Around the world for Spark of LIfe
In May 2012 I commenced a bicycle ride from my ancestral village in Ireland across the world to my home in Melbourne Australia. Athboy, County Meath, Ireland is the village my fathers (Peter Wren) family left over 100 years ago to settle in Australia.
The initial plan was to complete the Ireland to Australia trip non-stop and the 24,000 km plus journey was estimated to take approximately 12-14 months.
After 3 months of riding and getting as far as Trabzon in Eastern Turkey I needed to change my plans for personal reasons and came back to Australia.
I will be returning late August to continue the ride along the old Silk Road which has been a trading route for over 1500 years and will take me through Central Asia. This next leg will include Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and then in to Western China.
The planned route home will be a complete crossing of China to the East Coast then a flight to Perth for the final leg to my birthplace, Griffith NSW, Australia.
How Dementia touched my life
My mum Althea Wren spent the last 10 years of her life with severe Dementia. During Althea’s final five years she was unable to talk or recognise family members and friends. It was hard to watch mum live this way especially when in her late sixties she should be living a full and productive life.
The experience of mum’s dementia certainly had an effect on how I looked at life and how it should be lived. As the saying goes “life is short” and we need to pursue or follow the things that mean something to us. The around the world ride satisfies my personal need for travel and passion for new experiences.
Dementia Foundation for Spark of LIfe
Along the way I came across the Spark of Life Philosophy to Dementia and could see that this profound philosophy would have made the world of difference to my mother’s life. I then decided to dedicate my ride to raising money for the Dementia Foundation for Spark of Life.
This Foundation raises funds to alleviate the emotional suffering and ignites the spirit of people with dementia, their families and carers so all can experience life to their fullest potential.
The Foundation’s vision is a new and different future for people with dementia and those who support them, where society's attitude to dementia is transformed so that people with dementia are appreciated for their contributions and their zest for life returned.
To find out more about the Dementia Foundation for Spark of Life please visit their website:
For more information on the Spark of Life Philosophy please visit:
How together we can raise funds
I am getting better at taking photos as I travel and have decided to set up this fundraising campaign where I will post photos and detail parts of my trip. 100% of funds will go to the Dementia Foundation for Spark of Life so I warmly invite you to make a difference and donate today.
About long distance bike touring
Long distance bike touring has been a passion of mine since my late-thirties and previous trips have included crossing Vietnam, Tibet and South America.
A trip basically consists of landing at an airport, unpacking my bike and equipment and hitting the road. I am on the road for 4-6 weeks, averaging around 120km per day and follow maps to larger towns or cities so I can find a hotel for the night.
Once a trip is complete I box up my bike and fly back home. I do carry a small one-man tent for emergencies and as a last resort I will take this option. I have slept at bus stops, people’s houses, a mosque and a couple of other unusual places.
Peace, laughter, health and a better life for our children.
Bike travel is not for everyone but for me it is the most rewarding way to see the world. The highlights are endless but the interaction with the local people on the way is by far the most enjoyable aspect of bike touring. The look on someone’s face when you arrive in a town or village on a bike is priceless!! No matter what country I have been in the beauty of human nature remains the same. Contrary to what our beliefs are about other nationalities my experiences have all been positive and my conclusion is that people all around the globe want exactly the same thing!! Peace, laughter, health and a better life for their children.
Please donate if you’re feeling generous.
Flew into LAX yesterday and hit the road this morning with an early start from Manhattan Beach, California. I will be tracking east via Grand Canyon, Nevada and Monument Valley, Utah. Hoping to get at least to Denver Colorado.... 4 weeks on the road and really looking forward to this part of the world.... If you're feeling generous please donate.
After 21 days on the road I have made it to Streaky Bay on the Eyre Peninsula SA....2530kms covered including the Nullarbor. Norseman WA to Ceduna SA is the official Nullarbor crossing and it was extreme riding at times. The wind was not my friend and I was pretty much straight into it for the entire leg !! Road trains, wind, 40 plus degree heat, snakes, bush fires, flies, rain, grey nomads with massive caravans are part of my daily routine !! Met two cyclists coming the other way including a 78 year old German guy who had ridden down the centre from Darwin and then onto Perth....Amazing. There was also a German guy about my age running across. His wife was in a van assisting him and he runs 60kms each day..... unbelievable !!
WE have so far raised $8,000 for "Spark of Life" and all donations are very much appreciated. If you're feeling generous over the Christmas period please don't hold back !!
Having a rest day today in Streaky Bay and will get back on the road tomorrow....I will be riding over Christmas and New Year and estimating arriving in Griffith NSW first week January.