For a while now I’ve been wanting to share some of the stories from an epic ride I undertook earlier this year. I’ll start today with the planning stage and add to the story over coming weeks.
I had the plan in my head for ages, I was going to ride into outback Australia on my trusty Beemer with some good friends. I had this vision of belting down a wide dusty road that was arrow straight to the horizon, sun on my back and an ice cold frothy at the end of the day. Not much of a plan really, I mean The Outback is quite big. Really big if we’re being honest and I didn’t have a clue where to start. But, as is often the way with gold star plans, this one came to life over a quiet beer with my good mate Brett. A few more beers and it was settled. We would pack our bikes, recruit my mate Rowey as a support driver in his mighty Hilux, hop on the boat in Devonport have a nap, hop off the boat in Melbourne, turn left and ride into The Outback. Simple!
After a week or so of reflecting on our wonderfully simple plan some niggling doubts crept into my thoughts. Maybe a little more attention to the finer details wouldn’t go astray.
Rowey and I have been mates since school days. He’s ex-army and so when it comes to getting stuff ready for an outback adventure, he leaves nothing out. Within weeks he had his new Hilux fitted with Waco fridges, sliding drawers, an awning, solar charger, spare fuel containers, drinking water containers, storage for our swags and toilet paper hidden everywhere. Apparently, you can never have enough!
Brett, his partner Annette and I serviced our respective bikes, fitted new Mitas enduro tyres, and made sure we had sufficient luggage capacity to carry 3 weeks’ worth of socks and undies. I was determined to keep it simple.
Our plan was constantly evolving. We collectively decided that turning left at Melbourne and riding the Great Ocean Road was a terrific idea. We would then head through to Adelaide, dally about in the hills for a bit before continuing North to Coober Pedy. Then we would ride into The Outback. Keeping it simple!
I really wanted to go to Oodnadatta and ride down the famous Oodnadatta Track, that seemed fairly ‘Outbackish’ so we locked it in.
From there we figured a loop through the Flinder’s Ranges would be in order, then pop over to Broken Hill to visit a mate who owns a pub there for a day or two. At this point the plan became pretty fluid. We should still have a week or so to meander our way south into Victoria to meet the boat for the trip home. Because we knew we could be self-sufficient for at least a couple of days at a time we weren’t going to get caught up in trying to plan every overnight stop along the way. If we found somewhere we liked we would stop, pretty easy really.
The hardest part of planning any trip away is trying to find a date that suits all participants. After much toing and froing we just threw a dart on the calendar and the date was set! The plan was set in motion!
Keep it shiny side up!