Most motorcycle nerds, whether they’re into racing or not, have heard of the legendary Dakar Rally. It’s the biggest rally event in the world and one of the most challenging out there. Tackling the two-week desert raid requires equal amounts of skills and preparation. If, like me, you love the idea of the Dakar and a desert rally but are grossly underprepared for this sort of adventure, AltRider has a compromise for you. What do you get when you remove the race against the watch and the need to decipher Tulip diagrams to figure out where you have to go? You get a Taste of Dakar.
Motorcycle adventure component and accessories retailer AltRider has been organizing a mini-Dakar rally in the U.S. for seven years now. Instead of two weeks of grueling dune and rock riding, the Taste of Dakar event is a three-day off-road experience in the Nevada desert.
Just like the pros, participants camp in the desert under the stars—more specifically in the mining ghost town of Gold Point and get to spend two days riding rugged and sandy terrains using a GPS. There is no time constraint and riders can choose their route whether they’re seasoned adventurers or tackling their very first adventure.
Meals, maps, and even riding clinics are also part of the package. This year, coaching will be provided by RawHyde, one of the only BMW-certified training centers in the U.S. The organizers are also proud to announce that they have mapped out new routes for the 2020 event and that Dakar competitor Skyler Howes will attend and hit the trails alongside the participants.
This year’s event will take place from April 16 to 19, 2020. If you want to attend, fees vary between $250 and $500 (depending on whether you wish to attend one of the riding classes or not.) You are expected to bring your bike and gear and because there are road and highway portions to the routes, the bike needs to be licensed. You can check out all the details of the event on the AltRider website.