Tag Archives: Denise Donlon

Equator Party

Day 54, unscheduled rest day Nanyuki

I woke early and at 5am was in the hotel lobby trying to connect to the wifi. And with nobody else up yet (or very few, John Chevis was also up) I was able to get on at a reasonable speed. But by 6:30 it was unusable again. But I had got quite a bit done.

Today was laundry and bike day. The price lit for laundry was outrageous. It would have cost me as much to have the hotel do my laundry as it costs for a night’s accommodation. So it was buy some soap powder, do the washing in the sink and hang a line between two trees. I was sharing a room with Vince again. We shared the soap and he had the clothes line. We got it done.

My bike had been on top of the lunch truck for the two days we bussed from Sololo. It was filthy. First O had to put the new seat on. I keep the old one, hoping that I might get it replaced on warranty. We’ll see. I then gave it to the mechanics who gave it the once over and tuned it. They also put on my new bar tape. The old stuff was torn and ratty. I had brought some pumpkin orange bar tape with me. The original bar tape and seat were a dark tan colour. This gave the bike a fairly conservative but respectable black and tan look. The new seat was black. And with the new bar tape I now had a really cool and nasty black and orange look. I was sure it would be faster. I then changed my tires back to the road tires and got to work cleaning the bike. It took a while but by the end it looked pretty good. Back in business.

Nanyuki is on the equator. About 2 km south of town is the official sign board marking it. We had decided to mark our arrival with an equator party – costumes recommended. I went out with the kiwis looking for inspiration. The three of them were going as all black rugby team players. So they needed black t-shirts and some white out that they could use to paint on logos and numbers. In a backstreet in a little kiosk I found a Bob Marley head scarf, which was where I started. Back at camp I found some old inner tubes. I cut them up and made a dreadlock wig out of them. I put the headscarf over the wig, blackened my face to make it look like I had a scraggly Marley beard and rolled a big dooby from a newspaper. We headed off to the bar. It was good fun with lots of other good and creative costumes made out of almost nothing. Great chance to blow off some steam after a couple of tough months on the bike.

Final Edit – TdA SCFT film

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ChipIn: Sickle Cell Foundation of Tanzania.

Alan Knight rides the Tour d’Afrique for the Sickle Cell Foundation of Tanzania

January 11 – May 11, 2013

“The Tour d’Afrique has been described as ‘the longest and most difficult bike race in the world’.”

David Houghton, rode the Tour d’Afrique in 2005

and then wrote a book about it, The EFI Club

Alan Knight, an experienced long distance cyclist, will ride the 2013 edition of the Tour d’Afrique. The annual Tour d’Afrique is an 11,718 km bicycle expedition and race crossing ten African countries from Cairo to Cape Town in four months.

This physically and mentally challenging expedition will mark a major milestone for Alan, who will turn 60 during the ride, and who has committed his efforts to provide an opportunity for himself and others to support the incredible work of the Sickle Cell Foundation of Tanzania.

Sickle Cell Disease is particularly prevalent in African countries that have a high incidence of malaria. Tanzania, where Alan currently lives, has the 4th highest number of people suffering from sickle cell disease in the world. In Tanzania up to 11,000 children are born every year with this inherited disease. But due to lack of early diagnosis and treatment as many as 90% of them will die before they are 18. With early diagnosis and treatment they can expect to live longer and more productive lives.

Alan’s goal is to raise US$50,000 to build and equip a 12-bed day treatment centre for sickle cell sufferers in Tanzania. Currently in Dar Es Salaam, sickle cell patients are treated at a general purpose clinic at the Muhimbili hospital only two days a week. A dedicated day treatment centre, open every day, could potentially increase treatment capacity by over 500%.

Dr. Julie Makani, the Founder of the Sickle Cell Foundation of Tanzania has set up a world-class research and treatment facility for sickle cell disease in Dar Es Salaam. Dr. Makani’s work was recently recognised when she was awarded the Royal Society Pfizer Award in 2011 for her outstanding research into using anaemia in sickle cell disease as a model for translating genetic research into health benefits. But the work has only just started.

Alan’s participation in the 2013 Tour d’Afrique provides a unique opportunity to recognise and align your organisation with outstanding work by Africans in Africa on an important African health issue, and to make a real and measurable difference in the lives of many Tanzanians.

You, your staff, colleagues, and clients will be able to follow Alan’s progress on his blog and gain recognition through messages, videos, media, and logo placement. You and your organisation will also be recognised by the Sickle Cell Foundation of Tanzania.

The campaign has already started and will last at least ten months. Join us and the many other supporters and funders of the Sickle Cell Foundation of Tanzania. Your sponsorship will make an enormous difference in so many lives in Tanzania.

Alan’s TdA SCFT film on Vimeo

The first cut of the film is here. Have a look.

Alan Knight Tour d’Afrique 2013 on Vimeo

The donation page is also now active. Click on ‘Donate to SCF TZ‘ at the top of the page and then click through to the ChipIn page.

ChipIn: Sickle Cell Foundation of Tanzania.

We are looking for companies who might want to sponsor this ride for the Sickle Cell Foundation of Tanzania. If you know any companies that might be interested please contact me at alan@taylerknight.co.uk and I’ll send you the sponsorship bumph.

Thanks very much to Denise Donlon and Chris Morgan for putting the film together.