French line August 2006

Submitted: Friday, Apr 28, 2006 at 12:35
ThreadID: 33323 Views:1651 Replies:9 FollowUps:6
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Hi to all
I'm a new member and planning a trip from Mt. Dare to Birdsville in August unsupported on a motorcycle.
I'd really like to find someone else who would be planning the same trip at around the same time, not for any other reason other than if it all goes pear-shaped that I know there would be another vehicle coming along within a day or so.
I have communication via Sat. phone and/or UHF so if anyone out there would be willing to share their travel plans with me, I'd be very grateful for the added security.
Cheers
Tony
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Reply By: Member - Stan (VIC) - Friday, Apr 28, 2006 at 13:01

Friday, Apr 28, 2006 at 13:01
Not the easiest year to travel this year. Extra preparation might be needed.

http://www.parks.sa.gov.au/publish/groups/public/@parks/@desertparks/documents/rawfile/parks_pdfs_des_parks_bulletin.pdf
AnswerID: 169469

Reply By: Member - Stephen L- Friday, Apr 28, 2006 at 13:06

Friday, Apr 28, 2006 at 13:06
Hi Tony,
You will need some sort of back up vehicle, mainly for two reasons, extra fuel and water that you will require for the trip and to me the most important factor is safety. If you do not have any replies, I would recommend that you put the trip off until you have a back up vehicle.There will be people travelling out there at that time so make sure you get someone reliable that is prepared to stick with you. It is a long hard slog on a bike. Three trips ago we met a group of 9 bike riders and by the time they reached Poeppel Corner from Birdsville, they had lost 2 riders that had fallen from their bikes and broke legs. If you were travelling by youself, this could put you in a very serious situation.

Enjoy your trip and make sure you do have reliable bach up.

Regards
Stephen
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Follow Up By: Pajman Pete (SA) - Friday, Apr 28, 2006 at 14:07

Friday, Apr 28, 2006 at 14:07
"bach up"

What has a sand rated CD Player and the Toccata and Fugue in D Minor got to do with it?

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Reply By: Tony 12 - Friday, Apr 28, 2006 at 13:54

Friday, Apr 28, 2006 at 13:54
Thanks a lot for your input.
Fuel and water aren't an issue. I'll carry 45 litres of fuel which is 8 litres more than it uses in deep sand.
I'm getting so many conflicting reports about the French Line it's getting silly.
From those who claim it only takes 9 hours in a car from Birdsville to Purnie Bore to those who say don't do it at all.........you'll die.............
I'm not sure what to do now..................
AnswerID: 169484

Follow Up By: Member - Stan (VIC) - Friday, Apr 28, 2006 at 14:00

Friday, Apr 28, 2006 at 14:00
Last year it took us 4 days to cross in the car with the quickest beeing
rig road - covering about 80km in 1 day... This year I would allow at least
5 days...
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Follow Up By: equinox - Friday, Apr 28, 2006 at 18:11

Friday, Apr 28, 2006 at 18:11
I went from Purnie bore to Birdsville in 12 hours last year and still had plenty of time for smoke stops.

Only regret was not getting over big red - too dangerous in the dark

Looking for adventure.
In whatever comes our way.
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Follow Up By: Member - Stan (VIC) - Friday, Apr 28, 2006 at 19:40

Friday, Apr 28, 2006 at 19:40
It could be done as quick or as slow as you like.

We did take our time, doing a frequent stops, including a tea and launch breaks,
taking plenty of photos etc...

Going to the French Line->Rig Road->Erabina Line-> French Line->Knolls Track->French Line->QAA Line and plenty of play time on the Big Red
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Reply By: Tony 12 - Friday, Apr 28, 2006 at 14:15

Friday, Apr 28, 2006 at 14:15
5 days.................well that's a new record for a quote on the time it will take.
I talked to Bob Carpenter (the guy who designed virtually every Safari course)about this once and his recommendation was 2 days for the 500km of the French Line on a bike. I figured he would know better than anyone.
Thank you all for your input, but I am genuinely surprised to find so much variation in the information I'm getting about the place.
I'm sure everyone is giving me information accurate to the best of their knowledge for which I'm very grateful, but it's making things harder................
Maybe I should just forget the whole thing.......... :-(
AnswerID: 169488

Follow Up By: Crackles - Friday, Apr 28, 2006 at 15:55

Friday, Apr 28, 2006 at 15:55
Gaday Tony, an experienced bike rider could halve the time it takes to cross the French line compared to a 4x4 especially travelling alone. The sand is softer this year but the season has only just begun so will get a little easier by August with the traffic smoothing the dune crests off. I'm no bike rider but from what I've seen of them on my previous crossings I'd suggest even in the harder conditions it will take you less than 2 days.(That's assuming you are experienced) It's that busy in August you can expect between 5 to 20+ 4WD's to pass you each day. Ideally you should always travel in a group but if you do ride by yourself the longest you would expect to wait for the next car to come would rarely be more than 4 hours. You could always look for a travelling companion while camped at Dalhousie but remember a bike will need to wait a long time for a backup 4by to catch up.
"I am genuinely surprised to find so much variation in the information I'm getting about the place" Don't be surprised by the variation in the reports you get on Ex Oz. That's only the variation in experience from those replying. Your dilema is sorting out which ones to believe :-)
Cheers Craig.........
(7 x Simpson xings)
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Reply By: Tony 12 - Friday, Apr 28, 2006 at 15:14

Friday, Apr 28, 2006 at 15:14
Ok, I just got the idea of calling the head ranger for up there.
His advice was to allow 3 days if conditions are bad and then be pleasantly surprised when it doesn't take that long.
Sounds good to me..............
Now back to original question.............anyone out there planning the same trip in/around August?
I'd be happy to contribute to your fuel bill for the security of knowing someone is behind me.
Thanks
Tony
AnswerID: 169498

Follow Up By: ExplorOz Team - David - Friday, Apr 28, 2006 at 15:39

Friday, Apr 28, 2006 at 15:39
Same advise as you get from the French Line trek notes:

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David (DM) & Michelle (MM)
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Reply By: Footloose - Friday, Apr 28, 2006 at 16:01

Friday, Apr 28, 2006 at 16:01
Tony, a few years ago I took the supplies for a team of bikers across from Oodnadatta to Birdsville. A 3 day trip for us, but 1/2 day wasted finding them at one point !
They were doing cross country stuff, not just following the track, so a vehicle carrying their supplies was handy. It became essential when one of their bikes broke some bearings around Purni.
I'd definately arrange to travel with a vehicle. Have you considered waiting for a few days at Mt Dare for someone who's travelling that way and wants an extra hand around the campfire ? Or ringing them a little closer to when you're going and ask a few questions ?
It's a great trip on a bike, but NOT by yourself as you obviously know. It can be done but I wouldn't recommend it.
AnswerID: 169504

Reply By: Tony 12 - Friday, Apr 28, 2006 at 16:47

Friday, Apr 28, 2006 at 16:47
Thanks again for the input guys!
Craig, yes, I've had a fair amount of experience. I did 3 Safaris in the NT and ridden off road for 25 years with 2 years in the country around Alice. So if conditions are right I guess a 2 day trip down the French line would be fairly possible.
I'm actually a photographer, so I want to base myself at Mt. Dare for a couple of days to shoot some stuff, then shoot across to Birdsville and do the same from there.
I'll keep planning and hopefully I'll get a bite on my offer to go at the same time as another group of 4x4's. If not, I'll go to Mt.Dare and if I still can't trust anyone to be following me, I'll go home.................. disappointed, but at least safe.
Cheers
Tony
AnswerID: 169514

Reply By: Patrolman Pat - Friday, Apr 28, 2006 at 19:32

Friday, Apr 28, 2006 at 19:32
Tony I did the Simpson last year with a few other vehicles. We met a guy from Brisbane crossing on a motorbike solo. He had all his fuel and water on board but was having a bit of a problem from ahis fuel tank leaking. We offered to carry some of his gear but he wouldn't let us, he said he would be cheating himself not doing it his way. Which I can respect and understand. We did give him a feed and some extra provision at camp one night, as did other travellers. I'm sure whoever you meet in the desert would be glad to offer similar assistance to you. Good luck with it mate, your safer crossing the Simpson on a bike than you are riding one in the suburbs IMO.
AnswerID: 169553

Reply By: foxtel - Friday, Apr 28, 2006 at 21:13

Friday, Apr 28, 2006 at 21:13
Take GPS, Sat phone aren't much good unless you don't know your position. 2yrs ago a German riding his bike got lost kow on water & fuel, call the cops who had go out find him with no idea where he was!
AnswerID: 169581

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