Gabriel’s ethical cycle all the way to Noosa
SO MANY Noosa families will have adult sons and daughters returning from interstate for the Christmas holidays, the Waterman family included.
Five of their offspring now live in Melbourne and come home for the festive season every year.
This year, one of their sons, Gabriel Waterman, has made his return rather dramatic.
He has ridden his bike from Melbourne to Noosa to be with his family.
Covering 2300 km in 30 days, Gabriel, 25, made the journey in keeping with his views on the environment, and also to raise funds for the stricken villagers in Nepal.
"He is studying Sustainability and the Environment, a Social Science Degree at RMIT in Melbourne," his father Noel Waterman said.
"He rides his bike all over Melbourne. He doesn't own a car, he does not want to own a car. We are proud of him, for his determination and for pursuing good ideals and wanting to not compromise too much with his values."
With a friend from RMIT, Gabriel set off from Melbourne 30 days ago, riding a cross tourer Salsa Vaya, loaded with 50 kilos of supplies on front and back panniers.
Their journey took them through some of Victoria's high country, across the Snowy Mountains, through national parks, along beaches and off highways.
"Some days they managed only 40 or 50 kilometres a day," Noel said.
"Going through the high country they had to get off the bikes and push and it wasn't easy with the weight on the bikes. But other days they managed 170 kilometres. One day they were able to ride 40 kilometres along a beach north of Port Macquarie."
Gabriel's friend had family in Byron Bay and completed his journey there, leaving Gabriel to go solo on to Noosa.
It wasn't until Gabriel arrived in Nambour on the very last leg of his journey that the Watermans had real cause for worry.
"There was a miscommunication," Noel said.
"He rang us and my wife (Claire) thought he'd said he'd be home that night but he had actually said he'd try to be home that night.
"His phone then went dead. We sat outside on the road with a big banner to welcome him but he didn't come home."
All was well at six the next morning when the phone was recharged and Gabriel called his parents from Yandina and finally cycled into their Sunshine Beach property, very sore of muscle but obviously elated to have completed the epic cycling journey.
After the Christmas break with his family Gabriel will load his bike onto a plane and fly home to Melbourne.
"He will, of course, carbon offset his flight," Noel said.
- ANN RICKARD
If you'd like to support Gabriel's cause to help the Nepalese people, go to pozzible.com/cyclefornepal