KATE LEEMING

As one of Australia's leading women explorers, Kate has cycled a distance equivalent to twice around the world at the Equator. In August 2010, Kate became the first person in history to cycle an unbroken line from Africa’s most westerly to its most easterly point, from Cap Vert, Senegal to Cape Hafun, Somalia when she completed her 22,000km Breaking the Cycle in Africa expedition.

Kate has two previous world firsts under her belt – the Trans-Siberian Cycle Expedition (1993) when she became the first woman to cycle across the new Russia unsupported, and the Great Australian Cycle Expedition (2004/05) which included the first bicycle crossing of the Canning Stock Route by a woman. 

The physical aim of Kate's next major challenge, Breaking the Cycle South Pole, is to make the first bicycle crossing of the Antarctic continent via the South Pole (2017-18). Kate aims to use her expedition to support access to education in Kenya and South Africa through an innovative partnership with YGAP (Y Generation Against Poverty), as well as run a global education programme with the Victorian Department of Education and Training and Scouts Australia about leadership.

Kate has published two books, Out There and Back, the story of the 25,000km Great Australian Cycle Expedition (2007) and Njinga, Breaking the Cycle in Africa (2014) and made an award-winning feature documentary, also titled Njinga.

In between expeditions, Kate works as a real tennis professional, having been ranked as high as World No.2 and winning 5 Australian Open singles titles.

In March 2016 Kate was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Education degree from The University of Western Australia for her services to education and the community. She is a Scout Ambassador, a fellow of the Royal Geographic Society (UK) and a member of The Explorers Club (New York). 

Here's an update from her blog "Breaking the Cycle South Pole":
Re-energised, the team set off from Fort McPherson, heading north towards Aklavik on an ice road. As the crow flies, the distance between the two towns is about 80km, but the road is built on the Peel River which meanders its way through the Mackenzie River Delta. Locals tend to measure the length of these roads by the time it takes to reach a destination rather than in kilometres or miles, so we did not know exactly how far the ice road route over the river would be. I assumed it to be about 120km. Day 1 on the ice road was a beautiful sunny day, about -18C when we left. I was able to make good pace along it, careful to ride along the edges, or where the ice was scratched by machines and thus avoiding the clear, slippery surfaces. On our first brief break (breaks are always brief because I start to get cold pretty quickly), we agreed to meet every 15km or so. I set off ahead of the others and a few kilometres later came to a branch in the road; both paths looked about equal in width, so I opted for the road that looked more recently used. After 20km, there was no sign of the team and I started to doubt whether I'd made the right choice...as the road meandered with the river, it was difficult to tell whether I was heading for Aklavik or maybe the road was turning east toward Inuvik, the main town. After 32km I decided to turn around. I always have to think of the worst case scenarios. At 43km from Fort McPherson, I would have enough food and water to get back to where I know if something had happened to the others. I reluctantly started to retrace my route, but 2.5km later I was very pleased to see Claudio, then some locals and Bob and Theresa showed up. I was relieved to find out that I had made the right choice of road, so I only ended up doing an extra 5km...it could have been much worse. After 63km we made camp thinking we should make Aklavik in good time the next day... Click here to continue reading

To contact Kate and support Breaking the Cycle South Pole: www.KateLeeming.com