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Morning Newbie Desert Drive - Solar Park - Dubai - 1 May 2022


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Dear @munkybizness @Mario Cornejo @Emanuel @Looper @Sam K @fayez @Jonny90 @Sunny84 @Amr Paple @Ignacio Quindos @pramod @takeshi sobue @Mahmoud Taha

Pre-drive details below:

1- Please be on time and bring all your passion for off-roading and pull as much as you can of yourself out of bed.. trust me you will need all of it.

2- Be at the meeting point by 5:30am (or before) and be ready to move max by 5:45am max (deflated, flag erected, 4H on, radio on and set, airbags/traction/abs all set....) 

3- Please ensure your programable radio is on, fully charged and set to Channel 1 (446,006) 

4- Briefing will be done on on the sand before we start moving

5- Please be prepared for a demanding drive which you will require your undivided attention. Bringing passengers is ok provided they will not be a cause for distraction and don't have known motion sickness or fear of heights.

6- Please ensure everything in the car is tied down and no moving objects 

7- Please check all car fluids, tow hooks, and ensure no hanging parts below the chassis.

8- please ensure you come with a full tank (as much as possible) in addition to all necessary gear for this drive level specially your safety flag and radio (NO FLAG or RADIO = NO DRIVE)

9- Meeting Point: https://goo.gl/maps/6p8VvbGjF1XVquyz7

10. Convoy Order:

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What a drive. Much fun. Thanks @Islam Soliman @Looper @munkybizness for the support and everyone else who helped dug me out of that nasty cresting... glad i was a able to return the support to some of on there too. 👌 

Some stats from our short drive together today

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Great summary @Looper, as usual thanks for all your guidance.

@Islam Soliman, thanks for a great challenge today, a long day but great to get the hours under the belt. Thanks also @munkybizness.

Great to see to see everyone else, look forward to driving with you all again soon.

Jonny

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At the outset, a thank you to @Islam Soliman for hosting today's drive and a pleasure to meet all there.  Appreciation goes too to @Emanuel as SL, @Looper in CF and @munkybizness in SW for keeping the convoy moving safely.

These drives are of good learning for all and an important take away, in my opinion, is learning to drive with finesse in technical areas, where terrain confabulates against horsepower or any mods you have in your car.  This is when nothing beats your skills to read the sand and control your car.

Equally important is to attain recovery skills and this drive gave us all the opportunity to practice "the art of shoveling", "full left-full right" and very important when in a stuck/refusal situation: "easy on the gas".

This drive gave me the opportunity to test a new 4x4 platform, the LWB Y61!  For over a year I've been driving the smaller version, Y61 short wheel base, which is perfect for technical terrains and is much lighter.  Today's drive was of learning for me too, controlling the car on sides slopes, testing tire pressure, crossing crests, etc.  It was a fun drive overall.

Keep the "momentum" and drive safely!

I wish you all a great week ahead!

 

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With a total drive time of 6 hours and 51mins, where we spent almost equal parts stopped as we were moving, we got plenty of exercise (and sand) in. I won't be visiting a gym until June comes around. But let's pause for a minute and reflect on the fact that you drove for 6 hours and 51 mins. I'm certain you drove at least 45mins to get there, and did the same going back. That's almost 8.5 hours of driving in a day. That's a test of your endurance. And you nailed it 🤩

It's been a few months since I've been a part of a Newbie convoy. And I'd forgotten just how much one gets to learn by being in one. I'm sure some of you will be very pleased with the way you drove today, some of you will be self-critiquing like harsh taskmasters, and some still will just be too exhausted at this point to think either way. If you're being overtly critical with yourself, please don't be. You all did extremely well. Getting stuck is inevitable, and for those doing recoveries, it's a great learning process. I learned how to execute a tethered pull on @Sunny84 and a sustained pull on @Mahmoud Tahaincluding how and where to position my car to do these. In refusals, were the opportunities for me to improve my recovery knowledge.

But for those who were fasting (i.e. @Islam Soliman and I'm sure others) deserve this recognition even more. He was out of his car in the heat, with the sun glaring down upon us, and troubleshooting every single refusal, continuing to be patient, and leading us safely out through to the exit. Islam, I am in complete awe of your resilience and the calm demeanour with which you carried us through this experience. I have learned so much today from you 🙇‍♂️ 🙏

After missing my alarm for @Ale Vallecchi's drive yesterday, I woke up at 3.00am today so I could be there on time. And even then @Looper had beaten me to the punch. As the support on the drive, he was there, a beacon of light, waiting in the darkness. And it too speaks about a role you play so well. Your support on every refusal and keeping the middle section tethered was of utmost importance. I also stood atop the crest today when you took off which is a sight I will not be forgetting for years to come.

Last night, when I saw the drive roster, I was a bit surprised to see @Mario Cornejo ahead of me. With as many intermediate drives as I have Newbie & Fewbie, his experience shows in the way he drives - with care, sensibility and yet still exciting. In him, I found the perfect "third lead", who gave me a fresh new perspective at the back with the churn. And because you were trying to figure out the LWB, I saw you instinctively do the things I usually do so it was a nice peg to follow along to. Your support in the refusals are truly appreciated. Your banter made it all the more enjoyable.

To everybody else in the convoy, I'm going to try and not make this post as long as the drive itself. So I'll try and keep this limited to three things that you should all experiment with, in your upcoming drives.

Throttle Management: Everyone today had cars with enough power. Even 3.5l Pajeros. But driving offroad is about using "just enough" power. That's the skill we're all trying to develop. If you overpower, you'll get over every dune, with scrapes, without a bumper, and in time you'll churn up so much sand, you'll make the drive for those behind you in the convoy unbearable. If you under-power, you'll get crested or stuck in a side slope lock. Every single driver, regardless of skill or experience or number of drives is constantly working to improve their throttle management. So if you were going quite fast today, try to do the next drive a little slower. Watch how many RPMs you need to "just make it".  If you were getting crested, learn when to "let go of the accelerator" and not brake. Our heavy beasts can slow down pretty rapidly climbing by just lifting the foot off than pressing the brake. Putting your foot down is easy. The real fun comes from feathering it just enough.

Follow the track, but don't drive in it: Following the track is very important. It keeps us safe. But when you think "track", don't think like a train even though we're a convoy. You don't need to be on it precisely. Instead, it is a path. If 4 cars of different weights, and throttle responses drove on the track precisely, it would get churned up. Instead, go a little left or a little right and flatten that little mound that was made by the driver before you, by putting your wheels on it.

Adapt to the elasticity of the convoy: A convoy will stretch and shorten basis the size of dunes and gradients of bowls in between. If the dunes have steep bowls, it will begin to stretch out as everybody needs more distance to accurately climb and still be safe. If the gradients are smoother, it will compress because we can maintain a healthy visual rhythm. So adapting to the elasticity of the convoy will help you be in the right place to see exactly how the car in front of you has negotiated a dune. If you are too far out, you will not see when they braked, if they took a bump on the other side, or if they struggled climbing up a soft patch. If you're too close, any of these situations will make you shifty and you'll let go of the throttle causing yourself to lose momentum and get stuck.

Thank you all for a gruelling educational day in the sun. It was an absolute pleasure to meet new faces and see the endurance of you (and your passengers) in full force.

See you soon on the sands, and Eid mubarak to all celebrating 🌙

🐵  ]

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Thank you @Looper, @Mario Cornejo and @munkybizness for sharing your detailed assessments and experience with us. I've been experimenting with throttle management and trying to find the right amount of power by also trying out different gear settings on my Pajero (4H, 4HLC) and changing between automatic and tiptronic. Until next time, take care and Eid Mubarak.

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Well, it was long but definitely worthy being part of this drive. I learnt a lot about recoveries from the team. Many thanks to @Islam Soliman for organizing and leading this drive while fasting, @Looper @munkybizness for their support, and @Emanuel @Mario Cornejo for helping me out to free the car sitting on that famous crest. On my homework list, I need to keep working on throttle management on next drives, particularly during crest-crossing. 
Following some pictures of the day. @takeshi sobue I hope you like yours. See you on the next one!

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