Why Sprung Chickens?
Our names are Mark and Denise Arundel and for the last twelve years we have been running our business, Multilocus Interactive Pty Ltd. There are two sides to the business – visual communications (www.multilocus.com.au) and photography (www.photosbymultilocus.com.au). Although extremely rewarding and successful, at times the business has been very consuming with no time free for the things that are important to us. So towards the end of 2007 we made the decision to start managing our projects so that we could spend 2009 away from the office. (We will still accept work but not from the office).
Having made this decision, we started to think of all the things we would like to do. In mid 2008 after completing a two-week bicycle ride through the Snowy Mountains we came up with the idea to cycle around Australia.
Our plan is to travel in an anticlockwise direction, sticking to the coast as much as possible and to visit every state and capital along the way. It will be an unsupported ride with us carrying everything we need on our bikes. We plan to take a casual ten months to complete the trip.
Whilst the concept of cycling around Australia is not new (the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney has a bike on display ridden around Australia in 1899 by Donald Mackay), the task is generally seen to be one that is undertaken by young Australian and international travellers.
We do not consider ourselves old by any stretch of the imagination, Denise is 47 and I am 49. However, most people we discuss our plans with seem overwhelmed by the concept of riding a fully loaded bicycle nearly 20,000km. They express surprise that we would consider such an adventure at our age and then ask why we are not using our 4WD and off road camper trailer. Our answer is that this trip we want to travel more slowly and take the opportunity to meet people and cycling gives us the opportunity to do this. When we travel in a car everything rushes past and we miss a lot of things, that when discovered on a bicycle, lead us along a very different path to that originally planned.
We are not so much concerned by the physical challenge the trip may present rather than the mental challenge of covering the long distances in the remote regions we will travel through.
But after all the questions have been asked and the concerns expressed the look of excitement we see in people’s eyes and their envious words of encouragement tell us we have made the correct decision.
The purpose of this web site is to share our experiences with you all and hopefully motivate others to take on their own challenges away from work and rediscover the life balance that many of us have lost over recent decades.
If you have any recommendations for places to visit please drop us a line.
We will be doing our best to find time to write and upload daily reports, however, it is possible that our updates may be a couple of days behind our actual progress. Each report will include a Google map showing our route and a paragraph or two about the places we visit, the people we meet and anything else that we find interesting. There always will be a few photos and sometimes we may include a small video.
Throughout the trip we will be recording the change in altitude as we ride up and down the hills or along the very flat outback plains, which require one to pedal all day long.
We will also be recording temperature and relative humidity so at times we may upload this information as well.
Our most recent report always will appear on our home page before being archived with previous reports that can be read on our Daily Reports page.
Prior to our month long ride down the Murray River from Corowa to Adelaide in December 2008 Denise’s father urged us to be careful reminding us that “you are not spring chickens any more”.
After one very hard day riding into the wind for the fourth day in a row we reported on our website that we felt more like “Old Boilers” than the spring chickens we were not meant to be.
The next day we received an email from friends Rhys and Karyn who suggested that we perhaps should consider ourselves “Sprung Chickens” rather than “Old Boilers”. We liked this suggestion as we felt that we had been “temporarily” sprung from the responsibilities of work and with both our children now adults sprung from our responsibilities of keeping them in line.
When we started to organise our ride around Australia we decided to call it the "Sprung Chicken Ride 2009" with the hope that there will be many more.
Like all good expeditions we also have our own range of merchandise so please explore our merchandise page and perhaps consider placing an order.