T-minus 4 Days

Vineyards of Casa Valduga in Bento Gonçalves, Brazil

Horseshoe Falls in Niagara Falls, Ontario

I've been out of town for about a month, so let's pick up about where we left off in January. Now it's only four days until the 2019 Sandblast Rally! I have a long list of things to take care of before I leave tomorrow; I think it's going to be a late night.

Rally Racing Clinic

A few weeks ago, I signed up for Bill Conger's rally racing clinic held on Thursday before the race. This will give me some productive seat time before shakedown on Friday and the race on Saturday—my main goal is to get reacclimated to the sand and reduce the chance of getting hurt. Plus, it looks like fun!

Bike Maintenance

My last work on the bike was the oil change and valve check, but I still have a leaky countershaft seal to replace. I have the parts here, and it's on my to-do list for tonight.

A few other bits need some attention tonight as well:

Finally, I need to mount the new tires. It's probably my least favorite maintenance item to deal with, but it needs to be taken care of tonight.


I'm not talking about packing my suitcase for the trip, but how I'm going to pack the required equipment onto myself and/or the bike. As I've discussed in a previous post, I need to carry a first aid kit and a few documents, and some water and/or sports drink would be good too.

I've been experimenting with carrying my Camelbak backpack while wearing my Leatt body protector, but it's not ideal since the neck brace interferes with where the backpack shoulder straps would normally go. I'll use the rollie bags and carry a water bladder in there instead of on my back. I think that there will be plenty of time during transit or waiting for my check-in times to snag a drink—I'm not going to be drinking on the stage regardless.


The rules mandate a minimum of 10 square inches of reflective material on the front of my person or helmet, and another 10 square inches on the back (not obscured by any backpack). I have an inexpensive reflective safety vest that fits over the Leatt to satisfy this requirement.


The forecast for the rally racing clinic on Thursday is calling for some rain, but with temperatures expected in the 60s, it will still be good for riding. Hopefully the sand will drain well and keep the mud to a minimum.

The forecast for Friday and Saturday is looking great, with no rain and expected temperatures generally in the 60s. Good cloud cover is predicted for both days, minimizing those annoying sun-in-the-eyes sections.