WHAT IS THE PADDY DAKAR ?
The Paddy Dakar, now in its fifth year is an Orienteering on Motorbikes charity event that takes place in and around Slieve Felim and the Silvermines Mountains which straddle county's Limerick and Tipperary.
It is held as a tribute to Irish Dakar Riders past and present who by their participation have demonstrated themselves to be the pinicle of Off-Road endurance riding.
The Dakar (Formerly The Paris Dakar) is the last rally of its kind in the world and Ireland has had 4 riders finish the Rally, it's also the most dangerous with 48 deaths since its inception in 1978.
The Paddy Dakar is a weekend event and 2013 will be the fourth time the event has been run. The course is aimed at people who ride adventure bikes and who may not have been in any kind of competition in the past, or have any Off-Road experience.
In short its going to be orienteering on motorbikes but on Off-Road conditions with Road Rubber.
Riders who take part in the Paddy Dakar will meet on the night prior to the main event for a briefing on the rules, regulations and course layout.
Entrants must be riding road legal machines with accompanying documentation, such as Road Tax, Ownership and Insurance. Bearing in mind, The Paddy Dakar is not a Time-Trial
At the briefing participants will be divided into teams of between 2 and 4 riders of their choice
Teams will be given a Course Raider with about 20 GPS confirmed grid references, a hint as to the actual loaction of the marker and a detailed ordinance survey map of the area.
Following the brief teams usually visit a local hostelry where they work out a route from start to finish taking in all checkpoints.
Each point will be marked with a symbol, where upon reaching the point they will take note of the symbol and continue to the next point.
The course typically covers about 150 Klms mainly on minor-rural roads and off road trails
All sections of the course can be covered with standard Adventure Bike tyres, however most riders on Adventure commute and super moto bikes use standard road tyres Ehhh...not to mention Cub 90's with knobblies, but that's a story for another page.
The Paddy Dakar is run to raise badly needed funds for local and national charities, not to mention the sheer fun of it ! The costs of running the event are kept to a bare minimum, as such, riders taking part require their own insurance and do so at their own risk.
This is to keep costs down as insuring the organisers against any possible outcome would cost a small fortune and make the modest entry fee sky rocket.
Although, to-date, apart from some dented pride, the odd beauty mark and skinned knuckles no riders have been hurt. Lets keep it that way !
Have a look through the site, and see if you are up to the challenge, then make a date for September 2013.
Free camping is provided for the weekend, and as the event is held in conjunction with the Doon Vintage Club Annual show there are all sorts of things going on, bands, beers, BBQ's, not to forget the Honda 50run, taking in the less minor routes in the area. There's a Petting Zoo, Vintage Farm Equipment show, lots of very cool vinatge cars and trucks, ohh and good Coffee ..
In the mean time, Stay Safe and Keep Between The Ditches.