Day 10 – A Bicyling Borella would have Been Better

Borella would have envied a modern bicycle as a means of getting up the Track.

James Kelly and Michele Bates from Vancouver are covering nearly 100 kilometres a day, more than we can do with horses. The noble animals need water, food, and rest, whereas bicycles just need a little oil and a checkover.

The Borella Ride met the Canadian pair as they cycled south out of Katherine. “We’ve been looking out for you,” was James’s greeting. They had been enthralled by the Victoria Cross display in Parliament House, and knew all about the Territory soldier’s quest to sign up, and his subsequent battles in the Great War.

Riding from Darwin to Melbourne, around 4000 kilometres, James and Michelle are both retired, having been respectively an electrical contractor and working in recreation for seniors.  They (obviously!) enjoy riding; belonging to three bike clubs, and in particular like being outside up close with nature, taking in the scents, and not seeing the world through glass.

While they have done 5000 kilometres across Spain, France and Italy, this is a big ride demanding daily determination. “It’s not easy going” says James, “and we say in the first week especially “why are we doing this” before satisfaction kicks in. It must have been like that for Borella.”

They ride south, and we continue the Ride north.

The Borella Ride continues up the Stuart Highway.

Written by Dr Tom Lewis, Lead Historian for The Borella Ride