In these days where it is possible to circumnavigate the whole continent of Australia without ever having to go off the bitumen, it is easy to forget that even relatively short distances were a major feat of endurance not that long ago. A Facebook friend of mine posted up these pictures this morning and I had to feature them in an article today, the story is just astonishing.
Winifred Alison Wells, 22 years old, set off on Boxing Day, 1950, her goal, to ride to Sydney and back unaccompanied and unassisted. She did so, accomplishing the amazing feat in just 21 days, riding a tiny Royal Enfield 350.
You can read more of the story in the link below and a Google search will take you other sites where more details again are available.
What an awe-inspiring woman. Winifred survived this as well as a further 16000km ride right around Australia, accompanied by her father on another bike, and lived to the ripe old age of 92, passing away just a year or so ago. (2020)
Hats off in absentia, what a wonderful story.
And, speaking of wonderful women, this week I received the dreadful news that my good friend, Patti Franklin Petipas passed away in her sleep while visiting one of her children in Colorado. Patti and Mike were my hosts when I visited Texas back in 2015 and my stay at their house was as hilarious as it was memorable. Patti never stopped razzing me from the moment I mentioned that we need to go to the “shops” for milk. Claiming she didn’t even know what I meant, she has taken every opportunity since to remind me that it’s “store” not shops. Deep in the heart of Texas the three of us got into a spirited and civil discussion about guns and Patti blew me away when she went into the bedroom and came out with her PINK automatic pistol, yes, you read correctly, pink.
Patti has been a loyal supporter of my blog since then and we have kept in contact about our respective lives and families. I can’t even begin to think what Mikey must be going through at the moment, my heart goes out to him and their children. A devout Christian who was never shy about declaring her faith, my comfort is that Patti has gone to a better place. Rest in Peace, Patti, I will miss you. My condolence, Mikey, I can’t really think of anything more to say.