Undertaking a journey of this distance, I want to make sure that the equipment I have with me is both reliable and will stand up to what is thrown at it. I need to make sure that I am not carrying unnecessary weight, whilst at the same time making sure I do not leave out vital equipment. Below is just a snap shot of what I will be taking.


The main criteria for the bike was that it had to be:
Strong - to carry extra weight whilst at the same time be able to pull a trailer
Reliable - bearing in mind that I could be some 500 miles from the nearest bike shop and riding in temperatures of up to 40 celsius
Ease of maintenance - again due to distances covered and heat the last thing I really want to have to do is rebuild a wheel on the side of the road in the desert.

Having looked at various options it was felt that I would be better served to have a bike built. I settled on a Surly frame, nicknamed Shirley by one of my daughters, that has been adapted to take the Rohloff 14 speed gears. Quite a beast and beautifully put together by Dave.

Having taken advice from Dave and several people who have cycled thousands of miles I decided to look into trailers in more detail. Dave lent me his Carry Freedon trailer for 2 weeks to see how I got on. My initial reaction was not nice at all but over time I got used to it. After numerous calls to Nick at Carry Freedom I settled on a large Y frame trailer designed and built by Nick. Thie size is similar to those ones you see tree hugging parents towing their children down the middle of the road completely oblivious to the world going on around them. I reckon that due to the distances I will be covering each day coupled with the continuous heat, that I will need to carry at least 10 litres of water a day if not more - that in itself weighs 10 kilos.Taking the trailer will allow me the luxury of knowing that I will be able to carry enough water plus food, stove, tent, sleeping bag, all my bike spares etc. This in turn should reduce the weight on the bike, which, in turn, should reduce the wear and tear on Shirley.

The tent I have in mind is the wonderfully named Hubba Hubba. It seems to have eveything I need such as ensuite bathroom, balcony, infinity pool....It is designed to withstand extreme conditions such as high winds and can double up as a mosquito net which when one thinks of the number of flies (see picture of Glendambo) will be very useful.

Spot Satellite Messenger
With the SPOT Satellite Messenger, I will have peace of mind knowing help is always within reach. SPOT is the only device of its kind, using the GPS satellite network to acquire its coordinates, and then sending its location – with a link to Google Maps™ – and a pre-programmed message via a commercial satellite network. And unlike Personal Locator Beacons, SPOT does more than just call for help. Tracking your progress, checking in, and non-emergency assistance are also available, all at the push of a button. And because it uses 100% satellite technology, SPOT works even where cell phones don't.

Unlike a traditional GPS device which only receives a satellite signal indicating my location, SPOT utilizes dual satellite networks to receive my location as well as transmit it along with pre-programmed messages to the recipients of my choice. Backed by one of the world’s leading mobile satellite companies, the SPOT satellite network is currently employed by over 50,000 governmental and industrial clients, and averages a greater than 99% message success rate.

"This week I will mostly be eating pasta and rice!!" Other than that I will be carrying things like dried fruit, nuts, ration packs all that are easy to eat on the go whilst not taking up too much space and will not go off quickly. Where possible I will eat at some of the roadhouses along the way. I have checked what some of the shops along the way stock and if need be will arrange a few postal drops before I leave. Failing that, there is always the odd road kill kangaroo!!