Homecoming For Round-The-World Kiwi Cyclist
Bittersweet Homecoming For Round-The-World Kiwi Cyclist.
Brisbane, Qld, Australia, Thursday 20 May 2004
Riding His bicycle across three continents and over the world’s highest mountain range has not been as difficult as getting on an aeroplane for New Zealander Edwin Tucker. His plan to circumnavigate the planet without using fossil-fuelled transport has come unstuck on the shores of the Tasman Sea.
Rather than spend any more than his three month search for a yacht connecting him to his home of Auckland, the preferably flightless Kiwi is departing the East Coast of Australia to arrive in New Zealand by jet.
Viewing his trans-Tasman flight as a temporary solution, pragmatism has overruled Mr. Tucker’s self-imposed rules restricting travel to bicycle and yacht – though not for the first time. Al-Qaeda sympathisers, crocodiles and a fruitless 3 month search to sail across a 100km strait mark the previous departures from the expedition’s sustainable energy principles.
“Caught up in my immediate situation, waiting on someone else’s travel timetable, I sometimes lose sight of past events and accomplishments” reflects the 32 year-old. “In the two years I’ve been on the road, a city I cycled through has virtually disappeared, a country has been renamed, another created and another closed its borders” says Mr. Tucker referring to the almost total destruction of the Iranian city of Bam in an earthquake late last year, the name of Yugoslavia consigned to history books to become Serbia and Montenegro, a visit to East Timor the same year of its inauguration and China’s self-imposed exile to quarantine regions during last year’s SARS outbreak at the time of the amateur cyclist’s journey through Tibet.
Hoping to use the journey to raise funds and awareness for the charity ITDG find practical answers to poverty, Mr. Tucker has pedalled over 27,000km across 22 countries in the two years since departing from the Greenwich Meridian Line, London, UK on ANZAC Day, April 25th 2002. Now impatient to return to the saddle for the last epic stage by bicycle, the crossing of continental North America, the former office administrator has his sights set on completing the circumnavigation around the end of this year.
NOTES FOR EDITORS
Currently under extensive renovation, the expedition’s web site can be found at http://www.howsmycycling.com
Countries travelled through: United Kingdom, France, Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Tibet, China, Laos, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, East Timor, Australia.
The charity ITDG – the Intermediate Technology Development Group – aims to demonstrate and advocate the sustainable use of technology to reduce poverty in developing countries.
Energy giant BP has provided the bicycle used in the journey in partnership with its BP Gas, Power and Renewables business unit.
Edwin Tucker is planning to present aspects of his journey to members of the public while in New Zealand with a slide show in June.
He will be arriving on Freedom Air’s flight 818 from Brisbane to Auckland at 23:05 Friday May21st, 2004.
Offers for continued travel across the Pacific Ocean to North America by yacht are gratefully received by email to email@example.com.