As a bicycle rider, the highlight of my ending Autumn in Canberra wasn’t the relatively flat terrain for cycling nor the wide smooth cycleways bordering Lake Burley Griffin. It wasn’t seeing the yellow bicycle racks attached to bus fronts so that cyclists can travel by bus with their bicycle! It wasn’t even the hardy Canberran bicycle riders enduring the wintery weather nor the $10million underpass being constructed at Bowen Place by Lake Burley Griffin to make a safer passage way for cyclists and pedestrians. All appealing and some quite impressive, but as a bicycle rider the most interesting and inspiring highlight was meeting Canberra woman Alida Györy.
I met Alida through the HARDCOPY writers’ program where we’re both learning to sharpen our writing skills.
After our third day of workshops, I left looking forward to stepping off the plane into the sub-tropical air of the Gold Coast where the warm fragrance of plants will race towards me and fill my senses with messages of “I’m home”.
Alida left knowing that at 5am the next day, the first day of winter amidst forecasts of rain, hail and cold temperatures, she would rise before the sun, get on her bike, take a few photos and pedal West. It would be the beginning of her two month adventure to ride across the continent.
Now that’s 3956kms – so why would you do it?
This trans-continental ride on a bicycle celebrates Alida’s love of cycling and adventure. It is also a way to express her deeply held values about our planet and its people.
As Alida rides her bicycle over the next two months ending in Perth in early August, she aims to bring attention to issues of climate change and human rights; and raise monies for three nonprofit organisations along the way. Her trip is being funded entirely by her own funds.
This project is invested with a good dose of fun, creativity and vision for a better world.
Learning about Alida’s adventure was an inspiring part of my visit to the nation’s capital.