“What if you temporarily took leave from the safety of everyday life to battle through a challenge that scares you? What if your only worries were riding, finding food and water and a place to sneak a few hours of sleep? What if you forgot your self-imposed limits just to see what you were truly capable of for once? What if you were a racer at heart? Why wouldn’t you want to take on the toughest races on the planet? Do you have a deep respect for the pioneers of endurance cycling and the big names of bikepacking; the sort of respect that is hard to put into words? Do you wonder if maybe, just maybe, you could be one of them?
By the 1890s the modern bicycle design had settled and this new machine spread like a virus around the world. The bicycle was then fastest way to travel long distances overland. Intrepid young Australians with an appetite for adventure strapped what they needed to their bikes and headed into the outback in an effort to be the first, or the fastest, to cover the vast distances between Australia’s major centres. With no roads, few known food or water sources, no reliable maps and rudimentary equipment, these early “Overlanders” were lauded by the media and worshipped by the public. Entire towns lined their streets to greet the Overlanders as they rode through. Stories of adventure and survival in exotic places captivated the public. These were the first bikepackers. Their history has been lost.
The Overlanders were not professional athletes. Like the first grand tour riders, they sought an escape from the drudgery of everyday life. They were determined to satisfy their hunger for adventure and test their limits against other Overlanders in long distance showdowns over thousands of miles.
Are you an Overlander?
Come watch them …..”