THREE former students of St Laurence’s College, South Brisbane are on a global cycling adventure of a lifetime in a bid to raise money for starving children in Africa.
Brothers Ben and Kendon Glass and friend Sean FitzGibbon will cover the 50,000 km journey in 800 days.
Starting from the southern tip of the Americas, the Brink Expedition Team will battle unforgiving Patagonian winds, thick Amazonian jungles, the world’s driest desert and 5000-metre Himalayan passes to attempt to reach Sydney Harbour by Christmas Eve 2004.
The two brothers have already begun the journey, with Sean set to join them in the new year after completing a Doctorate of Zoology at the University of Queensland.
Expedition leader Kendon Glass, 30, has toured by bicycle through Australia, France, Spain, Portugal, Morocco, Switzerland, Germany and Holland.
He is a keen camper and water sports enthusiast, and has kayaked several of Australia’s vast river systems and surf-skiing most of the Queensland and northern NSW coastlines.
He is also a certified sailing crew member.
During August/September 2000 he hiked on his own through Mexico and much of Guatemala, exploring Mayan ruins along sections of the Rio Usumacinta.
He also cycled through the Swiss and French alps, the Spanish Pyrenees and the Moroccan High Atlas mountains in 2001. His most recent excursion included hiking through sections of the Scottish Highlands in November 2001.
Brother Ben, 25, is an experienced hiker and a certified sailing crew member. He has trekked many of the popular bushwalks in eastern Australia.
His most memorable walks to date have been the South Coast Track in Tasmania and the Hinchinbrook Island walk in far north Queensland.
He has a keen interest in cycle touring, frequenting popular riding routes in south-east Queensland.
He recently completed a 120 km one day ride from Brisbane to Currumbin, on the Gold Coast.
Ben also sailed with brother Kendon from Brisbane to Sydney to deliver the yacht “Portafino” for the 1997 Sydney to Hobart race.
Sean is an experienced hiker and has hiked through Tasmania, Queensland and New Zealand.
He said as a young teenager he felt a connection and a fascination with nature.
‘I loved trips to the local creek with my brothers, scooping for guppies, searching for frog eggs or sneaking up on basking turtles.
‘This passion has grown as I have, fuelled by my studies, regular trips into the wilderness, but also by an increasing awareness of the scale of environmental destruction prevalent today – so often linked to social injustice.’
The trio will carry a cricket bat with them for the entire journey and will play a little of the ‘backyard’ variety of cricket whenever and wherever possible.
The Brink adventure will also be shared with the world through live chat room sessions, the production of a broadcast quality documentary and post-expedition seminars.
The adventurers are carrying a small computer, a video camera and a battery recharger on the trip. The only viable solution to power the appliances is to use solar energy.
The trio are encouraging schools to get students involved in following the exhibition through the Brink School Room on their Web site.
‘We hope to excite, inspire and capture the interest and imagination of students across the globe,’ Kendon said.
‘We would like to encourage them to take advantage of the Brink Expedition’s professionally developed curriculum.
‘Our online modules are structured using the Australian Education Council’s guidelines for the SOSE (Studies of Society and Environment for Years 1-10) syllabus.’
Through the Brink Expedition the team wants schools around Australia and across the globe to have the chance to empower their students to act for a just world where all people and environments are respected and valued.
For further information about the expedition or to find out how the travellers are going visit www.brinkx.org
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