Local newsLocal sportNewsSport

Globe peddler returns from charity ride

NGN talks to globe peddler Garth Lezard about his cycle ride to raise money for charity.

CYCLING through rugged terrain, around mountains, through deserts, all in an effort to raise money for charity may not be the choice for most but for Durban North resident Garth Lezard, it was his sole purpose.

After cycling through four countries on six continents totalling 30 000 kilometers, the intrepid adventurer and globe peddler recently returned from the Oceania region, (which included cycling across Australia, New Zealand, Samoa and Fiji) to raise money for the Leonard Cheshire Home which looks after people with disabilities, illness and people living with degenerative disorders.

His incredible round the world journey unassisted has seen him being chased by stray dogs in Samoa, to taking shelter from a desert storm behind a solitary bin on the Nullarbor Plain in Australia, to taking more than triple the punctures most people go through in a lifetime. Lezard, has already cycled through countries in Africa, Europe, Asia, South America, Central and North America.

“I started my epic journey in 2010. Initially it started out as a way of combining my two passions, photography and travel. Each country I travelled to I visited a Leonard Cheshire home and it occurred to me that I could raise money for such a fantastic foundation and give something back to them,” he said.

His recent cycle trip which he returned from after cycling for more than a year through the four Oceania regions were not without it’s difficulties recalls Lezard. “Cycling through the Nullabor Plain was extremely difficult. The headwinds were extremely strong and there was one day where I couldn’t cycle through the storm. The plain is vast, you face more than a 1 000km journey with no trees in sight.

“I remember seeing a solitary bin that was cemented into the ground. I cycled up to it and eventually fell asleep. When I woke up I thought I was hallucinating because I saw what appeared to be an aquarium in the middle of the desert. The blue of the water seemed to match the colour of the sky.

“As I got closer though I realised it was a double decker bus painted like an aquarium and met an English couple who were travelling around Australia. It’s not often you get to take shelter in a bus,” he joked.

The Nullarbor is officially the earth’s largest piece of limestone (200 000 km2 and 1200 km from east to west at its furthest point). The name comes from the Latin for nothing (nullus) and tree (arbor).

The intrepid traveller said he has gained so much from his travels, from meeting new people and experiencing new cultures to having people who have very little, sharing food and giving him accommodation. “My best moment of this trip was meeting a Sudanese doctor in Melbourne who was cycling to Perth to celebrate his grandfather’s 100th birthday.

“I decided to cycle with him and eventually met his grandfather and shared in the birthday festivities. It was a wonderfully humbling experience sharing my journey with the doctor but also how welcoming the family were to a stranger they had barely knew,” he said.

The former Northlands Primary pupil said travelling on a bicycle is an amazing way to see the world. “You are closer to the environment, you can smell it, touch it and feel it on your skin. It’s a mind, body and soul moment.

“I have had low points on the journey, like cycling through monsoon rains in Thailand, or travelling on roads that are supposed to be tarred, but in actuality are 150 km of dirt road. But the highs far outweigh the low troughs. I have been amazed by peoples’ generosity, allowing me to camp on their land and sharing food with me even though they don’t have much,” he said.

Related Articles

Back to top button