- About Vivid
- Latest Books
- In the News
- Custom Publishing
- For Booksellers
Out There and Back
"Take a large measure of guts, strength, will and heart; add
a bike and a young woman and spend 25 000 kilometres
across Australia. Truth can be so much better than fiction.
A brilliant story."
"A fantastic adventure story - imagine riding a bike along
the Canning Stock Route! A seemingly impossible feat."
In 1993, Kate Leeming became the first
woman in history to cycle across the ‘New
Russia’, when she organised, led and
completed the five-month, 13 400-kilometre
Trans-Siberian Cycle Expedition in aid of the
children of Chernobyl. Ten years later, she
conceived and organised the Great Australian
Cycle Expedition (GRACE), a 25 000-kilometre
journey through her own country, 7000
kilometres of which were to be ‘off road’ on
remote, isolated tracks.
The purpose of the expedition was to promote the importance of, and contribute towards, education for sustainable development. The expedition was the first Australian project, and one of the world’s first, to be selected as a Demonstration Activity for the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005-14).
Out There and Back is Kate’s personal chronicle of the GRACE Expedition. At the same time it raises awareness of the importance of education for sustainable development, underpinned by the author’s beliefs and fuelled by her experiences cycling across Russia. This detailed, often graphic, account of an amazing journey into the heart of Australia is told with style, humour and insight. A highlight is Kate’s description of the first bicycle crossing of the Canning Stock Route (CSR) by a woman. The CSR, the world’s longest, most arduous stock route, bisects four deserts and approximately one thousand sand dunes.
Cycling without the aid of a support vehicle (for all but the CSR), and alone for the second half of the expedition, Kate develops a close connection with and respect for the Australian people and landscapes, skilfully weaving in information about early explorers, pioneers and colourful characters who shaped the outback. She gives impressions of her visits to Indigenous communities and glimpses of life on cattle stations and in remote outposts and country towns.
Born in 1967 in the Wheatbelt town of Northam, Western Australia, Kate received her secondary education at Perth College. She went on to complete a Bachelor of Physical Education and a Diploma of Education from the University of Western Australia. Between expeditions, Kate has remained one of the world’s top five female real tennis players and currently works as a senior professional at the Royal Melbourne Tennis Club.