Three Wheels Around Oz
Conrad has done it. He has completed his fantastic ride and is back home in Aylesbury, England. He is is good spirits and good health but complaining about the cold weather.
Conrad Evans, 28 years old with cerebral palsy and a lot of courage, has
decided to pedal around Australia, on his own without any support vehicles. The 10,000
mile journey is expected to take just less than a year. Starting in March 2002 and
finishing around January 2003. If you have any information about Conrad's progress
please let us know so that his friends and family can be reassured that he is doing
Help sponsor Conrad
Monday, February 17th - London, England
Conrad arrived back in England and was enthusiastically met at Heathrow by his family and friends. His trike traveled on the plane as personal luggage but his trailer was shipped as cargo and will hopefully arrive in a few days.
Friday, February 14th - Sydney
I spoke with Keith & Marg this evening after they returned from exploring Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco. They continue on to England tomorrow and expect to arrive on Sunday afternoon.
Apparently Anthea & Albert, Wesley and his friend Simon (and Keith & Marg of course) were at the Opera House to welcome Conrad back.
Conrad is staying with Wesley for a couple of nights before leaving Australia on Sunday and returning to England via Japan. He expects to arrive at Heathrow at about 3pm on a Japanese Airlines flight.
Wednesday, February 12, 2003 - Sydney
I received word from Don Clark that Conrad made it back to the Opera House this afternoon after completing his epic 15000km ride. The QEII was alongside the dock blocking the webcam so there are no immediate pictures of his return but I am sure I will receive some photographs shortly. Conrad's parents were there to meet him and I am sure there were other friends and media as well. Keith & Marg leave Australia on Friday and Conrad leaves on Sunday.
Saturday, February 8th, 2003
I received this informative e-mail from the ever helpful Don Clark:
Working on 80km a day with no breaks I reckon he may be nearing Narrandera or maybe Wagga Wagga if he's using the Sturt Hwy. Wagga is about 2 1/2 hours West of me by car. From Wagga, the likely route to Sydney would be via the Hume Hwy. This am I drove out there, from Yass to Coolac and back, without a sighting.
If for some reason he's chosen the more Northern route, its harder to tell though he could be nearing Cowra. That's about oh 3 hours north of me by car: I'm doubtful I'd "catch him at work" on that route.
I've rung his mobile no, Mobile number: 0439 914 575 Thursday pm and again this am, the message back is on but no return of call.
I know his email address list included one or two ABC radio contacts, if getting worried I'd be tempted to ask them, or perhaps via Local ABC Radio: in the Central West (Cowra etc) firstname.lastname@example.org or in the Riverina (Wagga, eg) email@example.com There's no story on him recorded on the Local ABC pages.
I'm loth to leave another message on his message bank. I'll keep an eye out as best I'm able. There's thunderstorms coming so I'd best get off the line.
By the way, here's a link to the National Parks current map of the bushfire burnt country hereabouts.
Fires are stillburning in the Snowy Mts at last report. No more dramas here.
Friday, February 7th, 2003
No news from Conrad or any other sources.
Saturday, February 1st
I received this progress report this morning:
The guy really has some balls. (or he's a nutter, I still haven't decided).
Thursday, January 30th
An e-mail arrived from Don Clark who has been in the middle of the Canberra fires:
"Hope you're enjoying the last leg, you'll be crossing the great plain
Wednesday, January 29th - Renmark
A very brief e-mail from Conrad indicates that he is taking the direct rout to Sydney through Mildura which will bypass Melbourne completely.
Friday, January 24th
My mailbox is full of pictures e-mailed by Wesley. I will be posting them here shortly.
Wednesday, January 22nd - Adelaide
As Conrad is coming to the end of his journey ( He has about 1.500 km to go.) the schedule is getting rather tight. Keith & Marg Evans, his parents, leave England on Monday and arrive in Sydney, Australia on Thursday January 30th. They are staying a couple nights with Anthea and Albert Clay and then travelling up to Cairns to visit the Great Barrier Reef and the rain forest before returning to Sydney on February 7th. They will be in Sydney (Staying with Wesly Scrutton.) until the 14th when they are scheduled to fly back to England.
Conrad is confident that he will be able to reach Sydney in this window between February 7th and the 14th so that his parents will be there to celebrate his return to the steps of the opera House. He is carrying a lot less water now that there are frequent water stops so he is hoping that this will allow him to make faster progress. His plans are flexible but I think he plans to leave Adelaide on Thursday January 23rd and take the direct route to Melbourne and then the coast road to Sydney, missing out Canberra altogether because of the time constraints and the fires.
While in Adelaide he had the opportunity to see some cricket, (I think it was the one day match against England on the 19th.) and he also saw Lord of the Rings.
I understand that Conrad has a flight back to England booked for February 16th so that is another deadline he is working hard to meet!
Tuesday, January 21st - Adelaide - 12,821km/8,013m
I received a brief e-mail from Haydn to say that Conrad arrived in Adelaide on Saturday and was staying in the YHA in the city, presumably so he can be near the action as Haydyn lives outside the city. He has spoken to Conrad a couple of times and is meeting him on Wednesday evening.
I am beginning to piece together Conrad's story over the last few weeks. Apparently the mechanical problem that Conrad had as he left Smoky Bay was a failure of something inside his rear axle. It turned out to be a major problem that could not be repaired in Ceduna even with spare parts. Eventually he conceded that he needed a "Plan B". Somehow or other he managed to persuaade a bus driver to take him, his trike and his trailer from Ceduna to Adelaide.
I also received this progress report:
"Yesterday afternoon, in the parklands of Adelaide, South Australia, Alan Wakeham and myself, both from BAE SYSTEMS, caught up with Conrad.
We were pleased to hear that Conrad has really enjoyed his travels so far - even though
the Ozzie wind has been very strong. He is also enjoying is well-deserved break in
Adelaide. I think he is glad to be on the home stretch - with only 1,500 kms to go.
Monday, January 20th
I have no direct news of Conrad's progress but next Monday, January 27th, Keith & Marg Evans, Conrad's parents, are flying out to Sydney so that they can be with Conrad during the conclusion of his epic journey. Hopefully Conrad has reached Adelaide and is now on his way towars Melbourne. I suspect that the long silences are due to a problem with his phone which may be broken or lost.
Monday, January 13th
After a very long silence I finally heard some news of Conrad in this progress report from Haydn Powell:
"I returned from my holidays in a little place called Smoky Bay just last week and during my stay there my family and I spent a lot of time with Conrad. He is either the most courageous person I have ever met or simply a nutter for doing what he has done. I lean toward the former. I am expecting him in Adelaide sometime in the next few days and have offered him a place to stay and rest up before heading to the East.
Whilst in Smoky Bay we went fishing in a boat in the bay and he managed to catch quite a few King George Whiting, arguably the worlds' best table fish, which we consumed with gusto over the following few days.
We also spent a night or two looking at the night sky of the Southern Hemisphere
through a 10" telescope which I took along with me. Conrad was asounded by what is up
there and vowed to take up Astronomy on his return to England. It was the first time I
Early last week Conrad decided to set off to head to Adelaide but was back an hour or so later with mechanical trouble and was still in Smoky Bay when I left. The replacement part had arrived that morning so his plans were to leave the following day, all being well with his trike. We expect his arrival on or around the 16th Jan. and are looking forward to seeing him again if he decides to stay here.
Monday, December 23rd - Ceduna
A Christmas e-mail from Con:
It's Christmas again and another year is nearly over and I am still pedaling round Australia. I have made it across the Nullarbor which is the last of the long stretches with no services.
The Nullarbor, or the Eyre Highway is a stretch of 1209km between Norseman and Ceduna. This stretch is not actually on the Nullarbor Plain except for about 40km around Nullarbor Roadhouse.
The Nullarbor Plain is a 50 million year old 250000square km lump of limestone that covers the area of England, Nederlands, Belgium and Switzerland and have 7000sqkm left over. The Nullarbor comes from the latin for Treeless Plain, but the
are a lot of trees on it. This is because the Eyre Highway goes along the southern edge of the plain and there are a few trees. Once you cross the WA/SA boarder the road is about 600m from the Southern Ocean and the Bunda Cliffs which fall 100m straight into the Southern Ocean. There is a lot of wildlife on the Plain both dead and alive. Roos, Emus, Budgies, Major Mitchel Cockatoos and Galahs along with finches. I saw no camels but have heard about a truck hit 2 not leaving much of them and the truck.
Ceduna is rather strange in the sense that there are no Christmas decorations up in the street and you
can very easily miss what decs there are in a few shops. I am here listening to Aussie Christmas songs, now someone phoned the ABC to say they could not relate to Northern Hemisphere songs about snow and cold, though cold here is below 20 degrees.
Merry Christmas to you all.
Best Regards, Conrad Evans"
Sunday, December 22nd - Ceduna - 12,074km/7,546m
Received an e-mail from Con with " Here is a bit of Christmas trivia: Did you know that Jingle Bells does not mention Christmas or have a religious message, Yet we sing it at Christmas." He obviously hasn't got enough going on to occupy his mind. He also requested a summary of the year's news from his friends and family. The Nullarbor Plain is now behind him. He has now been cycling for 282 days since he left the Sydney Opera House..
Saturday, December 21st - Ceduna Forshaw Caravan Park
Friday, December 20th - Penong Caravan Park - 12,000km
Thursday, December 19th - Nundroo Roadhouse
Wednesday, December 18th - Rest Area 25km E of Yalata
Tuesday, December 17th - Rest Area 36km E of Nullarbor
Monday, December 16th - Nullarbor Roadhouse - 11,751km
Con is coming to the end of the last wilderness area that he has to cross on his amazing journey. About three-quarters of the Nullarbor Plain is now behind him. As he says in his own words: "Steruth It's Hot!"
"Yes, it does get bloody hot out here on the Nullarbor, I am currently at Nullarbor Roadhouse at 10:45am and the temp is 34c and due to rise by another 10 degrees. I am going to stay at the roadhouse until 3 or 4pm and then ride to Yalata 93km from here. I walked out of the roadhouse and into an oven. The weather in Ceduna and Adelaide today is 40c and the wind is easterly, direct from these two places. If this weather continues I shall continue to ride into the night.
This weather is hot but not as consistent as up North where the weather is an unbearable 40 degrees in the shade everyday. I made it south before the weather got too hot and have found it chilly for most of the time. The wind off the Southern Ocean can be chilly and blow a bit. I camped one night this week on the cliff edge at a lookout and the wind blew to buggery all night. I had to get 3 people to help put my tent away as it would have gone 90m into the Southern Ocean. I know you will say what the hell do you expect!
I met up with Sam Walker at the Nullarbor Roadhouse and have been chatting to him for an hour or so.
That's All. Best Regards. Conrad Evans"
Wednesday, December 11th - Eucla - 11,565km/7,228m
Saturday, December 14 - Border Village - 11,622km
Today Conrad crossed over the border from Western Australia into South Australia.
Saturday, December 7 - Norseman - 10,847km
An e-mail from Con:
It has been a long time since I reported to you all.
Perth was where I had some R&R after my hard slog down the west coast. Perth is a fantastic city with a very relaxed atmosphere where nothing really matters.
From Perth the Great Eastern Highway to Coolgardie is the main through route to the Eyre Highway and the Eastern states. They pipe water to Kalgoorlie and Norseman in pipeline along the Highway. The highway goes through the Goldfields. It was where several gold rushes happened in the 1890s. The country got drier and drier the farther east you go.
Northam is a lovely town and it is the only place in WA that has white (mute) swans. It also has the largest rotary wheel in the world. This is a Rotary Club wheel.
Meckering was a bustling town until a Earthquake fattened it in the late 60s and the town never recovered and they have not rebuilt it much at all. It is now a memorial to the earthquake and you can take a walk round what was the town and now a plaque telling you what was there and a concrete floor where the building stood.
A lot of the towns have very wide streets that enabled the Afgans (Camel drovers) to turn the camel train round.
Friday, December 6 - Norseman - 10,847km/6,779m
E-mail to the Thames Valley (Cycle Club in England ??):
"Dear Thames Valley
I do hope that this gets to you before your Christmas weekend at Jordans. I am currently crossing the Nullarbor which is a 1200km ride between towns, a town being one that has more than a roadhouse. A roadhouse is not much more than a petrol station with cafe and accommodation.
The water out on the Nullarbor is all desalinated water and the roadhouses will only give cyclist water, though some will make a big issue out of it.
My trike is holding up very well and the transission is still going strong after 11000km. I have had no broken spokes on my trike though I am breaking them on my trailer. I have gone through one set of tyres on my trike and 4 sets on my trailer getting about 2500-3000km to a set of tyres. I replaced the handlebar stem while I was in Perth because it had bent on the way down the west coast of WA. I was fighting strong headwinds.
Nothing catastrophic has happened to my trike and it must be down to Chris Hewitt's mechanical expertise.
Anyhow, all is well and warm in Australia, Happy Christmas to you all.
Thursday, December 5th - Norseman - 10,847km/6,779m
Wednesday, December 4th - Norseman - 10,847km/6,779m
Tuesday, December 3rd - Norseman - 10,847km/6,779m
Monday, December 2nd - Norseman - 10,847km/6,779m
I received a progress report today via the website:
Sunday, December 1st - Norseman - 10,847km/6,779m
This website is maintained by John
Conrad in Chelmsford, MA
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