Trail

Operation desert storming posties

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For some people, crossing the 1100 sand dunes of the Simpson Desert on a postie bike sounds like a nightmare they would awake from screaming in the middle of the night. However, if this sounds like the sort of adventure that‰Ûªs right up your street, then there is a group of fellow intrepid bikers who want to hear from you. With Honda‰Ûªs support, a team of postie riders will set out from the Birdsville Hotel on June 3, 2006, heading west across the Simpson to raise funds for the Royal Flying Doctor Service. They will make a pre-dawn start and head 200 kms down the Birdsville Track before turning left onto the Warburton Track. Warburton Creek is often flooded and bikes may have to be ferried across on an inner tube. At Walkandi Junction, the group will turn west onto Rig Road, skirting huge salt lakes before the serious dunes of the Simpson kick in. According to ride organiser, Phil Hodgens, "this is where the hurting starts." "Postie bike riders will be need to self sufficient and this means carrying thirty five litres of fuel, eight litres of water, sleeping gear and food for two days," Hodgens noted. In addition to spare parts sponsorship from Honda, the ride will be supported by Desert Horizons Motorcycle Tours with a team of drivers trained in advanced first aid. "There‰Ûªs a catch though," Phil explained. "If any postie rider requires the services of the Desert Horizons crew, or even reaches into a ute for a choc chip muesli bar, they will be fined! All money raised will go to the RFDS. Every rider needs to be prepared well or be prepared to pay well," he said. Postie riders are also being asked to raise a minimum of $1000 for the RFDS as an entry fee through whatever means possible. "This can be chook raffles, door knocks or just plain paying it themselves. The Royal Flying Doctors provide an invaluable service for people who live, work, and travel in the outback and 100 percent of all money raised will go directly to them. This is a not for profit ride," Phil said. Riders will also need to buy their own postie and transport it to Birdsville, however some car pooling will be available. Desert Horizons Motorcycle Tours will cater for a limited amount of tag along four wheel drives for the Simpson crossing. The trip will end at Alice Springs in time to catch the Finke Desert Race where, according to Hodgens, "We shall party as only hardened postie riders know how to!" For more info on the route, buying and building a long range postie, etc. check out the Desert Horizons web sight at www.deserthorizons.com.au or email philandjane@malenynet.com.

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