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Words about Bull Dust
Submitted by Tiffany on 11 September, 2011 - 19:56
As we approached the third section of dust I'd been chatting to the Aussies about it, saying that in Morocco (and in the Dakar Rally world) it's known as fesh fesh, which wiktionary defines as "fine dust looking like solid ground but acting like soft mud", I commented that I'd forgotten it's called bull dust in Oz and they asked what we call it in the UK. I had a good think about it and realised...
"We don't have a name for it, because we don't really get any, our climate is so damp that the mud never dries out enough to create these large amounts of dust"
They had a good chuckle about that. The following day just as I was starting to feel confident about tackling the dust, I went across the edge of a rut hidden under the bull dust and Beryl the bike got stuck. Jammed upright in the dust which was so thick that it formed a solid platform under the bash plate and the rear wheel was spinning in loose powder not going anywhere. Leaving the bike where it was upright, I started to look for something solid to put under the tyre when I spotted the Aussies in the distance. Great I thought if anyone knows how to get out of this stuff, they do, after all, Australia is two-thirds dust. Sure enough, Andrew was able to direct me and help in the exhausting yet highly effective method that they use Down Under. This involves putting the bike over on its side, packing dust under the wheel, picking the bike up, pushing it over onto the other side, packing more dust under the wheel before picking it up again. Once upright, get the engine going and walk it out. Perfect - it worked first time. But we were both completely exhausted by the exertion of picking up and laying down a 250Kg bike four times at 5000m.