Monday, 29 September 2014

Worlds oldest “toughest” international mountain bike race to take place in mid-October

A major and unique international cycling event is taking place in mid-October. Is the world’s oldest and said to be the toughest international mountain bike race. There are riders from Austria, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, China, Denmark, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Switzerland and the UK taking part.

Organised by Austrian ex-Tour de France rider Gerhard Schonbacher It takes place in Australia. Starting October 18th. the ‘Crocodile Trophy’ will see over 100 professional and amateur riders. The participants cycle 900km (nearly 560 miles) - basically nine marathons in a row. They will ride nine stages through lush rainforests, dry intense heat of the Outback and mountain trails climbing to 3,000m, finishing on the tropical coast of Queensland.

2014 sees the Crocodile Trophy celebrate its 20th anniversary and for the first time it is registered as an official Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) race. As a result participants can collect valuable UCI points, for the first time, which are used for cyclist ranking internationally. In addition the Crocodile Trophy offers prize money to the value of AUD 40,000.

What: Crocodile Trophy international mountain bike race
When: 18th – 26th October 2014.
Starts: Smithfield Regional Park near Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Finishes: Four Mile Beach, Port Douglas, Queensland, Australia

International media enquiries to

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Getting photos about your story into the media

If you want to get photos publish in the media, about your story, they are usually looking for a specific type of photo. The three most important things for the media are:
  • You must try to tell / document the whole story in one photo - a big ask.
  • The photos must be original
  • The photos should be unpublished

Here are some other guidelines in relation to photo contents.
  • Photos need context - clearly show the place and subject matter through signage, a building, a prop, monument or land / cityscape
  • Make the subject stand out with a dramatic background different from the main subject matter - sky, landscape etc
  • People should look natural – not posing lined up like a football team photo
  • Shoot from different angles to make it interesting -  the side, above or below
  • Shoot people close up and from the middle distance.
  • Show peoples faces
  • Illustrate the cultural diversity / difference of the photo location adding interest and context

For more thoughts and guidelines on getting your photos into the media, email

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Russian security service dash hopes of world record global flight completion

An attempt to fly the first autogyro / gyrocopter around the world has been forced to quit its full circumnavigation. This is after travelling thousands of miles flying consecutively through 18 of the 24 countries needed to achieve this Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) World Record Circumnavigation. This is because the Russian Federal Security Bureau (FSB) have refused to respond to requests from that countries Civil Aviation Authority (CAA / FATA). The Russian CAA cannot issue the required flight permission to fly through their airspace without FSB input. This is particularly frustrating for pilot and adventurer Norman Surplus as there seems to be no issues related to the aircraft, weather, routing or himself

Norman, currently holder of nine FAI world records, started his record setting bid, named Gyrox Goes Global, from Northern Ireland in March 2010. Upon reaching the 18th country (Japan) in July 2011 it was then halted by a rescinded overflight permission for the Russian Far East due to unexpected flight delays earlier in the route. Since that point, new Russian permission has been repeatedly sought from 2011 to 2014 while the aircraft has been kept in Japan and Norman has patiently waited.

“It is not as if a global World Record attempt such as this poses any sort of meaningful “security” issue for any particular country, rather, it should be held up and viewed for what it is, a friendly, positive symbol of international cooperation, much like any other truly global sporting event such as the Olympics or the football World Cup. Those events would simply not happen unless all the participating countries agreed to work together simply and for no other purpose other than for the advancement and celebration of sporting achievement throughout the world. The world community is enriched by such events and they are a constant reminder of our common humanity on this planet.

Initially all seemed to go well, all local en route airfields across the Russian Far East were contacted and proved 100% supportive, fuel logistics worked out, much support and encouragement was offered from the local aviation community and both the Russian CAA and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs worked their best to secure the all so necessary flight permission. However there was one glitch in all the meticulous planning. According to the guidelines for such flights various agencies needed to be consulted for their opinion on the suitability of the flight. Unfortunately one such “statutory consultee” was missing and simply did not respond despite numerous attempt to ask them to do so. That agency was the Federal Security Bureau (FSB).

Norman speaking about this said “The reason for the continued and consistent lack of any FSB response is baffling and extremely frustrating for our whole team and also for our many supporters that have closely followed the flight so far”.

He continues:
In our case however, it is only by the combined openness of all the 24 countries involved en route that a successful circumnavigation can ever hope to be achieved. So it`s a very sad state of affairs when we are now halted, not through any physical impasse or barrier to aviation but purely through an apparent lack of enthusiasm from one government Agency to even be bothered to respond to a simple request asked from another Agency, when they are supposedly both working for the benefit and advancement of the same country on the world stage”

Media enquiries to Tom Burns

Friday, 8 August 2014

Cyclist successfully finishes the fastest ever ride of the Himalayas

Austrian cyclist Jacob Zurl (26) successfully finished the fastest ever ride of the Himalayas in 38 hours 40 min. 

Here is his brief report in his own words.
"Because of the heavy rain in Manali we started on Monday (August 4th, 2014.) at 11:00 am in Manali - Main Bazar. I reached the Khardung La at 1:40 am.

It was harder than I ever thought. To cycle for so many hours in such high altitude is real extrem and very difficult for mind and body. Every hour my support crew measured my oxygen saturation and three times it was the lowest ever. So my support team decided to do a short stop. They also thought that my body wouldn't handle the thin air over that many hours and that he would have to stop the record attempt. I really want to thank my girlfriend, Greta (who studies medicine), who made the decision that he can go on.

The road was so bad - maybe only 50% was asphalt - and at the end my arms and my ass hurt so much."

He did his ride without stopping for sleeping while dealing with extreme temperatures, the poor / no road surface, freezing streams, slush and thin air of high altitude. Jacob was attempting to do this in less than 48 hours - a journey that is usually completed by experienced cyclists in two weeks!

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Extreme cyclist tackles earths highest "most dangerous" road in world record bid

An Austrian extreme cyclist will tackle the highest and what is considered to be one of the most dangerous roads in the world. Jacob Zurl (26) will attempt to be the first to set a world record for crossing the 517 km (321 miles approx) Manali-Leh-highway in India non-stop in under 48 hours A journey that is usually completed by experienced cyclists in two weeks!

Consider one of the most dangerous roads because the poor surface, the need to cross freezing streams, slush and thin air of high altitude. Also the road is so narrow in places only one vehicle can pass at a time. Added to that is the lack of infrastructure, repair service or inhabited settlements.  In addition Jacob will be tackling this at speed and fatigued after long hours in the saddle.

The Manali-Leh-highway, Ladakh in Himachal Pradesh state crosses some of the world's highest motorable mountain passes and culminating on the Khardung La at 5359m (17,500 ft approx). 

When:  Beginning Monday August 
4th., 2014 

Where: Manali, Himachal Pradesh, India


Media enquiries to Tom Burns

Monday, 14 July 2014

Indian man to drive self-built solar tuk tuk India to UK demonstrating green transport

Naveen Rabelli announceed today (Monday July 14, 2014) his plan to drive his solar tuk tuk /  autorickshaw from Bangalore, India to London, England. He plans to travel 10,000 km (nearly 6,230 miles) and traverse 10 countries. Naveen's Tuk Tuk-Tejas, will run on solar and electricity and will have 0 emissions. The object of the adventure is to create awareness of a sustainable low cost alternative transport solution for tens of millions of people in Asia and beyond.

Naveen began working on his ‘tuk tuk’ over two years ago which has resulted in a vehicle that can travel 80 km (nearly 50 miles) when charged for eight hours. Also with 5 hours of exposure to the sun, it can run for another 25 km (nearly 16 miles). This has been achieved through many of hours of design and construction work, with a limited budget and the support of local mechanics and body fabricator.

Media enquiries to: Tom Burns

You can see links to some media coverage is here:

Chicago Tribune,0,7466668.story

NDTV (India)

Economic Times (India)

De Telegraaf (Holland)

Yahoo News

Jakarta Globe

IBN (India)

Friday, 4 July 2014

Pilot aims to be youngest to fly around the world

Matt Guthmiller is attempting to be the youngest pilot to fly around the world. He has been working toward this record since he was a child and did his first flight at the age of 16 at home in Aberdeen, South Dakota. 

While presently a student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Matt is a self-taught software engineer who first began writing code at around 12 years old. Not long after that started one of the very first iPhone unlocking businesses in 2007. By second level school he had moved on to producing algorithms that could predict crude oil prices and using supercomputers to analyse stock trades.

Matt's flight is supporting, non-profit organisation dedicated to expanding participation in computer science education by making it available in more schools, and increasing participation by women and underrepresented students of colour.

Some some media coverage achieved below:

Boston Globe

Le Figaro

Times of India

MailOnline / Daily Mail (UK)

La Razon

NDTV (India)

Washington Post

Brisbane Times (Australia)

Straits Times (Singapore)