Ian Wallis - Member Profile - CycleBlaze

Member Profile

Ian Wallis


Title Ratings
Unfinished Business 11053


I have been an outdoors person for as long as I can remember. Growing up, reptiles were my thing. But it wasn’t until the freedom of university that I started a lot of bushwalking and, by definition, camping. It was in my final year of undergraduate study that I met a fellow who did cycle touring. And on this score I just can’t agree with Edith Piaf singing Michel Vaucaire’s lyrics in “Non, je ne regrette rien” for I didn’t take this fellow seriously. I had enough trouble loading a motorcycle so how could you possibly carry all that you need on a bicycle?  Well, of course you can and with the plethora of racks and panniers it’s much easier now than it was in 1980.

So, my regret is that I didn’t start serious cycle touring until the 1990’s and the first long trip was across France to Switzerland with my partner, Cora. But since then I have done about 60,000 km on a heavily laden bike, many with Cora. Our philosophy is always the same based on minimal planning, camping out and cooking our own food. There was a time when financial restraints meant that this was the only way that we could cycle tour. But now we can easily afford to stay in accommodation and eat out but it’s not what we want to do. Pay for my accommodation and food and I will gladly pass the money to those in need and head for the bush to camp! Camping out means that you are in the environment at the best times of day – sunrise and sunset. Likewise, cooking has been a huge part of my life and food tastes so much better outside. Of course, people say that surely you would rather be inside when it’s hot or cold or raining or snowing. The simple answer is no! Like most things there is an exception. We have done thousands of km of touring in southeast Asia, where it is difficult to camp, and so, in this part of the world, we resort to cheap hotels and eat out much of the time.

I have written a journal for all of these trips and corresponded with friends and family by email. Thus the upcoming trip is the first for which I am writing a blog. There’s a simple explanation for this in that it is also the first time that I am trying to raise money for a charity and this requires publicity. On all of my previous rides many people have asked who I am raising money for to which I reply “I am just going for a bike ride”. This aside, I have never been sufficiently organised to raise money. For example, I worked the day before we left Scotland to ride across the USA and then settle in Australia. And why not? I had no idea when we would get the next pay cheque! But this made me think that if a charity could set up a fundraising page and promote my ride then I would happily do my bit. A chance meeting of a board member of a charity provided this opportunity and thus I have teamed up with the indigo foundation https://www.indigofoundation.org/welcome . In this way, I hope to bring a fraction of my privileged life to those less fortunate.