The prospect of finding your way through hundreds of miles of baking hot desert would send most of us running for the hills.
But for Holmfirth’s Kurt Burroughs, the 110 degree heat and the sand in his boots is not an oasis but a challenge that has to be conquered.
Motorcyclist Kurt, 50, has just performed strongly at a motorsports desert challenge at Qatar in the Middle East.
In what is one of the hardest navigational desert rallies in the world, the Holme Valley biker finished second in the veterans class on his KTM bike and placed eighth overall against a host of professional riders.
Kurt, who was the oldest competitor in the race, is now hopeful he can take on the “ultimate” challenge – the Dakar Rally – notorious for its danger with riders often seriously injured or killed.
The 2017 race will feature 12 days of stages across Paraguay, Bolivia and Argentina.
Kurt has already done a host of other famous desert adventure races at in hospital parts of the world including Abu Dhabi, the infamous Tuareg rally in Morocco and the Baja rally in Mexico. And he has more planned in preparation for the Dakar next January.
Kurt, who keeps his bikes in Dubai where he trains, said: “I come from a climbing background and I love a challenge.
“I’ve ridden bikes all my life and for the past four or five years I’ve been racing dirt bikes.
“This is just the next step up.
“I’ve done all the long haul adventure rides and this is a different angle, navigating through challenging terrain.”
Kurt said most people didn’t realise the rallies involved the added challenge of finding your way to the finish line.
And he said looking at maps while riding at high speed on dunes or through off-road terrain led to many crashes.
“It is pretty dangerous,” admitted Kurt.
“Deaths are not uncommon and there’s some quite serious injuries.
“I’ve had a couple of times where I’ve found people who’ve crashed and I’ve stopped to assist them.
“It’s usually that extra couple of seconds looking down at a map that does you.”
He added: “You can always ride faster but you can’t navigate faster!”
Kurt, who runs his own air-conditioning service firm, is looking for sponsors for his attempt at Dakar.
Contact him via email@example.com
The Dakar rally began in 1979 as a race from Paris to Dakar in Sengal, Africa and in later years launch in different cities in Spain.
The off-road endurance event featured hundreds of motorbikes and rally cars racing through the Sahara desert.
Since 2008 security threats in northern Africa have seen it moved to South America.
The most famous case of a driver going off course saw Mark Thatcher, son of incumbent Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher get lost in the Algerian desert for six days in 1982.
Overall 70 people, including 28 competitors, have died in the Dakar Rally.