In just eighteen weeks on the 7th of April, I will climb onto my bicycle and ride it to Cape Town. A sobering thought and badly needed after two weeks of champagne hangovers, courtesy of the non-coup that all Zimbabwe enjoyed, apart from Bob and Grace.
But even more sobering is the realization that I’ve not done any training yet, courtesy of my busted ribs from five weeks ago and the aforementioned hangovers. Easing into my training regime, I wore cycling shorts and my shiny new bike helmet around the house, for 8 hours!!! And have changed deodorant brands, from my normal one with the picture of a sailing ship to a brand specially designed for men with an active life style, and a pain threshold high enough to ignore third degree burns in both armpits. The stuff burns like power paraffin. Can see how that will speed you up on a squash court.
The people in charge of continental drift clearly weren’t on bicycles and left Cape Town and Harare ridiculously far apart. Having just finished planning our route down to Cape Town through Bulawayo, Botswana and large chunks of the Northern Cape, I now know that the words short cut and Botswana cannot be used together in the same sentence. In all, we’ll be on the road for twenty five days, popping out 3000 odd kilometres later at Cape Point. I’m guessing all our legs will feeling older by then. For those interested, I will put the route plus our anticipated schedule up on the Ride Face Book page.
If anyone out there in Kadoma, Gweru, Bulawayo, Gaborone etc, etc is feeling energetic, please join us on the ride when we get to your town. And for anyone feeling especially energetic, join us for the whole ride. We’ve still got a few vacancies in our pelaton, but please no racing snakes. So far Bruce Fivas and I are the only definites, with John Wheeler from Hemel Hempstead a maybe, and Al Watermeyer joining us for the Harare Bulawayo leg. Given that we will be riding fast like speeding tortoises, for sure Jenny will need company in the back up vehicle. Should you join, we can promise you an epic tour, through some very pretty bits of Africa and at a pace that will afford you the chance to appreciate the scenery.
There is so much to do in just 18 weeks, I’ve started on the dreaded list. Need to put on weight so that I have some to lose on the ride. Need to plan night stops times 25. Please share any grannies, aunts or uncles you might have in the back of beyond. Need to plan a menu around 5 meals a day for 25 days. Which works out at lots of boiled eggs and lunch bars. Need to accumulate assorted spanners, tools and bike chain fixing devices, etc. Then we need to recruit someone who knows how to use assorted spanners, tools and chain fixing devices etc (John Wheeler – you can take this as a hint.) Need to remove all the Abba songs on Jenny’s phone lest she listen to them in the middle of the Karoo and go mad!!
Please above all remember that we are riding for a hugely good cause, pedalling to raise money and awareness for the plight of Zimbabwe’s pensioners. Got to www.zane.uk.com and check out all the good work that they do. We are looking for sponsors and donors. We will be able to guarantee sponsors lots of brand exposure in the likes of Palaype, Kuruman, Uppington and Calvinia because I figure we’ll be riding pretty slow by then.
So as to keep you updated on our progress, or lack thereof, I’ll get another blog update out in a month. In meantime enjoy life, Zimbabwe, and your bicycles if you can.