Kate Leeming on Exploring the Planet by Mountain Bike

This week we’re re-sharing one of our favorite podcast episodes, and we’ll be back next week with an all-new show.

Dr. Kate Leeming is an explorer and adventurer who has biked tens of thousands of miles around the world, including 15,000 miles around the Australian continent in 2004 and 2005 and 22,000km across Africa from Sengal to Somalia. In 2019 she became the first person to cycle 1600km through the sands of the Namibian coast and is working toward the first-ever Antarctic bicycle crossing via the South Pole for her educational outreach organization, Breaking the Cycle.

In May of this year Leeming completed her latest expedition, The Andes, the Altiplano & the Atacama. The 4,400km adventure began just as Covid-19 hit, forcing her to end her trip after 1,100km of riding. She returned earlier this year to successfully complete the trip.

In this episode, we ask:

  • What is your first memory of going on an adventure?
  • Were you a good student in school? Did you enjoy learning?
  • Have you always considered yourself an explorer?
  • How does Breaking the Cycle: Education connect with your expeditions? What is the goal?
  • What got you interested in the traversing the Skeleton Coast in Namibia by bike?
  • Tell us about the all-wheel-drive fat bike you used. Was this a custom set up, or something you were able to find off the shelf? How did the bike perform?
  • Were there any surprises along the way?
  • How do you prepare for such massive expeditions, especially ones that no one else has completed before? How much of the preparation involves physical training versus research and logistics? How do you prepare yourself mentally?
  • What are the challenges that women continue to face in the world of adventuring and exploring today?
  • Are there ways we can be “explorers” in our day-to-day lives? What is the value of staying curious?

Learn more and connect with Kate at KateLeeming.com and BreakingTheCycle.Education.

A full, automatically-generated transcript of this podcast conversation is available to Singletracks supporters.

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Transcript

Jeff 0:00
Hey everybody, welcome to the Singletracks podcast. My name is Jeff and today my guest is Dr. Kate Leeming. Kate is an explorer and adventurer who has by 10s of 1000s of miles round the world, including 15,000 miles round the Australian continent in 2004, and 2005. And also 22,000 kilometers across Africa, from Senegal to Somalia. In 2019, she became the first person to cycle 1600 kilometers through the sands of the Namibian coast, and is working toward the first ever Antarctic bicycle crossing via the South Pole for her educational outreach organization breaking the cycle. Thanks for joining us, Kate.

Kate 1:08
It’s a pleasure. Good to be there on the other side of the world.

Jeff 1:12
Yes, yes. speaking to you from around the world! Well, I wanted to start by asking you about your first memory of going on an adventure, you’ve got this long list of accomplishments and adventures that you’ve undertaken. So how did it all get started?

Kate 1:29
Yeah, well, I actually grew up in Western Australia, on a farm, it’s fairly remote worlds, about 80 miles east of Perth. And, you know, I didn’t really have the confidence to travel or anything like that, and didn’t really have the opportunity till after I left university, you know, as a pretty high level sports person in a bit of an all rounder, and I just loved cycling as a way of keeping fit, you know, and then I imagined, wouldn’t it be amazing to cycling in France or Italy, and I read a magazine article, but that’d be great. I did have the opportunity to go to Europe to the UK, first playing field hockey. After that, I organized some little trips. And that sort of led to bigger trips. And over the space of the next couple of years, I did about 15,000 case about 9000 miles through Europe. And that was really just my personal discovery. And, and that’s where I started to discover what I could do on a bike. And I really sort of discovered my passion. And so it started with a little trip in Ireland, with a friend and then and then a bigger trip in France. And, and so I guess the reasons I really love to travel by bike, it’s because I’m very connected with the people in the land, and sort of that idea of bringing a light on a map to life. And that gives a great sense of place and a perspective of how the world fits together. So and of course, you can eat a lot. And, you know, there’s just, I felt very free, and yet it’s very humbled sort of form of transport, and especially in Europe, where it’s, it’s just so accepted, you’re interacting through France and Spain and Italy, in particular, people go out of their way to help you or they’re very kind and yeah, that’s, that’s kind of where it all all started. And that’s where the passion grew. But then it started to grow after that. Yeah, that was

Jeff 3:32
when you’re growing up on the farm, you know, was it like a big farm where you could like, really go and sort of get lost, you know, away from the house? Or were you at an early age, like trying to venture beyond that and saying, like, well, what’s outside of what’s outside the fence, you know, I’m gonna go on my bike, and I’m going to take off for a few hours and just see what’s out there.

Kate 3:51
Well, it was adventurous in that our farmers, it’s not a particularly big farming in that part of the world. It’s about 2000 acres. But our nearest neighbor was, you know, five kilometers away. So, and my, you know, I’m one of five, but we’re all sort of quite spread out. So that meant spending a lot of time on my own, but also making things and met with them. And that’s probably spent more time with my next sister up and my younger brother, but but it was always Yeah, we’re always doing things. So looking back on it, but just, you know, so lucky to do that. But Western Australia is probably, you know, very isolated from the rest of the world. So to get the Eastern status, we’d call it, you know, it was actually quite expensive. You know, I remember going across to play field hockey, like a tournament in, say Tasmania or whatever, and it’s like used to cost dollars, and that was discount Euro. So it’s not like the US in that respect. So that sort of means you don’t tend to travel. We didn’t certain travel and it wasn’t Much more difficult, then then now to do so. So, but in terms of just exploring and doing things, and just around the farm or within Western Australia, especially the southwest corner, yes, we certainly did things like that. But it was really probably once I got away from, didn’t need to get away from my family, but but what’s out there, you know, on the other side of the world, trying things out for myself, and where I knew that they couldn’t worry about me. And I guess, you know, when I first started saying, you know, I was cycling, and I was in the middle of France and my friends had gone off doing something else, or cycling through France on my own, they’re all really worried, but I wasn’t because by then I realized this was cool. But I always, you know, family, especially parents always worry. So, you know, I always try and respect that and make sure that, you know, I mitigate the risks and, and once they sort of get used to it, and they understand what I’m doing and why I’m doing it, that really helps. I don’t actually tell them what I’m doing until I’m really about something so

Jeff 6:14
interesting. Yeah. Yeah. And I imagine to growing up on a farm, you learn to be pretty self sufficient. And you know, just kind of like making things work with what you have, which I’m sure comes in handy. on an expedition where you are truly, you know, somewhere remote at times or isolated? Or, you know, you just have what you brought with you in a lot of cases. And seems like you had a good sort of background in that and being able to do that and have confidence to do that.

Kate 6:44
Yeah, I think it’s, you just have to work things out and on of doing what you know, as kids, but you’re right, it was a great grounding. Not that I knew what I was going to be doing. Yes, it’s certainly, that idea of being alone or managing things, or just taking the initiative when needed and being aware around. So, you know, on the farm, obviously, there are dangerous things around you everywhere. You know, your father’s tools. So there’s that, but it’s also just being aware of how to stay safe and those dangers would be, that’d be pretty true. Yeah.

Jeff 7:27
Yeah. Yeah. Well, the other connection I wanted to make is with your sort of educational outreach organization, and the breaking the cycle this side of the adventure, so I’m curious to know, were you a good student in school? And did you enjoy learning? It seems like, you know, you’re always up for trying something new and experiencing new places. So I imagine you’re a good student. But is was that the case?

Kate 7:52
Yes, I was definitely, uh, uh, you know, did well at school, I was, I was a conformist. I didn’t really buck the system. But I use the system pretty well, because I was, we know the best around sport in my school, my town. And then when I went to Perth, you know, as I represented my state in four different sports, so Oh, wow. So it’s kind of like, I guess that’s also had a big effect on what I do and how I do things, because that’s still in me, like, I’m still a professional sports person. Now. My approach in terms of my expeditions kind of also is affected by that and how I plan for stuff and you know, knowing how to knuckle down when you have to do that, and, and be committed and playing in a team when needed, you know, all of those things. And I think that sporting background in both individual and team sports is really very, very valuable and effect, they help each other. Because when I’ve sort of, just to divert a little bit with the school bit, but I am now a real tennis professional court tennis professional, which is like the original game of tennis. And when I started combining the expeditions, plus the tennis, I found that actually it helped my tennis because I got two really tough moments in a match. You know, I found I was much more present and much more. I was a better competitor. I think I had perspective. So they kind of help each other. But back to you know, from I went through school and went through university and then I went straight back to school again because I became a teacher. And and I guess what really struck me when I went back to school I working as a teacher’s and physical and health education teacher is that the kids will teach me more than I knew myself. You know, I was in a school with about 50 nationalities. And I realized that it also led a very sheltered life, you know, on the farm and so on, so forth. So I just needed to get out there and explore the world. So that really, when I had the opportunity to go to the, to the UK first and then travel through Europe, you know, I, you know, I really just needed to see the world and understand better how it fits together. So that’s probably all those things affected, probably things that I do now, and certainly with the education, so I’ve never really used my teaching degree that much. But, but I’ve always wanted to support education is so important. So I didn’t really know how to combine that with my GI adventures, certainly in Europe. And then I met a fellow who really inspired me named veliko, Robert Swan, who’s a polar explorer, first person to have walked both north and south poles. He, he sort of, when I was planning my first big expedition across Russia, he really took me under his wing and really inspired me. And he also taught me that there’s much more value to what I was doing and simply riding a bike. And so ever since then, I’ve always tried to contribute in some way. And the first expedition, the Russian one was about aiding the children affected by the Chernobyl disaster. And after that, everything’s been to do with pretty much with education, education for sustainable development. And it was actually my journey. So So I did a 25,000 kilometer journey to Australia, which was a official activity for the UN Decade of education for sustainable development. So it’s the first type of liberal education program. It wasn’t, it wasn’t very good, but I made it. And I realized how hard it is to do that. And, and, you know, I needed help creating those things. And then, with the African expedition, breaking the cycle in Africa, at this time, I had the support of the Victorian education department here. So the state of Victoria, in Australia, so so they have a program, and then things started become more effective. And then, so each thing that I’ve done, I’ve kind of developed things. And with Antarctica, that’s when I started to actually put together break, I kept breaking the cycle as a brand names, I thought it was really good. And that’s what I’ve added, because added in or started to create breaking the cycle education. So it’s kind of, you know, that Robert swans, right, there’s so much more value to what I’m doing, and, and all that effort that goes in, and I’m trying to realize that value, and I think one of the best ways that I can do that is to be able to share my experiences and learning and work towards, you know, leadership and and contributing towards making better global citizens. So,

Jeff 13:05
yeah, yeah, it’s a really cool concept to sort of, I mean, there are so many things that I feel like people can take away from these expeditions, you know, I mean, just the sheer like, inspiration, obviously, I’m a big fan of like, reading stories about these types of expeditions and adventures that people go on. And that alone is inspiring, just to see like what people are capable of. But then to tie in the educational element, like, I was even thinking about, like my own kids, and how much they can learn in terms of like, problem solving, and planning, and, you know, learning about other cultures. I mean, it’s like endless the educational opportunities that it seems like, are available there. How do you come up with one of these expeditions? Is it first about you know, here’s the thing that I want to do a place I want to visit? Or is it here is, you know, a mission that I want to help you know, whether it’s poverty somewhere, or education? Or Or is it? You know, how can we reach the most people and educate people? Like, where does what’s kind of the seed for it? And then how do you build off of that?

Kate 14:18
It’s a very good question, because I think each expedition is quite complex. And I think it like with each expedition, I grow and learn and it changes, you know, it becomes a little part of me, it changes me a little bit. So so even though I have certain journeys and things I want to do in my mind, I sort of wait, I can’t commit, I wait till I’ve finished an expedition. I often get ideas on that expedition. So that’s one thing. But each like I couldn’t have I couldn’t have organized or done the Russian expedition without the first experience in Europe. And then you know, Australia is where we’re And then Africa, you know, didn’t have the confidence to travel through Africa at all, I really wanted to but but everyone said, No, this is a dangerous place and this and that. And I knew other people cycled there. So it must be possible. And then, in fact, this is probably a good way to explain how I put together that expedition. So I was looking, you know, then I look at the story. And what story do I want to tell, and that’s probably the most important thing is to because, and it’s got to be something that I really want to see and do and believe in experience. And so the way I got my African idea was that I was looking at a map of education levels across Africa, in particular. And I can see basically a band of countries in most need of improved education running basically across the base of the Sahara, through the Sahara region. So So basically, from the most westerly tip towards the most easily tip. And I thought, that seems like a really interesting theme to start with. And then I started researching, I put a massive amount of research and realize that actually, that was all but you couldn’t just look at education without looking at all of the causes and effects of extreme poverty, because that’s, they’re all interrelated. So that ended up becoming the purpose of the journey to explore the causes and effects of extreme poverty, but the specifically what’s being done to give a leg up rather than a handout, because I was doing, I want to, I don’t want to just be all gloom and doom, I know, I’m creating an inspirational story, I’m going to be meeting all sorts of people, I’m going to be funny about different things that are hard to learn about. But I want to be able to present that in the context. So. So, you know, I wanted to, you know, to give hope, and create a story of hope and inspiration, rather than a negative story. This is bad. And this is bad, because there are some bad some difficult things. But but, you know, Africa, as I very much learned, is, is the most diverse continent on Earth. And there’s so much there. And there’s so many bright, smart people that often just don’t have the opportunity. So. So that’s kind of how that that that journey happened. And then, because that was my purpose, I then looked at how I’m going to tell the story, because just cycling through the start, these issues are so complex. So then I teamed up, I actually had 10 different partners and 15 different projects that I visited during that journey. And so the, if you look at the route, the shape is sort of going across the base of through this base of the Sahara and through the Sahel and into the Sahara. And then I dropped right down towards northern Namibia, through the west side through, you know, Gabon, and Republic of Congo, and Angola and Downton Abbey. And then back up, because it was, for some reasons, it was to do a little bit of safety, trying to go through, you know, Eastern shared and foreign things like that would have been difficult. So part of it is about safety. But but then it was also about telling the story. And I just had it, and then how do you keep safe, you know, and I just had this this net massive network of different organizations, I had lots of specially Australian resource companies with interests in Africa, because they always had access to the governments, they had the bases in difficult places and cities. I mean, that’s how I got through Somalia, I didn’t just turn up, turn up at the border, let me in because that wouldn’t have happened. I actually made all these very specific connections in connections with the governments that protected me. And, and so what did the trick and how I got right across to the very tip of Somalia, through Warzones, through the lot in a continuous line without breaking the line, and meeting all these incredible people and got there for days ahead of schedule after 10 months. So it’s possible that you can see how that that exhibition, how the idea came together, and then you’ve got to

pull it off, you know, what is the story that you want to tell? And I think that’s, you know, creating an expedition. That’s kind of how I work it and, you know, there’s always a budget and all that kind of thing. So I’ve got to make it run to a certain time and try to work things out. And, and yeah, so it’s all got to come together really and then with that, you know, I was connecting with kids back in Australia that time. And now I’m working with with on the education front with there’s an American organization called beluga, sort of recreating resources right now. It’s very difficult to get that it’s alright to go into classrooms and things. Yes, I can do that. But to get to what is students all over the world is very difficult, because I think the US like Australia has like, you know, each thing, each education department is run by each state. And so just something happening in one state doesn’t mean that you’re going to get it right around the US or Australia or Canada, or the UK. So it’s, you know, it’d be be fantastic if there was a better system to do that. So I also work with the Duke of Edinburgh’s international award. So it’s not as the international award in in the US. And that’s just it’s all about leadership and being able to use his adventure as one of the things and learning new skills and serving in the community. Yeah, so it’s, it’s an incredible award that it’s quite hard to get. So I work a lot with sometimes I’ve done a few things for scouts as well. So that has connections with scouting. So it’s all about leadership and getting kids out there. And yeah, yeah, so

Jeff 21:07
yeah, what are you able to connect directly with many of the students? Like, what kind of feedback? Do you hear from them? Or like, what are some of the, I don’t know, questions, or the parts of the story that they’re most interested in? Typically?

Kate 21:20
Um, well, you know, if they’re, if they’re responding and following my blogs, you get some depends on their age, really. Africa, like, have you seen any lions there in the blogs that it’s also about, so they’re always worried about the animals. But then they, if I was telling a story about you know, a certain issue or whatever, then they often have a lot of concern. So it’s just making them aware and getting them to ask questions. And, and we’ve actually created, not that it hasn’t been taken up by many people yet. But but I’ve created sort of a, how to set up a project doesn’t have to be an expedition, but it could be whatever, starting with, you know, identifying passions, and what our passions, and then what our values and then creating, what’s your vision, and this is what I do every single time so. And then from that vision, you know, what’s, what’s your idea, and how you’re going to put it together and use a bit of what’s called design thinking to actually create a project or a journey, and then test the testament, do a little test, run, do the theory? How does it need to improve and then create your bigger vision? Analyzing it all, after it’s done. So that kind of thing is really valuable. Because quite often people don’t have the get the first step. They don’t know how to make that first step or think they do. And they say, I can’t do that. And that’s so annoying. Like, are you sure? You know, I started off by, you know, trying little things. And then that gave me more confidence, you know, and then, you know, that grew and grew and grew. So that’s on the expedition side, but then on the other side of it, it’s about also getting better at communications about documenting and analyzing and, and, you know, I’ve written a couple of books, but it’s, you know, things like being doing the media I was that scared me, you know, just radio for the first time really scared me being on live TV is, it’s scary stuff, right? So it’s just like, Okay, if I want to be able to communicate, I’ve got to get better at this. So you know, and same with other skills, photography, or whatever, or filmmaking, of course. So I’m, I don’t have any technical skills for holding a camera, but I’m pretty good at telling a story. So that is combined with some other professionals when it comes to filmmaking seems to work pretty well. So, so there’s a lot of other things in the site things the easy bit.

Jeff 24:16
Yeah, well, that’s right. That’s hard to believe in that that part probably scares people the most. So one of your most recent projects, one that is currently hitting the internet. This summer, I believe, was in 2019, you completed a traverse of the Skeleton Coast in Namibia. And there was actually a documentary that was made about the trip called diamonds in the sand, which I believe is going to be on outside TV here in the US. Anyway. Tell us a little bit about the trip. What got you interested in that particular route?

Kate 24:54
Well, I kind of heard about the Skeleton Coast, probably in the mid 90s. And there was A British explorer who who walked from south to north. And then since then no one had done anything, because you can’t actually get permission to cover most of it, or lots of it. And particularly, don’t there’s a forbidden diamond mining area in the south, which you just don’t get permits to do. Whereas he did it justice. Maybe it was becoming a country, and probably get through because of that. And so I kind of it just seemed like a really interesting place because of all the shipwrecks and things and it’s desolate, and there’s desert, and it. And then on top of that, because I’m planning, as you mentioned earlier, planning to cycle across Antarctica. And yes, I’ve been doing expeditions in the extreme cold in the Arctic, to prepare, but also cycling on sand is very similar to cycling and snow. And I’ve undertaken to do an expedition on every other continent other than Antarctica. So I didn’t have another sand expedition in Australia. That was very interesting. And so I kind of opened up and so for Africa, I thought this, this could work really well. And I could use the same bike that I’ve been developing for Antarctica. And so I looked into it further and then realize, this is why no one’s done it.

Jeff 26:24
It’s not called the Skeleton Coast for no reason, right? I mean, it sounds pretty, pretty tough.

Kate 26:31
Yeah. So sadly, from basically the northern border. So the map of the canal River, which is on the border with Angola, to the mouth of the orange River, which is on the border it Namibia’s border with South Africa. So it’s 1600 Ks, or 1000 Miles 800 kilometers, that that is absolutely no road. So I’m cycling beach and working with the tides. Because I’m planning to cycle in Antarctica, and there I’m going to have terrible winds, especially for the first half going towards the south pole. It’s the wind can be shocking, I thought, okay, let’s choose to go into the wind. And so maybe this is one of the windiest places on Earth. The dominant wind is comes from the southwest, it’s a it’s a coastal, Western Australia gets a similar trade wind as well. But but this is probably worse. It’s like, it’s unreal. And it’s remembered so. So going from north to south, is much, much the other direction, in the sand with no roads. So, so that’s why I chose to go from north to south. And say the first isn’t no habitate no points of habitation at all for the first first week, so about. Like, I remember 350 kilometers or so. There’s a little tiny settlement, and then, you know, having to go through lion to her tree. I didn’t I didn’t support it. Because I there’s no way I could have carried what I needed to carry. This actually went 500 kilometers way, there’s no way I could even get water, let alone food. And I’m going through the desert. So yeah, so that enables me, but traveling support, it enables me to to have it filmed properly, where on my own, I just can’t capture it to the level that’s needed. So have you

Jeff 28:33
been supported a trip like that? I mean, if there aren’t roads, like How is anybody even carrying water or camera equipment or any of that stuff, we still drive on

Kate 28:43
it. And so I found a small very specialist to operator who does who has the licenses to go into that northern area, which you can’t just go there. It actually have various limited licenses and he holds all the concessions. So it’s about 24 concessions that can be used each year up there and he has more stuff a tour operator wants to use it and they’ve got to get it from him. So so that’s how I found him. And he loved my idea and so he organized the support so you had two vehicles because if one got stuck the other one could pull. And these guys are expert drivers like you see them going down in 100 meter drops and genius stretch shear face and that just gliding with the sand down.

Jeff 29:37
Right yeah to break even help you at one point, it seems like

Kate 29:41
it’s incredible. So so this fellow, he didn’t come with us, but he arranged the couple of these people and so we have different people joining us specialists for the different regions. So that was a part of it. So it becomes a different time. Have expedition but but still, I’m, like I’m going walking speed the first few days because I’m just getting belted. And also because it’s Tidal, yes, I can follow the beach, but the beach isn’t particularly like there’s about two hours in a day when it’s relatively firm. And then that the tide is coming in and I’m pushed up into the soft sand. It’s just

Jeff 30:28
miserable. I mean, the sand alone sounds rough, but to have the wind to, can really get on your nerves when you’re riding a bike.

Kate 30:37
Well, it’s all about attitude. And, you know, it’s like, it was the perfect training for Antarctica, because I was, you know, learn how to deal with that mentally. And, you know, normally on a bike, you know, you have your cycle computer, and you’re watching that probably, and just think I’ve got to do this amount of distance. And you can usually hit those because it’s, even if it’s a bit slower or something, you can hit them, but I don’t know what what I’m going to hit with the next pedal stroke, let alone anything else

Jeff 31:08
can be demoralizing to look at the GPS. This has been an hour and I’ve gone like two kilometers.

Kate 31:15
Yeah, well, certainly five kilometers an hour’s was what I was down to a few times, and I’m going to do 50 ks a day to get my expedition done. So, so yeah, so the first bit was very hard to, I was just managed managing to just creep up a little bit, you know, get over a few times, and I was covered a couple of times under. So it was, it was right on my limit. So I was right with that. And also, when I do these exhibitions, even though it would help to be super fit, it’s crazy, putting them together, it’s probably the hardest thing I do is pulling all the ends together, getting everything, you know, all the people or just me, you know, moving out of my comfort zone in Melbourne here, and, you know, traveling around the world to get to a place and with everything that I need and all the communications the education side, so I’m just exhausted at the start, and I just have to pretty much bite the bullet. I mean, I test my knees, alright, I do some sort of intensive training in the gym, I try to get out for a couple of rides to make sure I’m you know, it’s real. But then, you know, and often I even get a little bit sick before I start, because it’s so much stress. I’m sure that like you think it’s the most desolate place and the wind is, you know, every especially in the afternoons, but not only is just amazing, so, so I was just trying to with my mind, just like let’s just break this down to little goals. Don’t Don’t worry about distances just trying to get time done. And I’m going to keep moving forwards. And that’s, that’s just and I don’t have to do again. And it’s just trying to find that Rackspace, in my mind. And, and it’s such, even though it’s desolate, even though it’s harsh, even, you know, all of those things. It’s also exciting. You know, I can’t pinch myself, I can’t believe I’m doing this. How do you standing down a beach, in the middle of Namibia on the middle of on the edge of this place that’s taken shipwrecks it’s the most treacherous, treacherous coastline pretty much in the world. uncharted territory, you know, it’s coming across ships have been rusted down to nothing, a lot of them are no longer there or being frigate like the Dunedin style. And also there’s a tiny little bit of metal left. And that’s it. And those stories, like ships used to land, but it didn’t guarantee that they survived because they didn’t know where they were, it was like nothing around hundreds of kilometers, and they didn’t have any water or whatever. So it’s actually just landing on the beach, you know, save them temporarily, but not always, not all of them made it so they did in some way if they got an SOS signal out, but yeah, so. So mentally, if you focus on all of those things, and thinking this is quite amazing. I’m doing something that no one’s done before. And I just love that kind of challenge. It’s such a privilege. So if you focus on those kinds of things, it also helps to get through mentally.

Jeff 34:28
Yeah, right. Well, you mentioned that you rode a special bike as a unique all wheel drive fat bike, I believe, for the Namibia expedition. And it sounds like it’s also one you’re planning to use for the Antarctica expedition. So tell us a little bit about the bike was this. Is this something that you’re building yourself? Is this like a custom bike or is this something that people can go and pick up if if they’re doing their own expedition?

Kate 35:00
The way it all started was as I was trying to design or understand what is the best bike that I could use to cycle across Antarctica? And what what is the design, I actually went to the US in terms of started, I picked out a couple, one in particular one sort of innovative frame builder in Maine, actually, Davis Carver and he is just so into this idea. So we Prinos 100 emails more, and looking at different designs, what’s what would cut it for such a difficult place. And then I came across, we came across this design fellow called Steve Cristini in Philadelphia, who had made an all wheel drive mountain bike. And we were looking at two wheel drive stuff before it but there was just like external chains and retrofitted cables and things and they’re already inefficient, gonna break but this was like filtering through the shaft. And it’s like, it might cut it, but he’d only ever made it for a mountain bike. So I tracked Steve down. And I post the idea of would you like to put his technology into a fat bike and to cyclocross, Antarctica, and it’s, you know, he hadn’t even been making bicycles for quite a while because his business has gone on to make motocross. And they make all wheel drive motorbikes for like the US Navy Seals and things. But his passion is, is he loves bikes, he just hadn’t been able to make it really pay. So he made the first one. And I tested it up in Svalbard, which is Norwegian Ireland’s about 80 degrees north. That was my first Arctic trip. And it wasn’t perfect, but because of the support a wide enough tire, like the technology has to be built around the width of the wheels, and that becomes difficult. But then the second one, when my second journey was in northeast Greenland, he built a second one which could hold a house a 4.8 inch wide tire. And so I’ll try I’ll try that one in northeast Greenland. And then he’s sent to me two others that I’ve trialed in Arctic Canada and then in Iceland, but the number two the Greenland bike isn’t became my dedicated sandbag because obviously sand is very good for bikes.

Jeff 37:36
Right? Yeah, imagine it’s more this is a very complex bike I mean, it’s got like you said these drive shafts that are have gears and various internal and external parts as they get along well with the sand Did you run into any problems

Kate 37:51
it’s actually quite astonishing how well that lasted and and I believe the Skeleton Coast is possibly the most corrosive environment on a for machinery like cars and things, I guess that likes because of the salt, ugh, moisture all the way like it’s, it’s a good test. And, but I’ve just kept this one bike and just changing the parts when needed and keeping that for the same numbers three and four are kept for Antarctica, they’re sort of so this bike can tell a real story and one of the Skeleton Coast. So it handled very well. And what’s amazing, because people think it’s a, it’s a gimmick, or it’s got to be really hard to push this thing when when it’s switched on. Not and that’s what’s amazing because the way he somehow calculates all of the mechanical advantage now I’m not a technical person to tell you use the right terms, but the drive shaft into the causes little bit of lift, as it turns and, and so the bike can be switched on the all wheel drive system, it’s got a clutch it can be switched on and off. Cool. So I don’t use it all the time only when I’m in a situation where it’s needed to stop it wearing out. And the really cool thing is it doesn’t you don’t have to drive it unless so if the back wheel slips the front wheel engages automatically. So it’s like having its own differential built into it. And so it’s very helpful like you know, hitting like soft, soft patches, you can’t see sand or snow and the bike I can feel it pulling me out. I mean, yes, it takes a little bit of power as it would anyway. But it means that I’m it’s not a magic bullet. It’s like it just helps me get a little bit more grip and helps me to stay on the bike for longer. Like going through the high sand dunes. I mean sometimes like to go up the soft face of a sand dune and It’s hard, but but but gives me more chance of staying on the bike for longer. That’s what I want it for others, it’s apparently amazing for downhill. Because Because cornering, especially, you know, the front wheel can pull you out when the backboard flips around the corner, that kind of thing. So there are other uses for it. And since Steve sort of started with designing mine, and that’s he’s sort of tooled up enough to make little batches of, of these bikes. So there’s a sort of four inch wide one and a five inch wide one, basically, plus his mountain bikes. And now he’s also got electric bikes, that apparently they’re quite going quite well. Yeah, I can imagine that having quite a good use for if you’re into that sort of thing. Which is not my thing, but but hey, I can see a purpose for it. So that’s a good use of his technology. So yeah, the bike. Look, I’m really proud of it. Because I know it’s not my, I’m not an engineer, but, but I’ve facilitated that design. And now, you know, I’ve been another fellow adventurer also about to cycle in the Empty Quarter in Saudi Arabia, and Oman, and he’s going to be using one of so. So the bikes got its place. It’s not depends what you know, if you’re just going down roads and things you don’t need it. I’m using the same bike for my current journey across Australia, which I think I mentioned to you earlier, but I thought I managed to actually get a full off have never had a crash before or not one, I’ve had a lot of crashes, but not stopped me. And I managed to break my collarbone some goodness, I’m recovering at the moment. I’ve had surgery just over four weeks ago, and plates and screws in my collarbone and I think should be ready in four weeks, we’re planning to resume, but I’m using the same bike. And so this time, there’s a bit out of 6000 case there’s about 1000 kilometers of of ashphalt. Tomic bit more than there’s a lot of sand and gravel. And then there’s sand, like going through the Simpson Desert. And there’s also current, soft corrugations, which are horrible to you, like corrugated surface. So so I decided to take my my Greenland bike again. But that’s a whole set of new and it’s because the Skeleton Coast really did make a mess of my bike. I put faster tires on for the first for the for the good road that I’ve just covered. And then I’m just changing the tires now to have the 4.8.

Because I’m going to be heading into like the Simpson Desert and things. So it worked is still a pretty good, you know, as far as fast pace goes very fast for what, but it’s not, it’s still not going to be as efficient on good roads as other bikes, because it’s just more over the road. I used four inch wide tires for the good road. And now I’ve got the bigger tires going on, as we speak for ready to go again. So yeah, so yeah, it’s a cool, it’s very interesting technology. And as I said, you know, fat bikes have changed quite a lot of way you can go on sand and snow. This is just an it’s really an extension of that for what when you’re wanting a little bit extra. And over the distances that I’m traveling, I’m happy to get that little bit

Jeff 43:43
extra. Every little bit counts, I’m sure. Absolutely. Well, yeah, as you said, you know, this Namibia trip and others before are sort of preparation for this bigger trip this trek across Antarctica. So I’m curious, what did you learn on this Namibia trip? Like what what surprises did you come across along the way? Or what did you figure out that you want to do differently? Maybe or what? What you’re going to expect to see in Antarctica?

Kate 44:15
I guess there’s two parts of that question. One is about the writing side of it. And one and one is about Namibia. So the writing side of it, that was meant to be a mental test in particular, very interesting mental test, but it certainly was the first half of that journey down to where there’s some habitation around Scotland and wolves bay that was is flat of the sand. The hygiene is or that as high and they’re further back. So, so that was more just vast, open, enormous beaches and just little sort of dry rivers that sort of flow underground and flow to the sea and wildlife so you get wildlife because they tend to stay along the rivers where there’s potentially food for them. Whereas then in the South after the it’s like the massive sand dunes that people see dropping down to the sea, so believably spectacular. So the Namath deserts the world’s oldest desert basically vies with the added cameras being dryers and pretty much doesn’t rain apart from the most of the moisture comes as fog from the sea because of this cold and currently brings a fog and that’s a lot of the plants and animals are adapted to get moisture from the fog. Interesting Yeah. And even like the have desert adapted lions and desert adapted elephants and things and they’re not a new a different species. But the Lions for example have learned to hunt on the beach. So that to get catch seal. So get lions going in water. Now that doesn’t happen. Oh, wow.

Jeff 46:08
I didn’t. But it was hard to imagine.

Kate 46:13
Yeah, cat cat’s in water, you usually don’t mix, do they? But anyway, so you know, there’s so there’s quite a zone there. Where Luckily, I was able to bring in the help of the the world’s foremost expert on these desert lions and learn from him. But he also was tracking them. So he knows where they are. And he knew where they know when I had to pass. So he was protecting us and giving us advice as well. So you know, there was one right near the roadside lioness with cubs, which is I got lots of films on when I’m still here, which is a good thing. So yeah, just then so much but down the den, you know, there’s beautiful gemsbok or Oryx, as you might know them. Beautiful, just in the desert is wondering how you wonder how they survive. But yeah, brown hyenas like they’re quite rare. And the saw in the northeast, awesome. And then I also saw one of the distance in the south. And then since they’re going through that, that desert, I just love the deserts anyway. So but just learning cycling wise, getting into the right zone in my mind, and also the skill set to cycle the hygiene ins to to get through, you know, I still do 50 Odd k’s a day through that stuff. So that’s NFL quite a few times, but that’s okay, that’s calculated for

Jeff 47:53
right, it got a bit softer, I guess to you didn’t break your collarbone. They’re not back to Australia. Yeah,

Kate 48:00
yeah. onto a hard clay pan, just like concrete is like this is different. No people either, like so that was just amazing. Also, you know, but navigation is quite tricky, you know, and pretty easy to get lost. Losing the vehicles, the wind raises tracks very quickly. So there’s that there’s the ship as shipwrecks like incredible and then in the south, what’s the diamonds bit So there’s basically diamonds come down the orange river come from the Kimberley region, originally, and over millions of years, they come down this orange river and then they they wash out to sea and then back onto the coast. So that’s the diamonds that are were found bit over 100 100 years ago or so, a little bit more than that, you know, course there’s the richest diamond fields in the world. The southern area about 300 kilometers long along the coast and a big buffer zone all the way back in Scottsburg. OB which is a forbidden diamond mining area. And so to get permission to go through that is unheard of. And my people were there weren’t having any luck and I just started looking on the Internet and I found eventually I found that a mining document with the chief operating officers email address and so I contacted contacted him and and he loved the idea of what I was doing so it was like a to get as far as luderitz on the northern edge of that is a cool thing but to do the whole coastline including that 300 kilometers is really special and basically he reversed the decision to allow us with a strict restricted access permit to go through so yes we couldn’t go exactly what the coast because a lot of its rocky anyway but but also For about 100 kilometers from the river up, there’s just like mining operations. So actually take the they actually take the land back from the sea to demand the diamonds. Wow. So but to go through that area, it’s like untouched for for a century. It’s pristine and they gradually opening it up. Because because the company which is Namdev, which is the Namibian government and DeBeers they’re just going to be mining in the ocean soon. So that area is going to be fantastic. You know, there’s, there’s ghost towns and things there. And wow. Just very cool. I feel very privileged. And as far as learning mentally, about from that journey for Antarctica, it’s really just all of that attitude that we’ve explained about the cycling in the wind, it’s also the strength that’s required the core strength, getting through the sand. And would you say that the techniques are the same as slowly learning to read the sand, which are the soft bits, you know, right in front, trying to avoid the softer spirits, if possible, gaining momentum, keeping the gears very low or light, so that when I do hit something soft, I can actually power out of it. And that’s the only way I can keep going all day anyway. So I just tried to skim over the surface of the sand, which is similar to snow, and then then add stuff to be able to put that power on with with the old drive system. And then yeah, do it again, again, so it’s pretty, but it’s, it’s just so rewarding and satisfying as well. To think, you know, there’s no road there. And I avoid vehicle tracks anyway in the sand because it’s harder. So, you know, it’s, yeah, it’s an amazing thing. And to cycle across Antarctica is a different thing. The main issue for me is the cold actually, because I come from a warmer climate. And, you know, it’s very hard for me to get experience in the cold without costing an awful lot of money. And, and I’ve done so for polar training expeditions. Once I have the funding, which is the main issue stopping me, then, you know, I’ll fine tune those techniques a little bit more, it’s getting clothing, protective clothing and systems, right, that’s, that’s just needs a bit more fine tuning, I’ve got the general plan and the general idea of which things are better to wear and use. And I’ve got ideas for little innovations, maybe comes from that farming background, right.

Now, just for example, you know, in the extreme cold, you know, you know, at the start of any session, I’d be very, very cold and cut you got sort of big down jackets on and things within about two minutes is such hard work that you become really warm, or idea of controlling that body moisture, perspiration. So what do I do? Like if I stop? What do I do with that coat, and it because I’ve got the other stuff things underneath you know, so I think he had like a little seat pack that but I don’t want to be trying to do buckles and straps when it’s that cold because by the time I get them on and off, I’m cold again. So I’m thinking like, you know, why not have a Velcro sort of big mouth to open it up stuffed in back up again. So it’s just like all stuffed in done note No, no just little things like that. I haven’t had that made yet but I reckon that’s the guy that’s most suitable for that. Just keeping you know just trialing out different foods and things because we’ve got to be able to carry you know, even on the plane getting down there you’re limited and being able to go to you know, can’t go to a shop anywhere. So it’s it’s like you’ve got to be exact and have the right number of calories worked out and be much more specific in that planning. So I’m always trialing things. Give you an example of something I’ve trialed for the first time in Namibia was MCT coconut oil, some special stuff and I reckon I reckon having that in the morning was really good help the energy guy kept kept it going for longer. So just think just things like that, you know, I’m trialing out sort of using myself as a bit of a guinea pig. Yeah, so yeah. So the sand stuff, you know, I’ll be on the sand again and this expedition and keeping these expeditions going. A great deal. things to do. They’re not just training expeditions, they’re actually meant to be really interesting expeditions in their own right. And that also includes training as well. Or expedition such as in the Indian Himalayas, I’ve done in one of these. So, so they’re all meant to be worthwhile on their own, as well as keeping me mentally expedition fit, physically and mentally expedition fit. And just keeping that story going, keeping an in the meantime, we’ve created a great film diamonds in the sand, and hope to create another one out of this expedition now, so it’s, it should be building on my, my profile and getting better at other things. And then all the while I’m looking for the major sponsors, it’s not, it’s not a cheap thing, but but if it’s a company that can afford that money, it’s also when you start looking at the marketing side of it, it’s actually you work it out, compared to say, creating an advert for telly. It’s a no brainer, you think it’d be support me because you know, the cost. So, so much of a better investment of what they can create out of it. But it’s still very difficult, especially when it’s me trying to ask for it, you know, when I get more people around me, sometimes that’s better, but then it essentially still comes down to me driving it and selling it. So right? No, it’s, it’s, it’s all possible. And I’m not aiming for this year, because COVID, we still don’t know in Australia, we still can’t even leave the country. But to is too many risks to get that kind of commitment, the chances of us leaving Australia by the end of this year, still slim. So I’m aiming for the following season. So there’ll be November 22, I’ve got to do this soon. But you know, even with that, as I get older, who cares? If I’m cycling, a kilometer, two per hour slower, it doesn’t actually matter. My skills are more about understanding what I can do. And that’s what I you know, and then and then going with that, and, and that’s how anyone should do it anyway, students, I’m trying to I’m not trying to break speed records, doesn’t matter how to get there, collarbones forget about this accident, but But generally, safely. And deliver on everything, you know, obviously cycling, but also all the other parts to the story as well.

Jeff 57:44
I was gonna ask you, you know, what were the most challenging parts of the trip, but I feel like it’s all challenging. I mean, it’s like, everything you’ve mentioned, is a challenge, you know, is it whether it’s physical, or is logistical? Or its funding or mental or I mean, equipment, it’s like, everything is a challenge. And I think to me, that’s what makes it so interesting, and so exciting and inspirational, even, to just see a successful expedition and, and to think about everything that goes into that. Yeah, it’s just incredibly inspiring. And, you know, I also, we kind of touched on this, you know, it sounds like the the research and the logistics are a really big part of it. And, you know, you’re talking about, even down to thinking about, you know, where are you going to put your, your jacket when you stop on the bike? I mean, thinking at that level of detail, obviously, I mean, it takes a ton of planning and a lot of foresight, and, you know, I can understand to that, like the physical part, you know, that’s kind of an afterthought, you know, I mean, it’s like, that’s a part of it. But, you know, you’re going to spend way more of your time it sounds like just just doing the logistical preparation and planning and, and fundraising, and all of that. And so once that’s all in place, getting on the bike is kind of your last concern is that is that an accurate way to sort of put it

Kate 59:13
doesn’t matter how good a cyclist you are, if you don’t find the funds in the first place, and you don’t have the ideas. You can, you can go in the gym and you can sit on a stationary bike, you can go out and just do I mean, you can cycle however you like but but to create one of these, it takes as you say, it’s such a web of commitments, there’s a lot of skills and trying to find the sport support and funding and then you know, it’s, it’s alright to do that for one expedition. But then you can always ask the same people over and over again. Now, I’ve got a couple of private sponsors that have really made a huge difference. But but the hardest thing probably of a whole lot is actually finding funding. And no, it’s trying It’s not really just a donation just for me to do something, it’s, it’s hopefully, an investment that I can give, you know, give some some, at least at the minimum, some good marketing materials back. So the idea of, you know, creating diamonds in the sand, where we’re creating good, we’re creating a story we’re creating this, this amazing story actually. So proud of, but but then now hopefully, you know, sponsors will see that they’ve seen that it’s been out and that side TV, it’s about to be shown on NatGeo Asia 54 countries next, oh, wow. I sky New Zealand’s bought it, still trying to sell it in Australia in the UK and stuff. But, you know, it’s like, this is the, that’s the first time I’ve got it to that level. And hopefully, that helps my marketability for that to make the other bits a little bit easier. You know, I also write so, so write magazine articles and things. So all of those extra things, feed back into that investment, the idea of, you know, I’m afraid I have to sell myself as a brand here, even though it’s a think, but we’re all brands. So it’s just a matter of trying to realize the value of the journey for sponsors, but also, especially education wise, and when you see, I guess one of the things that makes me feel most satisfied is when people get it, they actually read a magazine article, or they hear me speak or they see a film and, and they go off and they create their own challenge journey. Changes who they are. And that’s, that’s the most probably the almost most rewarding thing. And it really inspires me to do it better to get more people. So, so that’s happened quite a bit, especially like talking in schools. And, you know, the students can, you know, really get have some great ideas and, you know, when they just go off and do their own things, that’s, that’s really amazing to me, doesn’t get me adults to write. Right, that’s, that’s fine.

Jeff 1:02:17
Well, another one of your accolades, that we haven’t mentioned, is that you’re a fellow at the World Renowned Explorers Club in New York, which first admitted women, I believe in the 1980s. So I wanted to ask you, what are the challenges that women continue to face in the world of adventuring and exploring today?

Kate 1:02:36
Well, I think that the field has changed quite a lot. And so the last 10 years, compared to last first, trying to find sponsors and get things up and running. So pre Africa, especially when I was less than on to, but but just to get seen, and to get the PR, compared to a guy I think was way harder. And then people’s minds. I think it was also, if a woman can do it means a man can do it easily. And that’s just not true. It’s like there’s difference in physical strength, but there’s so many other ways of doing stuff. And no, I’m pretty sure a lot of women are pretty strong, too, I must say. And there’s the mental side of things. And often effect women tend to plan things that they can realistic things and sort of those things in place a little bit better than older men do. But sometimes the younger guys are a bit more Gung, Gung Ho. But I think, yeah, they’ll they’ll do some amazing stuff, but then there’s a lot of themselves probably in dangerous that are unnecessary. But I think now there’s, there’s actually, especially with not just the metoo movement, but before that, and and I think there’s a really fantastic opportunities for female adventurers. And, and even when it comes to having those who are able to, you know, lead on with series and things, there’s quite a market for it. So it’s kind of turned around a lot, you know, to be to be recognized for my university as well with an honorary doctorate. It’s like that was because of the in particular because they saw me do a presentation like I did an Australian tour with presenting and showing about, especially about Africa, and that work and the ability to communicate that work. And the community work and education work that they’ve done, so it was kind of full on honor and those kinds of things helped to just to be recognized. I don’t crave that but But, but to be recognized actually helps and opens the playing field up a little bit more, if that makes sense, but I don’t do things because I’m a woman or a man, I just do things because I want to do things. You know, I guess growing up, you know, it was certainly, you know, in the 70s 80s, not, you know, was very young, the 70s. But there’s certainly a certain culture, especially here in Australia. And so it takes a while to step out, like to have the confidence to step out of that and not do what’s expected. And, yes, I could be wrong with being a teacher, or that that career that I might have had. But I don’t think it would have been satisfied because it wasn’t me on its own, I felt I just wasn’t said the kids would teach me more than I knew myself, I didn’t feel like I was very complete there. And so I wasn’t, I was just going through the motions, rather than really appreciating that job. So, so I think, you know, that idea of being able to step out, away from my family first, so that they, you know, then it’s taken me a long, long, long time, decades to get to this point. So I’m going to explore that now to do whatever I can, and to use all of those experiences, to be as you know, to have as great of impact as possible. I’m always planning and thinking of the bigger things now thinking, Okay, how do I make that count? And what is the message that I’m trying to say? So it’s, no, I’m doing that through adventure and expeditions and things. But then I have to push myself as a presenter or whatever. So it’s all part of it. So yeah, yeah.

Jeff 1:06:53
And you’re obviously, you know, you’re representing and showing other girls and women that this is something that they can do to right. I mean, it’s, you know, obviously, when you were younger, you didn’t have those same role models, or other explorers, or adventurers, who were female to look up to. And so, yeah, it seems like, you know, hopefully, this is something that can kind of snowball. And, and obviously, you are very big part of that.

Kate 1:07:23
Yeah, well, I try to do do what I can. And sort of, I think just lead by example, is probably a way of looking at it. And I’m happy to inspire men to not. And in fact, you know, often, just about always I have, if I’ve got a support crew, I’ve done, you know, more than half of my journeys I’ve done without support. I’ve done about 55, I’ve worked this out, I’ve done about 55,000 case, unsupported, I’ve done about 30 or so supported. But wow, you know, they’re different things. And it was before I’ve got to do this unsupportable, but it just depends on the message. And often I find quoted expedition is actually much more difficult in that I have to find about four times as much money and kind of support. And I’ve got to find a team that no, I’ve had, I’ve learned the hard way with that, especially one of the hardest things about my breaking the cycle in Africa wasn’t Africa, it was managing the team, when I’m out there in the murder in the sand or whatever, and then, you know, cooped up in a vehicle and getting disgruntled and like, I can’t control it. And yet, it’s my vision hurts, it becomes very difficult. It shouldn’t be a barrier, but birthing women, and they’re often more calculating, and they want to keep themselves in a less of a risk taking environment, but it’s really my advice would be just to try small things, to just test little things out. And then it’s amazing what you can do. But most people will tell you, you know, you can’t do that, or, or you’ll get that feeling or how do you break out of that. But you’ve just got to take that step out the door. But But plan and then do it and then think about the story you want to tell that that will make a big difference as well. And then you might not, you might learn about what equipment to take or a lot of it’s also in your mind about how to sit on. You’re not just sitting on a bike for eight hours a day. You know, I’m thinking about things and I’m putting things in perspective. And I’m, I’ve got all sorts of techniques that that are useful in other parts of my life that I’ve learnt on a bike so there’s a lot of things you need to put in but you can’t you can’t beat experience. So yeah,

Jeff 1:09:58
yeah. Well, obviously not everyone is going to be able to ride their bike around the world or, you know, explore some of these environments that you’re able to get to. So are there other ways that people can be sort of curious explorers in their day to day lives? Do you have some, like, sort of concrete advice for people who maybe want to get started, or people who just want like a little taste of, of adventure of that life? You know, to? Kind of, I don’t know, switch things up a little bit.

Kate 1:10:31
I think everyone should, should try to include it in some way. The warning is that it can be addictive. But definitely, you know, you mentioned you know, you have a long weekend. Why don’t plan something, you know, just just think about it by it. And it takes a bit of courage to start with, but you can’t not try it. And you’d be surprised at what you can actually do. And then once you’ve tried a little thing, then you think, Okay, well, maybe I’ll try this little journey. And I like the idea of putting it into a journey, because it just means a bit more like to get from A to B, or whatever your challenge is, it doesn’t have to even be a physical journey, it could be whatever that journey, put it into that perspective. And that’s what I always say, to the kids, you know, it’s about first creating the vision, I spent ages creating division before, before I do anything else, because if you’re not 100%, certain what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. And you know, that kind of thing, when the times are tough, that’s when you’re less likely to pull through, you’ve got to be able to know if you really have that clear in your mind. So I spent a lot of time putting that vision in place and imagining what it can be like and doing, then doing research. And then all of my journeys had to be adapted a little bit because it’s, that’s, that’s the nature of adventure. But but for me, I always try and keep that journey and a continuous line, try not to break the line of my journey. I can, I can go off the journey and see something but then I come back to the point. So so especially when it’s supported, and I’ve got to go and see a project of whatever, there’s no, there’s no driver and driving away somewhere to go and meet certain people, but then I’ll come back to that, behind that point. So that I keep that. And that’s sort of like the narrative, it’s this real journey. It’s like I’ve done every kilometer or whatever. So, so yeah, so for anyone, I would, yeah, take some time, have a go. Don’t have to tell everyone about it, you don’t even have to do.

Jeff 1:12:50
You don’t have to post it on social media.

Kate 1:12:54
Unless you want to, I mean, you can do but, but don’t feel that pressure that, oh, you need to be compared with other people, it’s your journey. And, you know, for me, I’m ultra competitive. So I don’t, sometimes I just I’ll try things out quietly first, and just make sure they’re gonna work before I start posting those. No, it’s a that’s a very different world to when I started and, you know, it’s a very necessary world that, you know, I’m probably not the master of and should be better at, but no, you got to be able to post things. And sure, you can publish things, but you can still choose what you publish, you can still go out there and have a little adventure. And it could be your little adventure, you could be your adventure with your dog, or whatever it is. Or it could be whatever but but just have a go. You know, I tend to do because my, my journey is tend to be quite my visions these days, I tend to cycle if I’m doing the man support, support, especially, I’m doing them on my own, which I’m very comfortable with. It’s very, if you have someone that you’re adventuring with, that’s great, but just make sure that you’re both on the same page with the vision in the first place, otherwise things and it really tests people out so you think you really know someone but when you’re under real pressure and when you’re pushing it out day after day or whatever, you know, you might not know them as well. Test relationships Yeah, but that’s another thing you know, just do that adventure with a friend but that that’s something that depends on you really. Give it a go.

Jeff 1:14:46
Yeah, yeah. That’s all great. Yeah. Well, that’s all great advice and definitely inspiring to think about the things that are possible, you know, at the source A human limits in the scale of what you’re doing, but then for all of us to think about, sort of what we’re capable of, or what excites us, and then just going for it, I mean, it sounds like you, you know, you never know what you can do until you try to do it. And, and then you’re gonna learn something along the way, even if you don’t do it, you know, you’re you may get out there and figure out, you don’t like doing it or you you, you learn a better way, and you always just come back and plan the next one.

Kate 1:15:30
Absolutely. You know, it’s a part of life. So is doesn’t have to be se doesn’t have to be on a bike. It doesn’t have to be walking, it could be wherever you’re, you’re, everyone’s different. And that’s what’s that’s great. That’s how it should be. Yeah, give it a go. But you’ve got to gotta step out there. At some point, don’t just sit in at home, planning it on behind a screen all the time, you’ve actually got to go to and that’s how we learned and that’s, that’s innate of human beings. That’s, that’s what makes us different from other animals is our curiosity. That’s where it all starts from everything that we’ve ever achieved as human beings come from exploration. It’s come from now to explore to be able to find things out work things out from science from experience. That’s how we learn so, so we’re meant to do it.

Jeff 1:16:25
Yeah, yeah, that’s awesome. Okay, thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us, and inspire us with your journeys. And we’re really looking forward to hearing more and seeing what you’re able to do in the next few months and years. So thanks.

Kate 1:16:41
It’s a pleasure, Jeff. It’s been lovely talking to you on the other side of the world.

Jeff 1:16:46
Yes. Well, the documentary diamonds in the sand will air on outside TV this summer. And you can also find out more about Kate’s previous expeditions and some of the things that she has coming up at breaking the cycle dot education. And we’ll have that link in the show notes. So we’ve got this week. We’ll talk to you again next week.

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