Thank you for taking the time to visit my fundraising page.
In June 2014, having become hooked on the idea of travelling long distances by bicycle, I set out to cycle from London to Istanbul.
Two years later I had followed the course of the Danube across half of Europe, sailed over the Bosphorus into Asia, endured a brutal Anatolian Winter, sheltered from sand storms in ancient Persian caravanserais, raced across Turkmenistan on a five day transit visa, seen the legendary cities of Bokhara and Samarkand, struggled over 5,000 metre passes on crumbling, Soviet roads through the Pamirs, traced Marco Polo's camel tracks across the dreaded Taklamakan and Gobi deserts in Western China, and been frozen half to death in the far north of Japan, before being finally driven by cold weather to Australia, where I battled strong headwinds, intense Summer heat, and endless miles of nothing on the Nullarbor Plain. In total I had clocked up more than 26,000 kilometres.
When I reached Melbourne I settled down to work for a few months, and during this time I began to reflect on what it was that was motivating me to keep pedaling on mile after mile, and to wonder whether this journey could be used in some way to help others.
I was also aware that it was now almost five years since the tragic loss of my friend and colleague Joe Bampton and his girlfriend Zsi. On that sad day in 2013, the world lost two kind and compassionate people. Both were artists and free spirits who loved to travel, and each of them, in their own unique way, had the wonderful ability to take the ordinary and transform it into something extraordinary. Joe's favourite charity was Autism Together (then known as The Wirral Autistic Society), and so I decided that this would be the charity that I would support.
For the return leg of the journey I am therefore hoping to raise funds for Autism Together, which will be put towards their residential centres and community work for people with Autism and their families.
The homeward journey will begin with a crossing of Australia's vast, arid centre - Melbourne to Brisbane via the Flinders Ranges and the legendary Birdsville Track. The next stop will be New Zealand, which I plan to traverse south to north in Winter. The route after that has yet to be determined, but what I do know is that I will be riding every last mile for an organisation that has been improving people's quality of life since its formation in the 1960s.
This is a fantastic charity, so please do sponsor my ride if you can. All donations received will go directly to Autism Together, so that they can continue to provide their services to those in need.