Phil Shaw is skiing on wheels.
The Canadian professional skier is catching attention on a trip from Sydney to Cairns due to his unique mode of transportation, which involves using his unique method of transportation – roller skis.
While he’s not taking roller skis on the open road due to the danger of coming up against road trains, wildlife and travelling alone, but Mr Shaw is roller skiing the distance he travels through public transport once he arrives in each town.
He’s using the 2000-kilometre journey to spread awareness for people taking care of their physical health.
“It’s not a fundraiser, it’s a publicity for health,” he said.
“I want people to smoke less, exercise more and eat sensibly.”
Mr Shaw said he was inspired by his father’s ability to beat smoking.
“He’s much healthier now, my dad. Also he’s eating more sensibly and working more. He got sick because of smoking and quit because of that,” he said.
It’s not his first time taking on long-distance treks, having roller-bladed across Canada in 1995 and roller skiing the same distance in 2002.
“I’ve done this across Canada and it was a success so I said ‘why not Australia?’ For a Canadian Australia is rather exotic,” Mr Shaw, who’s from Montreal, said.
“I cross-country ski every day and professionally race. It’s a modest living, it’s not like a hockey player. I’m still racing internationally, I’m on the Worldloppet circuit.
“I’ve been doing it for 45 years and competitively for 35 years so I’m lucky to have health and passions.”
He said Orange was a “beautiful little town”.