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Rimba Raid 2023 Racer Feature: Peter Grinsted

Rimba Raid 2023 Racer Feature: Peter Grinsted

Peter is no stranger to Rimba Raid. He completed the event in 2022 on his trusty KTM 1190 Adventure R on his first attempt at the event. Peter is well known in Singapore riding circles for being an all-round great guy. Always willing to help people, picking up bikes, offering suggestions on how to get to races and the kind. Having ridden bikes and raced all his life, he understands bike setup, race strategy and possesses zen like calm in negotiating difficult conditions and logjam sections.

Peter has finished some elite events like Romaniacs (as part of the Braap Brothers no less – see below). He truly believes in the “race the bike you ride” philosophy and is fiercely loyal to his 1190 in Class A.

Here is how Peter describes himself in his own words:

Tell us about yourself. Family, work, camping, other hobbies, passions, interests.

That’s me on my KTM1190 Adv R, 2014 model, bought brand new, now coming up for COE renewal in Nov. Bike has nearly 80k km, I rode it to Rimba Raid last year, raced, and rode home on it. First time for the raid, was a blast, so am doing it again this year. I am an Australian, came to Singapore as an infant, did NS (5 SIR) and cant seem to leave! I work in corporate security (protecting people, assets and reputation for a tech company), married with 1 grown up kid now living in the UK. Love camping, travelling, exploring and playing on anything with 2 wheels. Have raced MX, enduro and road bikes over the years, was part of Team Mezzo in the Asian Road Racing Championship on a TZR250 and R6 back in the early 2000’s and completed Red Bull Romaniacs in 2015.

Who is your most trusted riding/training partner? What does he/she like as a rider? What are their strengths/weaknesses?

My training partner for Romaniacs was Ben Crookenden and he and I still ride and train together. He comes from a road racing background so dirt bikes was new to him but he is ridiculously fit (ex-triathlete) so while he lacked some technique he makes up for it in fitness and pure stubbornness. He kicks my butt fitness wise.

Who is your riding role model? Itchy Boots, Graham Jarvis, Peter Hickman, Eval Knieval, your older brother, your dad?

Chris Birch has had the biggest effect on my riding. I met him before Romaniacs and have since done a couple of his clinics. Without a doubt the best money I have ever spent on bike mods was attending his clinics…you are never too old to learn! (We thought of posting a picture of Chris Birch but didn’t want any copyright strikes. Besides, who doesn’t have a picture of Chris etched in their minds, please speak up).

When did your training for Rimba Raid 2023 get started? What is your training strategy? Do you supplement riding with anything else like gym, mtb, running?

I haven’t started training for RR yet…I am ridiculously slack that way, and rely mostly on good luck to get through things like this 😂. Training starts this weekend (with 7 weekends to go) on the dirt bike (TX300). I will include MTB and road bicycle training as well as weights combined with hopefully loosing a few KGs (probably will need to get off the beers for a few weeks). I will be riding motos on the 300 as well as doing some longer enduro rides and will start riding the 1190 off road a bit more (I have not ridden the bike since the last Rimba Raid much at all!)

What are your goals for Rimba Raid 2023? Podium, finish, finish within a specific time?

In 2022 we picked our start position out of a hat, and I picked last place. Given I was in the big bike class, that meant that the enduro bikes, then rally bikes, then mid-size bikes and finally every other big bike started in front of me. So there were over 200 bikes and riders in front of me which made life really hard in the technical sections as I got stuck in traffic jams etc. I managed to finish but it was the hardest single day of riding in my life, and I loved it….you have to be a bit mad I reckon to do this sort of thing!

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For this year things are a bit different, we have a prologue race to determine start position (so hopefully I wont be last!) and its a longer total distance, so its just about finishing safely. I don’t care about winning or getting on the podium anymore, I just ride for the fun of it. To podium at this sort of race takes a huge amount of effort, time and money. I am riding my commuter bike that is 10 years old, not a purpose built race bike (like the top guys will be running). I have ridden this bike to work and to Malaysia, Thailand and Laos. I have done track days at Sepang and Pasir Gudang on it. I have done countless camping trips on it. I have ridden it on beaches, in the jungle and raced last years RR on it. It is simply the best bike ever built. Except for my TX300..thats also the best bike ever built. And my Gas Gas TXT250 trials bike, that’s the best bike ever as well. I have a 2018 AJP PR7 down in Australia at my parents house…thats also the best bike ever…

What next after Rimba Raid 2023? Are you planning any other events?

No other events planned, but I am hoping to do some moto-travel and ride and camp and explore some new places. There is an area in South Australia called Wilpena Pound I hope to explore on the AJP later this year if time / money etc permit.

What are your words of advise for anyone riding for the first time this year or considering signing up next year?

Words of advice for anyone riding this RR for the first time or considering it for next year. Just do it. Life is short, don’t wait, tomorrow is not guaranteed. I’m 49 this year, overweight and out of shape, riding a 10 year old 250kg / 150hp bike. You don’t need to be the fastest guy on the newest bike out there to have a good time. Just do it.

So, take Peter’s invaluable advise, get out there and ride. Sign up for the lead events that are planned for the rest of the year if you aren’t racing this year and ask around for Rimba Raid teams to be a part of. They’re always looking for like-minded fun people to be a part of their experience. And mind you, when you see Peter, you will find out he is more in shape than he says he is out. Until then.

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