As a bird conservationist with international links and responsibilities, John Cooper's year planner shows whole weeks blocked off for travel to exotic places: the Falkland Islands, Tristan da Cunha–
He's amassed thousands of travel kilometres island- and continent-hopping for the cause, but converted to the joys of cycling 11 years ago. Since then, he's raced his way to another milestone:
His last cycling race, the Oxygen Bay City Cycle Tour (his 120th PPA ride), nudged his total to a grand 13 603km.
Let's put that in perspective: "The Earth's diameter at the Equator is
Cooper first rode for the PPA in 1995 on his 1993 model Specialised Rockhopper mountain bike (he'd hired one in Yosemite National Park and the bug bit), the same bike that took him through three Arguses (1994-1996). He now rides a Cannondale R600 CAD3 road bike.
Cooper easily clocked the distance for qualification in the
"My best seasonal total to date was
"I argued successfully that this should be a prestigious award, difficult to achieve, that needed perseverance and commitment, and not just the steady accumulation of kilometres over the years. So the rule finally adopted is that to join the
Cooper exceeded the
In which case, he's half way there.
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