A guy by the name of David Houghton rode the Tour d’Afrique in 2005 and then wrote a book about it, The EFI Club.


Here is what he says:

“The Tour d’Afrique has been described as as ‘the longest and most difficult bike race in the world’. And within those who have undertaken this excruciating journey, there is an elite group known as The EFI Club. These are the select few who have survived Every Fucking Inch between Cairo and Cape Town, despite illness, injury, mechanical breakdowns, small children with big rocks and all the misfortunes that Africa can muster.”

It’s all about mind, body and bike – can you keep them from breaking beyond repair, not for ten days or 20 days, but for 120 days.

Joining the EFI club is part of wanting to go. I can’t deny it. Perhaps a vain hope, but I am not bipolar (as far as I know), not prone to manic gushes of enthusiasm, energy and confidence that fall off the cliff of despair at the first 22km hill from hell. Nor am I a hardened triathlete who can pound all day, party all night and be first to start the next morning. I am a more or less ordinary guy who likes to cycle and likes Africa.  At the same time I know there will be some cliffs.

There is a famous Eleanor Roosevelt quote: “Do one thing every day that scares you” (read: day after day on the Tour d’Afrique).  The next bit of the quote is more to the point and often forgotten: if you do one thing every day that scares you “you will be able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror’ “ – presumably this will make you feel good.


EFI = every day on the Tour d’Afrique

every day on the Tour d’Afrique = a scare a day

a scare a day = living through horror


EFI = living through horror

I am sure this syllogism will come back to haunt me.

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