Simpson Desert July 2013

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by Wildmangordo, Jul 15, 2013.

  1. Wildmangordo

    Wildmangordo n00b

    Dec 27, 2011
    Alice Springs, Australia
    This one started as an ambition to get to the Geographical Centre of Australia's Simpson Desert, solo and unsupported. Total distance was just shy of 400km, so I had my 30l Safari tank filled and 2 5l jerries in the pack, as well as around 22l of water and the usual camping stove, food, tent, bag etc..

    The access point is 300km South of Alice Springs & the road was just reopened the morning of my departure after being closed due to rain. The drive was almost a showstopper before I even got to start the ride. Nearly bogged it a few times and after one lengthy quagmire emerged with a dead tyre. Awesome, changing a wheel in the mud in the dark. A great start...

    So ride day 1. All packed up band heading crosscountry eastish, with waypoint located to skirt around private land.

    First challenge was to escape the badlands.... cattle country where the sand and vegetation is chopped to powder & badly eroded, producing choppy country and soft surface... not my favourite terrain to ride. Once through that, about 20km, speed picked up and I started to make some good progress.


    I had to cover the order of 100km per day to make this journey, so as the day drew on, I had only gone about 70km and the going was getting tough I started to wonder about cutting it short.


    The odd bog on the way up dunes meant heavy lifting in the wet sand, plus the lumpy terrain made my sidestand switch cut out the engine, launching me a few times. And then there was the one I did all by myself:


    In the evening I taped up the sidestand switch to stop that trauma.

    A couple of pics of the camp..


    Day 2. I only got about 500m when I got bogged on the same dune 3 times. Big lumpy swails prevented momentum to get over. Not a high dune, didn't look too complex, just couldn't get a clean run. After the 3rd pickup I figured I wasn't up for much for of this so to avoid complete exhaustion I bailed.

    It doesn't look like much but this was the turning point:

    I headed to some known tracks and with a mix of 80km off track and 60 on, got back to my car (and fridge with steak and beer) and headed home.

    A good friend of mine has 3 trip principles, in priority theu are:
    1. Return unharmed
    2. Return friends
    3. Reach the goal

    I figure I made the first two, didn't hurt myself (but seriously tired!!), and still like riding my DR (as close as it gets to still being friends when you don't have any with you). So happy with this one, next year I try again but some fitness training first...

    Full pics at: 07 SImpson ride