Scots adventurer calls on cyclists to join him in Oz trek


By Oliver Farrimond

A SCOTS explorer and reality TV star has invited budding adventurers to join him on an epic 2000-mile cycle trek across Australia.

Mike Laird, who was born in Edinburgh, hopes to retrace the footsteps of the doomed 1860 expedition by Robert O’Hara Burke and William Wills, in which all but one member of the expedition perished.

And now, having already completed the trans-Australia ride solo, the 41-year-old former Castaway star has spread the word for amateur cyclists to join him on his next journey.

He said: “I wanted to open this amazing trip up to other people and thought other cyclists would appreciate the amazing landscape and wildlife.

“It would be a good opportunity to make a few quid for one of my good causes.

“Anyone with determination, bags of energy and a decent bike should reach the finish line.”

Mike, who currently lives in Surrey and has worked previously as a war photographer and remote travel export as well as his day job as a risk manager, has put out the call for cyclists to register when enrolment opens on September 18th.

The Trans Oz Bike Race stretches over 19 days, with cyclists completing an average of 20 miles a day, and runs from the outskirts of Melbourne to the finish in Cairns in Queensland.

Cyclists will be braving off-road tracks and blistering temperatures, with only two days off to rest during the expedition.

However their efforts will not be in vain – the entry fee is £3,000, which will go towards Australian charities The Heart Foundation and the Starlight Children’s Foundation.