Ocean rower Ralph Tuijn

Ocean rower Ralph Tuin well underway in Australia

Ralph more than halfway the continent on his rowingbike tour


Ocean rower and adventurer Ralph Tuin is currently on the road in Australia on his Carbon Thys 209 Rowingbike. He wants to cross the continent from east to west (approximately 4500 km) in about four weeks. Then he’ll mount his special ocean rowing boat which is now on the Cocos Islands. Ralph’s attempt to row across the Indian Ocean was stranded there last year because of the start of the hurricane season. A couple of weeks ago a documentary was on the Discovery Channel about his attempt. If Ralph also accomplishes the last lap to Africa, he will be the first human which crossed all oceans, a remarkable achievement!

Ralph has the intention to also traverse Africa and South America by Rowingbike. Then he will have rowed all the way around the world. More on Ralph Tuin on www.ralphtuijn.nl of just google him for much more info.

Below Ralph’s first report (April 1 2013) after 16 days and 2750 km.

Hi Derk,

I rarely have Internet when riding the Rowingbike through the outback, but now I’m at a roadhouse which just opened at 7.30 and were I slept last night under the porch.
I’m now at the beginning of the Nullarbor Plain, so the beginning of the desert. 1200 km with only a petrol station or roadhouse every 150 to 200 km. It’s getting winter, so the temperatures are okay. 25 degrees centigrade during daytime, at night around 12 degrees. Hottest day I had was 40 and so far three days of rain. I didn’t expect this in this time of the year and didn’t bring any rain protection. It was rather cold.
Meanwhile I’m on the road for 16 days and covered 2750 km. Another 1750 to go. Fortunately it’s all reasonably flat terrain. I’ve had three higher mountain ranges and three smaller ones. I have to say that climbing on a rowingbike is hard, much harder than on a conventional bike. On flat and slightly sloping area’s it’s great. Very comfortable and what a beautiful motion. Fantastic to train your whole body in stead of just dull cycling, resulting in a weak torso. Definitely a superb machine, this rowingbike. I only hope I’ll make it with the shock cords. The third is already on the bike and there’s only one spare left.

Going to have breakfast now and that has to be sufficient for the next 150 km of desert.

All the best,


Ralph Tuin has arrived in Perth, 4518 km in 26 days

Read his report of April 14 2013

Ralph_Tuin_2Arrived yesterday in Perth after 4518 km of rowing in 26 days, or an average of 174 km a day. Covered 1000 km from day 17 to day 21, so in five days time. However, the last day was arduous. Riding a rowingbike apparently gives a lot of strain on your freewheel, which I subsequently broke. Rowing was no longer possible, so the trip changed into hiking. Walking uphill and then rolling downwards. For a moment I thought I could enjoy a long, beautiful decent to Perth, but unfortunately just then I was overtaken by two enormous oversized trucks carrying train carriages which blocked the entire road and drove at walking pace down, meaning I had to do the same thing.

But it was a fascinating tour on a beautiful means of transportation: the Thys 209 Carbon Rowingbike, designed by Derk Thijs (roets.eu). For the first time a rowingbike has crossed an entire continent from ocean to ocean and I have the feeling I will add a few more continents.
It was a delightful adventure with remarkable overnight stays. In this terribly expensive country I did everything I could to avoid overpriced caravan parks and hotels. Mainly by sleeping in the bush, but also in a launderette, pub, under the canopy of a petrol station, on a golf course, in a caravan of the owners of a caravan park, on the back seat of a car at a rest area so I didn’t have to put the tent in the rain, in a city park, in the Meckering earthquake memorial to escape the rain once more and in a large backyard in Midland, thinking I had put up my tent unnoticed, until I was awakened with the question if I wanted my eggs baked or poached.

Currently I’m relaxing for a week in Perth and on Saturday I’ll fly to Cocos for finishing the great adventure to cross the Indian Ocean by row boat.

Derk, in half a year I will cross Australia once more by Rowingbike. This time the harder and longer route over the north back to Brisbane.

All the best,


Ralph Tuin hit by oil tanker
Ralph escaped death while rowing from Australia to Africa.

With two broken ribs and a broken finger, Ralph had to suspend his attempt to cross the ocean. Read the full story