Alan sees the world by bike


Alan sees the world by bike

On ya bike: Alan Baillie loves taking in the scenery on his epic long distance bike riding journeys.

SOME of us may run out of breath at just the thought of a long distance bike ride, but not Alan Baillie.
The Leongatha man has just returned from a three week trip to New Zealand in which he rode along around 600km of trail and road.
“I rode along the Otago Rail Trail, after first riding there from Queenstown,” he said.
“Then I headed down to Dunedin and came back up again.”
Alan just loaded up his bike and trailer and used his pedal power for the trip.
“I just love the things you can see when you’re riding, things that you wouldn’t necessarily see when you’re driving,” he said.
“I camp wherever I end up at 4 o’clock too, when I’m riding.”
This is not his first trip and it won’t be his last.
“I started with the Great Victorian Bike Rides,” he said.
“I did my first in 1997 and then just went from there.”
Alan has done the Great Victorian Bike Ride (GVBR) in 2001, 2004 and 2008, and has gone from Albury to Traralgon over Mount Hotham in 2006 and Bairnsdale to Wangaratta and back in 2007, among other rail trails.
In more recent years, Alan has ridden through Tasmania twice, doing Devonport to Cradle Mountain and Devonport to Queenstown.
Last year he embarked on his biggest trip yet.
“I went across the Nullarbor from Kalgoorlie to Adelaide, which was great,” Alan said.
“I rode 2383km in three weeks, which averaged out to about 110km per day.”
Alan made friends while riding in this isolated area of Australia.
“As I came over one of the rises on the Nullarbor, I could see a couple of figures in the distance,” he said.
“It turned out to be a Canadian couple who were riding across as well, that had broken one of their bikes.”
Alan explained how he provided the right parts to get them back on the road and overlapped with them for the next five days.
“They used to take off on me because they were sharing the cargo load,” he said.
“But I always got up before them and as I rode past their tent, I’d yell out and give them a wake-up call. They said I was better than an alarm clock.”
When preparing for a long distance ride, Alan makes use of the local Great Southern Rail Trail.
“In the 12 weeks leading up to a big ride, I usually jump on the bike each night and ride down the rail trail to Foster or head over to Wonthaggi and back,” he said.
Next year Alan is planning on completing his trek in Southern Central Australia.
“I want to go from Adelaide to Melbourne next,” he said.
“It’ll carry on from my trip across the Nullarbor which had to stop at Adelaide because I ran out of time in 2010.”

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Posted by on Nov 15 2011. Filed under Community, Featured. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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