CHARITY MOTOR BIKE DESERT TRIP FOR DIGINITY OF GIRLS
By Allan Waldon
It’s normal this time of year that I get back to Nepal to look at the schools and the projects that I originally started in 2006 with Prem Khatry then known as the Nepal School Fund and later as Sambhav Nepal. Prem himself has been so passionate about making Nepal a better place and is always trying to help improve the poorer village communities.
Later joined by other great Australians, Richard Jackson in 2009 and Dr Anne Prescott in 2011 and this was followed by other Australians and now many people from overseas around the globe. Often my trips to Nepal would also include a trek or charity trek to unknown or remote corners of the Himalayas. It was on a trip in 2011 that I first bought up the idea of pads or tampons for girls as they simply just miss school every month normally missing out on 20% or more of their education. Well in 2011 this fell on deaf ears as it did again 2013. But I persisted and in early 2019 we delivered to over 100 girls the first time in that area, Personal Hygiene Pad Packs, that are reusable, washable, sustainable and environmentally friendly as well as being safe and easy to us. Plus they are locally made in Nepal and creating jobs for local women. At last we had a winner. Since then, we have been working on a project to deliver 8,000 packs to 8,000 girls in some of the most remote parts of the Himalayas in Nepal. This will be by far the largest project of its type ever carried out in Nepal by anyone, a very welcome first. Production is well under way and the rollout will be by mid this year. Unfortunately, Nepal is currently in a Covid lockdown but hopefully that won’t be for long.
Like most things, money is very tight just at present and we are almost there with the required funds which is around AUD 100,000. That’s 24 towns and 36 high schools plus mothers and women’s groups that at last will have dignity and an education for the first time.
This project to date would not be possible without the amazing help of my good friend in Zurich, Melanie Kreuzer. Melanie joined the charity in 2013 and has been instrumental in helping in Nepal, especially after the 2015 earthquake, rebuilding many homes amongst other things. Without her and her “Moon day Project”, we would not have been able to help the 8,000 girls and women in Nepal. Here at home in Australia I am lucky enough to have many great supporters big and small. They are all terrific and some have now stood by me and the project for over ten years, even travelling to Nepal themselves.
So, this year I am not trekking in Nepal, and even worse during lockdown, I have put on 20% more weight than I need. I don’t drink yet I now have a beer belly (fat guts). Being 63 now, I have thought of another mad adventure idea that may also raise a few bucks. During last year, I had a brain snap and bought a small single cylinder dirt bike, a Honda CRF 300. It`s an upgrade of the 250 trail bike that has been around since the 1970`s, and it’s still red. So, I had to get a licence to ride, not so hard you say, wrong. It took me a day to get my truck licence but the bike involves two half days training courses to get your L plates plus the government fees, all up around $300, then 3 to 12 months on L plates before and two days of tests and courses and another $300 to get your P plates, clear as mad.
Well I have the bike and had my L plates. Now this bike is very suited to doing a couple of hours in the state forest or fire trails, certainly not great on the road and certainly not a bike you would want to do a long day ride on. I did 350 km one day and was sore for five days.
So I had a brain way, lets ride 4,000km into the desert in early March in what may exceed 40 degrees every day, ride on the least used roughest roads and try to average 400km a day for ten days, and camp in a tent as well. (In January this year, the desert country has had temperatures as high as 50 degrees) Sounds like fun? So the plan is on March 10th I depart from Condobolin, NSW and head due west to Menindee, then from there head due west over what is labelled the Australian Desert (under 10 inch a year rainfall) to Yunta in South Australia (extremely deep sand), then north to the northern end of the Flinders Ranges, and then up to the Gammon Ranges. From here it’s due north on the track of stone to the Strzelecki Desert and across the dunes to Cammerons Corner. Then it’s on to Packsaddle, White Cliffs, cross country to Louth, then cross country to Bourke doing a gravel road only to Nyngan, Albert and back to Condobolin. Some of these roads are deep desert sand, others gravel and some are just stones. This trip covers 3 states: NSW, South Australia and Queensland.
This is remote desert country not to be taken lightly.
THE GREATEST RISK IN LIFE IS NOT EVER TAKING A RISK. ONE IS BETTER TO TRY, AND FAIL, THEN FAIL TO TRY.
This is a trip into the outback and beyond. Condobolin is basically the centre of New South Wales, heading west from here is very arid country, by day two once leaving Menindee it is classed as desert country. After day two, we don’t reach a town with services for another week, and that town, Bourke has only 2,000 people in it. It’s an outpost of the outback! Bourke always looks big when you are heading out of the desert.
Motor Bike Trip:
Currently I have only done 2000 km on my bike in four months, so I am riding hard now trying to get trip fit.
My bike is single cylinder being 286cc. Most bikes that attempt a long trip like this are twin cylinder 700cc to 1250cc bikes. Typical bike would weight over 200kg. My bike is only 140kg.
My fuel range is 240km maximum. 8 of the 10 days I need to carry up to 6 litres of extra fuel. Some days up to 420km of desert sand between fuel access points.
My bike is designed for a 70kg rider. Problem, me and my gear are 120kg+. I am currently getting a full suspension rebuild to carry the weight. Hope will take the weight and not break!
Fatigue is the biggest danger on the bike in deep sand, gravel extra. I will stop every 1 to 2 hours. Riding up to 8 or 9 hours on several days.
Tyres. Most aggressive dirt tyres normally only last 2000 to 3000km on the rear of the bike. I have just found a set of extra heavy duty, hard rubber desert race tyres from the USA. Hopefully they will last the trip. Also fitting Ultra Heavy Duty tubes, 4mm to help with punctures.
I do have support, so I won`t be left to die and the GPS will be loaded each night. The bike can be checked each night by me and basic service and adjustments done. Many of the roads/tracks are private roads though stations with gates etc. The most least used tracks and the long way around.
It`s planned that the trip is an adventure, not just a ride. Tar or sealed roads are avoided were every possible. It’s dirt, dust, heat, gravel and deep sand. Should be at least 95% not sealed.
My Mad Plan, well it’s about raising money to give dignity and education to the girls.
My idea is finding people, individuals, groups or clubs that may just think that a silly old bastard doing this might be worth a couple bucks. Sponsoring this ride on the little Honda at just 1 cent a kilometre is $40 AU. That buys 3 Personal Hygiene Pad Packs for 3 girls, which gives each girl about 125 extra school days or 375 for 3 girls. 10 cents a km it’s $400AU and would help 30 girls and would add 1,250 days of education. And with this NFP charity all the money hits the ground, no one gets paid. Every cent for this trip costs, bike food etc is out of my pocket. It’s a bloody good cause. All the sponsor money goes directly into the Nepal account.
Facebook Page “The Butcher and Nepal”:
I will upload photos and details of the trip prior to leaving and photos during the trip, once I have Wi Fi. Wi Fi will be limited. Please visit and get the updates from my page:
At this stage, Covid and the weather could play a major part and alter things, but I am hoping it will work.
I am a 63 year old retired butcher, with a thirst for adventure, hence why I love Nepal. My career was 42 years in the butcher shop (the love of my life) and farming, still currently farming on a much smaller scale.
Started the project with money from dog bones sales, and put $139K AU from the bones alone in ten years. Got donations of much, much more. (A couple of million dollars now.) The charity is small, that’s how we get all the money to the projects, a true charity.
I think is worth a thought. There are many charities and I have and still do support many others. Obviously, this is by far my favourite. This ride also puts money into our outback country communities.
Bank Details in Australia:
The Nepal School Project Fund
BSB 633 000
Account. 129 033 294
FOLLOW ON FACEBOOK: “The Butcher and Nepal”
The Adventure Crazy retired butcher.
My life plan is like Nike, “Just do it”
Allan the Butcher
Formerly Eastern Road Quality Meats 1996-2016. All donation info is on the Facebook page. “The Butcher and Nepal”