Blogs

Welcome to my website! Enjoy and have a great ride....
Login

Experiencing red mist during the Kalahari Rally

Season 5: Destination Unknown

15 October 2021

Red mist. I had never heard of this term but definitely experienced it when I entered the Kalahari Rally 2021 in South Africa.

It all started with an accidental meet-up with James Alexander in the Botswana bush (Episode 71). His fascinating stories about Dakar and me pushing myself to ride faster with James and his friends, sparked a new interest in riding a rally myself one day. Well, honestly the day after I had met them I already started researching where and when the next rally would be that I could participate in.

First time Kalahari Rally

Soon I found out that the Kalahari rally in South Africa was only one month away and I could still enter it. I soon found out that this rally is a large, professional rally. The Kalahari Rally is in fact an official Dakar qualifying rally and it received the ‘road to Dakar’ status. The winner of the Kalahari Rally wins a free ticket to the Dakar rally. A serious prize for a serious rally. You can imagine that I was a bit intimidated by all this as a rally new-bee.

But it didn’t stop me, and I registered myself for the Kalahari Rally! As I was still in Zimbabwe, I sped up my travels and pretty much raced back to South Africa so I could prepare myself for this new experience as well as I could.

When I arrived at the first bivouac in Mafikeng, South Africa, I felt even more intimidated. There were all these professionals with their big support trucks setting up camp. I was very happy I came with a van, and my own support team: my good friend Mandy. She would help me with all the logistics and the filming. We set up camp together and pretended that we belonged here, had done this many times before, and knew exactly what on earth was going on in this busy bustling bivouac. 

My goal for my first rally

I had entered the rally in the Adventure Category, which meant that I would not be competing for any of the prices. Besides that I had zero experience with roadbook navigation and didn’t have a navigation tower set up on my bike, I didn’t want to either. All I wanted was to get a taste of what a cross country rally would be like and to see if I liked it enough to do more rallies in the future. 

Entering in the Adventure Raid category meant I was navigating with GPS, something that I am used to! ’I have nothing to prove here’, I told myself the day before the first stage. My goal was not to end up in a hospital, so I was going to take it easy and just try to finish the rally. No crazy racing, just slow and steady riding. 

Guess how long I stuck to that goal? Yep, not long!

 

Experiencing Red Mist for the first time

The first stage, called the Super Special, was 100 kilometers long and went through an area close to our camp at Mafikeng. The results of this stage determined the starting position of the competitors for Stage 1. Somehow, as soon as the guided safety convoy ended and the race was on, all my good intentions for that day went out of the window. 

Every rider in front of me turned into a strong magnet that I had to try to get closer and closer to. Every rider behind me turned into some sort of predator that I desperately tried to stay in front of. There I was on my little CRF250L, riding faster than I had ever ridden before. I was drifting through the sand in sharp corners and flying over the tracks.

I had forgotten all I had agreed to with myself before the actual rally started. I even didn’t want to stop to turn on or off the cameras as I had planned to do so. I just wanted to ride the best I could, the fastest I could, and truly compete with the other riders. 

With the spectators lining up alongside the trail, seeing other riders, buggies, and race cars doing their thing, it all made me feel like I was in the middle of a race. I was riding on a massive adrenaline rush that started at the beginning of the stage and lasted until a few hours after the race. It made me feel so incredibly alive, it’s hard to describe. For the first time since I started riding a motorcycle, I understood the feeling that riders get when they race. And why they keep on coming back for more. 

Photo: Rallymaniacs - Marcel Vermeij Photo: Rallymaniacs - Marcel Vermeij

Pushing my boundaries

Later, during the other stages, I found out I could even ride faster. Blast through thick sand and ride those technical dune sections I didn’t even know you could do on a 250cc motorcycle. I still wonder how my riding would have evolved if the rally had 10 or more stages. 

Of course, the red mist appeared in front of my eyes at every stage. Even though the Adventure Category officially wasn’t timed and therefore not considered a real race, it was a race to me. Why else would I come here to the Kalahari Rally if it wasn’t a race? So I treated every stage like a race and made goals for myself at what position I was trying to finish that day. Top 5, Top 3, or even arriving as the first rider. Just to set a goal and push me through the inevitable fatigue to get there. 

I realized that if I want to become a better rider, this is the way I should do it. Riding outside of my comfort zone, finding my own limits, and push just a little beyond that. Probably not everyone will understand this. Some consider riding a motorcycle around the world exciting enough. Which of course for some is! But I have been doing that for several years now, and am ready for a new challenge. That is who I am, I take calculated risks on a daily basis and I thrive on that. I do this to feel alive, to grow, and to live my passion every single day. 

Experiencing the red mist has learned me many things about myself, my competitiveness, and my riding skills. I would not have wanted to miss it for anything in the world. When is the next rally??

Comments
(68)

Login to comment
Your reply

RESPECT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
You are stunning!

kurtfriedrich  | 

The Kalahari experience was amazing for us viewers. I would have hoped there is a way to lure more folks to watch those videos. I guess many are unaware how thrilling the experience is even as a spectator.

Clearly, one could see the sparkle in your eyes, and sense your excitement at the rally all through. I don't think your competitors though you belonged there, it appeared they were more convinced that you owned it. This was no debutante' at the game, this was the queen giving the riders a glimpse of how it ought to be done. Of course you would have finished within the top three, had Savannah not broken down, but the more important thing is that you enjoyed it more than anyone else. Perhaps you could consider doing more of this. In this, I see you in your element; the real you; the ever free.

Hats off to Savannah too. She didn't give up till it broke her back. We miss her.

D'  | 

Hi Noraly
I loved watching the Kalahari rally
You are awesome .
Rachel

Rachelly93  | 

You are my hero!

ArlieBright  | 

I enjoyed every moment of Season 5 , but I must admit sometimes I find myself yelling at the screen saying "don't do that" but each time I am glad you did. Stay safe and I am looking forward to Season 6

Footer on the Loose  | 

Just watched you no Highside Lowside's podcast Noraly and you mention you have bought a new motorcycle for your next adventure i can't wait for your new season to begin...Ride Safe.

Andy D  | 

Thoroughly enjoy all your videos with science and wildlife topics but the Kalahari race was so exciting to watch! I hope you continue to inspire more women racing! Thank you!

Viv  | 

In episode one of Season 5, Noraly filmed some of the physical training she made in preparation for her return to cycling. While watching this episode, I thought of the Rocky Balboa character played by Sylvester Stallone in the 1976 film, "Rocky". "Rocky" Schoenmaker has a nice ring to it, don't you think?
It's not enough that Noraly is the producer, director, cinematographer, editor, and star -- she also performs all of her own stunts. With a new interest in rally racing, I wonder if Noraly will hire a "stunt double" for Season 6?

Captivated  | 

When I noticed you weren't riding like you said you would I laughed and thought "That escalated quickly!" I still laugh about it and loved watching you turn more and more competitive and pushing yourself. Huge inspiration to me. I want to be like you when I grow up!

Hayduke  | 

Just like the Sani Pass, your dedication and discipline is what makes Itchy Boots so addictive. Please be safe, you are an amazing human being.

RickFlowe  | 

Thank you for the excellent and hard work you put in to bring us all so much pleasure. Be safe, and look forward to the next adventure.

JohnS  | 

Great job! 5th season was really amazing, thank You for sharing it with us. I'm looking forward to new season with impatience.

Take care and see You!

MotoMar  | 

Loving the rally episodes. It was fun to see you on the 790 for a short bit. Reminded me of your episodes when you were exploring the Dutch motorcycle scene and trying a lot of new types of riding and motos. Your enthusiasm and appreciation of all the motos is really fun to see. And the commitment you make to ride your heart out on your current bike, be it Savanah, Ronin or Basanti is just amazing to watch. Much thanks for taking us along on the rally ride.

secondcreekrider  | 

I have watched you on You Tube for some time now and am absolutely amazed at your willingness for adventure, I look forward to all your stories and have enjoyed watching your progression as a rider from complete novice to where you are today as an accomplished dual sporter.
Love the channel keep up the awesome work you are amazing.
Cheers from Vancouver Island.

Karlsbad61  | 

Noraly, my apologies. I mispoke the Mandy's name in my previous comment. My respect goes out to her for assisting her friend! Again, Sorry about that!

TxBagman  | 

Its really good that finishing this adventure with the rally. I am still waiting for the season 2 continuation btw. Good luck on your next adventure. Love from India.

Dinesh  | 

I am passionate about motorcycling and you are a great inspiration to me. His determination and confidence makes it look easy, but I know it's not because I'm also a motorcycle traveler and there are good and bad situations that you can't always show in videos that reflect only a thousandth of the journey. But without a doubt there are many, many wonderful moments that make us in love with this lifestyle where our goal is not just to start from one point and reach another, the most important is the path.
Perhaps you are not fully aware of how inspiring and passionate you are about what you do. Congratulations and have a good journey, always safely.
Best Regards,
Paulo Zapater (Brasil)

pzapater  | 

Kalahari rallye episodes are so far best episodes of your Africa adventure. At least to me. I found myself watching it like I was watching F1 grandprix, with eye figuratively speaking glued to my laptop. I was devouring every second and wished I could be there with you. At one point my thought was " William Shatner flew to the edge of space, but I rather want to be with Noraly." I m looking forward to the next episodes. Let me finished with words, that one of riders gave you at the end of super special "I have always had enormous respect for you, but now I have huge respect for you. Stay safe Noraly!
with HUGE respect Milos from Slovakia

Miloš  | 

You live in a different world when you race a motorbike don't you, time seems to slow down and the bike amazes you with what you can get away with.
I'm just waiting for the first shot as you float over deep sand, selfie stick in one hand and the speedo nudging 100 kph!

joethebike  | 

So exciting to watch you get bit by the bug of rallying. As the riders around you have told you we are very impressed by your accomplishments. I makes me want to watch more to see where you will go. Nicely done!

BruceG  | 

Love the videos and living vicariously through your adventures. Your riding is truly impressive to watch and I am not surprised you performed as well as you did in the rally. Life is about trying to find the spark to give you that feeling 'of being alive'. The moments in my life that I will never forget are often associated with that feeling of being outside one's comfort zone. Anyway, thanks for the work you do in producing these videos and stay safe out there.

JVP  | 

Well done Noraly! I understand exactly your experience. I have had red mist - not racing motorcycles but racing cars. The lap time is the target and when you have it you have to experience more red mist to keep it! (Could be different for others but my experience only).

Mal  | 

Great story Noraly! That is exactly my experience racing and introducing others to the racing experience. Even now that I’m no longer competitive and just enjoy the occasional track day it take me less than one lap to enter race mode. No matter what I tell myself about taking it easy, as soon as I see another bike, it’s on! What a feeling! Also some of the best racing is bench racing with your fellow competitors at the end of a long day. Good times!

MARK600  | 

I have been so impressed with your level of riding and physical endurance. Your normal rides are very entertaining and informative. However, this is taken it up to a new and very impressive level. You should be very proud and I expect great things from you in the future with riding and travel. Although I am sure its not your motivation, you have set a wonderful example for women who want to ride.
Tom
Omaha, Nebraska, USA

Thomas Best  | 

Hola Noraly creo que los que alguna vez hemos corrido hemos sentido esa sensacion de querer ir por todo mas alla de las capacidades o no que tengamos Creo por otro lado que todos te queremos ver semanalmente disfrutando de la vida paseando y mostrando esos lugares a los que vas con el riesgo que siempre conlleva la motocicleta mas que hayas disfrutado esta carrera queremos volver a verte de paseo y sin tanto riesgo para ti Sabemos lo buena que eres ya lo has demostrado a mi entender desde que subiste al Sani Pass a fuerza de espiritu y garra . Disfruta tu carrera pero ojala no se haga un habito. Te queremos y nos preocupamos por ti Cuidate

Osval Motociclista  | 

Well we'll, good morning internet, it is another day of surprises and now the "red mist"! Well done Noraly, queen of the kalahari. It is and always has been a real treat watching your travels. Thanks for your super itchy boots channel. 👍👌✌️

Tony Lynch  | 

It is clear that I am not the only one having red mist in front of me :-). I am aware of the risks, and that being in your comfort zone is fine too. But I prefer not to stay in there for too long :-). Thank you all so much for your lovely comments. Looking forward to reading more!

Noraly  | 

Just wonderful to see you suddenly discover you have a competitive side you never knew you had.Having been watching your travels from the start,seeing you blossom,develop skills in all ways and be the kind person you are,always,such a joy.Such a laugh,red mist,what's that,oh yes,you shall not pass,unless you need to go back and get fuel for a fellow competitor.I have got even more enjoyment watching you have so much fun,gaining and getting so much respect from the blokes,lovely.Being stuck in lock down here in Victoria Australia,not able to ride my little Dora,(same as Ronin),can't wait to continue my learning curve hitting the dirt,watching you inspired me to do it while I still can,(old bloke) and see a different side of my lovely country.Stay upright Noraly,cheers from down under

Steve Mason  | 

Just an awesome performance by you, Noraly. As I look back on all your episodes you are constantly pushing boundaries and limits and going outside your comfort zone so your performance comes as no surprise. I think it also helps some of us explore our own capabilities as you have show pushing boundaries results in a good experience. Thanks for showing the way by example. Ride safe and keep having fun. Thanks for everything you do.

IBFan  | 

You have said it so well!!! I can totally understand your emotion and enthusiasm. I'm so lucky to have found you and can share your passions and dreams. Let nothing hold you back. You go girl !!!!

CCh255  | 

So proud of you for living your dreams. I really love watching your travel videos and am amazed at how well you are doing in the rally. It shouldn't be a suprise though as you have been "in training" for this event for the last few years. I think your fellow competitors are quite impressed with your skills as well. Good luck, ride safe and know you have a world full of fans rooting for your success.

Freebreezin  | 

The Red Mist.... I get it sometimes but I'm no racer. It is more like I compete with myself. I'm an older guy but I still want to ride better, safer and :-) (faster). When I let myself down I can get really pissed off and then some "mist" appears. Thank you for an excellent blog!!

Nrgpack  | 

Dear Noraly.
Wow !
This was one the most interesting and joyful posts i read from you.
Your quick ajustment and connection to the new experience you chose to patisipate with.
It was all personal and emotional and your great experience was tranferd to me through your words as pure and real as it can be. Thank you for that !
Shlomo

Shlomo  | 

Where is my fuel?! 😁

MotoMar  | 

When the Red Mists descends resistance is futile. Enjoy the Buzz and savour the flavour but please do us all a favour and leave yourself a little cushion. Enjoy the ride. 👍

SteverinoB  | 

Just look around at the other riders and see how many of them wear neck braces, You have a fairly heavy helmet, it's over a kg and coming off at 80 to 100k is likely to have a serious effect on you, a neck brace reduces the possible movements of the helmet in a crash. I have asked you before, several times, please get a neckbrace for your own safety. I, (we all) worry about you, Certainly you are a very skillful rider now but physics are physics. I know you wear some body armour, you can't hide its outline under your jacket, this is just a bit more.
Other than that, go for it lass, enjoy yourself!

Keith201  | 

Noraly! Damn woman you go!! I think you’ve opened Pandora’s box with us Kalahari Rally. I’ve lived following you from your very first RE. You hooked me. So you got me to thinking, I’ve been riding 47 years, hit most of the US and Canada, yet I’ve never done an iron butt. I love the open pavement (I know your bane) but I just love watching the miles click by. So you’re my inspiration to finally do my first Iron Butt. I’m not in a position to pack it all the bike and travel the world, but if I was…….. well a gal can dream! And just keep following my muse.

MotoSewgurl  | 

Hi Noraly. Watching your past episodes (before Kalahari) I was wondering: what next once she's done with this "little planet" because the way you were going, I knew you will run out of Earth soon and will have to find new planet(s) to explore!! Now that you have come to Racing, I am content. Next I hope to be seeing you at all kinds of Rallys, including Dakar, and winning. Go Go Go Noraly!!...I'm the ol' armchair rider...rooting for you all the way.
ps. And yes, I knew it (commented in your Zimbabwe blog).

Mo Husain  | 

Hi Noraly

Enjoying your rally adventure.
As I watch your videos, I look at your speedometer. 80 to 90 KM/h is not that much for paved roads, but, for sandy dirt, something different. My technik, has been to leave the front wheel to look for the way. As soon as you force it, down you go to land¡¡ And never front brake¡ On curves, apply more gas. Easy to say it, but other thing is "with the guitarr¡¡" (This is an old way to say when you theorize and not practice).
Good luck and be carefull not to over do your security. But how difficult is not doing it¡¡
Round turn on all of your past adventures, the most hard I Think was geeting to a frontier arround those countries wich name end in stan. When you got into a place almost frozen. That was dangerous. I gathered from the face of the guy in there. He looked scared seeing you.
Well If I´m able I´ll send some photos of our rides here in Chile. By the way on Thursday 21, we leave for a 4 day adventure, running south from santiago, by coast roads. I´ts gonna be arroun 800 - 1000 km Some paved, some dirt, but always looking at the sea.
Felicidades y cuidate¡¡

juan guillermo  | 

I love to see you light up.
Just a little warning and tip, please realise that you have a good suit but good for what you did but not sufficient for what you do now.
And i have to listen to myself as well and buy a proper harness fit for real offroading just as i advise you to do but as a got to know you through all the video's (i watched them all) you probably already had thought of this yourself.
I just bought a new bike, a Yamaha Tenere 700 or T7 for short to replace the XT660Z just after getting back from a 7500km ride though the Balkans on the Crosstourer and looking forward to a trip to the North Cape in July which i probably will do on the T7 i named Sporherre (Norse for Tracklord). Norway was the plan but your trip to North Cape made me change the route. I had the same feeling about it as you had but when you said you're glad you did it it made me think about it as it is just another 600km or so from my original plan.
Can't wait for the next stage in the Kalahari desert with a Noraly on fire.

Ray, ride4life.nl  | 

JUST SO EXCITING TO WATCH!! Thank you for sharing...When we end our day....we say to each other...It's Itchy day...turn on the t.v. !! and our night begins...you are amazing...and living dreams to the fullest....Keep being you and stay safe and ride faster than wind!!(my 93 year old mother says about you)...she loves to watch...I always call her and remind her it is Itchy Boots day...(she isn't your average mother...LOL!) Blasting through the 100Kph like you have done it before...YOU GO GIRL!!! so ready to see more!!

Itchyfeet66  | 

Noraly, your skill in sand is truly amazing. I would be nervous at any speed and you blast through at 100kph! Some one suggested that we tag you as The Flying Dutchwoman, and I'm afraid that might catch on. Thank you for sharing your adventures with us. Until recently, it has been very relaxing! Stay safe and you be you. Let's go!

Shneadz  | 

I’ve always been inspired by your travels, video making skills, and love of motorcycles. This chapter of your life is the no less than a masterpiece. With your drive to win, you’ve shown so many seasoned riders what it means to “do it all”. Didn’t see many trying to film and ride🙂. I’m surprised you didn’t fly the drone too hahaha. Keep your spirit!

Debbie R.  | 

I had a chuckle when you said you tried to act like you belonged when you arrived at the first bivuoac. You have proven time again that you "belong" where ever you decide to go! ... I found you late after season1 and have followed you with anticipation ever since. To be honest, I have to rewatch your Rallye episodes (several times) because I swell with pride in your skills and accomplishments and get teary eyed. Ergo, I must rewatch to catch all the amazing details.
I raced cross-country back in the 70's. However I was just in the "sportsman" class because I couldn't keep up with the teenagers. :-) I remember the thrill of flying wide open (in the easier sections).
I helped pit crew for a friend during the Barstow (CA) to Las Vegas desert race so I send a HUGE "Thank You!" to Marty for helping out on your adventure. It's not easy, having to packup and move from stage to stage. Long days.
Keep chasing those magnets and outrunning those predators!!
Larry - an old guy from Texas

TxBagman  | 

Beautiful post Noraly. Very eloquent and inspiring, this is the only thing that during the week makes me hate the weekend and having to wait till Monday to see the next episode!
As a viewer it was easy to see your determination and competitiveness in your travels. Just as day follows night we know that Noraly and Savanna will continue their pursuit of their dreams with passion and courage.
It’s a special breed that can find the strength to give up everything and chart a new course in their life to chase those dreams by simply stating, “I got this”!
Behind you all the way!
Just one of your fans.

Seawhiskers  | 

The rally adventure raid is so exciting I have watched all five times or more. Too bad one cannot find any information about it after the racing was finished. I did see a few second on you Noraly and James on various short videos of the Rally competitors. Guess having to figure out fuel is also a race challenge.
Vanessa "the girl on a bike" completed racing "Rallye du Marco" for the first time after racing Red Bull Romaniacs extreme enduro iron class.

Thought that you might be interested. It will be a long weekend till your next upload. Have fun, stay safe as always, and God bless you.

Mike - P.  | 

Hi Noraly. Where was James Alexander? Wasn't he suppose to ride in front to open all the gates?
You were so fast in stage 2 that you even left him behind!!

Tom  | 

Its gratifying to see yet another rider discover yet another layer of the onion which we call riding bikes. The hyper focus competition brings forth, no matter what skill level is a treat for the senses, and now that you know this, you’ll always know. Yes, it is difficult to articulate to people who have never cast themselves into chaos. I can tell, this won’t be your first and last.

jokermtb  | 

Well done Noraly and thank you for sharing young mine, I'm not competitive when riding, and I appreciated more the travel video, BUT there is always something of interesting and amazing in your videos. Ride safe, I'll follow you.

Hunter  | 

hi NORALY WE WATCH ALL YOUR VIDEOS LUVED THE KHALAHARI ADVENTURE WE ARE HEADING TO MATA MATA AND NAMIBIE JUNE2022 ALSO GOING TO AIS AIS WE ARE RETIRED BUT STILL LUV 4X4 THANKS FOR SHOWING THE WORLD OUR BEAUTIFULL COUNTRY. WHERE THE LIONS ROAR JOHAN AND HERMIEN BOOYENS NOTE U MUST BOOK A YEAR INADVANCE FOR KGALAGADI TRANSFRONTIER PARK

Hermien Booyens  | 

Hi Noraly,
I'm (like all of us!) a big fan of you and your adventures.
Really exiting to see the speed you drove in the first stages. And when I read your blog, you will go only faster in the next episodes. You are really living your dream for more then 100% even in these difficult times. And doing this I and so many others who have or had similar dreams but couldn't bring them in reality enjoy following you in these video blogs and doing all these things all over the world.
I think we all see you as the ultimate power girl. I can imagine quite a number of these guys in the rally you drove with or passed, are more or less in love with you. At least they also admire your skills, bravery and fearlessness.

To end with, I have a question: where are you at the moment and what will you do next. The Kalahari rally already ended in September, so I guess you have gone further on the adventure path?

Stay safe, drive fast and enjoy!
We sure will enjoy watching your next adventures.

Groetjes, Etko

Etko  | 

Hi Noraly,
You are wonderful, I love your adventurous spirit and ‘go for it’ attitude! Your videography skills are impressive! Keep up the great work. I love it!❤️👏🏽❤️👏🏽🥳

Dugo  | 

The rally is fun to watch !

Next ? Rally school in south Spain with Lyndon Poskitt ?

Simon Poudrette  | 

You have probably done more for Honda Dealers (in the 250 category) in sales than their expensive advertising.
This bike was sold to put around town - go to the store - etc. and here you are putting 20k on it plus riding it in a rally.
Look for the check in the mail from Honda. regards - John

autochrome  | 

Noraly, you so capture the joy of riding and living life in all your videos, and this blog was excellent with that also. I am wrapping up a riding season in Michigan on my little Yamaha R3 sport bike , I love these rides as I look at the Autumn colors. A bonus is we are off to Florida soon and we even have some dirt adventures lined up there ( with I. B. as our rocket fuel ) I carry your quotes on life and living in my wallet and in my travel back pack. We thank you. Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy! Cheering you on always! RT

Rex Rides  | 

I truly admire your courage and willingness to try new things. I think you are a far better rider that you know and pushing your limits will show you this. Good luck to you in all you do. I really like your videos, they are really well done.

gknupp  | 

Hoi Noraly,
Ik heb al erg genoten van de eerste twee ritten. Je doet het geweldig en hoop dat je de eindstreep haalt (heel) want je houd er een lekker snelheid op na. Ik heb echt veel respect voor je dat je dit aandurft maar merk ook op, dat je in de afgelopen jaren veel erg veel ervaring hebt opgedaan t.o.v. de andere rijders en dat is wel te zien. Houden zo dus en veel plezier in de toekomst met je verkenning van de wereld.
Groetjes Nico van de Meent

Nico van de Meent  | 

Your video when you meet up with the rally guys and then had drone footage of riding across the flats together was absolutely brilliant! Perfect music, great video, the transformation in your energy was palpable so no surprise to hear of the actual participation in the Kalahari really itself.
Your riding skills have developed over the years I think largely due to your constant desire to learn in all areas of life. Motorcycle riders always get the worry look and words from well meaning folk but they don't necessarily get the stimulus to life riding can give, a stimulus many have tried to write about but like myself can't put to words. Don't lose it, it has already provided you with an amazing journey and experiences that so many of us envy.
One request. Please take a moment each day to breath in the positive comments and energy people around the world are sending you. It will help you navigate through whatever is in front of you and also help us feel connected to such a wonderful human being.

Paulmac  | 

Dear Noraly,
what I have to say will probably earn me your boot up my sternum, but here I go anyway, I need to get out off my comfort zone as well 🤪:
That red mist you talk about makes comfort zones entirely irrelevant, it shifts them to where you are comfortably taking potentially deadly risks. This is why I am slightly tired of hearing people I like so much (Besides you I have Vanessa Ruck on my mind there) talk about comfort zones so often as if they were a bad thing. There may be a difference in interpretation, I don't read comfort zones as being the couch, but situations one feels on top of. If not in control of the situation, then aware that one has the means and skills to cope with eventualities.
Red mist is nothing but a colloquial term for a flight-and-fight modus. Physically, it's panic mode, mentally it's being focussed and awake and present. It's what nature invented to enable our likes to fight off lions with sticks and stones. Thing is, evolution has it that the survival of the *species* is helped by that, not necessarily the fighting individual's.
You are a highly educated intelligent person, you have degrees in natural sciences and are ever interested in those topics, I am sure I told you no news there. Knowing that you know all this, I can only say that I hope you will sit back over a good cup of tea and, when the red mist has settled for a few weeks, reconsider with a calm mind what situations you went into there and if you would have been able to cope with, let's say 90% of eventualities you could imagine there. Let your fantasy scare you…
Broken bones heal, severed nerves down your spinal cord most of the time don't. I lost my father to an accident and a few months after you were born, I got my paralysed mum back from a hospital (Not related to dad's accident). I saw many other people who were in similar peril in jobs I worked in. I know you want to keep your blogs and videos and life focussed on the positive sides of things, but here you are tempering with the dark abyss that comes right next to them. And Dear, did I see much of that abyss, delivering supplies to nursing homes, I wish I could get rid of the images that fuelled my nightmares for ten years now! I dread the image of you having to live out a life in a place like that after a split second on a rally went beyond your red-mist-shifted comfort zone and luck and means to save it.
Please, Dear Noraly, get rid of that red mist-feeling before it tricks you into situations that ruin everything.
It is a drug.
You may get away with riding the red mist for years unharmed. It may get you on the first corner just the same, though. Your mind always has to stay ahead of things. From my aviation background I know the proverb "There are many old pilots and there are many bold pilots, but there are very few old bold pilots!"
Motorsports and a wild adrenaline rushes just don't match. Your adrenaline rushes are made to make the most out of one human's power. In motorsports, you deal with the strength of hundreds of horses!
It took all of the universe's time and wonders to make the humans that made you, thus to make you. It took so, so much to make that one wonderful you, the superbly smart, kind-hearted adventurous lovely lady that just like that bedazzled hundreds of thousands of people with the story of her journey and all the almost accidental education you give.
Don't risk to waste it on a hype of your own body's mind expanding drugs.
You are a treasure. Please don't waste that treasure. Time will do that way too soon anyway.
Lots of love,
Jürgen

…who now turns around an bends over, expecting the boot. 🥴

Zweispurmopped  | 

That was soooo good. Took me back to my racing days and doing almost the same as Recklesseric59 except I am still 'Recklessjim1946!'. if you have it in you, the 'Red Mist' comes into play quite often for sometimes no reason at all. After all those km. you have ridden off the tarmac it is not suprising that you 'suprised ' yourself, we could all see your level of riding getting better especially if we re-watch those early days videos. You probably will take a tumble at some point, but dust yourself off, have a little rest then get back on. Most of all, STAY SAFE!!!!

Jim Payne  | 

Ever since you popped up on my YouTube feeds with Basanti, I have been hooked.
What you have done, what you are doing and I hope what you continue to do has been nothing short of amazing. Unlike most people who just live day to day, your passion for living and challenging yourself is a gift.

Jay Zed  | 

and we are so happy to have you here with us in Southern Africa for the past few months

you show the world that responsible biking is a lifestyle, a world-view, a place of belonging, and so much more

be safe out there - Q (ThinkBike Marshals)

Quinton  | 

Hi Noraly,
The Red Mist you mention is addictive. There's been many a crash and burn because of the high it brings. Having said that, part of the joy of it all is keeping control, letting the red mist seep out in a controlled manner. It can be your super-power under the right conditions.
Also, check out Charlie Boorman's Road To Dakar. Very inspiring. Have fun.

markincornwall  | 

Watching the last video it didn't take long to realise the "red mist" had kicked in. Your speed is scary even from my armchair in Derbyshire England. I think I'll stick to my leisurely rides in the Peak district on my Triumph T120. hahaha. Keep up the fantastic video. xx

Dave Marriott  | 

Hi Noraly, They say the path of life is layed out before you, and you will do what you think is right, and I'm sure you will just do that. Jumping on a bigger bike like a KTM is a different kettle of fish, and lots of practice is needed. I'm sure you already know this. Take care and ride safe.

Les moore  | 

Noraly, this is a very well written blog. You have captured your thoughts in a way all can understand.

Scratcher  | 

Noraly, you are fantastic !!
But be careful, that you are also a little crazy !!!
:-) :-) :-)

Mauro Transalp650  | 

Yes I did the same when I bought a motocross we in about 1975, was not going to race just ride my bike on weekends 6 months later entered my first race, was bitten by the race bug carried on for many years met a lot of good people all are still my friends enjoy the experience!

Recklesseric59  | 
Load new messages

Still itchy?

Related blog posts

Back on the road again

Stories from the road Africa

South Africa got to me by surprise

Stories from the road Africa