When Kay mentioned the chance of us racing together in the Baja 250, the first thing I wanted to figure out, is whether my off roading abilities were anything close to race standard.
We grabbed a couple of his dirt bikes and went out into the sand for a couple of practice runs. Kay is a better rider than me, without a doubt. But I'm not a million miles behind him, and this gave me some element of encouragement.
Practice run one was a blast along the sandy dirt roads around San Felipe. Fast stuff, a bit of deep sand, and some rocky tracks. This was really my first time riding enduro bikes in the sand, and it wasn't quite as daunting as I'd feared. A new skill to try and learn, but learnable I think.
Run two was a savage introduction to whoops. After 5 miles I was just about spent, pouring with sweat and fighting for air. My word this is tough work. How on earth does anyone race over 35 miles of this?
Unless you've ridden whoops this will mean nothing, but I was astonished at how physically draining they are.
These shots were taken after the second day of practice riding in the sand. After an exhilerating 70mph run along the beach, Kay and I called in to Pete's camp and picked up the support team. Then back onto the beach to play.
Both the Honda XR650R and Yamaha WR400F were superb. Amazingly nimble in the sand, and certainly didn't feel lacking in power.