Video: A Different Kind of Race in Dakar

01/12/2012 @ 12:35 pm, by Jensen Beeler10 COMMENTS

With the Dakar Rally a little over halfway through its 32nd running, the historic race has yet to show a decisive winner between the Despres/Coma grudge match. Shifting from its African namesake in 2009 because of safety concerns, the rally now takes place in South America instead. Some fans of The Dakar lament this change, citing various reasons for their desire to see the race continue on African soil, but beyond sentimental reasons, I would wager this year’s venues of Argentina, Chile, and Peru provide just as stunning and challenging of a course as the old Paris to Dakar route ever did.

I have done my fair share of traveling through this job and my previous lives, but for some reason I have yet to step foot onto the African soil, which is something I hope to change this year. Thinking about the landscapes I grew up watching during the “original” Dakar, Africa seems every bit the National Geographic adventure I believe it to be, and of course the Boy Scout in me would cherish a night under the African savanna’s sky.

Continuing a vein we have been exploring this week though, the motorcycle culture in Africa is something entirely different to our Americanized perspective on motorcycling. Often the more reliable means of transportation between cities and villages, I have partially gotten to know motorcycles in Africa through my experience with the folks from Riders for Health, but the cultural element to this is something I have yet to truly understand. Maybe this music video for Parachute Youth gets us all a little bit closer to that understanding, and in the process brings us back to where we ourselves started on two wheels as well. Thanks for the tip Q$-Bling!

Source: YouTube

  • Smitch

    Friggin sweet. Run what you brung boys. Makes us ‘Mericans look like a bunch of spoiled, douchy posers.

  • John Magnum

    Jensen, keep the around the world culture vein running in your articles.
    Its FRESH to see inspiring journalism that breaks away from the internet / marketing popularised, “I must have the latest and must have the most horsepower of all, that i cant use cause im a fuckin spoont bag” culture that has poisoned so many.

    Great Vid!

  • Quentin Wilson

    Yeah, what John said!

  • Chuck

    A & R is my first stop every time because of your fresh perspective on moto-journalism — keep it up. Great vid and very humbling indeed!

  • MikeD

    COOL VID, COOLER SOUNDTRACK…COOLEST motorcycling related video…

    BareBones Motorcycling…at it’s finest.

  • Sleazy

    best thing ive seen on the internets in a long time.

  • Allan

    This little video was awesome, on so many levels. Recently returning from a week on a motorcycle in Zambia I had a big smile watching this. Thanks Jensen.

  • Westward

    That’s it! The next time I am spotted on the road, I am sporting a cape… I guess the trick is, to not have it drop lower than your waste…

    I liked the video, the kids goggles, and the music too…

  • Grant Madden

    Great to see how much these guys resemble the days of my youth thrashing the crap out of what ever you can get your hands on.The spirit of motorcycling(The Force) is strong in those guys.Cant wait for an African world champion to emerge from the great home of humanity.They have everthing happening that creates great riders and man,are they having fun or what?

  • Ben Faster

    Tucked in; throttle pinned, trying to beat your buddy, showing off , gloating aftewards – universal language – that was a cool video – music actually added to it instead of distracting. Thanks for that!