75 year old cyclist to take on the Cannng Stock Route - solo

Submitted: Tuesday, Jan 14, 2014 at 01:58
ThreadID: 105812 Views:3092 Replies:8 FollowUps:13
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75 year old American cyclist Erik Nordenson? will be cycling the CSR solo this year. No vehicle support.

And that is after he has finished with a few other deserts!!!! So keep an eye out for him Australia wide.

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Reply By: Member - John and Val - Tuesday, Jan 14, 2014 at 08:06

Tuesday, Jan 14, 2014 at 08:06
With absolutely no support? While I admire the enthusiasm, I'm also very skeptical -

"only carrying food to get me to Kunawarritji. I am planning on sending a care parcel to Billiluna Community for the last part" Hmmmm....

"Sleeping Quilt, Prodigy X 30 Orange outside for Emergency use" That'll be useful on the red sand in the event of an aerial search - not there will be one with nowhere to land, and no chopper with the range or willingness to put down on sand.

"Spot connect, for emergency with their add on Emergency evacuation insurance" Not many opportunities for emergency evacuation on the CSR.

"Have made an arrangement with Happy Camper Gourmet to supply me with their product when I am on the road."

"From their accounts water should not be an issue. Yes it is, but it seems to be available more so than on other tracks."

Do hope he has a close look at the CSR (by 4WD) before setting out on an unsupported solo cycling expedition.



J and V
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Follow Up By: Gaynor - Tuesday, Jan 14, 2014 at 08:35

Tuesday, Jan 14, 2014 at 08:35
:-) He aims to claim SOLO, not unsupported, even though he has no support vehicle.

Others aim to claim unsupported, but have TWO vehicles travelling with them.

I think he is being modest in his aim to claim, no?

If you read his BIO again, you will note that he is doing several desert cycles before the Canning, and has already done part of one in Australia. So he should have a good idea of his capabilities by the time he gets on the Canning.

This is also probably a good indicator that he is fit: 'I have a strong racing background in cycling. Specifically cycle cross the last 20 years. US champ in age 70-74. (2011) and placed 3rd in the Masters World Championship’s 2012, Louisville, Kentucky. Racing has nothing to do with touring but it has kept me in very good shape.

Erik also has had in depth conversations with 2013 cyclist Scott Felter and even has his equipment. You don't get better information than from a fellow cyclist who has done it recently. He is also very open to receiving information. We are having ongoing discussions and he is speaking to other cyclists, 4x4'ers and travellers in Australia

I did send Erik an email to explain the last food parcel. It makes more sense that he means Kunawarritji, but will clarify and update report when I get that information. He is not trying to take ALL his food in one hit. He is upfront about that. There will be a resupply. Still a big effort I reckon.

btw: Happy Camper Gourmet is supporting him on all his desert cycles, not only the CSR.

If you have any specific questions you would like me to direct to him, please feel free to ask and I will do my best to get the answers. :-)
FollowupID: 806124

Follow Up By: Gaynor - Tuesday, Jan 14, 2014 at 09:11

Tuesday, Jan 14, 2014 at 09:11
My mistake.

He said in his email he was sending a care parcel to Bill. I thought he was using short hand for Billiluna.

He meant Bill Johnson, CEO of Kunawarritji.

So Erik is resupplying in Kunawarritji.

Erik also noted his time estimate for the Wiluna to Kunawarritji section - 20 days. Scott and Tom did the whole trip in 26 days.
FollowupID: 806125

Reply By: Phil B (WA) - Tuesday, Jan 14, 2014 at 10:21

Tuesday, Jan 14, 2014 at 10:21
Hi Gaynor

Thanks for the heads up on another CSR adventurer and a 75 years young to boot - good luck to him in his challenge.
I'm looking forward to hearing more about his quest.

I hope all is well over in SA.

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Follow Up By: Gaynor - Tuesday, Jan 14, 2014 at 16:16

Tuesday, Jan 14, 2014 at 16:16
:-) There is a 65 year old from Aussie also doing it this year - cycling. Although he has given me info and photos, he has asked me to hold off publishing anything for now.

And then don't forget the solo unsupported Polish man dragging his seriously heavy cart through the desert. Ugh!

As information comes available I will update my website and the Exploroz forum.

Gonna be a fun season of human endurance with lots to learn from all involved!!!
FollowupID: 806147

Reply By: prado 01 - Tuesday, Jan 14, 2014 at 10:34

Tuesday, Jan 14, 2014 at 10:34
Good on him, he seems to have his s##t together.
Anyway have a check on you tube and there is a movie of a 4wd group who came across a couple of fellas on bicycles on the Anne Beadell Hwy.
You may be able to somehow track them down to get some info, who knows.
AnswerID: 524498

Follow Up By: Gaynor - Tuesday, Jan 14, 2014 at 16:40

Tuesday, Jan 14, 2014 at 16:40
Did a search on youtube but could not find them - only one of 2012 Italian cyclist Oli. Maybe you are referring to him? Or maybe my search needs a few more key words?

My interest is specifically CSR foot powered adventures. I love exploring how people plan for it, what their equipment looks like before the journey, what worked on the journey and what adaptions they needed to make in order to succeed. I store this all on my website for people to refer to, learn and perhaps use in their own adventures. That is why I like specifics as opposed to vague generalisations.

Like my survival instructor said: It is the small things that get you in the end.
FollowupID: 806148

Follow Up By: prado 01 - Tuesday, Jan 14, 2014 at 18:04

Tuesday, Jan 14, 2014 at 18:04
search anne beadell hwy on youtube.
scroll through until you come across a movie by michael smart dated 17th may, laverton to turkey point.
two korean guys on bikes. it gives little detail but i do wonder how they went. presumably ok. maybe the cheese and vegemite turned them into superman.
FollowupID: 806151

Follow Up By: Gaynor - Tuesday, Jan 14, 2014 at 19:26

Tuesday, Jan 14, 2014 at 19:26
Ah ....http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Te2DHA9Lmbo

Ooooh... normal mountain bikes, not fat bikes with little wheel trailers. Hardcore!

Daily distance range from 20km to 100km depending on terrain.
FollowupID: 806157

Follow Up By: Gaynor - Thursday, Jan 16, 2014 at 03:47

Thursday, Jan 16, 2014 at 03:47
We digress, but for Prado's interest:

Got an update from Russell Worthington, the 2009 unsupported cyclist of the CSR. He also cycled the Anne Beadell as part of his 10 Desert Tour:

Russell Worthington cycled this route solo and unsupported in 2009. He used 50l of water to ride the final 645km section without water between the border and Coober Pedy. He did this in one week, and had 16l of water left-over. The entire Anne Beadell took him two weeks, and he commenced this just four days after completing the CSR, riding the whole distance between Wiluna & Laverton.

Iron Man!

He is sending me a full ride report on the whole 10 Deserts Tour. Let you know when it is available for viewing.
FollowupID: 806297

Follow Up By: prado 01 - Thursday, Jan 16, 2014 at 08:54

Thursday, Jan 16, 2014 at 08:54
That's oustanding as it takes about a week in a 4wd.
FollowupID: 806302

Reply By: Member - Noah273 - Tuesday, Jan 14, 2014 at 11:29

Tuesday, Jan 14, 2014 at 11:29
Suddenly my own "adventure" of doing the CSR in an air-conditioned ARB equipped 200 series Land Cruiser pales in comparison... :)

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Follow Up By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Tuesday, Jan 14, 2014 at 15:38

Tuesday, Jan 14, 2014 at 15:38
Noah, know what you mean - I did it last year in an non air-con / armstrong power steering 40 series and I thought i was doing it rough until we met Gaynor walking up the track and then Scott & Tom on the pushies around well 33.

Puts things in perspective.

Gaynor - good to see Eric is utilising Scott's experience and bike gear - nothing like using something that is proven and reliable.
FollowupID: 806144

Reply By: Member - Rosss - Thursday, Jan 16, 2014 at 08:55

Thursday, Jan 16, 2014 at 08:55
Hope he is bringing his own Yankee rescue team with him, why should the Australian tax payer have to shell out to rescue these clowns if something does go wrong.
AnswerID: 524594

Follow Up By: Gaynor - Thursday, Jan 16, 2014 at 17:00

Thursday, Jan 16, 2014 at 17:00
Rosss..... If you read the article, you will see that he has taken out additional GEOS alliance insurance using SPOT.


'Spot connect, for emergency with their add on Emergency evacuation insurance. Also will most likely use their tracking system'

This from the SPOT website:


'Why Should I Upgrade?
The GEOS Member Benefit, including the Search and Rescue Insurance, underwritten by Lloyds of London, is available to all SPOT subscribers for only $19.95 USD. The GEOS benefit provides up to $50,000 per occurrence in reimbursement for qualified SAR extraction-related expenses for which you are held responsible up to two (2) events per year. The GEOS Member benefit also provide additional SAR coordination– including arranging private aircraft/helicopter charter, private search teams—if required to get you to safety.'

The Australian Government is not expected to pay for this eventuality.
FollowupID: 806338

Reply By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Thursday, Jan 16, 2014 at 10:02

Thursday, Jan 16, 2014 at 10:02
My first thoughts were "Not another one". But after calming down I wish him luck. We haven't been there yet so I won't delve into the dangers until we see and experience them.

My concern is meeting him, or any cyclist or idiot without a flag, near the crest of a dune. Sure we won't be racing but we still have some momentum at the top. I hope that he has a flag and can some way warn oncoming vehicles of his presence! We will be doing a north - south transit in July. At last!!!

I couldn't do it. I am lucky enough to survive long enough to do it in a car.

Good luck to him.

AnswerID: 524596

Follow Up By: Gaynor - Thursday, Jan 16, 2014 at 17:13

Thursday, Jan 16, 2014 at 17:13

'At last..!!!'

Could not agree more. Enjoy every moment. It is an endurance event even in a 4x4!

Re meeting a person foot powered person on the Canning:

Walking in the desert I appreciated the 'silence'. Listening to the wind in the spinifex, the twittering of excited birds off to water, the swish of my gaiters rubbing as I took each step, my heavy footfalls in the soft sand and the sound of my own belaboured breathing.

And the welcome roar of an approaching 4x4 convoy. We hear you long before we see you and we do the sensible thing - get out of your way.

FollowupID: 806343

Reply By: Gaynor - Thursday, Jan 16, 2014 at 23:19

Thursday, Jan 16, 2014 at 23:19
The thing about crazy foreigners doing crazy adventures in Australia is that you will always find an even crazier AUSTRALIAN who did some of them first!


Received today, hot off the press:


My thanks to Russell Worthington for this write up on his unsupported solo cycle of four of his TEN Desert Cycle Epic - the CSR, Anne Beadell, Walkers Crossing and finally the Simpson, which required support.
AnswerID: 524635

Follow Up By: Gaynor - Friday, Jan 17, 2014 at 16:19

Friday, Jan 17, 2014 at 16:19
A sixty year young Australian from Canberra plans to cycle the CSR before Erik. I have been asked to withhold any further details for now.
FollowupID: 806435

Reply By: Quickboats - Friday, Jan 17, 2014 at 19:16

Friday, Jan 17, 2014 at 19:16
well goodluck to him on this challenge.
AnswerID: 524688

Follow Up By: Gaynor - Monday, Jan 20, 2014 at 22:06

Monday, Jan 20, 2014 at 22:06
mmmm....personally I am a bit worried about the 60 yo. Received his bio, planning and equipment list last week - or rather distinct lack of.

Have not uploaded it on my website as his own quote 'lazy' attitude alarms me.

Hopefully he will shape up over the next 4 months.
FollowupID: 806675

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