Lessons Learned Part I
It was my longest day in a long time, not because we finished the 24 hour rally but because we did not. One of the main reasons we did not finish is I broke the golden rule I learned in Scouting, which is “Be Prepared”.
We found out about the DACRE Rally when we met Jarrod and Mac at the 70th Toronto Sportsman Show while in the Segway Powersports Canada booth. The rally intrigued me as the previous summer we filmed a 2300+ KM ride that took us 15 days around the Province of New Brunswick. We circumnavigated the province on a GPS track that none of us had ever ridden and was made up of hodgepodge of GPS trails and Google maps guesses that we mashed together. So I was looking for the next adventure and the Rally was perfect.
We built a 2016 Kawasaki Brute Force 750i with the help of Kimpex Canada, DaveSports, and L1fe Outdoors ATV. That bike ran so good and Jacob (the driver and my son) drove it like a pro until gremlins took it out of the event. (But that bike has another story coming soon!)
Christian and I ran bone stock 2021 Segway Snarlers 570 LX. His bike only needed to plug one tire but the stock 6 ply tires on mine got shredded multiple times. Before I had to bow out, I had plugs in all 4 tires including sidewalls. Any stock tire on any ATV I have every bought have not been great so I should have known better to run stock tires. Even my 2018 Polaris Scrambler I wrecked those tires the first week.
But what a thrill! Running in the dark at 4 am trying to follow a GPS track on a trail you never been on before is a rush. It is killing me not to load the bike, drive to Ontario, and just run the loop solo but will have to wait until next year.
If you want a challenge riding your ATV/SxS then I would seriously look at the DACRE 2023. I am starting to get ready now! How?
- Get in shape. This event has made me want to get in the best physical shape I can. This definitely breaks the mold of a slow ride at 11 km/h with a cooler of your favorite beverage in the back, this is a technical trail, requires good hand eye coordination, ability to read the GPS all at the same time. Epic!
- Get the machine ready. I thought with only 600 km on my Snarler, it was ready! It is not! Get the BEST tires you can afford. Go over your bike with a fine tooth comb.
- Be ready for disaster. Truthfully if stuff breaks you don’t have much time to fix things to make the mandatory checkpoints, but you need enough stuff to get your machine out of the woods. Tow ropes, ratchet straps, duct tape, tool kit, and headlamps. Plus water and food in case you are stuck for a bit. I had bead lock tires on the Segway Snarler so I could limp out in shame as the other teammates went ahead, but was better than walking out without the bike.
- Communications. We had our trusty Cardo headsets so everyone could communicate, which is critical for a team. Garmin InReach. There basically was very little cell service in much of the area so I used my Garmin Montana with InReach to send updates to the team via satellite email.
So what is next? The whole story will be part of Trekkit ATV Season 4 on TV this winter. Now I am starting to get ready for DACRE 2023 already.
Ready? Already? Yes!
- I would like to put Jacob and Ben in a crazy SxS and film Jacob’s journey, so we are looking for a sponsor for that. I think a Segway Villain would be perfect. Be a great story. Jacob can drive!
- I have been thinking about what bike to run personally in 2023. I have a Polaris Scrambler 1000 XP that would be perfect, but that is a garage queen and don’t want to abuse it. The Segway Snarler 570 is my family bike so that is out. I have abused it enough. I have a Polaris Sportsman 850 with 7500 km on it and needs a ton of TLC. I think I am going to build that bike into my ultimate trail bike unless someone has an ATV they like me build.
I going to write a few more blogs about the experience in the next few weeks but I think I will sum it up with the TXT message my son sent to me after we got home:
I have never felt so much home until that rally. I am !@#$% winning next year. Either crashing the bike or winning– Jacob Groom
Thanks to Lee Martin at Rally Connex for being such a great host. We loved just being there. Mac Foy, thanks for being part of the team (sorry man!). Julian (aka AdrenalineJunkieProd) it was great to meet you and congrats on 1st in SxS Gold Class and congrats Jarrod Burton at Hell Fury Motorsports on the Bronze Class 1st place SxS win on the Segway Villain.
Thanks to our sponsors who helped us get there: Kimpex and DaveSports are the primary sponsors for the event.
Monster Motorsports Atlantic and Kutvek Kit Graphik wraps made us look pro! Shout of to Klim helping us with the gear. Derek Sullivan at AC Powersports leaning us the Power Pack and Segway Powersports Canada which is the overall presenting sponsor of Trekkit ATV Season 4.
Special thanks to the crew: Kristy, Nicole, Ben and Paul for your support on location! Without a great crew nothing happens (and nothing gets filmed!).
So preparations are stating now. Mental, physical, financial and mechanical all need to be addressed. Plus we need to figure out how to film this and capture the excitement. I am excited! Coming next year with us?
Safe and Happy Trails,