Well, last week we left round-the-world charity cyclist James Bowthorpe in Australia and….he’s still in Australia, slogging it out through cities and countryside and, pleasingly, on target to arrive in Sydney next Tuesday, June 30.
He’s now past the half way stage and while this is a milestone, he has found it has been marked with increased physical struggle. Like running a marathon, we suppose; once the race has begun and the initial euphoria is over, the hard graft starts.
However, he remains chirpy, at least in his blog. “There is a lot to look forward to though,” he posts, “and people are starting to get the message of what I’m trying to do. My pre-recorded interview was on the radio this morning and I’ve had friendly beeps and waves all day.
“Sydney, my next rest day, is looking good for more media so that’ll help spread the word. I may even be on a breakfast TV show, which would be a dream come true. Honestly! I’ve always wondered what goes on at those things, what the feel is like, and I might be about to find out. The fact that it goes out to millions of people across Australia is also good.”
James arrived in Adelaide on June 20 and after an hour spending a bike-light system he enjoyed the delights of riding in a city that is laid out in grid form. Next stop from there was Melbourne and en route James had his first puncture – remarkable, really, after more than 8,500 miles of cycling. His tyre came to grief on a discarded bit of mobile phone.
“Today I met an 82 year old man at a petrol station,” he posted. “We talked for a few minutes; he told me he was born in Adelaide and I said that I was born in Somerset and lived in London. He sparkled a bit, saying that he had been to London once, had had a heart attack and stayed there for a heart transplant. “Some holiday.”
“Later on I met Mariana who has just finished studying in Melbourne and is now riding her Australian postal service scooter back to Barcelona where she’s from. This involves a bit of freighter travel from Darwin, which sounds fun, and a whole load of scootering. Good luck Mariana! I was a bit concerned she didn’t have a sleeping mat but she said she’d get one in Adelaide; essential! Maybe even more important than a sleeping bag, the ground just sucks heat out of you.”
James reached Melbourne on the 25th and spent just ten minutes in the city before heading off again on to the traffic-light free highway, and seemed pleased to do so!
James is doing this ride to raise money and awareness for research into Parkinson's disease. The total raised so far is £41,587.38 and he is 3 per cent of the way towards his goal of raising £1.8m. If you want to support James in his quest you can donate at his site www.globecycle.org, you can also follow his progress via live GPS updates at www.whereintheworldisjames.com (James has attached lots of pictures to the route too so that it is very much more than a line on a map) and he also has his own video channel on Youtube.