British Explorer Launches Trans-Oz Ride

September 23, 2010

We’ve just had this news of a rather exciting epic adventure being undertaken by explorer and photographer Mike Laird – and he wants volunteers to take part with him, with a sizeable cash prize for the winner. Here are some more details:

In a journey that killed the first travellers, British cyclist and explorer Mike Laird is calling for volunteer cyclists to race with him across Australia, from Melbourne to Cairns. The 3,374 kilometre trek, which Mr Laird previously completed solo in May this year, will in the early stages retrace the steps of the ill fated Burke and Wills expedition of 1860.

There will be plenty of this red sand...

Taking place in May 2011, competitors will endure tough racing conditions and soaring temperatures from the very outset. Starting from Melbourne, the racers will ride north through three states of Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland before crossing the finishing line in Cairns, where the winner will be announced.

The race has been split into 17 race days encompassing road, dirt road and hill stages. Riders will need to complete an average of 198 kilometres a day to be in with a chance of winning the £5,000 cash prize.

Mike Laird

Mike Laird, who developed the race, is a seasoned explorer and participated in the BBC’s Castaway 2000 program alongside Ben Fogle. Mike completed his own trans Australian bike ride entirely unaccompanied and is the first person to have knowingly undertaken and completed this incredible ride. Mike lost over 21 pounds during his ride and encountered many obstacles as well as giant lizards, redback spiders and several brown snakes, as well as lonely at times.

Commenting on his experience, Mike said: “This truly was an experience of a lifetime and I am delighted to be able to open this up to other people with an appetite for adventure. We have planned and researched every element of the race to ensure that The Trans Oz Bike Ride runs as smoothly as possible. We’re looking for people with a serious passion for cycling to become involved. Anyone with determination, bags of energy and a decent bike should reach the finish line.”

Volunteers can find out more about the Trans Oz Bike Ride and register their interest by visiting or email

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