Day 4: Siwa Oasis to Desert Campsite

February 27, 2013
By Dewane Van Leuven

Day 4, October 15: Siwa Oasis to desert campsite, 320 km

This road is rarely traveled, and has the old two-lane road with the new two-lane road parallel to it. In places, the old road looks better than the new road. In some places of the new road, the dirt is graded but asphalt has not yet been laid down.

Second bad accident of the trip—one rider, Aaser, goes down while attempting to ride over an uneven patch and injures his knee. He is X-rayed and the organizers say he’s fine.

The final four kilometers of the ride was riding to the campsite in deep sand. One rider with dirt experience, an ex-pat named Thomas, gives us advice about riding a motorcycle in the sand. On a motorcycle, you “grip it and rip it,” stay back on your rear wheel, and try not to dig into the sand. With a 125cc scooter with perhaps 8 horsepower, that’s not really possible.

We saw various techniques. One was to hang your legs over each side of the floorboards to get your center of gravity as close to the ground as possible. This made the rider look so foolish that I flat out refused to do this.

So I gassed it and stayed back on the rear wheel when the front dug into the sand. Somehow, I stayed up. The other guys looked like two-wheeled bumper cars—scooters falling right and left. The Fiddle IIs took an amazing amount of abuse during this trip, and there were only two DNFs, one of them mechanical—a bent valve that went through a piston.
We have dinner under the darkest night I’ve ever seen. 

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