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West Glos & Dean Forest
Motor Cycle Club

Celebrating 64 Years of Motor Cycling 1953 - 2017

Dakar Talk by Mick Extance and Dennis Osbourne

The Forest's best Rallyist Mark Harris meets Britains Best Mick Extance.Thanks to a chance meeting during a Long Distance Trial with Dennis Osbourne the club organised a talk by Britain's most successful Dakar Rally competitor. Mick Extance and his mechanic Dennis Osbourne. Mick has been Best Brit for the last 2 years and has his sights set on a top 20 finish in 2006 on the new Honda CRF450X thanks to Roger Harvey at Honda.

The Talk was a fantastic insight into the reality of what it is like to be riding the Dakar. This was the real truth, not the glossy image or sensationalist reports you sometimes get from the media. It was a compelling story which was very much down and dirty. Mick related some very moving stories which were obviously painful memories of how low the Dakar can take you. Fortunately the highs of finishing and finishing well have allowed him to don the rosy specs and enter again. (I think the medical authorities will eventually see the 'need to ride such an event' as a virus and provide drugs to remove the risk of entering. ed.)

This was made even more interesting with the inclusion of Dennis who is one of the normally hidden unsung heroes taking on the mammoth task of setting up the bike to survive the Dakar and then doing all the maintenance and repairs at whatever time Mick finishes the days riding.  "And how do you get to the end of the stage Dennis?" someone asked. The astonishing answer describes the truth, and it is not in a first class airplane seat but in a passenger seat of one of the support trucks that also drive a similar route, but missing out on some of the looser sands, and to make matters worse their route is normally longer than the competitors. Never mind, when he arrives he probably only has to remove and strip half the engine and change 2 tyres and mooses through the night. then pack up and drive off to the next stage. You think we forgot to mention sleep here didn't you? No. Sleep doesn't seem to be an option during the Dakar.

We cannot do Mick justice on our site so have a look at the 2004 report on his own site.  All of us at the talk will be supporters for the 2006 event and will watch his progress intently. we will have links to all the information from boxing Day on. Here is one for pre-event info. The Official Dakar site.

Thanks to Stan and Ian Hannam and the gang that organised everything and to the, what looked like, 70 strong crowd who turned up from all around our centre and beyond including Yoshi and friends from South Wales and many members from Chelt HG, Glos & Cots. We should also thank Keith Wells (Another LDT competitor) for compere-ing to get the best out of Mick and Dennis. (Interesting to note that one of Mick's sponsors is Chris Porter at Mojo Suspension down at Risca.)