The 1993 Trans-Siberian Cycle Expedition was a five month, 13,400 kilometre bicycle journey from St Petersburg to Vladivostok to aid the 800,000 children of Chernobyl.
Accompanied by Brit Greg Yeoman and five different Russian cyclists who covered various sections of the trip, the 153 day expedition was completed one day ahead of schedule, before the onset of the severe Russian winter and despite tackling the 1,500km swamp in eastern Siberia, where no vehicles could pass.
This was an opportunity to learn more about the new Russia emerging after 70 years of communism.
The Patron of the expedition was polar explorer, Robert Swan, OBE and UN Ambassador for Youth and the Environment.
In completing the expedition in a continuous line, I became the first Australian and first woman in history to cycle the breadth of the ‘New Russia’ unsupported.
After the expedition I visited Belarus, the country that suffered the highest human cost from Chernobyl, to learn more about the effects of the world’s worst nuclear accident and to see where the money raised went.
Stories about the Trans-Siberian Cycle Expedition and several images are included in the Prologue and Chapter 1 of Out There and Back.
Greg Yeoman has just published his timeless account of the expedition, Riding into the Sunrise, recollections of a bicycle journey across Russia – celebrating 21 years since we set out from St Petersburg (we were very young then!). It is beautifully written and well worth the read. To purchase Greg’s book go to:
* All images are by Kate Leeming and Greg Yeoman