July 13, 2001


* * * MEDIA RELEASE - 13/7/01 * * *

Being left for dead with two broken legs at the edge of a Colorado highway after being run over by an 82-year old man with cataracts is not an experience Jason Lewis intends to repeat on the next leg of his epic Guinness World Record attempt to be the first to circumnavigate the earth using only pedal power, set to depart July 21st from Cairns, Australia.

After 7-years and 36,000kms completed out of a total of 65,000, the next leg of Expedition 360 will see Lewis mountain-biking 4,000km in 86-days off-road through the wilds of the Australian bush from Cairns to Darwin via Uluru. He will be being joined by an Australian contingent of 7 x students and teachers connected to schools within Australia and all around the world by satellite and the Internet. The World Wildlife Fund are facilitating a daily satellite link with 10,000 classrooms that will travel virtually with the team, utilizing custom-made learning activities for classroom use.

Instead of getting run over by passing motorists, Lewis and his team will have to settle with crossing crocodile infested rivers in North Queensland, riding through 40+ degree temperatures in the Simpson Desert and avoid being waylaid by any one of the Outback’s notorious poisonous snakes and spiders. The route leads intially through the rainforest and cattle country of north Queensland to Mt. Isa and across the Simpson Desert from Jervois to Arltunga Historic Reserve and onto Alice Springs. From Uluru the intended route will see the team heading north to the Tanami Track via Papunya and Kings Canyon then up to Victoria River Downs where the route turns northeast towards Katherine and eventually to Darwin.

Sponsorship for bicycles comes from Cannondale (Jekyll 600 + 700 series), AUSLIG (Australia's national mapping agency – 1:100K + 250K topographical maps), BOB trailers (4 x Yak trailers), Camelbak (7 x HAWG units), Great Outdoors (Explorer tents), Primus (3-ring stove) and Silva (compasses and Alba Windwatch).

A film crew shooting for a documentary series commissioned by The Discovery Channel will capture the team’s adventures at first hand.


“Many local people here in Australia think we’re insane to try biking through the Red Centre without using any roads. Its just miles and miles of very inhospitable country, and people die out there very quickly without sufficient water. But having just spent 178 days pedaling across a similar desert – the Pacific Ocean - I believe we have a pretty good chance of making it OK. Although different in many ways the principles of travelling through any desert environment are much the same.” Jason Lewis.

Since departing the Greenwich Meridian Line in 1994, British born Lewis (33yrs) has traveled over half way around the planet without assistance from either motors or the wind; pedalling a one-of-a-kind pedal boat across the world's oceans, bicycling over land. On August 18th 2000, Lewis became the first in history to pedal across the Pacific Ocean from San Francisco in the US to Port Douglas, Australia - 178 days and 13,000 kms. In 1994, original pedal partner Steve Smith (now retired from the expedition) and Lewis completed the first East-West crossing of the Atlantic by pedal power.

As well as getting run over by a car, a whale capsized his pedal-boat mid-Atlantic in 1994, an alligator attacked him in a lake in Florida and confrontation with armed militia in the Solomon Islands nearly ended in trajedy last year. Luck withstanding, Lewis expects the remainder of the expedition to take a further 4-5 years to complete.

On reaching Darwin Lewis plans on pedalling the pedal boat to East Timor, then up the Indonesian chain of islands to Malaysia. Next the expedition will bicycle through Thailand, Laos into China then south over the Himalayas into India. From this point, a 2,200-mile crossing of the Indian Ocean to East Africa is planned. The adventure will continue through North Africa and Europe to finish at the Greenwich Meridian Line sometime in 2005, it's original starting point. It will have taken a total of 11 years to complete the entire circumnavigation.

The daily updates can be found at www.goals.com/expedition360/

Details of departure from Cairns:
Saturday 21st July at 9.30 a.m. on the Esplanade, Cairns (opposite the Cairns Base Hospital, beside the helipad)

For more information:
t: (61) 427 485 219 or (61) 7 40 53 4313
e: expedition_360@yahoo.com

Expedition photos available through our UK press office. Contact Jim Carey:
t: (44) 7944 310 591
e: x360@squall.co.uk

Video newsreel material and interviews available. Contact Jason Lewis:
t: (61) 427 485 219
e: expedition_360@yahoo.com

Posted by jason at July 13, 2001 2:59 AM