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The BMW mechanics were at
the next pit. Fishback went by
while in the pit. Dan Smith gave
me a thumbs up, as I went by
his broken bike in the Husky Pit.
They got everything back in or‑
der taking still more time.
After 60 more miles, across
the dry lake bed West of San Feli‑
pe, to the pass West and the next
pit, I handed the bike to Dave
Chase to take it to the finish.
Not the race ,but the
friends you make...
Derrick Paiement and
Randy Morales won. They were
fast and consistent and actually
crossed the line behind Roesler
and Pfeifer. We ended up 4th
overall. Dan & Dan would have
won, but broke. Miller and Ogil‑
vie broke when near the front.
Roesler and Pfiefer would have
won, but got docked for miss‑
ing a checkpoint, due to a
mis-directing traffic cop. They
were penalized with extra time
equaling 1/9 of their total time
for the one of nine checkpoints
Tom and I are lifelong
friends and have since that
race. We spent a short but in‑
tense time as teammates with
a common interest in each oth‑
er’s success. Not unlike soldiers
who served together in war.
I was a young American Pro
Motocrosser when I first saw
Gaston as 125 World Champ. I
followed his career as he bat‑
tled and beat Marty Smith for
He and Eddy asked for
Espresso after dinner so my
wife made them really strong
coffee. The Reid’s don’t do
Espresso. I enjoyed that con‑
versation so much. In fact, the
video link attached to this story
I hope I captured his spirit
with my impersonation.
the 1976 World Championships.
Marty and Jon R would later
talk about his skills and charac‑
ter on the European GP circuit.
I battled him at a GP. He was
incredibly tough and tenacious.
He was also endearingly flirta‑
tious with the ladies and “debo‑
nair”, as the French would say.
He was so influential to the
sport of Motocross and Rally
racing. Gaston Rahier is an Icon.
I am a better man for knowing
him a little and the motorcycle
world is better for it too.
I only met with Gaston one
more time after the 1985 Baja
1000. He and Eddy Hau came
to my house in OC California for
dinner during the week follow‑
ing the race. I wanted to race
the Paris to Dakar Rally and
talking to him about it was the
chance of a lifetime. I changed
my mind about racing it.
is the result of that dinner con‑
versation. I hope many of his
old friends and family see it. I
hope I captured his spirit with
Gaston died of cancer in
2005. He was 58. Many photos
of him seem to capture a goofy
look on his face, for some rea‑
son. I can tell you, in person, it
was good humored confidence,
and it was really funny. A mo‑
ment in time didn’t ever cap‑
ture the measure of that man.
The measure bar he set is far
higher than his head.
My daughter Courtney was
born 3 weeks after the 1985
Baja 1000. We now had two
boys and a “finally”. I’ve en‑
joyed telling the stories and
many seminal aspects of the
1985 Baja 1000 race for the
past 27 years. Courtney’s birth
is when Cinda and I switched to
“Life, Phase 2”.