Cyclist keeps pedalling

Garth Lezard is hoping to publish a book from his daily notes and film for a documentary. Picture: Emma Reeves www.communitypix.com.au d410036
Garth Lezard is hoping to publish a book from his daily notes and film for a documentary. Picture: Emma Reeves www.communitypix.com.au d410036

The 39-year-old started his trip in Durban, South Africa on December 4, 2010, cycling more than 2000km to Harare, Zimbabwe, forming the concept of cycling through four countries per continent.

He has since cycled more than 30,000km from Athens to Barcelona, Hong Kong to Bangkok, Belem to Georgetown, through four Carribean islands, New Zealand, Fiji and Samoa.

‘This trip has been about combining my passion for global travel with my passion for endurance sport,’ Mr Lezard said.

‘I come from an ultra-distance running background and have represented my land of birth at triathlon world championships.’

Mr Lezard has also used the trip to raise awareness and funds for Leonard Cheshire Disability, a UK-based charity that helps people with disability in more than 50 countries.

He said his support of the organisation started after he graduated as a photojournalist in 2004 and was looking to start a photographic project.

‘I explored a number of social problems in global societies, everything from drug and alcohol abuse to homelessness.

‘Being from Africa, I thought AIDS might be something I got involved with. However, it was whilst visiting some relatives in Zambia that my cousin invited me to join her at a children’s Leonard Cheshire home where she volunteered,’ he said.

‘I spent the day photographing the kids, the facility, some of the people working there, etcetera, and after, the lady in charge gave me some literature on the Leonard Cheshire organisation for my visual diary.

‘It outlined the nine international regions with Cheshire homes and services and I began a photographic journey where I visited over 20 Cheshire homes on five continents.’

He said he started the trip taking mother and child portraits but when he arrived in New Zealand last October, he decided the trip would be planned around travelling to Super Rugby stadiums.

He has been meeting with teams at each stadium and collecting signed merchandise to help with his fundraising.

‘The Western Force here in Perth is my 10th Super Rugby team. I have now cycled between all the five New Zealand teams and all five of the Australian teams,’ he said.

‘I hope to return to South Africa and cycle between the six South African teams and complete the Super Rugby competition as part of my around the world charity bicycle journey.’

He said while there have been plenty of challenges mentally, physically, financially and logistically, including the prevailing westerly winds across the arbor, sharing the journey and his fundraising project has been what has kept him going.

He will be presenting his journey and raffling off sports memorabilia at the Yokine Districts Bowls club at 6pm on January 13. Tickets are $50, including dinner, or $30 for five people or more. For tickets and raffle entries or to donate, call 0439 012 645 or email garthlezard@hotmail.com.