Chris Roach (a.k.a “Strongman”)
Chris is the founding member of the Cycle Strongman Expedition. He was the one who came up with this crazy plan and managed to convince a few others to join him along the way! Chris will be riding the entire duration of the expedition, some 100,000 km. Known for his serious look, stunted TV interviews and ambitious goals he’s a bit of a ‘boots and all’ kind of guy .
Chris is the primary contact for the expedition and handles all of the organisational and sponsorship aspects, media inquiries and updates on the website.
For Chris’s biography simply click on the link.
Long Term Cycling Partners
I owe my sincerest gratitude for the following unique individuals who joined the expedition, inspired creativity and joy and in their own way helped contributed\ to the success of the journey. For that I will always be grateful!
Amanda Asenjo (a.k.a Mandy)
Amanda commands a grace of her own. During the 6 months across the Indian Subcontinent, Amanda was pivotal in supporting the expedition, providing much needed motivation, perseverance, unbridled enthusiasm and grace to difficult and often stressful situations.
Amanda joined the expedition through one of the toughest places in the world to cycle – the Ganges Basin. The 3000 kilometer journey through India and Nepal traversed some the poorest communities on the subcontinent. In such a physically demanding and challenging expedition environment it was a constant battle to stay positive and focused.
Cycling through filthy streets on physically demanding bad roads, constantly bombarded by the noisy traffic, living in difficult camping conditions, having a lack of clean food, continuing bouts of dysentery and dealing with the cultural nuances of India all became routine on the expedition. Despite the headache and hardships of India, Amanda still managed to maintain her infectious smile that radiates a cheeky joy and incredible warmth.
Christophe Durand (a.k.a “Yak Boy”)
Christophe was a joy to have along on the expedition. He’s good sense of humor, laid back nature and level of fitness made the tough climbs through Sichuan Province and the wet and snow filled days across the Tibetan Plateau a little easier.
An accomplished long distance cyclist, Christophe and Chris met in Lijiang, China where Christophe decided he’d like to start cycling again. He joined the expedition from Yunnan, China all the way across the vast and empty Tibetan Plateau to Kathmandu, Nepal.
You can follow Christophe’s journey’s at www.toujours-plus-a-l-est.com.
I hope one day Christophe will forgive me for this photo.
Hannah Perkins (a.k.a “Hannah Banana”)
Hannah is perhaps one of the most down to earth, warm hearted and fun person Chris has had the pleasure of knowing. As the CSX Fundraising Coordinator, Hannah decided to join the expedition through Thailand. When not partaking in expeditions, Hannah works as a freelance fundraising consultant.
Chris and Hannah have been good friends for about 10 years keeping in touch over the years as they both traveled and explored the world. Her knowledge of the Thai culture and language was a HUGE help as the Expedition cycled through Thailand.
Check out her website at www.paistraightup.blogspot.com
Gemma Hawkins (a.k.a “Gem”)
Hannah and Chris met Gemma one morning while she was pushing her bicycle out of a palm oil plantation in Southern Thailand. Gemma had been cycling solo for a month from Southern Malaysia.
Her new touring bike and sleek tyres allowed her to glide ahead with apparent effortlessness. We were all heading in the same direction and with her laid back and easy going attitude, Gemma decided to join us to Lop Buri province in Central Thailand.
Charlie was the very first long term cycling partner Chris met on the road. They met in Ubud, Bali when Charlie was straddling his bike on a street corner, lonely planet guide open looking puzzled. Charlie is cycling from Tasmania all the way back home to England and conveniently, they were both headed toward Singapore.
Charlie’s English mannerisms were a constant source of amusement for Chris and his company was most welcome. Charlie’s laid back attitude, focused determination and enthusiasm for their shared adventure made the few weeks they travelled through Java and Sumatra together an absolute joy.
Short Term Cycling Partners
Jeremy is the unofficial website guru for the expedition and primary consultant for anything that runs on electrons. Chris and Jeremy have been friends for pretty much their entire lives. Somehow Chris managed to convince Jeremy it would be a good idea to join him for a few months ride up the coast.
When not thinking, eating and living for the expedition, Jeremy kite surfs, paddles outrigger canoes and runs Newcastle Infotech, his own successful IT company.
Jeremy joined the expedition in March/April 2009 from Newcastle to Ballina, NSW Australia.
Daniel is probably the expedition’s biggest fan. His enthusiasm for the expedition has no bounds. Chris and Daniel (known affectionately as the Red Panda) have been friends since their university days mooching around campus. A good drinker, a solid bloke and socialite, Dan spends his leisure time building trains while masquerading as a mechanical engineer.
Dan provides much of the emotional support for the expedition and is good for a joke when all else fails. Dan will be joining the expedition to Brisbane (sickies prevailing).
Daniel joined the Expedition in March/April 2009 from Newcastle to Port Macquaire, NSW Australia
Behind the Scenes
Andrew and Chris used to work together as Engineers. Happy as they were working together they both decided within a few months of each other that engineering wasn’t where they’re passion was. While working together Andrew was a constant source of information and assistance while Chris went about blindly developing the Expedition website. He also let Chris host his website on his server. (Thanks buddy!)
When the fit recently hit the shan in Singapore and the website crashed in a blaze of glory, Andrew stepped up to rescue the site and put it on life support while we found a better way to do things. His help and constant assistance with the technical aspects of Internet life is always appreciated. Andrew since went on to work for the ABC Radio in Australia and runs www.newcastlemusic.com.au