For me, this article in the July 2006 Singletrack Magazine started it all. Jakub and the Western Australian desert – something ‘filed’ away in the memory banks with no knowledge of how it could ever relate to something I’d do. It was just there – waiting. At the time we were living in Edinburgh – I had sporadic daytime forays down to Glentress where my mountain bike addiction was digging into the grain of my world; and Sarah was planning multi-day hike-a-bikes along likely looking lines on the map in between shifts. The next year she and some of our Tasmanian friends started a bike tour heading north through the UK – I joined them for a few short weeks from Glasgow northwards, and the horizon of what was possible for me/us grew. Eventually into our Americas Trip and with it a deep love of and contentment with remote self-powered bicycle travel. Meeting Joe Cruz with his Surly Pugsley fat-bike, and spending a month riding the stark, the amazing and the just plain silly in Perú – together with the need for something after – lead to this journey actually happening.
In addition: a connection with my work-life. I am a Paediatric Oncologist with a special interest in brain tumours. The Telethon Adventurers were started by Rick and Emily Parish after their son Elliot was diagnosed with a Medulloblastoma in order to raise funds to find a cure. In February 2013, they sponsored a meeting of the world leaders in Medulloblastoma research, and it was while attending this that I realised that as well as my own motivations, using the trip (definitely a true adventure) to raise much-needed funds was important.
If you feel inspired to contribute, please follow this link
Scott Felter: ‘met’ through his amazing Porcelain Rocket bicycle ‘software’ while we were riding down the Americas. His “yes” to my suggestion, that on reflection became “I really meant yes” may yet be to his regret.
More about this bicycle:
Tom Walwyn: Me.
Sarah Hedges: Logistics and much more – she’ll be doing her own exploration of the Kimberley and Pilbarra with Bryn after dropping us off in Hall’s Creek and the start of the route before meeting us at Wiluna afterwards.
2000km of remote dual-track and a bit of dirt road to start – across the deserts of Western Australia from Hall’s Creek to Wiluna. Considered the outback 4WD track, and prior to this year only ridden unsupported by bicycle three times (2005, 2009 and 2011). The challenges of the route are terrain (soft sand and corrugations) and a total lack of supplies, requiring unsupported riders to transport food for 30-35 days and up to 4-5 days water. The soft surfaces necessitate use of ‘fat’ tyres – 4 inches wide or more.
The track has an important history – initially developed as a cattle-droving route in the early part of the 20th century with significant abuses made of the traditional owners of the lands it passes through in the process. The Tjurabalan, Ngurrara, Martu and Birriliburu people are holders of this ‘country’ for those to come. There is a permit system governing it’s access and upkeep.
You can follow our progress at our Trackleaders page.
The ride also featured in the adventure bicycle touring magazine, Bunyan Velo