Kona Sutra Excels in Epic Journey by Troels Sommerville


WITHOUT the money to afford a plane trip home from London and his visa running out, Daniel Seehusen decided riding his bike back home to Melbourne was the best option. Within a few months the Mitcham resident had gathered friends Tim Holman, John Clark and Aaron Turner and laid the plans for what was to become Ride2Rescue – a 24,000km ordeal all in the name of charity. Backing themselves in the fitness department, they decided to forgo any specific training for the globe-spanning ride and set off from London on April 30 last year.
“We all wanted to come into it fresh and we might have been a little too fresh because for the first couple of weeks we were pretty exhausted,” Seehusen said. “Our bodies got used to it after a while and we could ride 100km a day and still feel good.”

Leaving the white cliffs of Dover behind, their route took them first through continental Europe and the Middle East, then down through the Indian subcontinent, South East Asia and finally around the east coast of Australia. The quartet were never short of support, with fellow bike riders joining them along the way and their mums bringing Tim Tam biscuits and Vegemite when they met in Thailand. They were especially thankful for the family support while riding through Iran during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, a month of fasting where no food was to be consumed between sunrise and sunset. Finding food or water during daylight hours was a struggle so Mr Holman and Mr Seehusens’s fathers rode alongside them on motorbikes with supplies while the riders suffered through the 50C heat. “Big mountains in Iran,” Seehusen said. “No one told me that the whole country was pretty much one big mountain range.”

Seehusen said that his endurance was matched by that of his bike. A Kona Sutra. “It’s amazing the bikes are still in one piece, let alone running smoothly after going over some of the world’s worst roads.” “They’ve been involved in 15 crashes between us, one was left overnight in a disco, one fell off our support car at 140km/h in central Australia, they’ve carried 40kg plus a man for over a year, all this considering we were pretty lazy when it came to bike maintenance.”

Every bruised behind and tough night’s sleep was worth it to raise money – $20,000 so far – and awareness for the fight against child trafficking. Along the way they stopped at shelters and project centres doing work to aid children at risk of trafficking. One shelter in New Delhi, helping children who had been rescued from the sex trade, had a big impact, Mr Holman said. “It was pretty hard to comprehend what they’d been through. It was almost too horrific to hit you.” Although they have finished the cycling, the finish line is still in the distance. They want to continue to work to raise awareness of child trafficking and will be doing presentations at schools and finishing off a documentary that was filmed along the way.

Learn more at ride2rescue.org and www.facebook.com/Ride2Rescue

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