Three Wheels Around Oz

TNT Magazine 25 February 2002

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Australia by Bike

British Cyclist Conrad Evans is biking Australia - on his own.

Conrad Evans has never been to Australia but next month the Briton will start a 15,000km lone tricycle ride around the country. What makes the 27year-old's attempt more remarkable is that he has cerebral palsy, epilepsy and right hemiolegia and will be carrying up to 50kg of supplies with him.

Evans will be cycling without a support vehicle, reliant in part on the hospitality of the people he meets as he makes his way anti-clockwise around Australia to make money for medical charity Action Research. The ride will be about double the length of his last fundraising ride across the US in 1999.

And while he shares the typical English tourist's fears of Australian snakes, spiders and crocodiles, he has no doubts about the biggest danger facing him during his 10-month ride.

"Road trains," Evans said. "They're probably my biggest hazard. But as long as they're aware that I am there it should be OK."

Another hazard is the animal life, but he plans to take simple precautions - particularly with crocodiles.

"I won't sit too close to the water, I won't camp next door to it." he said. He's aware of other dangers posed by wildlife, from kangaroos bounding out in front of him to dingos rifling though his belongings as he sleeps.

"In America, I had a coyote steal all my food." he said. "You learn quickly which animals are curious and which ones are more frightened of you than you are of them."

Evans plans to cycle about 100km a day, pitching his  tent at night in the long stretches between towns. He will start his ride from the steps of the Sydney Opera House on March 11th and hopes to return to Sydney in January 2003.