Across Australia – 5,500 Kilometres Of Guts & Dust
At 6am on March 18th, 2017 a group of intrepid cyclists depart Fremantle in Western Australia for what is nothing short of an odyssey of epic proportions – the Indian Pacific Wheel Race (Indi-Pac or IPWR for short).
As the name implies, this is a race from the Indian Ocean to the Pacific Ocean, one that is a single, unsupported stage right across the Australian continent – 5500 kilometre long. Let’s just stop for a second to let that sink in… a single stage, no support, riding across the entire continent of Australia. In anyone’s language, that’s a truly heroic undertaking and one that’s made even more taxing by the ride route that takes in desert regions (including the Nullarbor Plain), the rolling hills of the SA wine regions, all of the Great Ocean Road and, as a final twist of the knife, the Australian Alps.
We are fortunate enough to sponsor several athelets across many disciplines, and one of our sponsored athletes is Rob Clarke, an Ultra-Endurance specialist. Rob recently completed the ‘Ride To The Rock’ – another Ultra-Endurance event that saw athletes ride from Adelaide to Uluru across mostly off-road terrain. That adventure did nothing to slacke Rob’s thirst for adventure, and so we’ll see him on the start line at 6am Saturday along with the 75 or so other racers to contest the inaugural running of the Indi-Pac. Rob was kind enough to come in for a chat with us prior to leaving for Perth – here’s his thoughts on the race, why he does what he does, his preparation and how he deals with the long, sometimes tedious hours on the road (hint: there’s screaming involoved!).
Thanks to Rob for his time, especially in the lead-up to such a massive undertaking – we wish him a fast, trouble-free ride with a constant tailwind!
Main image copyright Markus Stitz.