For all of you who followed, Team 525 has sent us their first hand take on the Amageza Rally. This was truly an amazing feet! It’s been two weeks since we returned. Last week was a write off, this week things have been slowly returning to normal. We rode 5100 km over seven days, (average of 730 km per day) majority of this was off-road riding, meaning we spent 12 plus hours in the saddle each day.
Team 525 We rode from South Africa up into Botswana under our own navigation via road book as per the FIM standard (Dakar style navigation by road book and co-ordinate) Out of 85 starters only 31 riders finished, as you can see there is a massive dropout rate! This was due to vehicle failure, accidents occurring or sometimes the riders being too fatigued to carry on. 5 out of our 6 finished the race, Ian Henderson suffered a major blow out on his rear tire during the marathon stage on day 1 (marathon stage means we slept over without any support crew on night one) which meant he could not continue riding. Ian was the only one of us 6 who didn’t have your Extreme Lights on – Coincidence? I think not! I managed a coveted top 10 placing 9th place finish overall, with all of our riders finishing in the top half of the field. On behalf of the team I would like to extend and massive thank you to Extreme Lights. The generous contribution allowed us to ride and work far more safely and effectively than many of our competitors.
There was not one of us who didn’t have to do some night riding. In Botswana, it’s very dangerous with livestock all over the road. At one point Justin and Robert had a gaggle of riders behind them in the dark as their lights were by far the safest to ride behind. Without reservation the support crew were unanimous in the praise of your hard core head torches. They were the envy of the whole Bivouac! Tim on one of the evenings had to resort to his backup head torch because he’d misplaced your one. The next day once he found it again and I remember him saying to me he said in his thick Irish accent whilst peering into the depths of my bike, “Jesus but these things are the dogs bollocks! I didn’t realize just how good they are until I had to use me old faithful. As you know, I had a good thump into a tree and your lights were more than up to the abuse too!
On, that, it was really nice to feel your energy and interest in our little adventure during the race when you offered to courier up spares and were an active part of our WhatsApp group. A huge thank you for the offer to courier up a spare, but I doubt we would have been found; even we often didn’t know where we were! We also looked super cool amongst the other teams in the Bivvy’s by having your gazebo’s and flags waving about. We had a lot of interest in and compliments for your lights.
On the social media side, a massive thank you to your staff member who answered, retweeted and hash tagged all of our posts that featured us and your lights. Post-race we have a lot of footage and photographs (a small offering is attached) that we are compiling into a documentary, this will take a little time as there is a lot of footage but when it is complete we will be sure to send to you so you may share with your colleagues.
Once again many thanks to Extreme Lights for backing us in this extreme event. Your lights were more than up to the task of surviving and thriving an Amageza! Kind regards and again thanks for your support! From Team 525!