Meet a traveller: Dave Cornthwaite, record-breaking adventurer and overland traveller

Bike, trike or skateboard? Non-motorised forms of transport make for the best road trips. Image courtesy of Dave Cornthwaite

Ever thought of taking a trip by recumbent tricycle? How about a stand-up paddleboard or skateboard? Meet a traveller who has: Dave Cornthwaite has travelled more than 16,000 miles by yacht, kayak, tandem bike and more for his Expedition1000 project, smashed records by skating from Perth to Brisbane, in between saying ‘yes’ a lot and doing almost anything for £50.

Intrigued? We caught up with Dave to find out about his travel passions and pitfalls, and how many Haribo rings it takes to power a desert adventure.

Bike, trike or skateboard? Non-motorised forms of transport make for the best road trips. Image courtesy of Dave Cornthwaite

Where was your last trip?

My last trip was completely spontaneous. I was asked to give a keynote talk at the world’s foremost show for recumbent bicycles and all kinds of non-motorised transport in Germany – which is heaven for me. I thought to myself, it’d be crazy to fly home after that – my Expedition1000 project is all about travelling 1000 miles without a motor. Rather than have to make a decision myself I opened it up to everyone on my Facebook page and they decided which mode of transport I’d travel 1000 miles home on. So I opened an envelope and a couple of hours later I go on to a tricycle and rode for three weeks home.

Where is your next trip?

I have a two-month window which starts in ten days’ time and I don’t know where I’m going, I don’t know how I’m going to travel but I’m going to do something. I’m thinking about just going to an airport, looking at the destinations board, selecting a place, and then finding a way to travel once I’m there.

What is your first travel-related memory?

We used to go on a lot of family caravanning holidays when I was young, like to the south of France. My dad would try to put me in a kayak in a cold lake and I’d hate it! When I was six or seven we all paddled out on rubber rings to the island in Lake Lacanau in France and camped underneath a bivvy, which was brilliant. And there were huge rats everywhere, about a foot long. It didn’t put me off camping. It’s always good to do something new and that’s what I got from those holidays.

Aisle or window seat?

Window all the way. Even for long-haul – because if you’re in the aisle, there’s always someone who’s going to climb over wanting to go to the toilet!

Do you have any travel habits or rituals?

I think about how it will feel to finish. I imagine crossing the line on my skateboard, or reaching the Gulf of Mexico on my paddleboard, and get pumped for it. I’m often travelling pretty slow under my own steam so I reward myself for different exercises. Earlier this year I was in Chile riding a tricycle with a sail over 1000 miles through the Atacama Desert; I had Haribo rings, one …read more


 

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