I had stated a thread on www.wilddog.za.net another DS riding site. However, I have decided to start a record of my preparation for the ride of a lifetime....... I will copy and paste some stuff on here, then update as I go along and try to keep it interesting as the "Day-Tripping" goes on. I had started the thread as a bit of a tease on Wilddogs to see what guys would guess etc, so some entries may be a bit confusing until I am up to date. The story starts in 1977 when I was 14 years old. We lived in Melmoth in KZN, but went to boarding school in Eshowe. I had been there from Standard 6 aged 13 and did not enjoy it that much, as I was the only Afrikaans laaitie in my class to be in the Koshuis, so much bullying ensued. The only escape would be a weekend once a term (amazing that 50km was seen as a far distance then and that my parents could not afford to have us home more often) and school holidays when we would rent horses from a local farmer at an exhorbitant R1.00/hour Of course we used to just keep riding, and used to get about 5 hours riding from that rand...... Bargain. Growing up where we did the main things kids would do was either ride horses or motorbikes. My dad worked for the KZN government in the "Information department" whatever that meant. It did also mean that we would never own horses, and motorbikes were out the question too..... The other thing to mention is that we never got pocket money, but we never needed anything, and never went to bed hungry. My dad had a very strict financial plan, which meant he could retire successfully and could send my brother and I to University (We never went to University at his expense, I paid for my own studies and Deon went to the Army as a PF) During the December school holidays of 1976 my brother and I spent a lot of time at Jurgens Moolman's parents Sugar cane farm. Driving *the Kark out of the Peugeot 404 bakkie/pickup as only a fearless kid could do and hunting monkeys that used to destroy the sugar cane and anything else we could shoot at, the African sun made our holidays so idyllic. They had a couple of AG bikes and a Honda XL500 if I remember correctly, so it naturally ended up that we would ride the bikes...... AND WE WERE HOOKED, My brother and I. Ohh, and we never told my mum and dad we were riding bikes, as it was taboo, even though my dad had had a "help my trap" 50cc Honda in about 1971 that I fondly remembered. Back at Boarding school in 1977 I started to save up and make money any way I could, buying and selling food, coffee, hot chocolate at night in prep, I washed cars and did writing out punishment for the bad kids. I would collect comics, read them and then sell them again..... slowly the money started to accumulate, and at Easter we went home and I cut grass for neighbours for R5.00 etc.... After the July holidays we came back home on a weekend and my dad called me into the garage..... THIS WAS BIG KARK !! He said to me "Ek hoor jy wil n motorfiets koop!" *Of course I was in Full Denial mode and pretty much dug a big hole for myself. Then he said "Hou op lieg, jy maak my kwaad, Jurgens het vir my gese jy wil n bike koop" FAAAARRK !! *Now I know I was in deep Kark. We were never allowed to swear or tell lies, if you got caught out, you got properly moered by mum or dad. I knew it was time to confess..... So I told him that I had saved some money, and that I had planned to ask his permission first..... YEAH RIIIIGHT !! He then asked me how much money I had managed to save and was shocked when I told him I had saved up R408.00 He said his boys would never ride no bloody 50cc bikes as they were just fast enough to get you into trouble, but not fast enough to get you out of trouble. He then said he was proud of me working and saving up and would double my money and find us a better bike, but I had to share it with my brother who was about 12 or 13 at the time. The next time I came home on a hostel break weekend I found him on the front verandah cutting timber on his big circular saw, and managed to miss a huge lump covered under a couple of old grey army blankets...... After chatting to him a while he said "Gaan jy nie kyk wat onder die kombers is nie poephol?" I had completely missed the big lump under the blankets as he had other tools under blankets on the stoep too. HOLY FARK!!! Pulled away the blankets when I realised there was a motorike under the blankets. Yamaha RD350 Aircooled. I was in heaven. Burgundy colour and HUGE compared to the 50cc I had planned to buy. The 350 did great service for a while until my dad realised we wanted to be offroad mostly. Came back a few months later and there were 3 bikes in the garage. A Suzuki OR 50cc chopper (became my mums shopping bike) A Suzuki TS 125 ER which we rode when we came home from Hostel. And a Honda XL 185 S which is the bike we used to fight about. We were in Heaven. The years went by and my mum managed to crash the 185 spectacularly at the gates of the license testing grounds as she got back from her test with Mr Deetlefs the tester close behind her. She got a cuppa tea, and passed her license..... where are the good old days now? Over the years the bikes went but we never stopped riding. This leads me to yesterday when I went shopping with Goose (Peter) at Helmet City and bought a stunning helmet. I have a good Shoei, but wanted * a cool looking MX/Enduro style crash hat. So there you go..... I will come back with the next episode of this story later, need a coffee now. Not a cheap helmet, but the best fit I have possibly ever had in a helmet.