...this is a bit extreme for me.


I just love this picture though. The one on the front isn't pedalling either!

Click the link for more great shots of the trip. I have copied the text of Margaret Burin's story over for posterity.

Living on road kill and bush tucker: one family's epic cycling adventure

Patrick Jones, Meg Ulman, their two boys and dog have spent the last year cycling up and down Australia's east coast. But this family set themselves a bigger challenge than the journey itself. They lived on free food along most of their 6,000km round-trip.

Patrick almost drowned while spear-fishing on the NSW mid north coast, they stewed dead kangaroos and possums from the side of the road and dodged speeding cars on the country's most dangerous highway.

It is safe to say, the past 14 months has been one hell of an adventure for this family of four, and their dog Zero.

Meg, Patrick, 12-year-old Zephyr and two-year-old Woody, have just arrived home to Daylesford, north-west of Melbourne.

From their quarter-acre permaculture plot there, they aim to live a largely sustainable lifestyle; foraging wild plants and mushrooms, pickling foods, as well as keeping their own ducks and chooks.

But in 2013 they decided to push these life skills to a new level.

The idea was to, as much as possible, live off free food along their one year cycling trip.

"Some days we would eat nothing but free food, especially in Queensland, with fish and coconuts and forageable fruits and vegetables," Patrick said.

"Much of the trip was about recording how much stuff is out there."

They documented many of these findings and their adventure in their blog Artist as Family.

Patrick says along with the sustainability message, they wanted to highlight some of the health benefits of eating food that is freshly grown, hunted or gathered.

"Things like green ants, are delicious, full of vitamin C and are medicine food for many Aboriginal people," he said.

"I think that's the point of our research; that a lot of this wild food directly picked has so many health benefits, it's sort of preventative medicine really.

"A lot of our food in supermarkets is stored for such long distances, a long time, and a lot of the nutrients have disappeared by the time we eat it."

The research trip took them from Victoria up to Cooktown, and back down through croc-infested country south-east of Cape York.

Five mammals on two bikes, they were only able to carry supplies that would fit in their saddle bags, which at times, pushed them to their limits.

"In outback Queensland, we twice nearly ran out of water," Meg said.

"That was very frightening."

There were many highs and lows, including being taught about bush tucker by Aboriginal elders.

But for Patrick, returning to a warm and cheerful community homecoming was the highlight.

"Getting home without killing my family, that was a great high," he said.

Meg and Patrick have just signed a deal with NewSouth Publishing - a publishing arm of UNSW Press - to document their trip and the food they found along the way in a book titled The art of free travel.

This year they also plan to begin permaculture workshops at their Daylesford home.

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Replies to This Discussion

brilliant. I'd have no trouble joining in on the eat whatever you can find routine, wanting to do that sort of stuff for a while. I've had trouble finding a decent reference to what is edible and also how to prepare foods that can't just be found and eaten. Any local Aboriginal elders around where I live?

"About 70% of water in Australia is used by industry, a remaining 20% is used by government and a tiny percentage, less than 10%, is used in domestic use."

from the blog. There goes my reason for a 1 minute shower.

Now that is impressive. Having spent a lot of time in the remote areas of WA I have an inbuilt fear of running out of water as it can be so hard to find in outback Australia. It has been the main reason I have never even contemplated such a trip so I am pleased to hear that while they pushed the envelope, they pulled it off. I tip my hat to them and their incredible journey. 

sounded a bit familiar...
but just wow doing this with kids.
Kinda think most bush tucker would be hard to find on a bike as you are going too fast to miss most of the easy to hear, see or find stuff compared to/with going on foot. Roadkill, hmm ok if you can beat the blowflies to it, rather snare bunnies when you can.


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