Author Topic: Dave Hughes Ride from Bathurst to Darwin  (Read 365 times)


  • Administrator
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 182
    • View Profile
Dave Hughes Ride from Bathurst to Darwin
« on: April 29, 2021, 10:19:20 PM »
Bathurst to Darwin on a bicycle.
Local cyclist David Hughes has completed his 4000km trek to Darwin- He completed the ride today 29April21 with a post on facebook saying - 33 days, 4065km total. 7 rest days, 3 tubes of sunscreen, 1 puncture, 1 tiny little crash (no injuries). This comes after Mark Simons ride from Bathurst to Adelaide, and Gary (& Kim) Bakers marathon bike rides.. (then of course Gav Pearcy Trudy Tim.. and the Crews adventures).. etc

Now while investigating Dave’s Bathurst to Darwin ride I came across Donald Friedman who also took on the Bathurst – Darwin cycling Challenge in the 1930’s

So has Dave been following in Donald Friedman bike tracks?

Maybe it not the strongest of connections between local marathon cyclists Dave Hughes and World War 1 soldier Donald Friedman but on Anzac Day 2021 I did consider the links between the two, with both Dave and Donald riding from Bathurst to Darwin.

Each Anzac Day the Bathurst Cycling Club stops and reflects on the impact World War 1 - and remembers the members of the local cycling community who answered the call and fought in the War. This year we did consider Donald Friedman given Dave Hughes Darwin ride occurring over Anzac Day 21. However it was difficult to establish Friedman connection with the local Bathurst cycling club - and even his time in Bathurst after settling in the city for a period well after the war (it being a long way from his birth home of Adelaide).

An Aussie Born Scotsman and a member of a well-known North Adelaide Family, Donald Friedman story is quite complex. (Actually it is difficult to even follow his army record given he seems to have served in WW1 twice under 2 different names, Donald Friedman and Reg Harris. It does seem clear that Donald had trouble fitting in to army life and maybe life in general… and he did get himself into plenty of trouble in the army. Seems fairly obvious after the war he jumped on a bicycle and just rode to shake the stress of the past.)

But maybe more on all that another time, as I am simply looking to draw a parallel between Dave and Donald’s ride.

While Dave rode to Darwin for a social engagement, Donald was prospecting and was checking inland Australian for opportunities. It will be interesting if Dave noticed any potential gold deposits while he was on his ride.
Water would be the first concern riding in the outback and while it was a logistic problem for Dave, it seem Donald took a more casual approach and just talked to the local aboriginals about getting a drink.

While I am not sure on our Daves next adventure after the Darwin ride… Donald Friedman got plenty of press coverage on his next movements as he quickly found an interesting prospecting site near Darwin and got back on the bike and rode to Sydney to set up a few legal details and make some arrangements for sinking a bore, then a ride to Melbourne to look for a partner with a motor truck.. no luck of course.. plus there was a ride to Adelaide in there as well.

News of Friedman travels quickly spread and he became a kind of roadside celebrity as he rode across Australia to set up this mining site in Darwin. At this point I am still not sure if Donald Friedman struck it rich at his mining claim at Darwin, or even if he actually got a shovel into the earth. I might ask Dave Hughes want he thinks?.. But it seems to me that Donald Friedman was more at home out on the road on his bike with his gold in the skies at sunrise and sunset.

One thing I am confident about is that I would battle to explain to Donald Friedman how we all ride in-doors in 2021 on the Zwift App.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2021, 11:34:01 PM by Mark »