Ride hard, fly home.

Have you ever thought about doing a rally event for a good cause? If you’re looking for adventure, and have a bike or trike that you think could use a new home but needs to get out for one last epic journey—let me tell you about Rust2Dakar. The inaugural event is happening at the end of 2020, and is guaranteed to give you memories to last a lifetime. 

Chances are excellent that if your ears perk up every time you hear about a rally event somewhere in the world, you’ve already heard about how some participants just leave their bikes or cars behind. Often the locals who have to deal with these abandoned vehicles aren’t happy about it, because how would you like some rando leaving a dead car on your doorstep? To be honest, it’s pretty craptacular behavior. 

Rust2Dakar, on the other hand, actively encourages participants to leave cars and motorbikes behind at the end of the event. Participation raises funds for two non-governmental organizations as you cross the Sahara Desert and end up in Dakar. Then, the vehicles you leave behind find new life supporting those organizations in Senegal and The Gambia. Organizing charity Table 8 supports women and children through various projects. Another charity, Children in the Desert, is a humanitarian organization focused on helping children in the area.

There are seven classes in total for participating vehicles, and only one of these is a bike class. Any motorbike, including three-wheeled ones, can participate. If you participate, you’ll be riding from Morocco to the Pink Lake in Senegal. Guidebooks with suggested routes are provided at established checkpoints, but you’re free to take whatever route you’d like.

It’s an unsupported rally, which means you’ll need to either be a good roadside mechanic, or else have one in your party. There also won’t be medical support, but most roads are asphalt or at least passable with a 2WD car/van/truck or motorbike, according to the organizers. The event starts December 28, 2020, and concludes in Dakar on January 8, 2021. At the borders between Morocco and Mauritania, race direction will have everyone cross in a caravan, so you’ll need to meet at established RallyMeeting points before crossing. 

You can submit an application at the official Rust2Dakar site. It’s a closed-number rally, so only those applications chosen will be allowed to participate. Applications close on August 15, 2020. If your team is selected, you’ll need to pay €500 (about US $553) to the organizing charity, Table 8, per vehicle. An additional fee per team member of  €450 (about US $498) also applies. 

Finally, if you really want to raise money for these two charities but don’t want to leave your vehicle behind, Rust2Dakar has ways to help you do just that. Visit their site above to find out more and send an email their way. 

Sources: Rust2Dakar, Children In The Desert, Table 8

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