Monthly Archives: November 2012

Sponsors and supporters

Here are the fantastic organisations that have sponsored and supported Cylce 4 Sickle Cell and the sickle Cell Foundation of Tanzania.

Don’t forget to donate to the Sickle Cell Foundation of Tanzania.

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Please support my supporters!

http://www.altron.co.za/

http://www.archipelagoproductions.cc/

http://chrismorgan.tv/

http://www.djpa.com/

http://www.truenorthrecords.com/Artists.php?artist_id=76

http://www.nabaki.com/

 

http://www.hotelseacliff.com/

http://taylerknight.co.uk/

http://thewalrus.ca/

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Logos on Jerseys

We are getting some great support for the Sickle Cell Foundation of Tanzania. The jerseys for the Tour are now designed and have been sent to the manufacturer.

Don’t forget to donate to the Sickle Cell Foundation of Tanzania.

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5 reasons to ride a bike

I google’d ‘why do we ride bikes’ in a brain dead moment after finishing and sending off a long report. According to David Fiedler there are 5 reasons:

1. For Your Body

There are health benefits for people of all ages

  • increased cardiovascular fitness
  • increased strength
  • increased balance and flexibility
  • increased endurance and stamina
  • increased calories burned

Can’t really argue with that. Although I don’t really think too many car drivers get cyclist’s palsy in their hands (that tingly feeling) or have to slather on chamois cream before a hundred mile ride.

2. For Your State of Mind

It is a proven stress releaser. After a ride you feel relaxed, energized and happier about the world and yourself. And it is fun so it keeps you from taking yourself too seriously.

So no more Prozac for Mr. Fieldler. That’s good. I like that. I’m happy now. No stress.

But is a sixty-year-old man cycling through a sub Saharan desert in canary yellow or bright pink spandex taking himself too seriously or not seriously enough? Your call. Depends on what kind of fun you are having in your canary yellow spandex I guess.

3. For Your Community

It’s good for the people around you – one less car on the road. No noise. You are able to interact with people. It does not harm the environment: no polluting exhaust, no oil or gas consumed, small material inputs.

I like this. Makes me sound virtuous, which of course I am, if a bit dull. Are the material inputs for 8 bikes less than the energy and material inputs to make 1 small car? Possibly.

But not so sure about the people interaction bit. The roads can be mean. Kind of hard to toss off a friendly ‘Hi, how’s your day been?’ when somebody’s just pulled out in front of you and sent your over the bars.

4. For Convenience

There is an undeniable convenience factor: parking spaces are guaranteed, traffic jams are irrelevant.

Absolutely. And so easy to throw into the back of a pickup. Did you get the license plate #?

5. For Your Pocketbook

When you start multiplying cost per mile to operate a car by the distance you ride, you can easily calculate how much money you save by riding a bike.

daily round trip commute = 10 miles.

operating cost of car per mile = 30 pence

Cycle to work 150 days in a year

Savings = 10 * 150 *.3 =  £450

Makes sense?

Cycling shoes =  £120

Cycling shorts * 4 = £240

Cycling jerseys * 4 = £240

Rain jacket = £80

10 inner tubes = £50

2 pairs of cycling gloves = £30

1 new chain = £30

Yes, perfect sense!

Don’t forget to donate to the Sickle Cell Foundation of Tanzania.

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The Ethiopian Solution

I may have found the solution to all those Ethiopian kids throwing rocks at passing cyclists.  See this story.  http://dvice.com/archives/2012/10/ethiopian-kids.php

As the story says:

“What happens if you give a thousand … tablet PCs to Ethiopian kids who have never even seen a printed word? Within five months, they’ll start teaching themselves English while circumventing the security on your OS to customize settings and activate disabled hardware. Whoa.”

So we just need to drop tablets in every village we pass through a few weeks before we get there and all the kids will be so busy geeking it they won’t even see us.

Gotta work.

Don’t forget to donate to the Sickle Cell Foundation of Tanzania.

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62 Countries

people from 62 countries have visited this blog. Amazing! Thanks.

Canada

United Kingdom

United States

United Republic of Tanzania

Netherlands

New Zealand

Australia

Germany

Hong Kong

Belgium

Switzerland

Ireland

Norway

India

Malaysia

Zambia

South Africa

Italy

Ghana

Mozambique

Spain

Egypt

France

Hungary

Brazil

Republic of Korea

Sweden

Philippines

Finland

Kenya

Denmark

Japan

Greece

Ecuador

Puerto Rico

Russian Federation

Pakistan

Austria

Poland

Croatia

Turkey

Thailand

United Arab Emirates

Tunisia

Slovenia

Morocco

Guernsey

Czech Republic

Saudi Arabia

Honduras

Senegal

Portugal

Syrian Arab Republic

Romania

Costa Rica

Haiti

Sudan

Israel

Democratic Republic of the Congo

Taiwan

Singapore

China

 

Don’t forget to donate to the Sickle Cell Foundation of Tanzania.

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Two months to go

About five months ago I signed up to do the full Tour d’Afrique in 2013. http://www.tourdafrique.com/   The music starts in just over two months.  To recap: the Tour d’Afrique is a 12,000km bicycle race/expedition from Cairo to Cape Town. It travels through 10 African countries between January 11 and May 11 2013, averaging 125km a day. I expect there will be 50 riders.  We will be supported by a couple of overland vehicles, a tour director, a cook, a mechanic, a nurse – and who knows who else. We camp along the way. So after cycling 130 or 150km we will have to set up tents and make ourselves at home. Water is for drinking not cleaning. We get a couple of rest days for every 10 or 12 cycling days. Approximately 75% of the route is paved, the rest is not – and could be pretty bad.

I have spent the last five months getting ready. It’s been like having a second job. Fundraising (still lots to do), tour admin, training, buying stuff (everything from a new bike to a solar charger), organizing my work life so that I can manage four months off, organizing family life for such a long absence, learning how to set up a blog . . . the list has been long. But as the list shortens the serious work becomes more pressing – training, preparing the head, testing, adjusting and finalizing the bike.

I think my body is ready for it. I was feeling fairly fit by the end of October. But with all of my work travel in November and December (Zimbabwe, DRC, Ghana, London, South Korea) I am feeling a little less sure of myself. I will have to try to get in some good miles in the last couple of weeks of December and then cycle back into fitness in Egypt. I also have a bad habit of not hydrating enough so I have been working on drinking whether I feel I need it or not. Believe it or not that’s tough.

The bike also seems set. I got it at the end of September and put some good miles on it in October, including a hilly, 160km ride in 33OC heat. I think I have enough spares, although I have had far too many pinch punctures. Need to get some advice on this. Perhaps I am not inflating my tires enough – or perhaps too much. Maybe I am not taking the touch road conditions properly. Maybe I need tougher tires, although I have good continental cyclo-cross tires on the new bike and have ordered some Schwab marathons.

And where is the mind? Can I speak of it in the third person? At the moment it is positive, enthusiastic, excited and cautious, which feels like a weird, tight rope kind of mix. It is a long haul, not a sprint. Energy and excitement have to be managed and not just released from the blocks.  I am confident I will feel good at the start. I am curious to see how I will feel one week in, one month in, one month to go. I think perhaps you need to be more like Ivan Lendl than John McEnroe.  But then McEnroe always looks like he’s having more fun. And it’s got to be about the fun.

This is what the ride looks like.

SECTION DESTINATION DISTANCE START END
Full Tour Cairo to Capetown 11693km Jan 11 May 11
Pharaohs Delight Cairo to Khartoum 1955km Jan 11 Jan. 30
The Gorge Khartoum toAddis Ababa 1604km Feb. 1 Feb. 18
Meltdown Madness Addis Ababa to Nairobi 1689km Feb. 20 Mar. 09
Masai Steppe Nairobi to Mbeya 1211km Mar. 11 Mar. 23
Malawi Gin Mbeya to Lilongwe 750km Mar. 25 Mar. 31
Zambezi Zone Lilongwe to Victoria Falls 1213km Apr. 03 Apr. 11
Eleplant Highway Vic Falls to Windhoek 1541km Apr. 14 Apr. 24
Diamond Coast Windhoek to Cape Town 1732km Apr. 26 May 11

 

This is what the other riders look like.  (I picked up this data from Philip Howard’s blog http://www.onyerbikeinafrica.com/blog.html He is a 30 year old Irishman who is also doing the full tour and looks far too fit for his own good. Thanks Philip.)

50 full tour riders

33 men/17 women

15 countries: Canada (10), Britain (7), USA (4), Germany (4), Holland (4), Australia (4), New Zealand (4), Switzerland (3), Ireland (3), Italy (2), Denmark (1),  Brazil (1), Belgium (1), Norway (1),  South Africa (1)

Ages range from 18-70

teens – 1
20’s – 15
30’s – 8
40’s – 10
50’s – 10
60’s – 5
70’s – 1

I am not exactly sure where I fit in these stats since I travel on both Canadian and UK passports and since I will be 59 at the start but 60 at the end. But it looks like a good mix of nationalities and ages. And it looks like I’ll have lots of company at the geriatric end of the scale.

Two months to go.  Got to get a haircut.

Don’t forget to donate to the Sickle Cell Foundation of Tanzania.

ChipIn: Sickle Cell Foundation of Tanzania