still have a lot of photos and video to share but right now we’re at about 300k in impressions just from Instagram. Sonora Rally was truly an amazing experience for me. The organization is very well run and the terrain was just fantastic. The dunes and the open desert tracks we rode were so much fun. There was really very little that I look back on and think “that wasn’t fun to ride” even though there were a few things that were tough to get through. I was told it’s not as technical as Baja Rally and I’d agree with that. The course is more laid out linearly with longer sections between turns. Reviewing each day, day 1 was the prologue and I ended up doing extremely well, coming in 9th (provisional results). It was a short simple stage and I did well simply because I navigated properly and kept moving. There were many guys faster than me but they made the wrong turns so I ended up beating them. This is the essence of rally raid in a nutshell. Day 2 was special stage 1 where we got our first taste of the dunes in two sections. Section one was pretty challenging. I found myself with waypoint 48 showing about 300m ahead which I judged to be beyond a large dune. I went down in the bowl and actually picked up the waypoint but didn’t realize it so I was going to go around the right side of it and try to get to the other side but ended up stuck in another bowl for about 20 min. I should have trusted the Rally Comp which was showing waypoint 49 was next, meaning I’d already picked up waypoint 48 but my problem was I wanted to start my hunt for waypoint 49 from waypoint 48 so I went back on the course a bit (not that far). So I resumed my race and finished 17th which I was still very happy with. The second dune section went very quickly I think because I paced behind a side by side and it was helpful to see the lines it took and what the other side of each dune looked like from what I saw it doing. If it looked like a sharp drop then I’d slow down but a smooth descent had me staying on the gas. Day 3 was not just more dunes but EXTREMELY large ones! I ended up getting over only bout half of them and going around the other half (maybe 15 really big ones in total). What really could have helped me here in retrospect was a 120 width tire instead of the 110 I was running. The bike had plenty of power but I found only pinned in third gear did I have enough momentum to get over the biggest ones. I came over one and was just floored to see about a 1,000’ drop straight down! It was like a sand avalanche so I just pointed the bike down and rode with my ass on the back all the way down! My heart was in my chest of course but it was fun. I got to the gas stop about 1:10 before the 2:15 cutoff and was just spent. They wanted to check my bp and hr and said it was high so they kind of talked me out of continuing. I don’t really regret that. But the 75 mile or so return on the highway and the 110 tire contributed to the reduction in life of my rear mousse. Day 4 was flat desert and long at about 190k of the special stage but had a lot of pavement liaison sections that further degraded my rear mousse. I came out of the gas stop and felt a thump thump thump and realized it was on its way out. I nursed it for about 60k and just 10k short of the finish it melted and the tire came off the rim and was not rolling due to it hitting the chain and swing arm. I got a ride in from one of the crew that night. I also got a bit lost on the course earlier and opened a few waypoints but when I got there they weren’t at road book notes so I still wasn’t exactly sure where I was until I spotted another rider (Gil Shoham) and asked him. Had I finished stage 4 (edit: and stage 2) I think I’d have been closer to 15th overall. Day 5 was short, fast and pretty easy but I just wanted to take it easy. Garrett loaned me his rear wheel off his spare bike and I didn’t want any drama. I just rode conservatively and finished with Kent Choma. I got a bit off course early but quickly back on track then followed another rider who took a wrong turn and then I ditched him and got myself back on track again. In hindsight I would have done a few things differently. I’d have ridden more long days, run a 120 width tire and brought another rear mousse and changed after 3 days. I will defend my Motoz mousse still because like any tire, you have to be aware of the positives and negatives and plan accordingly. I am a heavier rider, was running a narrower tire and had more pavement than I thought so I should have changed the rear mousse. They do this at Dakar all the time. There are other mousse out there that last longer but they also contribute to a “dead” feel (Motoz is very supple) and I know Michellin mousse needs extra lube to keep it from drying out. I wished I’d also run my foam “grip buddies” grips like I did in Baja. No blisters thanks to my Klim Dakar gloves but they were still a bit sore and the foam would have helped a lot. I’m really just grateful to have finished and met so many wonderful people along the way. I don’t have even a single bruise on my body and while I did lay the bike over many times in the dunes, I never wrecked and there’s not a scratch on the bike. I just have two blisters on the second knuckle of my thumb from the grips and my knees and hands are a bit sore but not even as sore as they were after Baja Rally. That’s saying a lot right there! It was a total bucket list adventure and I’d highly recommend any decent rider try something like this too! Heck, I’ll even pit for you! I know there’s a lot of riders out there better than me too, so I’m confident they will do well; even top 10 potential.