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). 

Currently, Kate is completing "Breaking the Cycle: The Baja Divide" A bike adventure through Baja's desertous mountains and spectacular coast in North America. Its 2,500kms long and will take 24 days to complete. 

The route connects the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Cortez, historic Spanish mission sites rich with shade and water, remote ranchos and fishing villages, bustling highway towns, and crosses every major mountain range in Baja California on seemingly endless beautiful backcountry desert tracks.

Kate chose this self-supported journey to be the first of six expeditions – one on each continent – to prepare physically and mentally for her Antarctic crossing, due to begin in late November 2018. A mix of sand, rugged mountains climbs, consistently riding 110km a or so a day, this adventure should be perfect to form an expedition fitness base for the year ahead.

Click here to read about it & follow her journey