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Dakar 86 – The diary of Aldo Winkler

After long preparations and emotions, a heck of a time stolen at work but it was not enough especially to work out the details on the bike. Departure for Paris arrival in Rouen and handling in the same city red tape of the race, momentum transfer at Versailles (that cold) a little episode when we departed we forgot the fact that it was cold and we had to make these gloves with the cross 60 kilometers to frost.

Three kilometres of ice, Unable to stand. Prologue won by Poles who mounted the studded tyres.

Three kilometres of ice, Unable to stand. Prologue won by Poles who mounted the studded tyres.

In Paris a few days allows the rolls, incidentally the rolls are a road book that is given in book form to put them inside the box of a laptop you have to shorten one sheet after another to do so they can be rolled and unrolled. You try to rest despite a big thrill and also tension that continues to rise. The prologue in 60 kilometers (under the snow) one beastly thing, the bike is very high without letting the slightest hand proves undriveable. the prologue takes (3 km) It shows an amazing thing was a sheet of ice with mud Rails under harsh, There are countless flights wasn't standing that grind the new bike already looks old destroyed by flights.

Aldo Winkler left, and beat Grassotti the protagonists of this adventure

Aldo Winkler left, and beat Grassotti the protagonists of this adventure

After a new year's not great because it's a little’ the tension a little’ the company, hovered the anxiety of departure. The first of January a severe cold on departure, I'm very excited, almost frightened when giving birth I didn't even dare to turn to greet Paoletta, I had the fear of not being able more starting. The first kilometers I make with Beat (Grassotti his Team-mates Ed), under bitterly cold that explains how anyone can go in motion. The departure from Paris is a very exciting thing seems to follow a human cordon from Paris to Thirst, all that say hello and celebrate, Unfortunately, the rush to get hurt this chance to get in touch with this enthusiasm. The first problems the cold and rain are preventing the engine to function well. Turns off constantly, crackles and not okay. This fact gives me incredible anxiety and I expect to stop at any time. At some point the engine stops and beat unaware of my stop. I try to get there traveling alone until Thirst (He also had problems and in the dark never saw him). It takes me a nostalgia as ever I was taken, wants Paoletta and emotion I cry under the helmet. I'm looking for something to write her and tell her that I love her but I don't find it. Meanwhile a Japanese on the bike number 2 (Yasuo Kaneko ndr) is hit by a car and dies instantly, see the incident and think that it could happen to me I held further, but now you have to erase this idea otherwise we leave more.

aldo7Arrival in Sete at 2 in the morning (We started at 8 the day before) embark the bike after many difficulties. We don't find Grisoglio (our assistance ndr) with our stuff and finally at 3 We go to sleep. Of course in Algiers after endless bureaucratic queues we start at 6 in the evening and it's almost dark, We expect 700 kilometers of transfer. It's raining and it's cold, We soaked, on a road made entirely of mountain curves with black asphalt without streaks where nothing could be seen. Beat was better than me and I'm stepping stone to him even if I couldn't anyway nothing. Luckily the road improves with the mileage and not raining anymore, We arrive at 2 am and we sleep on the ground. The anxiety of the bike that isn't working properly continues.

First stop hours 6.00 the departure. We start in reverse order, and this occurs across Algeria. Who is at mid-table Snatcher, Why must pass the first that are slow and overtaken by the latest that are fast, result travels constantly in the dust. All well and good until I break the trip master. Of course I get lost on a plain of small sand dunes filled with thousands of tracks in all directions. I reach Gilles Picard, I follow him, then I see Peak but I keep getting lost more and more. I am consoled by the fact that after a short time we form a group of thirty including the strongest in search of the right track. The first contact with the road book is disagreeable too many notes with text and drawings and a few kilometres in French. The first contact with Africa Tour is not bad, the food is good and it does too much tail but do not give the water!

aldo8

Second stage: fire damper and many bottoming weaken the frame. Catch up with you anyway lnsah and here I wash in a hotel room by Boano. The track with many potholes and stones with fast sections, lnsalah-two special quick, I reach the machines, do not see anything. It's really dangerous because in the dust when you've passed have those 200 meters that run into thin air, an anguish. See pass next to you huge boulders, chasms and think "enough 1 Metro in there and now I wonder where I was "? Second special made with Beat, I wait because it breaks the joint is we end the special with rattano engines and are not nearly as.

The relationship of established with their bike becomes almost mystical, talk to him, beg, the fai confidences. Become a partner with whom you share the nature and all its expressions.

In the transfer to Tam splittin' mousse, we stop at a bar, Let's proceed to melt further the mousse. The asphalt is bad, interspersed with a runway full of ugly fesh fesh (impalpable sand) with big trucks under Rails caused by passage. At some point I no longer see Beat and although the mousse into pieces, I'm going back for about ten kilometers to her research, thinking it was dropped. I don't see it. I go back in the direction of Tam. Having always regret that Beat, knowing I had drilled, I would abandon. Looking back on those ten kilometers turned down looking for her, the fact that I had not found. Change the rubber and even as inflated air bladder, Luckily the assistance arrives and wheel change allotment manetta, still missing 150 km. It gets dark and break the headlights, and go in the dark with the light of the stars, and late night arrival in time not to take the deal in Tamarasset.

At the hotel I find Batti, and there's no time to wash. Stage I feel good in the stones on Assecrèm Tam Tam. Do I get a fright unbelievable to go in the dust an opponent, I leave the racetrack and step into a period with large stones to handcuff and I do a flight. In the air off the bike and helmet standing. Divine grace! I broke the nut that holds the shock to the frame, the brake Rod broke through the muffler. I finish the stage slowly continuing to not exploit engine, I suffer a lot of danger in overtaking after that fright.

"Ero talmente disperato che l'avventura fosse finita, I prayed that the assistance came. Armando replaced the engine and I left for the remaining 600 km, the night was waiting for me..

“I was so desperate that the adventure was over, I prayed that the assistance came. Armando replaced the engine and I left for the remaining 600 km, the night was waiting for me…”

Tam Agades, departure in a large river dried up full of Sand Springs, the engine Cove and hardens, continuous up to a piece of tough track where mollo a moment. The ignition is turned off. I'm stuck, and I begin to disassemble to replace to get it started, sudo all the water in the body, I can only remove the motor hoping it gets assistance. She comes to the 5.30 After waiting for six hours in a mixture of despair, resignation and pissed off. Hours of fire. engine and gearbox allotment scared of finding myself in the desert at night, not knowing where to go, step on the border with Niger, do I fill up from a truck in the desert. Continuous and I get lost. I no longer see traces and off piste between rocks stones and sand springs. I take the Monocle and I can see some lights I headed in that direction and I find the machines swept under the carpet. Gathering confidence and with this also the track, I reboot but I still missing 600 km upon arrival. I don't care to stay on the trail not to Miss. The track was a mixture of fech fech, soft sand and hard Rails due to the fact that all rally was already past including truck. Of course I'm reducing speed, the lack of visibility into the height of the bike, the track is an impressive set of difficulties. The falls are countless more, every fall you always enjoy effort to raise, Falla restart then, that effort!

"Ero stanchissimo, but still enjoyed the legendary Ténéré ..."

“I was so tired, but still enjoyed the legendary Ténéré…”

Fatigue assails me and I stop the truck Belgarda in need of repair and I sleep a to recover energies. Arrive back support, We share and I am heartened also by standing behind, make me light and when I fall it helps me get up. I can't stand it anymore, for a while’ of km driving Ciaudano (of care Ed) but I take the bike in time for the last 150 kilometers of asphalt to handcuff to arrive on time at eight and didn't take the penalty. At 8.30 allotment for the Special, I care only for a minute, I'm shocked and I don't take anything. Unfortunately it will be the last time that I see her. The stage of the Ténéré is going to be impressive but beautiful, you are in awe before the great desert, but the stage I find it easy. But the engine will harden again. I stop and let it cool down, shooting air and allotment going easy on the anguish that splitting and let me walk. At the slightest noise I am terrified, I speak to the bike, Please continue, clicking the last 150 kilometers in the dark until thankfully I see the lights of some cars that I show the way.

In the meantime I broke the chain joint, but I can get everything right surprise well with maximum

"JCO responsabile di Sonauto, great rider and Great Lord. I once helped him disinsabbiare his bike, Since then, even though it was a special stop to ask if everything was ok"

“JCO responsible for Sonauto, great rider and Great Lord. I once helped him disinsabbiare his bike, Since then, even though it was a special stop to ask if everything was ok”

calm. I sleep on the ground but the cold still remains persistent. I know I have bad teeth and hands with deep cuts for cold weather. Dirku-Agadem is the infamous stage, transverse dunes reported by some fallen bookends. The Wind clears the tracks, This is a very dangerous stage, the wave-shaped dunes at the Summit break sharply with sometimes perpendicular slopes. Not knowing the first dune I jump, making impressive jumps. In fact this stage causes many accidents, Mercandelli injures his shoulder, the Anquetil falls gashes shoulder trauma, the jaw, the teeth and the cheek bones. And dramatic look at a bloodbath. Beppe Gauri falls and breaks the ligaments of the knee. A Tatra trucks you Hood forward, and one of the drivers will remain paralyzed. Arrival in Agadem, that only proves a strong military in ruins in the middle of the desert. Don't get nothing to eat, talking the sleeping bag because of a mixup. With Beat I go to a well in 5 km and despair of the thirsty I drink not caring about anything.

Agadem – Zinder, this infamous stage, very long in a zig-zag of sliding bar of Sand Springs, the desert landscape slowly turns into Sahel 400 km facts in a few hours. Over the special we expect others 600 km of transfer. Here we see Baron just tumbled out of a nasty stretch of asphalt, Unfortunately remains irreversible coma for years because of this accident. With Beat I stop to eat at a shithole though we eat well in spite the place and we arrive late at night. My bike starts to consume oil.

"Giornata di riposo a Naimei, in albergo con tutti i privati italiani per sistemare le moto".

“Rest day in Naimei, in hotel with all private Italian to fix bikes”.

Zinder – Niamei: long transfer all of cross- 600 km eating the dust of machines that surpass us. I leave for the special but at the start I breaks the change. The bike remains in third on a track very sandy. Beat goes on and I don't like it, I'd be behind him to help him. Delivery very agitated and naturally fall continuously. You pit the tank and I lose gas like a fountain from the tap. I get up as quickly as possible in an attempt to repair the tank kicking better. I finish the special and transfer to Niamei of 200 km arrival late at night. Niamei closed, I find it to be welded on the frame and I lose the last hope to get through because we hoped that the assistance would come. One would expect a night of fire, I couldn't sleep all night because of the mosquitoes that we were eaten alive. In the morning we had the hands and face were swollen from mosquito bites. The Dakar has no mercy: departure at 4 in the morning.

Some moments immortalized in Dakar 1986. In the photo above the great Veronique Anquetil.

Some moments immortalized in Dakar 1986. In the photo above the great Veronique Anquetil.

Away by the previous night we got a special 450 km. I lose myself almost immediately and I completely just clueless in a terrible landscape shrubs, hillocks and Fords, with huge rifts. Luckily I find a car with a Japanese motorcycle racer and in their company don't despair takes over. Following Zaniroli we find the track but the orientation is very difficult. Find cars in the opposite direction to your, feeding your doubts. Bush must follow the tracks, but sometimes you cannot even trucks leave tracks, bend the shrubs and they straighten out like nothing ever. I no longer have the road book from Agades because were were on the truck assistance that never came. Arrival in late stage that it is night and the last kilometers full throttle for fear of the dark, but I fall several times. I ask all the water.

See the special Beat him too destroyed to such an extent that I have to start the bike. We are still waiting for 120 km of transfer and 160 Special that we do side by side, almost afraid. We walk almost a kilometer at a time, and falling in turn we all do 120 kilometers. We arrive at Gourmararus at 2 in the morning, everyone here is upset. Sabine helicopter crashed and died with four others. We are all overwhelmed. We start in the morning at 10 to make 1100 km to Bamako referred 160 of track. Here I see the chopper, was reduced to a cubic metre of metal! We arrive in Bamako at 3 At night, messed around and rush to get makes us pull on the asphalt.

Infinity pool a cow in the road that I hit to smear with shoulder. I saw the Horn in my throat. After this fright I slow down and put off Beat, My headlight is insufficient because the second lamp I gave it to him.

In the hope of getting Beat riaccellero. Not do I time to get cow scare myself a shooting without lights and reflectors stopped in the middle of the road. Big spaventoma now I got used to it. As usual arrival late at night. A few hours of sleep and awake again to go. 60 km of transfer and 700 km special and new 300 track transfer. Now we are discouraged. Beat no longer wants to leave, the organization is in the balloon, There is little medical care and two helicopters in less. Childbirth and special begins at 10. The track is slow to 40 kmh media, curves, Rails, holes, sand, in the Bush. The place is nice, but I am undecided whether to continue! I stop, I eat and share, Clap arrives but was totally on the ball, was loud crashing. Just, Decides to retire.

Boano con il suo meccanico "Garino".

Boano with his mechanic “Gabriel”.

With Boano and we are the only remaining Italian Germanetti, There we console and move on. We pick ourselves up again when we fall, Now you can't stop. We are in the middle of nowhere. The track is awful, slow and full of stones in the middle of the forest. Almost getting dark hole rear wheel, I try to repair it but I can't. The refit and seeking assistance in a small village. Hundreds of people surround me. It seems incredible that so many people can live in four huts of wood and hay. Help me and I can share. After a short time the mousse before gives way and the bike becomes undriveable besides the fact that meanwhile dropped the dark. Meeting a pilot with a broken leg do I console arrived assistance allotment.

I'm in a forest with dense vegetation, and the track is really ugly, stones, very deep water drains with the ascent with a fine powder that doesn't allow you to see the stones underneath. Characteristic are the bridges with four ACEs, or if you prefer there is deviation and you go into the water with large stones. The darkness and tension does not allow me to enjoy so much wonder. in a Ford I remain trapped because they mistake the ascent. When I see it I can't take this road well because there were deep furrows caused by truck. With the mud to the knees and the bike planted up to the wheels almost soaring the move of strength and finish the last energies. I put it in a vertical position and after endless kick starts and to boost I take off from the grip of the mud. Meanwhile, the chain was stretched to such an extent that it ran on that poor pinion now worn.

Beat Grassotti immortalized in Bamako, After a transfer zany.

Beat Grassotti immortalized in Bamako, After a transfer zany.

Continuation but cross your eyes for fatigue, I fall and remain under the bike without the strength to pull me up, with his foot under the bike. Look at that position a lot’ of time until fortunately passes an assistance of Cagiva and I set up. Allotment but shortly after I stop by now exhausted and I say goodbye to the race, and I'll jump on the floor to sleep. After a while’ of time the cold wakes me up and allotment, always with the front way mousse. Arrival in Labe at 1 p.m., and I can hear the happy news, was closed and the race was stopped, The next day I can share, are still in the race. Departure at 8 waiting for me 250 km of Mule-awesome, worse than Assecrem, stones, water drains Rails and climb steep slopes. If I was in Italy with a trials bike I would have that piece.

Gran Hotel Dakar :D

Gran Hotel Dakar :D

I do almost 600 meters on the edge of the precipice, on a wide strip 20 cm. Thankfully they end even those special kilometers and the next is about to begin. In fact, after the border I expect another of 400 km. Surprised to notice that after 200 km remained without oil! Now the engine goes to oil and a little’ of gasoline, Unable to go even at high rpm. I leave for the second special, but there are no with his head, I'm wrong a lot and do many straight wrong way. After a while I lose my perception of my speed, I seem to go slow instead going strong. I take a hole and then another, flashing forward, I do a flight of six meters and remain in the air for an infinity of time. I pass out. I just recovered the bike destroyed with a tap of the gas ripped through. The lie on the opposite side so you don't lose other gasoline and try to fix the leak. I'm shocked, Haggard, sore and scared. No lights, with still many kilometers to do in the dark.

"Ci sono momenti in cui si procede per inerzia, the isitnto of survival is the feeling that brings you back ..."

“There are times when we proceed by inertia, the isitnto of survival is the feeling that brings forth…”

I get back on my feet and I share in an attempt to get through the stage with light. Do other 20 km other hole, another meeting with the bike but this time I nosed ben 12 meters from the pit. This time I also hurt, Luckily nothing broken, but there are pains you. In retrospect i shudder. Now the bike is destroyed, Crooked, i lose my senses twice and I get a nosebleed. I take your senses after a long time. I recover and the first wish is to get to the end. I do what I can from now on is a challenge with myself and with my willpower. Surplus at a snail's pace to a village, where wonder of gasoline to finish the stage, Pago 10 liters 40 dollars, less and less of 500 Franks who wanted. I'm still 150 km but without lighting proceed is virtually impossible. I put myself in the middle of the road and stopped all asking you to follow me to enlighten the road. After receiving the refusal of nearly a dozen car, I find Peruvian participants that take as long to go fast because they are special and they don't want to lose positions.

"Il deserto ti presenta tante tipologie di difficoltà: from the sand dunes, from rocks to fech fech ..."

“The desert gives you many types of difficulties: from the sand dunes, from rocks to fech fech…”

I do what I can, unbeknownst of substantial risks with a motorcycle virtually undriveable. Arrival at 22 and amazingly I didn't even got the deal, but as soon as I stop collapse and suddenly feel the pain. I ask George to shelter the bike and I go to sleep, logically always for Earth. The next morning George tells me not to be able to repair the bike as well as decreased makes no sense continue. I insist, but there is nothing to do, abandon the race, but it still doesn't do I need a reason. I take three rations of Africa Tour and go to the station. Elargisco a tip a guy who tells me what to do. The bureaucracy to carry the bike is a Babel infinite, Finally seems to have solved everything, I just have to wait for the train. Luckily I see two Italians, working for FAO, reassure me and I guarantee you will take home. They feed me and take me back to the station. Strengths we load the bike on a freight train smelly and full of stones. Finally I sleep and even the stones seem to a comfy bed.

aldo9

There I download the bike helped by some fellow travellers, I find a cab and incredibly the roof load. The taxi was fetid, but at least I was put back in motion. Night falls and the taxi stops at the crossroads of the entrance of the city of Dakar. The taxi driver takes me in the square that was also the bus and kindly offers me a latte at a bar frequented by shady characters. Finally the taxi driver decides to start afresh and takes me where I had booked the hotel before leaving, hoping that someone had already arrived.

A small regret, If I had broken down I would arrive at the bottom. In fact the stage which left from Kaies came undone and the Organization decided to avoid Mauritania and go in convoy from Kaies in Sant Luis, before taking the runway on arrival. Damn!

Source: Aldo Winkler's facebook page

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Prologo maldetto! Aldo Winkler Dakar 1988

Departure to Paris so proud to be in the team Honda Italy B had found even the sponsors but this photo reminds me of a dramatic prelude, the bike rattava the prologue and this photo shows that I wanted to work on it but here at little squalificarmi's a janitor comes to scold me threatening my life if I hadn't gone. The next day I will regularly, and I'll do 800 km in the cold and ice with broken with the bike that was a little’ accelerated. In 5 km from the Eiffel Tower sthe rear brake drum shoes scollarono, and I had to remove the wheel to make it free. After 300 km will break the chain, the giuntai and after another 30 km the chain was still cracked.

I softened the bike to some viewers and a polite gentleman with the machine he took at breakneck speed I'm taking Highway at the head of the rally because the trucks were leaving for first, I give a chain and I went back to repair the bike. Resumed the race all sweaty and LY, but it was in extreme lateness practically last and from time! Trying to catch up with the bike in these conditions I went as hard as possible, in the heat I jumped a stamp control (Pena 2 penalty hours) and I got to take Cale Marseille, and while was fixing to fix it definitively I took an ankle boots in an attempt to start it without recoil. I got on the ferry aching with 2 penalty hours and destroyed by fatigue and tension. Honda trucks Italy retreated and Honda France gave support to Italian riders but I was excluded, the airborne mechanic fell ill and returned to Italy. I found myself without assistance and without mechanical. You will think: how much bad luck! You and true but the most important thing and that I got 19° Dakar and without the two-hour penalty would do 12°!
How many memories in this simple picture…

Text by Aldo Winkler

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Private Italian in Dakar 1988

Beppe Gauri on his Suzuki DR650

Beppe Gauri on his Suzuki DR650

Fourteenth absolute, and best Italian private in Dakar, Beppe Gauri is unique in boasting private title. He was just a mechanic by plane (the famous Annapurna, little one to save space) and some cash distributed among truckers who rented the space.

"It was tough – commented the bergamasco – the hardest of my experiences. Fortunately my Suzuki DR 600 he marched as a clock, without ever reporting trouble. But I worked harder than ever: This race is becoming a real beast for pilots who do not have a real team behind, with the masseur, numerous spare parts and more».

Aldo Winkler, He has hired a single officer of the year and leaned at Honda Italy, He had fewer problems; but he paid for a three-hour penalty by jumping a control passage between Paris and boarding: three hours that ultimately weighed on placement.

Aldo WInler on Honda to Set

Aldo Winkler on Honda to Set

 

"This race — summed up in Dakar — asks the pilot increasing concentration. I'm often asked: but who made me do? And I must say that I was not trained because of work commitments keep me busy all year round. But it is a fascinating race: in a few months I'll die from the desire to restart-King, Although today I am dead tired».

Bruno Birbes is the private “rich”: with two associates bikers has put together a budget of 300 million and was assisted by a personal truck and two mechanics by plane. BMW dealer in Brescia, raced the twin finishing nineteenth.

"I arrived in Dakar for the first time — says Charles Edson — but also modified. I swear a grind like I have no intention of sobbarcarmela. Saved me the experience».

Bruno Birbes on his BMW

Bruno Birbes on his BMW

Only eight Italians were able to get to the bottom of the Paris-Dakar. See them coming night after night, dead tired and covered with dust, with many adventures to tell each bivouac, It was great and exciting.

Source Motorcycle Racing
Special Tks Stefano Magician for the article

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Group photos Dakar 1988

Italians in Dakar, standing from the left Fatemian, Charles Edson, Orioli, Terruzzi and Gates. Kneeling Spike, Gauri and Winkler.

 

Motosprint-1989

Cover Magazine Motosprint 1989

Cover of the weekly magazine Motosprint dedicated to Franco Picco and adventure of Aldo Winkler dispersed in the desert.

winker5-1989

A history of wilderness and fear with a happy ending, signed Aldo Winkler

Mario and Giorgio have done for me line up on the phone, calling me once I get my turn. It took a while’ time to talk with Paola because the operator was struggling to take the international line and had to repeat several times the number. For three days my wife received from me in cursorily, but all in all reassuring. We talked, disturbed by the presence of people in the queue. I offer another cigarette and smoke it again while answering questions and greetings to those who did not expect to see me cross the threshold of the Sofitel Gaweye Hotel of Niamey. When he finally Let's Eat is past midnight. The hotel restaurant is closing, but agree to make an exception to the rule. And’ Smart and clean: but I still wearing the outfit, boots included.

Touch the gri gri de la bonne route, the good-luck charm that for five years, Since I attend a competition in Africa, I always tied at waist, and I cannot but admit that her role as "Guide" has done this time too. I haven't eaten in four days, but I'm not hungry and I'm surprised a little’ I feel rather than have the stomach stuck. But when it's smoked salmon devour him in a Flash and I do the same with the grilled Tenderloin and French fries. The last meal, If you could call it, I did on the evening of 2 January in Termit dividing a piece of bread and a little’ with Roberto Boano. At the camp there was no truck of Africatours so we were left without dinner. Did not bring even the water and the only ration I could find was the half litre given to me by the service truck-Aprilia. With that I started towards Agadez on the morning of 3 January.

Meanwhile, a growing number of people around me who wants to listen to my story of ' Survivor ' and I start to tell reverting to a few tens of kilometers from the start… My Honda starts to burst, then turns off. I think they're clogged jets, or dirty fuel filter. Clean each other, and allotment for a track with many tracks. At least here will pass someone. I headed to la Falaise of Roaming until, near a large dune, the tracks cut eastwards. The signs of the road book however are different and I decide to follow them. I am not alone, on the sand i see the signs of the passage of three other motorcycles.

The engine shuts off again a little further on and again breaks down once cleaned the jets and the petrol filter. I reach an erg full of dunes and the engine shuts down again. The wind blows strong, and when I completed the ritual cleaning of the carburetor, He completely erasing your tracks. I decide to go back, to resume the longest joke. When I reach the oued of Egadò is now dark, so I decide to stop there to spend the night. I'm alone and I start to work on the bike in peace, scattering the pieces a little’ everywhere. I remove the saddle, I clean the air filter, the carburetor. I haven't finished replace when I approach the silent three guys, dressed in bright clothing. I'm hostile, but I realize only once gone taking with them my gloves, other things I had scattered here and there and especially the bottle with its precious water content. We lacked even this. I console myself thinking that I still have with me a sleeping bag.

The first light of day are already up. Rewind fast sleeping bag, do one last checked and put into motion. I walk the oued until crossing the tracks left by the passage of the race. I'm on the right track. Another fifteen kilometers and the bike stops again. This time permanently. Broke the brass housing of the main Jet. With the carburetor under these conditions it is utopian to think of leaving. I keep lambiccarmi the brain on a disconsolate carburetor, then I decide to turn the balise. Is something I wouldn't do. How to shoot the switch you are officially out of the race. Your Dakar is over. But considering that while the ride is firm to Agadez to the rest day I'm stuck here I don't see alternatives. Actions the fateful switch and wonder a bit’ because the red light stays off. I am convinced that only lights up to signal the last six hours of battery life which controls the functioning, and that the TSO is already aware of my position. I'll never know during the days spent in the desert that balise is broken and does not send any signals.

After a couple of hours I rather the evidence to the contrary when I see pass over my head a plane in your organization who sees me and sends me a message. I have to write my race number on the sand, and stay close to the bike. I'm on the right track and the truck broom will meet me. The plane leaves without letting me have. Nothing to eat and especially anything to drink. The thirst begins to be felt and the little water that I have taken away the tuareg. However I have localized and send relief efforts. I begin to speculate on truck balai, on how long it will be before your arrival. Cabbage, I tell myself, I lost the race, but patience. Even Gauri is withdrawn and will be waiting to Agadez. Once together we could get back on track, with the service truck, We could retrieve the bike, fix it, and cross the Tenere from tourists. I never have and idea fascinates me. Then we can proceed to Dakar, take the bikes and return to Italy.

It's just one of my many thoughts. The head blending to thousands and the time never goes. I think back to a book on the life of the tuareg and how they spend entire days in the desert properties like stones. I try to imitate them, but with poor effect.

I find myself counting the minutes, the second and with the slow passing of hours my confidence to see appearing the truck of salvation begins to fade. After dark the feeling of isolation is even greater, and decreases the hope. Begins to take shape the awareness that I might die. Not afraid, resignation.

You are welcome, I cry, I tell myself that I didn't give it to the people that I love all you deserve. I think a lot, Too much. I thinking that my wife will remain alone. Do I testament, dictating my last will and Testament on the pages of the logbook I have inside your wallet. Not a true testament. Is a letter to Paola. A love letter. I can get to sleep and when I sleep I dream falls, bathtubs, mineral water. Only aquatic dreams, but you can understand. I suffer thirst even more of solitude. At Sunrise starts my 3rd day scattered. Are increasingly pessimistic about the chance of being found. I'm starting to think the truck may have already passed two days before balai where I am right now. I stopped by while I was camped on the oued in a then-China kilometers away. Might also be finished off course, as indeed was, and never go more to get.

I spend the morning in searching, then I decide to move. Tomorrow I might be too weak to do it, But today coming back for fifteen kilometres will rejoin the oued where I met the tuareg and maybe I'll find a drink.

There are now three days I don't drink, his lips are dry and burns your throat. Shuffle all my stuff, and before we leave, I draw a big arrow, with the tip pointing in the direction in which I set out. Then I load on his shoulders the sleeping bag. From that I really don't want to separate myself. I thought a very short ride in motion. Walking is a tremendous gear. Journey plan for ri-save energy. What interests me is to get there before dark.

I'm luckier than I expected. After six hours of walking I reach the oued ed instead of the tuareg rogue I find a very family friendly and welcoming. The man is old, much older than the woman living with him and five children, three males and two females. Don't speak French, but we intend to gestures. They understand that I'm very thirsty and give me to drink. Non-water, as I'm dreaming for three days, but camel milk. And milked from morning and curdle in its metal case. Has a sour taste, strong, almost disgusting, but is my salvation. The smallest child is sick, have a fever. I offer to give her an aspirin and the father accepts. I realize how this meeting has loosened the tension, how she rekindled hope. No more lonely. Are only abandoned. Now I have to find a way to get out of trouble. From a difficult dialogue with the tuareg emerge precise directions. You can reach Agadez traveling for twelve days by camel or you cross the asphalt road in Tanak and in this case the journey is much shorter: just five days.

I decide to settle for starting the next morning towards Tanak and while we try to understand the three tuareg who robbed. I explain to the old my misadventure but I regret it because now claims that I returned the stolen goods. The result is a violent and incomprehensible dispute followed by a start to Brawl, but fortunatamene you stop to threats. I returned everything, except the canteen which let to their camp, distance 10 km. My attempts to explain that it's not the bottle to be interested but only go back home as soon as possible fall into the void.

The tuareg makes it a matter of principle and tomorrow we set off by camel only after rescuing.

An operation that will unnecessary extra walking comporte, but my guide doesn't want to listen to reason. Meanwhile I spend time making myself useful. Shelter a water bottle made with an air Chamber by truck using patches that I had with me to remedy any punctures. An operation that increases my popularity in the family. Live from tuareg fascinates me and surprise me.

Don't eat anything. They eat camel milk, tea, who drink several times a day following a ceremonial complex. To prepare the drink is the man. Is heat a container of water in the ashes. Once warm, the transferred into another container with the tea leaves and from that to a more. Decanting follow each other endlessly before finally getting the glasses. The father realizes the ropes using bundles of grass. My first night by tuareg is not as hard as the two from dispersed. It will take time and patience, but I will get to the asphalt and salvation. By camel. The next day I would like to start at dawn, but there is the bottle to be recovered and to carry out the mission goes almost the whole morning. The tuareg,no hurry and are slow, extremely slow. And inutile che mi agitate. I'm one of them and I have to adapt to their rhythms. Rather I try to learn to ride the camel, but it's not easy. I would be ready for the first leg, but still no one part.

Passes noon and I keep looking at the clock. Are the 12.35 When I pass overhead a plane of Dakair. There I was hoping for more. I look at it, but don't try to attract attention. I looked at him fixedly and nor do I think for a moment the possibility of not being seen. Passes on me again, and I understand that I must report my presence. I'm starting to get excited, and I write my number on the sand. Also point out that I need food. I threw a message and an energy ration. In the package, reached after many peripe-aunts, There's a reassuring promise: "in an hour and a half will be taking the helicopter». I'm sure this time will keep the word. My friend Tuaregs can do without escort me in and I will be back to full speed Tanak Agadez. The helicopter is punctual and before stepping abandonment to wind the testament.

When we land in Agadez Dakair managers, who coordinated the research, I'm happy as I am that this bad adventure is over. They too have slept very little and are tired. Just Uncorked a bottle of champagne and a glass to make me shoot a little’ the head. Then we all start at a time of Niamey. With me there's Beppe Gauri who collaborated with Dakaír in rescue operations following especially my research. In a few hours they are before the grilled tenderloin with potato now safe. I try to answer all questions and I think I'd be much happier if you are interested in me because I managed to win a stage, Maybe just a fluke.

I think I would not have wanted to leave the motorcycle in the desert, because Mario, My mechanic, He had worked so hard to get it ready to race. It was a beautiful bike, but old. It's only for this which has broken. Why was old.

I also think that this experience has given me much, more than if I had finished the race, that photos taken with the automatic along with the Tuaregs will be among the most valuable of my album. I think that this experience has left its mark, that something in me has changed. If I return to Paris-Dakar? Leave me a little’ time to think about it.

ALDO WINKLER – PARIS DAKAR 1989

source motosprint
Photo motosprint and archive fb Aldo Winkler

Assomoto 1991

The Gilera private to Dakar 1991

Also four Gilera private came to the finish of the Dakar 1991, led by four Italians. This is Quaglino (28°), the only group in red, and the three Assomoto Team riders: from left Aldo Winkler (33°), Walter Surini (36°) and Brenno Bignardi (32°). just missing Carlo Alberto Mercandelli, retired.

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My Dakar 1996 by Aldo Winkler

“On the last day, two special, so much tension, the goal is to get. The bike poor thing doesn't make it more.

The last stage which leads to pink Lake there is a sand chestnut, and hear you screaming in agony of my Kawasaki engine sucks and anxiety, I will always remember the poor Cavandoli that broke the bike 3 km to go.

The arrival is a liberation. Arrived! It was now an obsession, do 20 days with this sole purpose filled with joy, but at the same time feels a void interiore is lacking something.
The feelings after arrival in Dakar are contrasting: You must retrieve a weariness that stays for a while and I get a little existential crisis.
Thanks to Team Assomoto, Bruno Birbes, and thank you because in this Dakar I met a wonderful person, Alberto.”