Red Bull athlete Mohammed Al Balooshi is a motocross and desert rally rider, and the first Emirati to take part in the Dakar Rally. For the last article of his monthly column Balooshi talks about what it’s like living life on the road.
I spend a lot of time travelling to different places and when we’re on the road the days have to be very well organised, everything has to happen at a certain time. Usually, in the mornings, I do some warm up exercises and have breakfast and then go out on the bikes for a test run and fixing a few things.
A few days before a race I wake up very early in the morning, before sunrise and go to the paddock and prepare my things. I always carry some food with me, like dates for energy. Then I’ll prepare my camel pack with water and check my road book and drink a can of Red Bull. The following day will be the same, more testing and training and by the time you come back to the hotel you sleep until the race day. We are riding at really high speeds for long periods so you need to concentrate, usually the race day is quite long, it’s an average of 5-6 hours on a smaller race and once I’m done I eat and sleep.
One of my favourite trips is Bahrain as it’s not very stressful because I know what I need from previous years racing there. I have all the things set up upon arrival, like my bike is prepared in the UAE. We take about eight hours on the road and it’s a lot of fun with the boys. There’s a lot of laughter and goofing around. Once we are there we’ll eat to together and then the team will split up.
Personally I like to get into the zone mentally and just think about the race. On the race day you meet all the other riders coming from different countries and so you have to remain focused. You don’t want to be rude but other riders are thinking the same, we’re all concentrating on the task at hand, socialising can be done afterwards. Although, I often travel back the same day of the race and sometimes I’ve even had a race in Dubai and then driven eight hours to Bahrain to race the next day. It was not easy, but we do it because it’s all worth it to ride the bikes and I love what I do.
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