16-year-old Kristian has completed a 1300km unsupported, off-road ride from Queensland to Sydney to raise money for World Bicycle Relief. This was a massive undertaking for the young man and no doubt will have been a life-changing experience. Thank you for your support and generosity, Kristian, and congratulations on such a massive achievement!
Kristian has some words on the experience:
“To say that riding to Sydney was always a personal challenge would be a lie. Because it had always been a crazy idea rather than a goal. A ‘what if’ instead of a ‘what now’. For my whole life, I have been driven by challenges. But in everything I was a part of, there was always a sense of security. There has been a comforting: ‘I might not do well, but I’ll get there’. However, never had I had a challenge so daunting that there was ‘no light at the end of the tunnel’. So, as a part of my aim to raise awareness and funds for those less fortunate than myself, I made it my goal to ride to Sydney to help donate bikes to families in developing countries.
Before I set off I was overwhelmed by the prospect of doing all of this alone and unsupported and looking back, the first few days were definitely amongst the hardest days of my life. I was 80km behind schedule, tired, physically drained and off route. But there was no way I was stopping anytime soon.
I guess for a moment, my life was truly a resemblance of MLK Junior’s quote, ‘If you can fly, then run. If you can’t run, then walk. If you can’t walk, then crawl, but by all means keep moving.’ However, soon enough it was as if I’d extended my comfort zone and changed my idea of what was possible. By now, there was no schedule and no set route. Instead, I was making my way south, one day at a time, with one goal. Have FUN.
And so I did. Even when the days were long I felt content. And it is safe to say that never have I felt so much pure elation as I did riding through the countryside. It was like an overwhelming appreciation of how great the people in this country are.
To say I’m grateful for where I live and the things my bike has allowed me to do is an understatement.
Overall, this journey has been nothing but amazing and it is safe to say that this won’t be the last crazy adventure for me. And hopefully I have been able to inspire a few to seek discomfort. Big or small; because you miss 100% of the opportunities you don’t take. And what I have learned is that sometimes the most incredible, life changing experiences occur when outside your comfort zone.”