This video by the Australian National University (ANU) documents both my visit to the Canberra campus as well as the fantastic AICR funded research being conducted by Richard Callaghan and his team. Thankfully ANU’s staff are much better at video making than myself, so by watching the short video you will be able to see footage from the road while listening to both myself and Richard Callaghan. Enjoy!
Cycle tourers in Turkmenistan can generally only get their hands on three of five day transit visas, resulting in a quick dash across the country to reach Uzbekistan before the strict deadline. I was joined by my friends Zigor and Maria for the ride, and together we pushed through the desert within five days to the border. Along the way we met loads of friendly people, and despite the near-constant headwind we maintained a steady pace and had a much more enjoyable time than anticipated. As always, its another random mix up of tunes…
Once I turned east away from the Black Sea Coast, I was soon confronted with endless picturesque mountain valleys. The coast had brought a heavy amount of pain, and it felt fantastic to finally journey into the Caucasus…
Stalin’s birthplace in Gori had been my major (2500km) goal since Istanbul, and after studying the life of the dictator for so many years in school, it was a special day for me when I propped Wilson by the varanda and sat on his doorstep…
This short video captures some of the memorable experiences while cycling down Eastern Europe between Norway’s Arctic Circle and Greece’s island of Crete. Along the way I passed through Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Czech Republic, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Montenegro, Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia, and Greece. It was a fantastic adventure zigzagging through so many diverse countries. Sights in the vid include Cesis, Turaida and Traikai Castles; The Hill of Crosses; Hitler’s Bunker; Auschwitz; Cesky Krumlov; Prague; The Slovenian and Austrian Alps; The Dalmatian Coast; Mostar; Dubrovnik; Kotor; Treskavec Monastery; Athens, and; The Corinthian Canal.
Over the past couple months I’ve ridden some pretty bizarre zigzags through Europe, taking me north, south, east and west. So I thought it would be nice to share with you the most painful of these detours; my three day venture into the Slovenian Alps. Truth be told I’ve got myself hooked on mountains, and to avoid winter in Central Asia I’ve repeatedly scanned maps to find challenging roads to take me up into the clouds. In the video you will see footage of the mountain road from Kranjska Gora across Vrsic (1611m) to Log v Trenti, spanning 24 kilometres and comprising fifty hairpin bends. The road was built by Russian POWs in WW1, and is open on average just seven months of the year. I think the pain of the four hour 14% ascent was captured on one of the switchbacks at one minute twenty …
My first view of Europe was actually in 2006 from the seat of a plane flying over the Alps at sunrise. At the time the sun glistened on the snow capped peaks, and I gazed down wondering what it would be like to explore such a rugged landscape from the ground. On the bike I was lucky enough to cycle into both the Julian and Kamnik-Savinja Alps, tackling five summits that ranged between 1096 and 1611 metres above sea level. I was captivated by the contrasting landscapes between the regions, and surprised at how arid the Julian Alps were compared to the lush slopes and valleys of the Kamnik-Savinja Alps. In the alpine village of Solcava I came across this poem in a local exhibition, written by Josa Vrsnik and Robanov Joza, and I think it explains the feelings of elation experienced at reaching a summit on two wheels:
When I lay my eyes on you, fair peak
I wave goodbye to the sorrow and bleak
When I step on your rugged crest
My heart is full and I can rest.
My spirit here is given wings
To butterflies and stars it clings
In blissful happiness it floats
Free as a bird upon it gloats.
My mind runs wild here on your slopes
Gives rise to my happiness and hopes
The whole world is in my palm
I feel the Creator and his calm.
When I was recently in Helsinki I did my first ever video interview with The Association for International Cancer Research. Since then the team at AICR have edited two versions of my interview, complete with images from the road. I have included both the shorter three minute and longer ten minute versions below, and I hope they give people following the Cycling4Cancer journey a greater understanding of my experiences on the road. Enjoy!
The Shorter Interview
The Longer Interview
This film captures my 5000km journey through France, Luxembourg, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Norway to reach The Arctic Circle. Along the way I faced countless challenges, as well as breathtaking scenery through sand dunes, mountains and fjords. The video also shows my frantic race against my hitchhiking friend Jon Maiden to The Arctic Circle town of Mo i-Rana.
I have now cycled around 7000km, and will begin cycling through The Baltic States next week.
Thank you all for your continued support as I start the next stage of my epic charity ride home to Sydney.
This week Mark Beaumont spoke to AICR about my Cycling4Cancer charity adventure. Mark rode around the world a few years back, and in the process smashed the Guiness World Record. I have read both his books ‘The Man Who Cycled The World‘ and ‘The Man Who Cycled The Americas‘, and he has been a great inspiration for my own two wheeled charity trip. His cycling adventures have also resulted in two fantastic documentaries, and if you haven’t come across him already please visit his website. Thanks Mark for your words of encouragement!
I’ve made it to the continent, and at the moment I’m busy exploring the Western Front of WW1 between Ypres and Verdun. Over the past week I have been cycling along the southern coast of England, catching the ferry from Dover to Dunkirk on the 19th. Today as the wind and rain continued in Lens I made a short film of my time through England and Wales – enjoy!