Queenstown’s Emma Timmis has just unofficially broken a Guinness World Record. Mandy Cooper caught up with the Brit to talk about her Aussie odyssey
Adventurer Emma Timmis has just finished a 74-day ‘elliptical’ biking journey covering 7951.9km – and she’s stoked about it.
“It was the best adventure I’ve ever done in my life, it was so good,” she says.
“I was so sad when it was over.”
Although it now seems a long time ago for Timmis, it was only August 25 when she set out to travel from Denham, near Perth, Australia’s most westerly point, to Cape Byron, the farthest east you can go.
Part of her journey included a 1000km stretch of barren land called the Nullarbor Plain – which holds her best and worst memories from the trip.
“I was really looking forward to it, thought it would test me and it kind of scared me a little bit because there isn’t really any water. You’re just completely alone with your thoughts. I found that really amazing, for me I really enjoyed that time.”
She relied on the kindness of strangers to quench her thirst along the way.
She could have bought water from the few petrol stations, but was on a strict budget for the self-funded trip.
“People would offer me food and sometimes you’d see the same people day after day.”
She was only forced to fork out for a hotel once, when her trailer broke and she couldn’t carry her bulky items with her. The rest of the time she slept under the stars in a tent and “basically lived off noodles”.
But her hardest days also came while biking the Nullarbor as it was subject to harsh weather conditions.
“When the wind was so strong straight against me I could barely move, that was a big battle on the ElliptiGO . . . you’re like a sail basically and it makes life very hard.”
It never crossed her mind to give up, though, and each day before sunrise she’d wake up raring to go.
While doing it she also unofficially broke a Guinness World Record for the longest journey by elliptical cycle in a single country.
She’s smashed the original 5001.3km record but has some i’s to dot before it’s official.
Along the way she also raised nearly $13,000 for charity One Girl, which provides education for girls in Sierra Leone and Uganda.
Timmis made sure this trip was the perfect mix of what makes her tick.
“I basically took all the things that I knew would motivate me and inspire me and I put those together.”
This included: supporting a charity she was passionate about, a big physical challenge, a solo trip, being able to explore a coastline and keeping up her running fitness while still looking after her joints – hence the running bike or ElliptiGO.
This isn’t Timmis’ first rodeo when it comes to odd adventures.
She’s rollerskated across the Netherlands, cycled 2200km from Manchester to Italy to go rock climbing, was the first woman to run the length of the 2400km Freedom Trail in South Africa – marathon distance for 57 days – and ran 4000km across Africa.
She’s been back in the resort two weeks and already has got a job as a rock climbing instructor. But she’s already planning her next big adventure – running the length of the UK in 2018.