Thames Water energy efficiency analyst Dan Welch is cycling thousands of miles through Australian deserts and mountains to raise money for a charity helping street children in Kenya.
The 27-year-old from Lower Earley, Reading, will fly with his bike to Fremantle, Western Australia for the Indian-Pacific Wheel Race – which spins from one side of the continent to the other from 6am on March 18.He’ll spend 16 days riding an entry level Boardman Sport “with lots of customisations” through some of the world’s toughest terrain for charity Glad’s House before finishing on the opposite coast at the Sydney Opera House, 3,300 miles away.
“I’m looking forward to seeing how far I can push myself physically and mentally – I crave the sense of achievement at the end,” said Dan, who is based at Clearwater Court, in Vastern Road.
“The first part is through desert where the main challenge will be keeping hydrated – the water stops are 150km apart. Then we head along the south coast before going through the Australian Alps to Sydney.”
Along the way, Dan and the 100 other riders taking part, have to be self-supported, carrying their own supplies and camping out in the wild. “It’s just the snakes, spiders and kangaroos we have to watch out for,” he said, “and the roadtrains.”
To get in shape for his expedition, which will mean cycling around 200 miles a day, he’s been tackling training rides through Somerset and Dorset, with his last stint planned from his home in Reading to Exeter, and back.
“The Indian-Pacific Wheel Race is going to be a lot flatter than my last event, cycling from Belgium to Turkey through the Alps last year,” Dan, who returns home on April 10, added.
If tackling Australia wasn’t enough, he’s also planning to cross America on his bike in June (4,300 miles) and repeat his Trans-Continental journey through Europe (2,400 miles) in August with an ambitious around-the-world bid pencilled in for 2018/19.