Episode 57: The Mallee Fledglings take on the Mallee Blast ultra-cycling event

When we think of adventure, we often imagine pristine landscapes and smooth sailing. But sometimes, adventure is about the grit, the grime, and the unexpected turns. That’s exactly what the Mallee Fledglings found out in the Mallee Blast, a bikepacking event that turned into an odyssey of mud, resilience, and camaraderie.

In this podcast episode, I sit down with Berenice, Rosie, and Tam, three remarkable women who formed part of the Mallee Fledglings group. The group was created a few months before the 2023 event with a simple goal in mind: to get more women, transgender and non-gender conforming people to the start line of ultra events. Former guest on the podcast, April Drage, teamed up with Carly Williams and April Marsh, to help mentor members of the group, teaching them a range of skills including navigation, bush mechanics and finding a great bivvy spot. This was all done to help them feel confident enough to enter the event and turn up to the start line.

The Mallee Blast is an event that connects the towns of Torquay and Swan Hill in regional Victoria, Australia. Offering both 500km and 1000km distances, it’s designed to introduce beginners to the world of ultra cycling. Yet, the 2023 edition was anything but beginner-friendly, with Mother Nature unleashing a fury of storms and rain that turned the Australian dirt roads into relentless mud pits.

As we listen to their stories, we can’t help but be drawn into the drama that unfolded. From the thrill of the start line to the camaraderie that blossomed among the riders, the Mallee Fledglings’ experience was a testament to the human spirit. Their encounters with mud that stopped bikes in their tracks, the kindness of strangers in small towns, and the unrelenting challenge of the elements make for a captivating tale.

Berenice, Rosie, and Tam share not only the trials they faced but also the moments of joy and the lessons learned. They remind us that sometimes, the most important part of any journey is the willingness to start, the courage to continue, and the ability to adapt.

So, if you’re in need of some inspiration or just a good story, tune into this episode. You’ll find yourself cheering for the Fledglings, laughing at their mishaps, and perhaps, just perhaps, you’ll feel the itch to embark on your own adventure. Because as the Mallee Fledglings proved, adventure is not about the destination; it’s about the ride, no matter how muddy it gets.

The Seek Travel Ride podcast

The Seek Travel Ride podcast is hosted by Bella Molloy and showcases amazing stories of adventure and discovery by bicycle. Launched in early 2023 there is now an amazing back catelogue of episodes to discover so be sure to check it out. New episodes are released every Saturday and are available on your favourite podcast player. Be sure to follow the podcast, to ensure you don’t miss an episode, and it really helps the show grow and reach an even larger audience.

Become part of the Seek Travel Ride community and join our Seek Travel Ride Facebook group to discuss this or other episodes, share your own cycling tales or ask for some advice from the community. You can also follow us on Instagram @seektravelride

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