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Monday, 13 April 2009

Cycle Strongman: An Interview with Chris Roach - Page 2

Written by Kristen Hamill
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On March 28, 2009, Australian Chris Roach set out on an eight-year journey to cycle the world. The 27-year-old Newcastle native is the one-man operation behind the Cycle Strongman Expedition, an idea Roach conceived only months before hitting the road in efforts to promote awareness about environmental change, raise money for Oxfam International, and see the world without traveling by car or plane. His proposed 75,000-kilometer journey will take him through Australia, South East Asia, the Middle East, Europe, Africa, the Americas, Eastern Asia, and back down to Australia, and it will be virtually carbon-emission free. Roach hopes that by circumnavigating the globe on one set of wheels and aboard the occasional sailboat, he will inspire people to lead more sustainable lifestyles and look to the rest of the world on how to live in tune with the environment.

Why are you going on this expedition? What do you hope to achieve by it?

Cycle Strongman: An Interview with Chris Roach, awareness about environmental change, raising money for Oxfam International, cycle the world, cycle Australia, cycle South East Asia, cycle the Middle East, cycle Europe, cycle Africa, cycle the Americas, cycle Eastern Asia,,There are a lot of aspects to the trip. Part of it is self-discovery, but overall with the expedition I want to promote the environmental impact behind the choices that people make. It’s really about inspiring people to think about their lifestyle choices and what they can do to minimize their impact on the environment, and trying to change the mindset and bring sustainability to the forefront of peoples’ minds. Our survival on this planet is dictated by how we interact with the ecosystems that support us. It’s critical and everyday it’s getting, for all intents and purposes, worse and worse. We really have to readjust our lifestyles in order to survive on this planet. Bringing environmental consciousness to peoples minds is what I’m trying to do through the expedition.


I just want to inspire people to make simple changes. You know, jumping on a bicycle is one of the best things people can do, getting out of their cars. It’s so easy to do and it’s better for your health and the environment. Some of the choices we can make are really easy, they are right in front of us, but the way our society is geared towards consumption makes it hard.


I want to convey with the expedition is that there is more out there that is worth experiencing. Part of it is understanding how other people live. We have it pretty easy in Australia and America, about a third of the people in the rest of the world live below what we would consider the poverty line, but perhaps they’re happier than we are.


How have you prepared for the expedition?

I’ve spent the last five months researching, getting the gear that I need, getting sponsors involved, researching what countries I can and can’t go to, what visas I’ll need. Things change when you travel, you can never predict certain things but you can prepare for the basics. You’ve got to get out there and see what happens.


What about physical preparation and training? Have you done much of that?

Not at all, and a lot of people are surprised by that. That’s not what the expedition is about, it’s not a race— you don’t need to train for this sort of thing. You need to train and prepare mentally, but physically, the training is the first couple months on the road. You start off with forty kilometers a day and then the next day you do fifty and in the next couple of days you’ll do sixty, and you slowly build it up to get to a comfortable pace you’re able to set your day by. It’s not a race so there’s no training involved, it’s an experience; you just jump on a bike and enjoy things as they come.


Will you be doing the whole trip on your own or is any one coming with you?

I’m doing the whole trip totally on my own.


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Last modified on Sunday, 16 December 2012

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