On June 01 2019, a group of 10 middle aged to elderly mountain bike riders will ride out of Harare and head north in the general direction of Mt Kilimanjaro, the world’s tallest free standing mountain and Africa’s highest peak. Where possible, we’ll ride on the roads less travelled, through places like Mt Darwin and Mukumbura, up towards Caborra Bassa and on to Tete and into Malawi. Heading north, we’ll hug the shores of Lake Malawi through places like Nkhata Bay and Livingstonia. Once we get up into Southern Tanzania we’ll ride through Tukuyu, up over the Elton Plateau and through the Kitulo National Park, gaining an impressive 7,444 meters in just 263 kilometres. Should we survive, we will head north to Iringa, Dodoma and Arusha, eventually ending up at the bottom of the pointy mountain a.k.a. Mt Kilimanjaro. Whence upon we’ll walk up it, altitude sickness permitting.
We’ll ride 2,900 kilometres with a total elevation gain of 36,000 meters. Which is the equivalent of Mt Everest times four time. We will be riding on mountain bikes, mostly because we don’t have road bikes and because of dodgy roads. We hope to average somewhere between 100 and 120 kilometres per day, Old Legs and mountains permitting.
We’re riding the Tour to raise money and awareness for the Zimbabwean old age pensioners. The generation that built Zimbabwe have had their pensions, their life savings and their wealth eroded and reduced to nothing by thirty years of mismanagement and silly economics. They now need our help. The Old Legs 2019 Tour is targeting to raise over $120,000 for ZANE, Pensioner’s Aid Harare and the Bulawayo Help Network. Between them, our chosen charities look after over 1,800 pensioners across Zimbabwe, providing them with food, medicines and somewhere to call home, plus lots of love and hugs. They also facilitate cataract operations, hearing aids, and the list goes on. In addition to their work with the aged, the charities also fund a clubfoot correction program, successfully treating over 2,600 children to date, a prosthetic limb program for landmine victims and provide treatments for children with hearing impairment. Go to www.zane.uk.com for more details on who they are and what they do.
The Old Legs Team in order of seniority
Al Watermeyer aged 68, Nik Bellwald from Switzerland aged 64, Adam Selby aged 60, Hans Steenberghe aged 59, Eric de Jong aged 59, Mark Johnson aged 58 and living on the Sunshine coast, Jaap van Staaveren from Holland aged 57, Dave Whitehead aged 43, Alan Rheeder aged 42 and last but certainly not least, Carol Joy Church from Germany aged 39.
The support team so far includes Jenny de Jong, Linda Selby, Bill Annadale, Gayle Arnold, John Macdonald and Ryan Moss who will also be behind the cameras and the drone, filming footage for a documentary.
Mostly we’ll be camping, often in the bush in the middle of nowhere. Our budget for the whole trip for 16 people is $28,000 including camping costs, fuel, and five meals a day for the riders. We are looking for up to twenty corporate sponsors, each contributing around $1,000. In return, we will give the sponsors value for money exposure via the Old Legs Website, our Facebook page, honorable mentions in dispatches and the popular blogs and via branding on the support vehicles and rider’s jerseys. Your brand names will stand a better than even chance of becoming household names in cultural centers like Mukumbura, Tete, Mbeya and Iringa on account of the fact we ride slower than paint dries, apart from Dave, unless we puncture his back tyre.
It is important to note that the ascent up Mt Kilimanjaro is to the riders own account and is not included in our budget.
Please dig deep and support an epic undertaking for an epic cause. Please let us know if you’re interested in coming on board as a sponsor.