The first CSR cyclist and first motorcyclist

Submitted: Sunday, Dec 08, 2013 at 01:37
ThreadID: 105410 Views:3198 Replies:3 FollowUps:3
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I recently received new information about the first CSR cyclists from Ronel and Eric Gard. The Gards are brilliant and highly respected researchers with regards to the CSR, but I would like to have the information corroborated if possible to ensure accuracy.

It was commonly believed that Kate Leeming, Great Grand Niece of William Snell, was the first cyclist on the CSR in 2004. Certainly the first woman.


The Gards say that Robin Rishworth was in fact the first cyclist in 1997 and I found one post from a CSR traveller to confirm that he at least got just over the half way mark, but would like to have confirmation that he went all the way. Research on my part suggests that this likely due to his personality and other achievements, but something more would be nice.

Then the big surprise. The Gards say that Gillian Plaistowe was actually the first woman to successfully cycle the CSR - but I cannot find any information at all regarding this. She made an attempt in 1997 and I wander if this was with Rishworth? She had to pull out due to injury but came back in 1999 and apparently did it successfully. But there is absolutely no record that I can find. The Gards also say that she did it in 21 days which is incredible and would be a record.

Speaking to Kate Leeming, she researched all this 10 years ago and found no information regarding Gillian at that time.

Did anyone meet these two on the Canning in 1997 and 1999?

Oh and the first motorcyclists - I have on record three riders did it in 1974. I am busy building a page to reflect their journey. Anyone know if there were earlier rider who did the whole of the CSR - at least between Billiluna and Wiluna?

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Reply By: Phil B (WA) - Sunday, Dec 08, 2013 at 11:55

Sunday, Dec 08, 2013 at 11:55
Hi Gaynor

I hope all's going well with your 'recovery' from you epic adventure walking the CSR solo.

Since publishing the book 'Work Completed Canning' new information has come to me re early adventurers in particular Rishworth. To date he is indeed the earliest known to cycle the CSR.
A chap from Alice Springs sent me Rishworth's day by day diary of the trip - a copy is winging its way to you by email.

From his diary are the following:

*Rishworth completed his north south traverse in July 1997

*In his journal he mentions another cyclist on the CSR coming also going north south. He was made aware of this by other travellers, so to keep ahead he made really early morning starts and on occasions after having an evening meal with travellers he would cycle on. He doesn't name the other cyclist - could this be Gillian Plaistowe?

* Rishworth also mentions that in 1996 Larry Nolan and Alan Davis, also on pushbikes attempted cycling from north to south, but had to pull out at Well 49.

So far I have been unsuccessful in locating any other information about;
Rishworth, Plaistowe or Nolan and Davis.

I am aware of the three motor cyclists in 1974 but don't have names or detail on what they did and how they went about it.

all the best

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Follow Up By: Gaynor - Sunday, Dec 08, 2013 at 15:31

Sunday, Dec 08, 2013 at 15:31
Oh my gosh.....

Phil, I feel I have received an early Christmas present!

17 pages of an almost unknown historical ride, written in great detail with diagrams. I am over the moon. Although I am supposed to be driving to a breakfast walk, once I opened this document, I could not stop reading until the final page. Magnificent.

I am so glad I can send you tonnes of information re those 1974 motor bike riders. And even better, one of the participants kept a journal and has incredible photographs to go with it and is so approachable. We have been in regular email contact. Will send you all the details today after this breakfast walk!

P.S. Their adventure has AIR-SUPPORT!!!!!

Walking on air!
(yes I am a CSR junkie and I am not ashamed to admit it :-)
FollowupID: 803895

Follow Up By: Phil B (WA) - Sunday, Dec 08, 2013 at 19:36

Sunday, Dec 08, 2013 at 19:36
Hi Gaynor

A CSR junkie - lol. I thought that there was only one of those 'crazy people'!
Looks like we've both had wins.

I would be delighted to receive any info on the 1974 motor cyclists. They had air support you say. Well I'll be - I'm so looking forward to receiving any detail.

Then you say journals, photos and so on - I'm salivating.


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Reply By: gke - Sunday, Dec 08, 2013 at 12:57

Sunday, Dec 08, 2013 at 12:57
Hi Gaynor,
In 1999 we left Billiluna on June 25th and arrived at Wiluna on July 14th and have no recollection of any cyclists and no mention in my diary.
However we were off the track a few times e.g. nights of July 8th and 9th at the Calvert Range.
Regards, Graham.
AnswerID: 522748

Follow Up By: Gaynor - Sunday, Dec 08, 2013 at 15:38

Sunday, Dec 08, 2013 at 15:38
No worries gke

There were travellers I missed as well as I walked off track quite a few times. The document Phil sent me is very detailed and can only be authentic. Rishworth is indeed the first CSR cyclist, whilst Jakub remains the first unsupported cyclist. There were travellers who met Rishworth as he mentions them regularly - very often helping to fix umteem punctures.
FollowupID: 803896

Reply By: Gaynor - Sunday, Dec 15, 2013 at 20:49

Sunday, Dec 15, 2013 at 20:49
Ok, I have done a nice update with photos of the CSR cyclists page, including the new information provided by Phil Bianchi.

I have been unsuccessful in contacting Robin for permission to upload his full ride report (courtesy Phil Bianchi) to my website, so in the mean time I have included an excerpt of his final day.

Unfortunately Wikipedia censors have rejected this new information and deleted the majority of recent updates to the Traverse section of the Canning Stock Route page
(reason: focusing too much on recent events and too much information from one source)
so the Canning Walker website is probably the only place you will find the most up to date records of a wide spread of modern day adventure events on the CSR, for now.

Still researching the CSR motorcyclist information. The 1974 ride still looks like the earliest MC event without 4WD support. Keep you posted.
AnswerID: 523132

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