Cyclists to tackle Andes


Cyclists to tackle Andes

Change of scenery: Colin Boyd and Yolande Field from Inverloch will swap their daily ride around the Bass Coast for The Andes Trail in South America.

IMAGINE riding a pushbike all the way from Inverloch to Perth, then back to Inverloch, and finally back to Perth.

Add in mountain terrain of up to 5000 metre altitudes, unsealed roads and Third World conditions, and you have yourself a ride of a lifetime.

While most people wouldn’t even begin to consider taking on such an incredible challenge, Inverloch couple Colin Boyd and Yolande Field are gearing up to ride The Andes Trail in South America.

It will be no mean feat.

Described as a trail from the middle to the end of the world, the ride is 11,000 kilometres long and will take the duo around 150 day, or five months, to complete.

A group of around 20 people from countries including Australia, Holland, Germany and America will attempt the ride, with 12 committing to the entire distance.

Colin said the idea of taking part in the ride, which raises money for The Kid’s Cancer Project, came about when they wanted to travel a little differently from the mainstream methods.

“We were keen on going to South America and the way South America works from our knowledge is that people live in the cities, so you go from city to city which didn’t really interest us too much,” he said.

“We would like to see the in-between parts and once you’re on a bike, it breaks down the local barriers with people.

“You’re not on a bus, you’re not in a big car, and it just seems like a good way of getting to know people. You smell it, you feel it, and you just enjoy it.”

Having already completed in a number of single and multi-day bike rides around Australia, Col said cycling just “seemed like a good way of undertaking this trip”.

During the massive trek, Colin and Yolande will ride around 100 kilometres every day, with the longest day averaging about 165 kilometres, but will also have 27 rest days to visits key tourist attractions.

While some of the roads are paved, a lot of them are not, and the participants will find themselves staying in accommodation ranging from hotels and hostels to camping in the bush.

There is no time to back out either; the couple left on Sunday for Quito, the capital of Ecuador, and have four days to acclimatise to the altitude before the ride begins.

“We climb to 5000 metres high, so the altitude is a major factor and we have to be careful of that,” Colin said, adding they will ride through a variety of conditions during the trip.

“Up in what they call the altiplano in Bolivia there’s salt pans and it’s 120 kilometres across with no pathways so we ride across that, so that’s something different.”

Both the terrain and climate will dramatically change as they make their way down the coast of the continent; while they begin the ride on the equator, the finishing point is in the city of Ushuaia in Argentina, which is the southernmost city in the world and the departure point for Antarctica expeditions.

While Yolande is excited most about experiencing a whole new culture, she’s also interested in learning the language, and has been studying Spanish in the lead up to the ride, there are of course concerns taking on an enormous challenge.

Colin and Yolande said their biggest concern whilst riding is any injuries or damages to their bikes; everyone must carry their own repair kits and spare tyres as they won’t be able to buy the parts they need along the trail.

Unfortunately, Colin is no stranger to injury; four years ago he fell from his bike, shattering his pelvis and breaking his collarbone, restricting him to a wheelchair for 12 weeks.

It wasn’t long however before he was back on the bike and continuing his daily routine of an 80 kilometre cycle before breakfast.

“It’s amazing how you recover; you get back into it and we enjoy the cycling culture and we enjoy the exercise.”

Anyone wishing to sponsor Colin and Yolande on their ride, with all money raised going to The Kid’s Cancer Project, an Australian charity dedicated to finding cures for childhood cancers with the lowest survival rates, can do so by visiting

Keep an eye on The Star for updates on how their ride is progressing.


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Posted by on Aug 1 2012. 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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