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Great Indigo Bike Ride reaches Bourke

Bicycle adventurer Ian Wallis in Oxley Street, Bourke last week, on his way to Singapore. Photo TWH

Bourke has long been a destination for adventurers and those attempting feats of endurance in the name of charity - walking, running, horse riding and cycling vast distances to raise funds.

Last week, adventurer and philanthropist Dr Ian Wallis arrived in Bourke for a pit stop on his epic ride from Canberra to Singapore on behalf of the Indigo Foundation.

Ian has cycled across continents for the cause, including France, Switzerland, Israel, Jordan, Tibet, and the United States - all on two wheels, using nothing but pedal power.

He said he has seen some incredible scenery, but that was not what he rated as the most extraordinary experience on his journeys.

“The best thing I’ve ever seen is abject poverty, because it makes me realise how lucky I am,” he said.

“I rode from England to Singapore while I was on long service leave and I was being paid to do it, and it made me realise how lucky I was.

“I have seen fantastic things but the things that wake me up and tell me how lucky I am are the people.

“People are the same everywhere and I don’t like it when people say, ‘aren’t you scared?’ I say to them that it has been a fantastic experience and I have learnt that wherever you go, the less money people have, the more generous they are.

“Of course, there are also some people you don’t want to come across.

When we cycled from Uluru to Canberra on the way back from Singapore, we were passing where Peter Falconio was murdered and that was something to think about, but the average person is a nice person,” Ian said.

Ian is a retired scientist who has devoted his non-working life to the Indigo Foundation, a small, independent community development organisation investing in building the capacity of local organisations. […]

Read more in the printed edition of The Western Herald.

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