For most motorcyclists, competing in the Dakar Rally is a lifelong dream, writes Dale Harris.
But for North Yorkshire’s Lyndon Poskitt, that dream became a reality when he competed in this year’s event.
The 34-year-old, from Wistow, finished 46th in the marathon race in a time of just under 52 and a half hours.
Poskitt, who has previously raced in Mexico’s Baja 1000, said of the Dakar experience: “I’ve wanted to do this since I was a kid and got my first bike when I was ten years old.
“It was my toughest challenge by far. There is nothing like it in the UK and I had a real sense of achievement when finishing.”
The road to the rally, which has been switched from its original route in Africa to South America, was as difficult as the event itself for the mechanical engineer following an accident in which he broke his foot in multiple places.
Lyndon said: “I suffered the injury at the beginning of September and wasn’t able to train until December.
“This gave me just four weeks to train before the rally but it had fully recovered for the start.
“I actually crashed on day ten and injured the same foot again which made the final few days of the race difficult.”
Speaking on his overall result, including finishing ninth on day eight, Poskitt stated: “It was perfect.
“I had visions of finishing in the 70s but to finish where I did and with other riders saying that this year’s competition was tougher than ever, it was fantastic.”
On his vehicle itself the racer said: “The bike was great.
“I prepared it myself and knew it inside out.”
The Dakar Rally is said to be one of the toughest challenges in the world with temperatures varying from around 40 degrees centigrade in the day to below freezing at night, not to mention the differing altitude levels.
The dust is also a problem with the riders having their vision and breathing impaired.
The event held in South America for the last five years, runs for two weeks with just one day’s rest in between. It was the 34th year that the rally has run with this year’s marathon beginning in Peru and finishing in Chile.
When asked about competing again next year, Poskitt replied: “I would love to.
“I’ve learned a lot from doing it this year, however it’s very difficult financially but if I could afford it I would.”