You see them everywhere up and down the Stuart Highway. Out in the sun. And you look at them and think “What the hell is wrong with these people?” Their possessions that maintain their survival are strapped down everywhere that they can fit onto the smallest vehicle possible… a bicycle.
I think they’re all a bit mad. Who the hell would want to cycle that far? The general excuse for their absurd form of transport is that they want to see more of the country. Our country that might not change much in the form of scenery for hundreds of kilometres.
My housemate has a habit of bringing in stray people and letting them stay for a night or few. The first stray I met was a cyclist from Germany. He was determined to pedal around the world on his deadly treadly. One day, after he’d left, my colleague and I saw him pedalling his way south towards Mataranka so we stopped him. My colleague is a rather abrupt individual and told him that’s he’s already a madman for cycling across Australia in general but to be doing it in October when the build-up in the Top End is at its most extreme. Florian shrugged his shoulders. He didn’t care about the weather. He just wanted to see the place.
The most recent stray is a fellow from Melbourne. Yes, an Australian. He’s chosen to be as mad as all the Europeans and Japanese we see on their bike along the highway. He had the same reason for wanting to do so and that was to see more of Australia. He’d at least reached the Northern Territory when the weather has become somewhat more acceptable for extreme activities of exertion. He filled us in on why we see so many Japanese people riding their pushies around. Apparently their out to prove to the friends, families and colleagues back in Japan that they’re responsible. I’d say it was proving insanity more than anything as these people choose to start in the middle of the Wet Season.
I’ve always wondered though, if these cyclists don’t understand how big Australia really is? You can fit just about all of Western Europe into Australia and Japan could fit a gazillion times over. Yet, if they are aware of how big our nation is, it hasn’t deterred them, it just makes them crazier. How they survive the heat has me bluffed as well!
If there is someone out there reading this that plans on seeing Australia from the seat of their bicycle I have one suggestion for you: Just catch the bloody bus!
|To follow Florian's journey head to this website: http://www.onemanonebikeoneworld.com/|
|To follow Oscar's journey head to this website: https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?o=Sh&doc_id=15476&v=Cj|