There are a whole lot of uniquely Australian quirks in this story.
A teacher from Perth named Jono Ride (great name), set out recently on the Bibbulmun (quintessentially Aussie) Trail, a 621-mile rope of singletrack that wanders through the Perth hills down to Western Australia’s south coast. Each year, more than 80,000 trekkers take on multi-day portions of the route; it’s a bucket list trek for many adventurous Aussies.
The trail was completed in 1979. Most thru-hikes end up taking weeks or months to complete. A distance runner ran the length of the trail in 11 days earlier this spring, but he relied on coordinated assistance, with planned food and water stations along the way.
Ride had, well, himself. And no real itinerary. He just set off on the trail and hauled ass.
16 days later, Ride had completed the trail.
“After I started walking I realized I was going quite quick and a friend of mine said, ‘did you know the fastest guy that’s ever done it unassisted did it in about 17 and a half days?” Ride told an interviewer at ABC Radio Perth. “My feet a little bit sore but other than that I’m pretty good.”
Ride walked about 14 hours per day over those 16 days, covering some 37 miles.
He’s no stranger to grueling adventures, either. Ride, 32, has ridden a bike the length of South America. He’s also thru-hiked the PCT in years past.
Huge sections of the Bibbulmun run through pretty much nothing, so Ride had a whole lot of time to himself.
“When you’re alone in the middle of the Western Australian bush at night and you’ve been alone by yourself for days it gets pretty weird,” Ride said.
When he finished the hike, he strolled straight into the nearest pub for a well-earned beer.