THE LONG HAUL: American seniors Charlie, 73, and Judie, 72, Packard are cycling all over Australia.
THE LONG HAUL: American seniors Charlie, 73, and Judie, 72, Packard are cycling all over Australia. Kerry Oneill

Once in a lifetime bike ride

THEY may be 73 and 72 respectively, but that's not stopping Charlie and Judie Packard from cycling across Australia.

Last Friday the two adventurers cycled through the Lockyer Valley on their Ice trikes pulling up stumps for a well deserved rest at the Gatton Motel.

They started the tour only months after celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary.

The Packards are on the first month of a three month cycling holiday.

They have travelled up from Sydney to Brisbane and are making their way back to Sydney.

However, they say that they can turn up anywhere in between.

"The only one thing set in stone is that we have to be on the plane out of Sydney on January 31," Mrs Packard said.

The two senior citizens make sure they stick to daylight riding and plan for a rest stop at least once a week.

Coming from Seattle, Washington, the Packards have been cycle touring since 1981.

"We've biked in France, New Zealand, a lot of western Canada, and we've gone across America twice," Mr Packard said.

They started on regular bikes but since 2003 Mrs Packard started riding a Greens Speed trike because she has balance problems.

The special trikes cost about US$4500.

It's a hard slog but the two constantly stay in shape back home before they take to the roads.

They said they enjoyed meeting new people and it was a great ice breaker when people asked them why they were doing the cycle.

The Packards thought the whole trip would be uncomfortable because NSW roads proved bad.

"We've been pleased with the Queensland roads compared to the NSW roads. I had assumed it would all be the same."


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