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went down in late September for the first pre-run. I was rid‑ ing a Yam TT600 and Tom and Kem were on their XR500s. I was all decked out in my Tor‑ sten Hallman Enduro Gear, sup‑ plied by Bob Maynard. desert terrain. Probably 10% or so is pavement, while 70% was dirt roads, smooth enough for a street-ready SUV. The roads were lined with Cliffs, Guard Rails, Barbed Wire, Telephone Poles, Burned Out Passive racers will not win. Hyper racers will not live. Tom, Kem and I would ride, and Dave Holeman would drive support and meet up with us at prearranged spots along the course. Even though the 1985 race was a giant loop, and not point-to-point all the way to La Paz, each rider needed to be familiar with the entire course, since he may have to ride it if circumstances warranted. We left Ensenada at 6 AM, the tradi‑ tional start of the race, and went due East into the mountains. There was pavement for the first 20 miles or so and then plain dirt roads. I was surprised to learn that most of the course is not like riding in the gnarly California desert. I was expect‑ ing 980 miles or so, of typical desert race terrain. I would say less than 20% of the course is typical and technical California Buses, Shanties, Cows, Ditch‑ es, and Mexicans of any age or gender, just walking in the apparent middle of nowhere, without any semblance of a house or business for miles. Can’t slow down syndrome... We were hauling ass, and I had two fingers on the clutch and the front brake levers the entire time. My arm and shoul‑ der muscles were cramping up from being in the death preven‑ tion position for so long. But I didn’t slow down, I just in‑ creased my concentration in‑ tensity to a level that can only be attained when the result of inattention is death. The fact that I didn’t slow down is a psychological para‑ DIRT ILLustrated \\\\\\ Vol. 1 + Issue 4 + Page 54 dox. Passive racers will not win. Hyper racers will not live. Con‑ centration is the mitigator that bridges this paradox. Fighter pilots intrinsically know this. Infantrymen know this. Airline Captain Sullengberger did this as he landed a powerless jet‑ liner in the Hudson River. But this concentration intensity lasts for hours and hours with no reprieve. That will wear you out more than the physical ex‑ ertion until you learn to control it properly. This I learned from pre-rid‑ ing with Tom Kelly, not by ex‑ planation, but by example. That first pre-ride day was long. In fact, it would prove to be one of the longest days of my life. As the day wore on, Tom and Kem would stop every so often and speak of little items of consideration that can have profound effect on the outcome of the race. They knew the course as it was pretty much the same as it was a few years previous. We would do about 40% of the course the first day, down the West side of the pen‑ insula, 40% up the East side to San Felipe the next day, and finish the final 20% back across the mountains to Ensenada the 3rd day.