"Baja is no place for wusses"
- Sal Fish, Baja 1000 promoter
BAJA 1000 QUICK FACTS
The actual course for the Baja 1000 is not published until six months before the race. So many of your logistics planning can't be done much in advance.
2010 is rumored to be a 1,200 mile full peninsula run, ending in La Paz.
The race starts at 6:00a on Thursday and based on previous results, the class leaders will get to the finish some time on Friday afternoon ... but many won't finish until Sunday night or Monday morning.
It is 1000 miles of desolate desert. You can't just show up in a pickup truck with a couple gas cans and expect to finish the race. Planning to race the Baja 1000 is really many plans in one. A race plan. A pre-running plan. A bike preparation plan. A logistics plan. A communications plan. A fitness plan. A financial plan. All of these must work together to be successful.
The race plan is first and foremost intended to get us to the finish line. This will be our first time in Baja and the goal is to finish the race. That may not sound all that macho, but considering the attrition rates at the Baja is regularly over 50%, finishing is winning for a first time team. We will have four riders and two chase vehicles working our way down the peninsula. We have planned average speeds and rider changes that keep our riders fresh and alert.
pre-running plan is similar to a full Baja plan. Just several
smaller plans over the three weeks prior to the race. Each
plan must carry the same efforts with chase, provisions, mapping, and
logistics. Each rider is going to take a practice ride
their sections . We plan to bring two pre-run bikes
along with the race bike. Pre-running, in addition to
valuable practice on the course, will also validate our pre-race
estimated speeds and rider change timing.
Bike preparation is critical to finishing a 1000 mile race where anything can and will go wrong. The KTM 450 will provide a proven reliable platform as a base. Preparation will be largely to ensure reliability and "toughness". The KTM 450 is already a powerhouse and boosting horsepower is not in our plan. This bike will have to carry five riders over 1000 miles of the harshest of terrain. A failure along the way is going to be a long wait for help at best and deadly at worst. Claw hammer reliability is our goal. Reliable motor, lighting, tires and wheels, cooling, GPS are a must. Everything that can be safety wired, lock tite'd and armored will be. Our KTM 450 WILL cross the finish line under its own power.
Logistics is the most difficult aspect of planning this event. Everything from getting our bike and equipment all the way from Atlanta to Ensenada, to relieving tired riders all the way down the peninsula, and ensuring parts are where they need to be when we need them. Two team members attended the 2009 Baja 1000 and worked pit services as part of the world famous Mag 7 pit crews to gain priceless experience in Baja logistics and planning. We will be using the famous Mag 7 pit services crew for our pit services in 2010. This will take a huge burden off our crew and leverage the Mag 7 team's 40 years experience in Baja.
Communications is key to operating this mission. The riders will have a sat phone and GPS tracking device that uploads location and speed to a website. Chase vehicles will have sat phones and radios. A base station back in Atlanta will also be in place for the duration of the race.
Physical fitness is another crucial component in our plan. All team riders have already been training for months on cardio and strength training. Fitness training programs for each rider will continue all the way to the race in November. Miles and miles of rough terrain will test every rider's endurance and stamina on the course. Each rider also has an intense racing schedule for 2010 that will enhance overall fitness and physical preparation. There is no substitute for seat time on the bike itself.
And of course Baja isn't cheap. The Dirt Bike Bucket List team has approached this event similar to running a business. We built a budget to reflect all the known expenses and estimates for the unknown. We created a Sponsorship Program to attract revenue as an offset to some of the expenses. All financial decisions require a consensus by the team. We are tracking our actual expenses against our plans.
the Baja 1000 takes more than passion and desire to make it to the
finish line. It takes a well thought out and executed
As a veteran Baja team manager said to us during the 2009 race “Plan
your race. Race your plan.” That is what
intends to do.