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Take a large measure of guts, strength, will and heart; add a bike and a young woman and spend 25 000 kilometres across Australia. Truth can be so much better than fiction. A brilliant story.
A fantastic adventure story – imagine riding a bike along the Canning Stock Route! A seemingly impossible feat.
OUT THERE AND BACK
The story of the 25 000-km Great Australian Cycle Expedition
In 1993, Kate Leeming became the first woman in history to cycle across the ‘New Russia’, when she organised, led and completed the five-month, 13 400-kilometre Trans-Siberian Cycle Expedition in aid of the children of Chernobyl. Ten years later, she conceived and organised the Great Australian Cycle Expedition (GRACE), a 25 000-kilometre journey through her own country, 7000 kilometres of which were to be ‘off road’ on isolated tracks in remote regions.
The purpose of the expedition was to promote the importance of, and contribute towards, education for sustainable development. The expedition was the first Australian project, and one of the world’s first, to be selected as a Demonstration Activity for the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005-14).
Out There and Back is Kate’s personal chronicle of the GRACE Expedition. At the same time it raises awareness of the importance of education for sustainable development, underpinned by the author’s beliefs and fuelled by her experiences cycling across Russia. This detailed, often graphic, account of an amazing journey into the heart of Australia is told with style, humour and insight. A highlight is Kate’s description of the first bicycle crossing of the Canning Stock Route (CSR) by a woman. The CSR, the world’s longest, most arduous stock route, bisects four deserts and approximately one thousand sand dunes.
Cycling without the aid of a support vehicle (for all but the CSR), and alone for the second half of the expedition, Kate develops a close connection with and respect for the Australian people and landscapes, skilfully weaving in information about early explorers, pioneers and colourful characters who shaped the outback. She gives impressions of her visits to Indigenous communities and glimpses of life on cattle stations and in remote outposts and country towns.
This quality publication, with foreword by Robert Swan, OBE, is illustrated by over 300 full-colour photographs and will appeal to a wide readership around the world.
Chapter 14 – The great South West: a hot spot
Chapter 11 – The trouble with spinifex
Chapter 10 – The grit between my teeth
Chapter 7 – Into the Tanami
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