Adelaidean - News from the University of Adelaide The University of Adelaide Australia
June 2005 Issue
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Law cyclist wants to be booked


Cycling through the heart of Australia is not a typical act for a lawyer but University of Adelaide Senior Lecturer John Gava is setting a precedent and it's all for a worthy cause.

In an initiative titled "Bike for Books", Mr Gava is riding the 3100 kilometres from Darwin to Adelaide to raise money for books for the University of Adelaide's Law Library.

The ride will take place at the beginning of July and Mr Gava is primarily looking for sponsorship in the lead-up but he will also seek donations during the trip.

He said keeping the Law Library up to date was essential to ensure students were exposed to the whole spectrum of ideas, both old and new, that were available.

Mr Gava said this would enhance their education by challenging them intellectually and also ensure they were at the cutting edge of the legal profession.

During "Bike for Books", he aims to ride about 100 kilometres each day, carrying his own tent, food and water, and plans to camp and stay at roadhouses along the way.

Mr Gava said he would be carrying a five-litre container of water with him as, in some cases, it could be two or three daysbetween roadhouses or towns.

"I want to try to finish it in a month - I start on July the 1st and hope to be back by the 1st of August."

Mr Gava said he planned to tackle the long highway through the centre of Australia alone, although two Law School colleagues would possibly join him for several days or a week.

"It's a great way to experience Australia - you get to see it, hear it and smell it," he said. "Cycling's a much slower mode of transport, and gives you an opportunity to really experience first-hand how unique our country is."

This is the first charity ride for Mr Gava but he is certainly no stranger to lengthy cycling trips and enjoys what some people would see as long and lonely roads.

"I like being in the middle of nowhere," he said.

His first long-haul cycle was a trip from Perth to Sydney, a 40th birthday present to himself, and he has tried to undertake one big ride each year since then. Other journeys included Sydney to Brisbane, Wellington to Christchurch in New Zealand and around Australia's Snowy Mountains.

He chose Darwin for his latest challenge as he had already conquered the road from east to west and it was an opportunity to cycle north to south and finish back in Adelaide, the focus of the exercise.

Mr Gava, who usually cycles to work from Joslin and spends a couple of hours riding in the Adelaide Hills on weekends, said he would increase his training in the lead-up to the long ride home from Darwin.

To make a donation to Bike for Books, contact University of Adelaide senior lecturer John Gava on 8303 4451 or email; or Law Librarian Sue Milne on 8303 5348 or email

Story by Lisa Toole

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John Gava
Photo by Lisa Toole

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Photo by Lisa Toole

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