Hey, I’m Allie! I use they/she pronouns interchangeably as I identify as non-binary; “they” represents a rejection of gender norms, while “she” pays tribute to the challenges women continue to face and overcome every day.
Always a traveller, I came late(ish) to adventuring by bike; after being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2018, I hiked the Camino de Santiago and stumbled across a couple walking around Europe with their donkey. I realised I was craving a more sustainable and self-sufficient way of moving through the world, albeit with absolutely no desire for animal involvement. So an idea began to form to walk the world. This was swiftly canned when I reached Australia and covered 17 kilometres on my first day, merely running errands around North Melbourne.
I had previously been a commuter cyclist in London on a single-speed affectionately known as Frank(enstein), a horrifying amalgamation of mismatched spare parts with a dubious backstory. Then, just as I was scouring Gumtree for anything with two wheels under $100, a post caught my eye on Instagram; an Australian with bags attached to his bike cycling through America. My instant reaction was: I think I could do that.
A bike box arrived in the first week of 2020, and I had my first first-hand bike. But, as I cycled to Aldi, I realised that I had no idea how to shift on a drop-bar bike; this was the first of many learning curves. So I plotted a 700ish km adventure down the east coast of Tasmania and instantly felt the dual pull of freedom and contentment.
Various Covid lockdowns and border restrictions have impacted my plans to cycle around Australia solo. However, I’ve still managed to live off my bike for months at a time. The peace that momentum and a minimal lifestyle bring is something I’ve found crucial following my diagnosis. Illness is a form of trauma that fails to adhere to a linear healing narrative, and I’ve found that any lows are tempered best by time alone in the wild.
For me, my GMX+ Griselda is not only an adventure machine; she’s a ticket into unknown lands, a companion who rarely complains, and, let's face it, a hot pink that catches the eye long enough for me to demonstrate that people who look like me can be adventurers too.
I hope to be bike wandering this world for as long as my knees will allow.
Birmingham, UK. But I’ve been globally vagabonding since 2017
- Favourite Ride
- Any time I’m in full bikepack mode and living off my bike for an extended period. Recent highlights are crossing the Nullarbor, the Flinders Ranges section of the Mawson Trail, and the trails around the Great Alpine Road.
Hiking the Camino de Santiago after a bilateral mastectomy
Touring 2600 km solo around Victoria in between lockdowns
Cycling 4500 km from Melbourne to Perth solo on what has kindly been described as a “clunker” of a bike
Becoming comfortable sleeping alone in the wilderness
Completing the Mawson Trail without getting bogged in death mud
Pioneer of “udon noodle supreme” as a relatively palatable camp dinner
Functioning reasonably well in the Australian summer
Curve Cycling Ambassador