Who is this Chris Roach fella (aka. the Cycle Strongman) and why does he call himself the Cycle Strongman?
Well the latter question he can’t really answer. His friends back home will vouch for his uncanny ability to eat copious amounts of food and still retain his skinny stick figured statue. He isn’t really that strong, but he is stubborn as a mule! … and to answer the first part of the question here’s a brief biography…
Tinkering with tools, cars, marine engines and bicycles growing up gave him a good appreciation for most things mechanical. Unbeknown to Chris at the time, after finishing high school his thirst for adventure took him to Europe, Africa, America and the Middle East, studying, backpacking and living overseas. In amongst these adventures Chris graduated with an engineering degree from Newcastle University in 2005 and spent the next 3 years in the corporate world working as a professional engineer.
Only a year into his new career Chris was ready to see the world again. So he resigned and booked a flight to London with the intention to travel through Europe on a working holiday. Two weeks before he was due to depart, he had an accident at work which resulted in a knee reconstruction. This event dramatically changed the course of his life.
It took three months and countless physiotherapy sessions before he could walk properly again, and another nine months before he could cycle. Four months after the operation Chris started working again, saving money and contemplating bigger things.
Unable to shake this call to adventure, Chris became restless in chasing an ideal that wasn’t his own and set about thinking of ways to feed his desire to see the world, explore new places, meet new people and live in other cultures. It was chance meeting with a fellow adventurer while cycling across the European continent in 2004 that a seed was planted which lay dormant for the next 4 years.
Out of this initial idea The Cycle Strongman Expedition was born. The idea seemed ambitious, ludicrous to some, rash to others but it all made perfect sense to him. The more he thought about the bolder it became, 2 continents, 5 continents, 4 years, 8 years… until it grew organically into a fully fledged and professionally organised expedition that he lives and breathes to this day.
Having travelled most of his adult life; worked in numerous cultures; studied with people of different backgrounds; developed a knack for picking up languages; and, cycled across continents in the past, this gave Chris the confidence be so bold, with the knowledge and experience to undertake and adventure of such magnitude.
The world will be my teacher, the road the path, and all I’ll have to do is cycle!