An off-road motorcycle race has rocked the Central Highlands waterfall of Dambri in Da Lat over the last few days, with 40 racers roaring through the muddy lakes and over rough roads inside the Dambri Ecotourism Center with their dirt bikes. Visitors to the ecotourism center have repeatedly been wowed by the stunning performance of the racers, who use specially-modified dirt bikes, which are simpler and lighter compared to road-bound motorcycles, with long suspension travel, high ground clearance, and rugged construction, little bodywork and no fairings for less damage in spills.Game of amateurs The off-road racing event was held as part of activities under the Bao Loc Tea Culture Week. Audiences were astonished to find that the occupations of the participants had nothing to do with motorbikes, or any kind of vehicles. They are doctors, marketing executives, engineers, and businessmen. “Not only those 40 finalists but all of the 100 racers registered for the event from my club are amateurs,” said Nguyen Ngoc Hoan, chairman of the Vietnam Off-road Motorbike Club. Hoan said those non-sport professionals choose dirt bike as a way to return to the wild nature. “Off-road racing enables them to ‘bathe’ in heavy dust and muddy lakes and prove that there are no challenges that cannot be overcome,” Hoan, who is an electronics vendor, said.
One of the racers, The Anh, director of a maritime transport company from Hai Phong, said all the racers are just like children on the race. “We don’t know anything but the race and our teammates,” he explained. Another participant, Hong Minh, who works in marketing, added that there is no place for fear in an off-road race. Minh broke two of his fingers two months ago because “I didn’t believe in myself and my dirt bike,” he said. Russell William, an American businessman, said that perfect health and good reflexes are essential for a dirt bike racer. “Those without these two conditions may feel dizzy and lose control of their bikes only after the first 3km,” he said.Good deeds The organizers have taken advantage of the rough terrain of the Dambri waterfall to design the main route for the race, adding a number of muddy lakes to challenge them. “The best part of an off-road race can be found in the muddy lakes,” said Hoan. A number of racers have in fact fallen over into the lakes, and become obstacles for those from behind. But before the rescuers reach them for help, the fallers are immediately assisted by their opponents. “Those who fall teach a lesson to those coming next, and to help them to stand up is to say thanks to them,” explained a racer.
Below are some photos from the race taken by Tuoi Tre: