Meet The Team – 2021 Silverback Tour

THE MEN

Adam Selby.  A very successful farmer and businessman, Adam was an integral part of the Old Legs Tour to Mt Kilimanjaro. He loved the Tour and described it as life changing, even though Jenny reduced his beloved Land Rover Discovery to ashes in minutes in Tanzania.

Down to just the one Land Rover, Adam reluctantly sat out the2020 Lockdown Tour and suffered extreme FOMO throughout. He was impossible and staked his claim to a seat in the 2021 peloton, even before we’d planned a Tour. Mostly to stop him from sulking, we told him yes, he could ride the 2021 Tour. And to make sure the 2021 Tour happens as per plan, we asked Adam if he would be the Ride Captain. Adam is the best organizer and makes stuff happen.

He is a 1958 model, but his legs are far much younger. He is the quintessential racing snake. His favourite colour is yellow but that doesn’t stop him from also pinching my green jelly babies, or my red ones, or my orange ones, etcetera, etcetera. Adam is hugely proud that his daughter Jaime will be riding next to him in the peloton. I worry that Jaime has inherited Adam’s snake genes and expect both of them to reach Uganda before me.


THE LADIES
The Old Legs peloton for the Lockdown Tour was an all-male affair, rather smelly at times and sometimes crude, and with no soft bits, apart from me.  The peloton for the Silverback Tour will be an entirely different thing with the fairer sex well represented.


Carol Joy Church

Back for the second time and by popular demand is CarolJoy Church.
Born in Mutare, CarolJoy has lived in Germany for the last 19 years. Growing up, her passion was for music, specifically te piano and the cello. After studying music therapy, CarolJoy started working at a hospital in a picturesque but hilly area in the Ruhr region, with an emphasis on hilly. For environmental reasons, CarolJoy decided against becoming a car owner, and bought a bicycle instead, looking to tick the transport, fitness and relaxation boxes all at the same time.

In 2015 and back in Zimbabwe on holiday, CarolJoy rode her first Blue Cross and loved it, silly girl. Another Blue Cross later in 2018, she signed up for the Kilimanjaro Tour. To track her training progress, she signed up for a women’s challenge on Strava for most kilometers and most meters climbed in a calendar month and placed 23000 and something in her first month. On the day we rode into Moshi at the base of Kilimanjaro, CarolJoy placed 9th on the same challenge. Incredibly, only 8 women in the whole wide Strava world had outperformed CarolJoy that month. And now onto Uganda and the Silverback Tour. I fully expect CarolJoy to get to Uganda before me


Joining us for the first time on an Old Legs Tour is Fiona Semper nee Smidt. Harare born and bred, Fiona grew up desperately wanting to be a jockey. Unfortunately, she grew up a bit too much and was deemed too tall to turn professional and pursued a career in Distribution and Logistics instead, working in the UK, Sa and Zimbabwe.

Commerce’s gain, the Horse Racing industry’s loss. Whilst in SA, Fiona ran the Comrades six times and Two Oceans twice. She told me she plodded her marathons but having seen only the back of her riding helmet on her bike, I do not believe a word of it.

Since taking up mountain biking in 2011, Fiona has ridden the Argus, the Sani to Sea and six Blue Crosses. I fully expect Fiona to reach Uganda before me. Fiona’s heart has charity written all over it. She is committed to riding to Uganda to help Zimbabwe’s elderly. And she has a special passion for helping animals, because animals can’t speak for themselves.


Also joining the Silverback Tour is Jaime Selby Philp, coincidentally Adam Selby’s daughter. Jaime writes – “I am a the mother of Isabella and Gabriella (two beautiful young girls entering their teens) and wife of Liam (a hard working farmer, exporter, all around good guy!)

I am lucky enough to live on a farm, just out of Harare, where I spend my days assisting my kids in their online learning and helping where I can with various charity organizations. I am passionate about education and health & wellness.2020 was a difficult year for most, but especially for vulnerable community members, like our old age pensioners. I have joined my dad on this epic adventure through Africa as a way to help raise money for old age pensioners in Zimbabwe. I’m absolutely terrified and daunted by this task, something I think our old folks must feel about their daily lives. Please join us on our adventure as we travel to Uganda raising money and awareness for our most vulnerable, aged Zimbabweans.”Because Jaime is her father’s daughter, I also expect her to get to Uganda before me.


Heading up the support crew for the fourth time is Jenny de Jong. To describe her as long-suffering is an understatement. She was long-suffering even before I bought a bike. Jenny is able to rustle up best ever meals, anywhere. Her 482 bean salad lunches are especially good, ditto her pickles, chutneys and chilli sauces. In a push for maximum brownie points, if I wasn’t already married to jenny, I’d ask her to marry me. After 3 Tours, Jenny is going off camping in a big way.


In charge of Lindafication on the Silverback Tour is Linda Selby. For those who not familiar with the term, to Lindafy things means to organize them not just alphabetically and without fuss, but also to colour code them, group them according to size and or frequency of use, and all wrapped up in a Gantt chart that actually works, all with a smile on your face, with kind words for anyone and everyone, even if they are sweaty and stink.


Joining us on Tour for the first time is Aoife Connolly. Aoife is an appointed Trustee of the recently formed Old Legs Trust, tasked with establishing a Medical Emergency Fund that pensioners in need can turn to. Aoife writes ‘I was born in Ireland but bred in Africa. The first African country I lived in was Uganda, so I’m sort of going back to my roots. Unfortunately, my parents named me Aoife, which when said in Shona, doesn’t translate very well. After finishing school (with a colourful education from 5 different countries) I studied psychology in the U.K. which led me to work in the charity sector. A stint home and a MSc later, I legged it back to Zimbabwe permanently, just in time to get roped back into charity work, through which I eventually met the Old Legs team. I’m more a swimmer than a cyclist. Because riding a bike to Uganda is less of an option than swimming there, I think I’ll ride in one of the support vehicles. On to the important stuff. My favourite colour is red, I’m scared of snakes, heights and possibly gorillas and my hobbies include drinking red wine and bossing Old Legs about.’