Who, Why and When

Hello and welcome to our mid life crisis. We are two thirty something blokes with a love of motorcycles and wide open spaces. This blog not only follows our four week trip into the unknown but also contains information and links on how we set up our bikes for the trip. Hopefully our story not only inspires you to get out of your comfort zone and do something mad and liberating but also gives you a bit of a laugh.

Cheers Mike and Rod

The Why


Hi I'm Mick and I'm a Geologist in my late 30's who has been working in the West Australian mining industry for the past 14 years. I'm blessed with a beautiful wife and three lovely (sometimes) children. I'm about to set off from Perth on a four week outback motorcycle trip with my great mate Rod where we will tackle both the Gunbarrel Highway and the Gibb River Road before heading home. I've named the trip "Mid Life Crisis on a Budget", partly in jest but also for other more serious reasons.

The planning for this trip started several years ago in a small donga on a remote mine site in outback Western Australia. At the time I was working another of my tiring and monotonous fly in/fly out swings. My lovely sister in law had brought me a copy of the Long Way Around for Christmas and I had finally found the time to sit down and watch it. Like countless other males around the globe I was immediately sucked in. I just knew this was for me.

Problem is I hadn’t even sat on a motorcycle let alone ridden one for over ten years. I’d learnt to ride motorcycles as a kid on my Uncle's farm just outside Wanganui in the North Island of New Zealand. My cousins and I would rip around on small 125cc farm bikes with (yee ha) little to no supervision. From there I had owned a Suzuki GN250 while I was at uni, but nothing larger. I did however take that little bike places it was never meant to go during my uni field work.

At the same I started thinking seriously about motorcycles again I also started encountering some serious challenges, both in my work and private lives. The mining boom was on and all of a sudden I found myself covering a number of roles at the mine. I was all of sudden in a pressure cooker which lasted for 18 months. Amongst all this my wife’s health took a bad turn and I had to stop and take stock. Initially I moved roles and things were great for 18 months while I had a residential job in the Pilbara. Unfortunately that panned out and I had to return to FIFO. This again took a toll on my wife's heath and put a huge strain on both of us. My luck held though and I was offered a fantastic role in Perth where I can be home with my family 99% of the time.

The only remaining problem was that with all of the moving of roles etc I hadn't had more than 3 days off in over two years and I still had 12 months of work in front of me before I had enough leave to take a decent break. My wife realised how strung out I was getting, in fact I was getting borderline depression (or maybe not so borderline). She told me I needed to organise a trip away from everyone and everything and recharge. And so was born the Mid Life Crisis.

So that's the Why, well at least for me, Rod may tell you his own story later. However the rest of this journey won't be so heavy I promise! But if you keep following us around the outback and you enjoy what you see and read I want you to do me a favour. Take a long hard look at where you are in life. Are you happy? Contented? Or is life getting you down? If it is make a promise to yourself to go out and do something you've always dreamed of. Something that will both recharge you and inspire you to even greater things in the future. We all ignore our mental well being, lets face it metal health has a certain stigma. I just hope that by sharing my story and seeing how this trip transforms me, it passes along a little happiness to you.

Cheers Mick.


Well, why would you want to do something like this? Well a number of reasons but for me it was because of a question that Mick asked about 10 months ago. See I have had a pretty full life up until now and I’m glad to say that it has taken me in directions that I didn’t fully understand until after it had taken me there.

Up until 2006, I had lived a life that was completely in a comfort zone or had always attempted to get back to that comfort zone if the boat was rocked. In August of that year I had a great opportunity to work overseas in South America for my employer. I initially wasn’t going to take the role as I was a single parent and at that time life had again thrown a curve ball that I was trying to deal with. With a little encouragement and an interesting conversation with a good friend, I decided to pack everything up and show my daughter (and me) the world. I went to South America and learned a lot about myself, the world we live in and what somebody can do when they put their mind to it. I learned that we have to live life to the full, and instead of saying “no I can’t do that”, say, “YES” and go for it.

For two years on the other side of the world, My daughter and I lived, laughed and had amazing adventures everywhere we went, met amazing people in the most amazing places, all because we would just say “Yes” to our friends when they asked us to do something.

So fast forward to sometime in 2009 when I re-joined my colleagues back to the Perth office. I had just met Mick and started talking about our mutual love for motorbikes, and then he asked a question

“Hey, I’m going to ride around the outback for a couple of weeks, Do you want to come?”

Well, what could I say! And that’s how I come to being his wingman on this fantastic experience. Oh by the way, I also watched “Long Way Round”, it hooks everyone.

Cheers Rod