Category Archives: planning

Last minute arrival

alans cycle shirt-CADThe cycling jerseys have finally arrived. What a saga. The jerseys arrived in Dar early in the morning of Wednesday December 12. It has taken until now to get them released from customs. They were released at 16:22. At 17:00 the office closes for Christmas. Brinksmanship. When the jerseys arrived I was told that I had to pay about 660,000 shillings in duty and tax (for a few cycling jerseys mind) or about $450. An outrageous amount I thought. We have diplomatic status so anything we receive should be tax and duty free anyway (this is called PR06 status – we have pre-approved PR06 papers on file). We have never had any problem bringing stuff in in the past. I mentioned this and they kindly said they would re-assign customs status. They did. They now asked for 1.1 million shillings or over $700 (for a few jerseys). Go figure. It is Christmas after all. Customs was upping the ante. They did not want to see the PR06 on file. They would only accept a new PRO6 document for this package specifically. A PR06 has to be signed by the Foreign Minister. To make a long story short, the new PR06 was delivered at 16:05. The package was released at 16:22.

38 minutes to spare – or I would have been riding topless.

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

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Stuck in customs

alans cycle shirt PATTERNMy new jerseys are all made and were sent DHL from Cape Town a week ago Monday. They arrived in Dar Es Salaam at 7:56am last Wednesday. I have been trying to get them through customs ever since. Gotta love bureaucracy!

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

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C & N Cycles

Damian at C & N Cycles has done a great job of getting my bike and all associated cycling kit for the Tour – and at a very welcome discount.

Thanks Damian and C & N.

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

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Wilderness 1 – 2 – 1

A couple of weeks ago I sent Rob Williams at Wilderness 1 – 2 – 1, distributors of the ultralite cot, an email asking if I could drop by and buy an ultralite cot from him. He said sure. And then when he found out that I was going to ride the Tour d’Afrique for charity he offered me a great deal along with some other neat kit from his catalogue for free. I have just picked them up.
Thanks Rob and Wilderness 1 – 2 – 1. http://www.wilderness121.co.uk/

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

ChipIn: Sickle Cell Foundation of Tanzania

Fundraising update

A whole team of people has been working very hard in the background to get our sickle cell foundation fundraising campaign off the ground. Anton, Annelie and Derek at DJPA Partnership, a local communications firm; Mejah and his crew at UWABA, a cycling advocacy group here in Tanzania; and Sarah and Julie at the Sickle Cell Foundation. We have two upcoming events: a reception for corporates on October 4th (the Sea Cliff hotel has kindly offered to host); and a ‘Cycle Caravan’ around Dar on October 21st – see the poster (it says Oct 14 by mistake – this will be changed). We are looking forward to both events and hoping to raise lots of dosh for the Sickle Cell Foundation.

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

ChipIn: Sickle Cell Foundation of Tanzania

It’s Black! Not White!

It’s Friday evening. I’m in London. This morning I visited Damian at C&N cycles. He is getting my new bike and setting it all up for me. When I ordered the Genesis croix de fer I ordered the 2012 edition. It was white. But they had stopped making it and were out of stock. So I am getting the new 2013 edition, which has just begun to come off the production line. And guess what? The 2013 edition is not white, as the croix de fer has been for a number of years, it is black. Wow! It looks great. The spec is essentially the same but they have redesigned the look. Should be perfect for a ride across the dark continent. I also finalized the spares list with Damian. So everything should be set.

I will be in Amsterdam this coming week but back in London next Thursday, when I hope to be able to touch the new bike for the first time.  We will then get it all fit properly and boxed up ready to go to Tanzania. I won’t be able to take it back with me because I will be traveling back through Ghana and South Africa. But fortunately Georgina is also in London at the moment and is going back to Tanzania on September 22. She has offered to take it back with her.  Hopefully we can make this work. If not I will have to pick it up when I am back in London in November.  Very exciting. It is all starting to feel real.

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

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Training: gaps

I am in Ghana this week. No bike. No training. Sitting in meeting rooms most of the day. The departure date is getting closer and every month between now and January I have big chunks of travel for work. There will be big gaps in my training. This can’t help. Last week in Dar I cycled every day. I felt good. But fitness can disappear so quickly and then takes so long to get back. I look at the map of the tour and I get excited. I look at the training gaps in my schedule leading up to the tour and I get a little anxious. Perhaps both are good.

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

ChipIn: Sickle Cell Foundation of Tanzania