Desert ride aids Flying Doctor

Bikes at day 4 lunch stop at the Pink Road house at Oodnadatta.
Bikes at day 4 lunch stop at the Pink Road house at Oodnadatta.

SEVEN Bombala men returned last week from what is considered by many motorbike riders as the ultimate adventure ride, a trek through  the largest sand dune desert in the world – the Simpson Desert.

Des Peisley, David Bruce, Tony Roberts, Guy Elton, Graham Toms, Nathan Hennessey and Brett Roberts completed a total of 7128 kilometres of riding from Bombala to the Simpson Desert and back. 

The Bombala boys were joined by fellow bike enthusiasts from Merimbula, Bega and Mackay for the outback trek. 

The group of 31 bike riders met in Birdsville, Queensland, for the epic eight days of riding against the harsh conditions of the desert. 

The team made their way to the Simpson Desert where they spent three days battling the red sands and fierce winds. 

Unofficial team captain, Brett Roberts, said the adventure across the world’s largest sand dune desert was “amazing”. 

“It was great, when we came across there had been a lot of wind so it was just clean sand,” he said. 

“There was about one metre of sand to punch through, it really was an incredible experience.” 

The team was armed with 24 off-road vehicles, six support vehicles, 1000 litres of water, 1400 litres of petrol, 100 litres of diesel, two satellite phones and six UHF radios. 

“We were really prepared, we have been riding together every couple of years so we know how to make sure the whole group is taken care of,” he said. 

“This is the first time we had done the Simpson Desert, and the remoteness is eye opening.

“You need to be prepared because you can see how easily you how could get into trouble, we were lucky we missed the rain by a week or so.”

The adventure took in the Oodnadatta Track and Flinders Ranges. 

Preparation and planning for the event took 14 months. 

The members are humble about their achievements, raising more than $500 for the Royal Flying Doctor Service. 

Mr Roberts said that the camaraderie that was formed between the 31 riders was the best part of the adventure. 

“I think the best part of the trip was the mateship that was formed while we were out there,” he said.

“It was a tough and there was always a day when someone was a little down and we all had to work together to get through the trip.”