A very different view of retirement

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 21/03/2016 (2338 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Retirement for most people means having more time to relax and take it easy. But for St. James resident Art Brown, it means heading off on a 122-day biking adventure exploring the southern part of Australia.

When the 38-year-veteran of the RCAF retired late last year, his sights were firmly set on this, his first solo bike trip.

And so far, so good.

Supplied photo Art and The Beast taking a break in Triabunna on the east coast of Tasmania.

“I decided not to plan too much detail, other than a general sense of direction, so I’d have plenty of opportunity to explore based on encounters with locals and fellow travellers,”  he says.

Art’s adventure began on the east coast of Australia on Feb. 3.

“After acclimatizing and seeing a few sites in Sydney, I headed south through Canberra and Melbourne, and spent a few days exploring the state of Tasmania.”

While Art makes the most of his explorations, it’s his mode of transportation — affectionately called The Beast — that attracts the interest of folks along the way. The Beast is a Linear Limo Recumbent bike, which is literally more laid back than other bikes.

According to Art, “it’s akin to sitting in your favourite La-Z-Boy chair and having an incredible view of the world play out on a huge screen in front of you.”

And what a view it is, as you can see from the many photos in Art’s blog (www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/SoloAcrossOz2016).

Although the trip was planned for the sheer enjoyment of bicycle travel, another component makes it even more meaningful for Art. He is also raising awareness about — and donations in support of — the Canadian organization Soldier On (supportourtroops-ca.donorpages.com/RideAcrossOz/).

“They use physical activity and sport to help veterans and currently serving members of the Canadian Forces overcome their physical or mental health illness or injury,” Art says.

“Supporting Soldier On allows me to give something back to my comrades in arms who have paid a price for their service to Canada.”

Before heading home, Art will fly to Uluru (Ayers Rock) in central Australia and then bike the southern coastline to Perth on the west coast — his final destination.

“This trip is a wonderful way to see another country, support an important cause, and begin the post-retirement phase of my life.”

Not that he’s planning to take it easy when he gets back to St. James.

“I’m co-leading a biking trip across the U.S. in August.”

Clearly, there’s no rest for the adventurous.

Safe travels, mate.

Jenny Gates is a community correspondent for St. James. Contact her at words@jennygates.com with questions and ideas.

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