On the Road – Part 9: Skopje to Sofia

This time, 16 months ago I was cycling from Skopje, Macedonia to Sofia, Bulgaria as part of my journey from London to Australia.

Thanks to Ivana Kostovska for the opening interview and thanks to everyone else for putting up with me for the remainder of the episode.

Hope you all enjoy Part 9 x



Talk: One Year on the Road

Last October I gave a talk about my Explore More journey to friends and ex-colleagues at the Southbank Centre in London. There was a strong turnout of friendly faces to hear the 2-hour talk in which I managed to cover the first 6 months from London to Tehran.

Unfortunately, we ran out of time to cover the whole adventure (I would have talked for 5 hours otherwise) but I think everyone left with a much better understanding of my time on the road.

Stay tuned for further updates in the near future…

One Amazing Revolution

This time exactly 1 year ago I set out from London on what would become an incredible adventure of discovery and happiness. I learnt a great deal about myself along the way and saw first hand just how amazing our world really is but more than anything it’s the people I’ve met that have made it so unforgettable.

To all of my friends, new and old who have accompanied me half way around the world I thank you immensely for your generosity, love and encouragement. X

PS. The physical journey may now be over but there are still plenty of video updates to come and many crazy stories to share with you.

Live, Love & Explore More


Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No it’s a man on a bike

Former University of Queensland student and global adventurer Aaron Austin-Glen has been likened to “Superman” after returning to UQ to have his fitness checked.

Having cycled for 50 weeks through 20 countries from London to Brisbane, Mr Austin-Glen underwent a VO2 max (maximal oxygen uptake test) at the School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences.

UQ researcher Ravin Lal, who supervised the test, said Mr Austin-Glen recorded a physical output comparable to an elite athlete.

“The test measured how much oxygen Aaron’s body used per kilogram of bodyweight in a minute,” Mr Lal said.

“For a 34-year-old man, anything above 44 millilitres per kilo per minute is excellent.

“Aaron’s result was 60.2, which means we had Superman in here.”

Stunned by how well he had performed, Mr Austin-Glen laughed off the comparison and described himself as “just an amateur”.

He also revealed that he had run a half-marathon (21 kilometre) two days before the test and had been out partying for a week after his long-awaited return to Brisbane.

“Maybe I should enter some bike races,” Mr Austin-Glen said.

“It (fitness) is not why I undertook this trip across the world, but it’s nice to know all the same.

“It’s as fit as I’ll be for the foreseeable future.”

Although Mr Austin-Glen’s results were outstanding, Mr Lal said he could still use the collected data to develop a program to further improve the cyclist’s performance.

“I might be able to ride back to London quicker then?” Mr Austin-Glen joked.


Educated at Mitchelton Primary School and Kelvin Grove High School, before studying Human Movement at UQ, Mr Austin-Glen undertook the cycling challenge to meet new people, see the world in more depth and refresh his perspective on life.

He said the hilliest part of his journey was Montenegro, where he conquered a total ascent equal to climbing Mount Everest twice.

In India, the adventurer also triumphed over a 14 kilometre continuous uphill climb, despite sweltering conditions of about 40 degrees Celsius.

Mr Austin-Glen revealed his next challenge will be learning to drive and travelling from Brisbane back to London by car.

You can read the full article here on the University of Queensland website


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Location: Brisbane, Australia – HOME!

Currently: Relaxing and reflecting on an incredible year of adventure!

Countries Visited: 20

Total Distance Cycled: 14 069km

Days on the Road: 354

Days Cycling: 140

Average Daily Distance: 100km/day

Hours on the Bike: 768 hrs

Flat Tyres: 5

Broken Spokes: 7

Longest Distance in a single day: 192km (Ravensthorpe to Esperance)

Longest Straight Road: 146km (Balladonia to Caiguna)

Highest Altitude: 2260m (Ooty, India)

Total Altitude Climbed: 124, 271m

Longest Downhill (without pedalling): 16km (Buzludzha, Bulgaria)

Highest Speed: 75km/h

Check out my Strava page to see the detailed statistics, maps and profiles of each day of the journey.

Man cycles from London to UQ for a fitness check

More than 600,000 cycle trips are made to and from The University of Queensland each year, but it’s unlikely any have come from as far afield as London.

Former School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences student Aaron Austin-Glen will finish a 15,000km bike ride through 20 countries when he visits his alma mater on Tuesday 7 July.

Mr Austin-Glen is scheduled to arrive back in Brisbane on  Saturday (27 June) before the final stage  to UQ for a scientific assessment of his fitness level.

“The last time I did a VO2 max (maximal oxygen uptake test) at UQ would have been 1999,” Mr Austin-Glen, 34, said.

“I was into running half-marathons and triathlons in those days, but I have been living in London for the past decade, going to gigs, enjoying life…and you can let things slide by the wayside.

“I obviously feel great physically after cycling all this way, and the VO2 max will be a nice test of where I am at.”

Mr Austin-Glen’s trans-global trek has taken him just under a year and seen him pass through The Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Kosovo, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Greece, Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Iran, the United Arab Emirates  and India.

Educated at Mitchelton Primary School and Kelvin Grove High School, the music event manager undertook the cycling challenge to meet new people and refresh his perspective on life.

He says his favourite place overseas was Iran, while Western Australia, where he began the final leg from Perth to Brisbane, was his favourite domestic destination.

“The Iranians were super-friendly and it’s a shame we are fed this story that things are otherwise,” Mr Austin-Glen said.

“In saying that, I’m also pleasantly surprised by how nice the people are back in Australia.

“When I left for England, I felt I didn’t connect with being Australian and I was worried I would have a clash of ideals when I returned, but that hasn’t been the case.

“What has been funny has been the number of times one place has reminded me of another. When I was on my way here I was comparing places to Australia. Now I compare places to where I’ve been in the past year.”

Along the journey Mr Austin-Glen has been filming his exploits and raising funds for the Lightyear Foundation, which promotes science education and innovation in developing countries.

His VO2 test at UQ, to be conducted by a team under Professor Jeff Coombes, will be one of a dozen such tests the facility conducts each week for both performance and research purposes.

You can read the full article here on the University of Queensland website