And then we Blog-on to see a competition to see how far you can spread a Ténéré over your shed floor. Some of these dinosaurs look like they have been separated back to their basic elements and are ready to be put back into the earth. I just hope these reconstructors took some photos as they dismembered their pride and joys, otherwise they will be belting along wondering if they tightened up the feaffle valve nut to the correct torque setting and did they use the correct grease on the woofle pin and why do I have two nuts and a split-pin left over?
Being a veteran at the annual Ténéré Tragic rides (yes, I attended last year), I have some advice and comments for all riders attending this year:
1. Team up with someone on a 1200 so you can swap on the transport stages.
2. Team up with someone on a 600/660/750 so you can swap when the dirt turns up.
3. Don’t listen to all the 'experts' about how high you can pump up a HiddenOwl tyre to push it over the bead (95psi is too much, but that's just my tip).
4. Look for modifications on other bikes and then destroy the resale value of your own bike by copying others (thanks Troy!).
5. Pack the Liquid Metal at the top of your gear (actually, that's Theo’s tip).
6. Look out for Clubby’s hopeless ideas of distance and degree of difficulty (Hmmm, remember the Rock Farm?!).
7. Soak up the great atmosphere (that's everyone’s tip).
Now, in the Pre-Ride build-up: You should lie awake at night for weeks earlier worrying about do you have the right gear, too much gear or not enough gear? And ask yourself did you wander around the bike enough? And then ask yourself if you're good enough to keep up with the pack or will you drop your bike off the stand in front of 74 Ténéré Tragics who will look on in cool detachment thanking their lucky stars that they didn’t drop their bike first.
During the Ride: Rehydrate your body every night of the ride with barley, hops or grape juice. Rest your body by camping in small tents on even smaller carry mats in the rain. And enjoy the company of 74 other Tragics who all have a story to tell.
After the Ride: Do not sit down for two days. Tell all your non-Tenere mates how fast/quick/sideways/high/deep you went. Then get right in and book a place on next year’s Ténéré Tragics ride.
-- Steve McMillan, Ténéré Tragic #27
Ripper yarn, Steve, and you know what's best? It's all bang on the money! Love your style, son, and your sense of humour. You should get a job writing for a dirt bike magazine -- send us your resume. See you at Bathurst! Oh, and go do one more lap wandering around your bike: chain tension looks a little slack in the photo you sent ... Oh, and another thing, Lance 'Russ' Turnley wants his chair back.
-- Clubby, Ténéré Tragic #1