It started like most adventures for me usually start. First I realize that I am starting to get bored, then I get depressed, then something magical happens to snaps me out of the doldrums. This time, to help me through the descending funk, I tried what usually fixes me - reading on this site about various intrepid and/or foolish souls like Neduro that sink gobs of their own money chasing their dream of riding the Dakar Rally. As everyone that matters already knows, the Dakar Rally is without a doubt the toughest, most grueling contest known to man, and looks like one hell of an adventure. Stretching 9000 KM through Argentina, Chile and Peru, these intrepid/foolish souls race for 14 days in some of the most inhospitable terrain the planet has to offer. Real Riding in the Real Rally To make the days drag by a bit quicker, I'd sit in the nearly defunct Frenchy's Rant Blogger Central HQ and daydream about one day being one of those intrepid/foolish souls. As anyone who does it a lot knows, daydreaming can only take you so far. It's been so long since I had a true adventure I've resorted to checking my pulse rate every morning to see if I'm still actually alive. It's not that I lacked motivation, it's just that I had no grand idea to chase after. Maybe this whole domestication thing has changed me. Then, in the end of August, my friend Dan from Australia sent me an innocent looking email: Hey.. I just sent a deposit for a little ride I am going to do next July/Aug. Its called the Australian Property Center Rally. Take a look at it and tell me what you think... Make sure you look at the picture section when you get a chance... Hope you're well and are doing something fun... d I checked out the link, and immediately the little evil man in my head, the one that has been dormant for far too long whispered two simple words to me: "Do. It." I came up with a hundred reasons why I couldn't... why I shouldn't even consider it. First off, as the name-sake of the entire event states, the rally is held waaaay over there in Australia, about 83746422km from my home. I don't have a rally capable motorcycle in Australia, hell, I don't have one at all! Plus, there's the fact that the lovely and gracious Fiona and I are hip-deep in planning our rapidly approaching wedding, and all the little expensive expenses that go along with that. This rally takes place ten short weeks after the wedding. I'm sure that will go over well. Not to mention that while I recently acquired "Mid-Wife Crisis", my new to me Honda CRF 450x dirt bike, I have yet to actually learn how to ride in the dirt. Mid-Wife Crisis and Me Though I daydreamed about it constantly way back then, as a little French Fry I was not allowed to own a dirt-bike. Instead, I made due with my little boy dreams and a Huffy BMX bicycle with playing cards in the spokes. My off-road ability can be summed up in one word - Nonexistent. And finally, if I am completely honest with myself, the only way I could consider myself in shape to ride 7000km in fourteen days is if round and doughy counts as a shape. Toasting every Best Day Ever with a large scotch is fun, but after a few years, it makes one a bit saggy in the ass. So I let all that noise echo around in my tiny skull for a while, then, to the little evil man in my head, I gave my four word reply: "Fuck it. I'm in." I told my soon-to-be better half my idea in the most general, vaguest terms I could come up with. "Yeah, it's just a little off road ride. It's only two weeks... Dan will keep me safe... Blah blah blah..." She's known me long enough to sift right through my bullshit, but she's also been around me long enough to know when she hears that tone of voice coming from my blathering word-hole that it's most likely already a done deal. She only had one stipulation - in NO UNCERTAIN TERMS would our honeymoon be in Australia. Period. Fair enough. Without giving it any more thought, I sent in some money, and a few days later I received this: With that one little email, it is official, and everything changed, all at once.