Zephyr’s Story: Riding A Bike Around Australia

By Zephyr Ogden, 12

 

Hi, my name is Zephyr and I am 12 years old. I’m on a trip up the east coast of Australia with my dad, Patrick, my stepmum Meg, my 17 month-old brother Woody and our dog Zero the Jack Russell.

We’re riding our bikes. Each bike has five panniers on it. The bike I’m on is a tandem. My dad sits on the front, I sit behind him and Zero sits in a basket at the front of the bike. Meg has her own bike. It’s a long cargo bike with a baby seat at the back for Woody to sit on. When he’s tired, Woody just falls asleep. I wish I could do that on the back of the tandem!

So far, we are three months into a year long trip. We have ridden from our home in Daylesford, (which is near Melbourne) to Newcastle and we and hoping to get to the Gulf of Carpentaria in Queensland. We have been free camping and staying in people’s homes that we meet along the way.

Two weeks ago when we were camped by a river, dad and I caught some prawns with some sticks and a pair of Meg’s old stockings which we made into a net. We used the prawns as live bait and caught two eels. We thought our rod was going to snap, the eels really fought! We cooked up the eels for breakfast the next morning. They were really delicious.

Our main seven tools we carry with us are used for foraging or hunting. We have a bow and arrow for rabbits, a hand spear for fish, a fishing rod, a hatchet for cutting up wood, a small pruning saw, a digging tool for digging up roots and also for burying our poo, and we each have a pocket knife.

We mostly have juice and oats for breakfast and bread and salad for lunch and pasta or fresh fish Dad or I have caught for dinner. We also pick wild fruit and leaf vegies along the way, and dig up edible roots and bulbs like dandelion and bulrush.

We don’t ride every day, but the days we ride we average about 50km travelling at about 16km per hour. We try to get up early so we don’t have to ride in the hottest part of the day. We also try to find a camping spot near water by the middle of the afternoon so we can relax and swim into the evening.

On the days we don’t ride I like to surf, kick the ball and sleep in till late. My favourite thing to do is surf.

On the trip we’re keeping a blog so afterwards we can use the blog to help write our book on sustainable travel and food for families. You can follow our adventures here: www.theartistasfamily.blogspot.com

Youth Action Nsw
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