I had always said that I would prefer to try one of the European Rallies like the Hellas Rally in Greece rather than plunging straight in and doing a rally in the North African desert. A complete lack of experience of riding sand or dunes was a fairly convincing argument in my mind but circumstances have a way of demolishing those arguments!
It started when I went to see Radu when he was spraying my fairing a short while back. He just asked me what I was doing next March, in such a way that I had to answer "I don't know, what am I doing next March?" "You're doing the Taureg Rallye" he announced.
It turns out that he and Annie had entered the rally in their Mitsubishi Pajero Evo and he had measured his trailer and calculated that he had plenty of room to take my bike to Morocco and back for me. So that was a big part of the expense sorted for me.
Mind you I think Radu's got a fair bit of work to get the Evo ready after a little "incident" in the British Cross Country Championship at Radnor Forest last year....
A few days later I mentioned this to my friend John and he immediately offered to come along and pay his own way as my support crew, another part of the jigsaw had fallen into place!
So I decided what the heck and sent in my entry last week, on Wednesday I was with Martin Wittering at Torque Racing Services to collect my wheels having had new tyres fitted. He was able to give me loads of useful advice on what I needed to do the rally. To be honest if I was going to buy a traditional assistance package, I would have chosen Torque Racing and I get the feeling that I'm going to be spending a lot more money there over the next few months.
Thursday night the email arrived confirming my entry, so now it's all getting very real. Here's the trailer from this year's race to give you a taste of what it's all about:
Tomorrow the training starts, I have entered the Enduroland practice day at Northaw, as time on the bike is crucial to my preparation and it's going to be hot which I guess is appropriate but I doubt there'll be any sand...