I thought I would start a thread on a plan I have. It might include some stuff that people are interested in and it will help keep me accountable. Be warned that there will be a fairly philosophical component to things so if you are not interested in that sort of guff then now would be the time to get your truck out of Dodge!!! So the set-up is this. In November I turn 50. This time next year I have Long Service Leave which gives me around three months off work. Being a late starter in the kids stakes, I have three of these under 12 so a big around the world, solo type trip is not an option. I did however, want to do something special and interesting. I have done lots of solo motorcycle touring in outback Australia previously. In fact, I was maybe ahead of the curve in this regard as I did a couple of big remote trips in the early 90’s, riding either an early model XT600 Tenere or early KLR650. I went on my own as I could not find anyone that was willing to do the 700miles a day I often tried to squeeze in. It was a time before mobile phones and the like so you generally had a few sphincter tightening moments when you hit a bulldust hole at 70mph in the middle of the Gibson, but I made it through those years relatively unscathed. Anyway, I sold my last motorcycle at 40 when we started having kids. I was also a competitive cyclist and while I have rolled the legs over a little, I have not really been fit for 10 years. In summary I am currently a fat prick. Weigh in D Day is tomorrow morning but I am guessing somewhere around the 230lb mark. So my plan is to do a solo crossing of the Simpson Desert with a twist. Let’s face it, every man and his dog crosses the Simpson these days and that hardly qualifies as an epic trip anymore. So how do you spice up this challenge? Well the first thing is to attach a weight and health component to it. I am aiming for 185lb on the day I leave. The second is to ride something that makes it a challenge – that means it’s got to be over 25 years old and under 500cc. Total budget for bike and gear under 2000 USD. Thirdly, is to do it old school. That means no phone or GPS and completely solo. It also means the absolute minimum amount of gear. The last is to pick a path that includes the minimum amount of tar that is possible from my door. Anyone can get dropped at the edge of the desert, but my aim is to find a path from my home in central Victoria which will take me through as many bush tracks as possible, with no attempt to do transport sections, but rather to find a rougher, unused way to go. So I have 12 months to get in shape, get my bike handling skills back up to scratch and to plan a basic route to the Simpson and back. I also want to pretty much have an old bike rebuilt with my own hands before I go. I have already got the bike. I will introduce this and my rationale behind it next. The whole idea of this project will be to go backward rather than forward. I could accept that I’m getting old and am fat, and just get a bike to suit. I could afford it, but I don’t want to give in. I also want to prove to myself that you can have an adventure just by stepping out of your front door adventurously – the reality for most of us is that there is an interesting track just down the road from where we live that we have never travelled.