The project

This blog records our 6500-kilometre bicycle trip up the east coast of Australia, researching a book about simple living. The book, titled Changing Gears: A Pedal-Powered Detour from the Rat Race, has now been published and will be available from 1 September 2013. See here.

The bike trip lasted from March 2012 until November 2012. On the way we met a variety of interesting characters — chefs and scavengers, farmers and gardeners, the young and the radical, the old and the wise — and learnt something from each person’s life.

It’s a story about local food and community gardens, downshifting and DIY building, sustainability and self-sufficiency. But mostly it’s about people. We hope you enjoy meeting them as much as we did.

The authors

I’m Greg. Three years ago, I worked a 9-5 (well, more like 9-9) job in advertising, promoting V8 cars to hoons, vacuum-sealed microwaveable meals to women on fad diets and instant scratchies to anyone with spare change. After some soul searching, I quit my cushy career to become a journalist, writing about sustainability and social issues for publications such as The Age, The Big Issue, Crikey and G Magazine. (For more blatant self-promotion, visit my portfolio site.) Now, at the ripe old age of 29, when I should be thinking about getting married and buying a house and having kids and working a full-time job and all those other conventional markers of success, I’ve decided to cycle up Australia exploring alternative ways to live.

Hi, I’m Sophie. I’m 23 and, prior to this year, had been living, working and studying in Melbourne. I completed a Bachelor of Music and worked as a cello teacher and musician. This year I have put my instrument aside and taken up the challenge of living a semi-nomadic lifestyle, cycling from place to place up the east coast of Australia. What do I hope to discover by doing this? At this stage I’d like to explore alternative ways of living simply and then, after weighing up the many different possibilities, consciously choose how I’d like to live.


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