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THE SIMPSON DESERT BIKE CHALLENGE
Each September, competitors, support crew and officials gather at Purni Bore, South Australia, on the western edge of the Simpson Desert for the Annual Bike Challenge.
At 6am from Purni Bore, riders surge off into the heart of the Simpson Desert. By the end of stage 1, they know they will need to dig deep to achieve the goals they have set themselves. When riders arrive at Birdsville they know have experienced something of major importance in their lives. A huge achievement, great camaraderie and a new found appreciation of this amazing environment.
THE FRENCH LINE – THE ULTIMATE FATBIKE CHALLENGE
The shortest distance between two points is a straight line…. so we thought we’d try it. Purni Bore -> French Line -> Birdsville. Oh, also….1200 sand dunes, with some up to 30 metres high!
Just when you thought it couldn't get tougher, the 2015 Simpson Desert Bike Challenge will traverse the French Line, cutting straight through the heart of the Simpson Desert. (The largest parallel sand dune desert in the world.) Not for the faint hearted, this adventure is the ultimate Fat Bike Challenge and will be THE RIDE OF YOUR LIFE.
Basically the route will involve, 100km per day, 60 in the morning and 40 in the afternoon, for 4 days. Sweep speed reduced to 10km per hour to allow for the extra dunes.
On the final day, 4 lap pure sand criterium along the dune crest between Big Red and Little Red. Final stage along the gravel road into Birdsville.
1. Dune Resurrection - 68km. The big dunes return after last year. Easy riding to Wonga Junction then fun riding in big dunes along the French Line to the Colson Track.
2. Swanky Swale - 40km. Hugely fast out-and-back course south along Colson Track.
3. The Belly of the Beast - 54km. Huge dunes on the French Line.
4. Sandy Sojourn - 35km. Sandy trails twisting over smaller dunes on the French Line.
5. Gnarly Knolls - 70km. Out and back course south on the Knolls track to the WAA junction. Swoops, bends and dips. Only a couple of dunes to cross.
6. Poeppel Crux - 40km. This last bit of the French Line will be the hardest stage of the race. Demanding for riders and drivers alike. Lots of dunes and complex dunes with multiple crests. Soft dunes with opportunities for vehicles to get bogged. Eases over salt lakes later in the stage.
7. Racing Snake - 80km. Long and fast. Hard surfaces for the first 20km on the K1 line. East on the QAA; big dunes separated by wide Swales.
8. Nappanerica Dreaming - 50km. The Swales get wider and dunes lower as you head for the campsite under Little Red. A free beer to anyone that can clean Little Red.
9. Look to Windward - 20km. 4 laps, Little Red to Big Red return along the dune crest. Find your own line.
10. Birdsville Bar Blast - 35km. Follow the road from Little Red into Birdsville for a well earned beer.
All information can be found on the website.