Sarah Hammond; Escape and Endure06/09/2017 Read more
Apidura Ambassador Jack Thompson introduces a brand new guided adventure across Australia’s Nullabor Plain
There are few places on Planet Earth that can rightfully share a sentence with the word ‘epic’, but the Nullarbor Plain in Australia is surely one of them. At 200,000 square kilometres, and 1,100 kilometres across at its widest point, the barren expanse of exposed limestone has long posed a challenge for the overland travelers of the Australian continent. But it is the challenge that is the attraction.
The ‘World’s Longest Straight‘, a portion of sealed road that runs across the plain for over 145km without a bend, has drawn cyclists to the Nullarbor for years, and last year the inaugural edition of the Indian Pacific Wheel Race saw a number of riders make the journey across it by bike. There is no doubting the appeal of the challenge, and from January 2018 there will be a steadily increasing number of riders who are able to add their name to the list, thanks to the inaugural edition of the Nullarbor Epic.
Founded by Apidura Ambassador Jack Thompson, the Nullabor Epic is a 2,760km guided tour, with stages between 120km and 250km, running from Perth to Adelaide across a fifteen day period. After an intended start date of 1st January 2018, the finish is designed to coincide with the Tour Down Under on 15th January.
‘Last year, I rode from Perth to Adelaide as part of my preparation for a World Record attempt across the Australian continent,’ says Jack. ‘Unfortunately, due to the death of close friend and fellow adventurer, Mike Hall, I decided to postpone the attempt, but I thoroughly enjoyed the trip, and as such thought that the 2018 Tour Down Under presented itself as a fantastic opportunity to once again cross the Nullarbor. However, rather than do it alone again, I wanted to get other riders involved, and share both my passion and knowledge of adventure cycling. The Nullarbor Epic will be as much about companionship, camaraderie, and the beers we’ll share at the finish, as it will be about the adventure.’
The trip will be open to six riders, who will each stand to benefit from the rare opportunity of crossing the Nullarbor on a bike with a guide. But while Jack will be taking care of things like accommodation, logistical planning for resupply points, kit lists, and even training programs, he remains clear about the self-supported, adventure-orientated nature of the Epic.
‘This is an adventure, not a five-star tour,’ he says. ‘As such, participating riders will need to be comfortable with the fact that things can and do go wrong. All riders must acknowledge this and take full responsibility for their own safety whilst out on the road. The ride is also unsupported, and riders will need to carry all of their own equipment, and find their own way home if they suffer a mechanical problem or injury.
‘I don’t intend to scare anyone away with the rules,’ explains Jack, ‘but as with all rides of this sort, there is an element of risk, and this simply needs to be noted and acknowledged. This is what makes adventure so exciting!’
Places for the 2018 Nullarbor Epic will be allocated on a first come, first serve, basis. To register interest, contact jack directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.