Bruno Cordier, a Perth-based palliative care nurse, has completed a 4097km bike ride across Australia, all in the name of charity.
Cordier set off on his adventure from Sydney on January 11, reaching Perth on February 14. He rode unassisted and without a support vehicle for the entire journey.
His efforts raised over $40,000 for Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia – a charity close to his heart after he and his partner Gracie visited one of Dr Catherine Hamlin’s hospitals on an overseas trip.
When speaking of the physical challenges of the trip, Cordier said that it took a couple of days to get into his rhythm.
“The first two days in the Blue Mountains were really hard, with high temperatures, really steep inclines,” he said, “but on the fourth I did my first 160 kilometres, and I knew from then on I could do it.”
The stretch of road from Norseman to Coolgardie was the next-biggest physical hurdle, due to hilly country with narrow roads and many road trains.
“Halfway, at the only roadhouse, I got distracted talking to an English couple. I forgot nearly half of my water and in the last 50 kilometres I nearly fainted three times!” Cordier recalled. “I had to sit quietly in the shade, cross-legged, bring my heart rate down and remain mindful and focused.”
Although he found the stark and unchanging Nullabor a challenge, Cordier used this part of the ride to meditate.
He ended up embracing the solitude and he enjoyed sleeping every night in the bush, describing “the night sky, the outback and its amazing, unforgiving beauty” as one of the highlights of his experience.
That and, of course, the final stretch home, riding 240km downhill in one day and finally seeing Perth city.
Delighted to be home in one piece, Cordier has hung up his riding shoes for a while: he’s not planning to do any serious cycling for at least six months.Do you have an idea for a story?
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