Issue 10 - 7 November 2011 enews home

Student pedals toward next life adventure

By Patrick Nelson

Adam Bourke

Environmental Science Honours student Adam Bourke plans to "get up close and personal with wildlife" during a 4200 km bike ride to Perth before Christmas
Fit and energetic Charles Darwin University Honours student Adam Bourke will take the long way home this Christmas - by cycling down the West Australian coast to Perth.

Adam set off on 3 November on the 4200km journey, having allocated 45 days to reach his destination.

"I've been a cyclist for a few years now and can't think of a better way to celebrate the end of my days as a uni student," he said.

"A long-distance bike ride is a really good way to get up close and personal with wildlife. I will see so much more than if I was driving the highway at 110 km/h."

This will be Adam's second bike-riding epic. During the mid-semester break in 2009 he satisfied his desire to see Uluru by pedalling his $2200 custom-made Cannondale T2 touring bike to the foot of the monolith.

"I remember the sense of excitement as I first saw it on the horizon. But that soon turned to frustration when I realised my camera wouldn't work. I had ridden 2000km and couldn't even take a photo of it."

Adam refuses to be intimidated by dingos, road trains, the heat or by the enormity of the task he has set himself.

"It's a case of breaking down the big picture into little bits. If you take every day as it comes - and I expect to ride about 110km a day - then what sounds like a long way becomes quite manageable.

"With the right preparation and the right frame of mind people can achieve all sorts of things."

Adam spent this year at CDU examining the impact of boardwalks on macro faunal communities in Darwin mangrove forests and anticipates returning to Darwin next year to work in the ecology sector.