View single post by JoanieReb
 Posted: Sun Jan 20th, 2008 03:53 am
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Joined: Wed Jan 24th, 2007
Posts: 620

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Don't really expect any replies here, as The Dakar is not something most race-fans follow, I don't think, but I am in such severe NASCAR withdrawl, thought I'd give it a shot....

Does anyone besides me follow The Dakar?    (see for the wiki-summary)

Anyway, it was cancelled this year due to political (terrorist) threats. 

Which reportedly cost Robby Gordon 4.5 million $. 

(Robby Gordon is a much-hated racer when it comes to NASCAR, but (to me) a very pure multi-talented racer of many venues - a true racing maverick, whom has my greatest respect as such - esp. since he runs his own small company and manages to survive financially when those of lessor talent and determination would have been bank-rupted out of existence by now, I think.)

I ususally plug my computer into 24-hour Dakar sites in order to follow it as best I can.   But The Dakar is not happening this year, and I became vocal in my disappointment, which led to my being severely criticizied by friends for watching it, because of the number of deaths associated with it. 

Truly, it is very brutal.

And, it IS very sad, it seems like there are about 5-6 Dakar race-related deaths every year -  for drivers, usually the motorcyclists; then about 2-3 pedestrians. (Also, lots of livestock and wild animals).  And the not-fatal accidents and injuries are very dramatic - on a stripped down, basic, survival-oriented level:  ie,  An mc rider with two dislocated shoulders relocating one on his own before medics arrive.  An mc rider found on his hands and knees near his seeming uncrashed bike, totally disoriented, not knowing for sure where he is or what happened, being airlifted out and then his bike being canabilized by another mc racer whose bike was wrecked earlier, so that the second driver could continue on.

Also, lots of "road kindness",  with drivers of  cars, MCs, and trucks all working together to save each others' asses out there in the desert.

I hate the deaths, but love The Dakar. 

The "VS" Channel is running  synopses of the 2007 (last year's) race on TV, since the 2008 is cancelled.  It's pretty brief coverage, just 1/2 hour (about 16 minutes when you subtract commercials) per day.  Tomorrow they will be showing the last and 14th stage, which will result in the second MC driver's death. 

My 15-year-old daughter is freaking out at me, saying that I cannot watch it, it is wrong.  As are a couple of my friends.  Believe me, I am not watching it because of that, it broke me heart last year - both the MC drivers' deaths.

But this is real racing, Man against the elements, pushing it to the limits.

Is it so wrong for something this dangerous and elemental to continue on?  I know there was a song written about it, something about "500 idiots at the starting line". 

I love the Iditarod, too.  Dog-sled racing at it's best.  The Iditarod has become much more palatable over the last two decades as things are done to decrease dog and human mortality/injury.

Just wondering, is my love of the Dakar really as uncivilized as I am being told? 

I am guessing that this is too unknown of a subject, and that I have written too long on it, for anyone to reply.

But, WtH, I might be surprised....


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