THE TOUR D'AFRIQUE BICYCLE EXPEDITION - CLOSER TO CAPE TOWN
The third annual Tour d'Afrique bicycle expedition will arrive in Windhoek on Sunday 2 April. The cyclists will enter Windhoek from the airport road after spending Saturday night in the vibrant little village of Witvlei.
After more than three months on the road cyclists are looking forward to their rest day in Windhoek. Around 45 men and women of all ages and from across the world started their journey on 16 January under the watchful eye of the Sphinx in Cairo and will finish in the cosmopolitan city of Cape Town, South Africa around 15 May.
Cycling through Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Botswana, Namibia and South Africa, intrepid adventurers prove that it is possible to cross the African content by bicycle in four months via a safe a mode of transportation that will lead the way to the future of the bicycle in eco-friendly tourism.
The expedition is one of the toughest mental and physical endurance bicycle expeditions in the world. But, the tour also aims to raise awareness of the bicycle that offers an alternative, healthy mode of transportation that also promotes a clean environment.
On Monday 2 May a press conference and bicycle handover will be held at the Arebbusch Travel Lodge Restaurant, in Olympia, Windhoek at 16h00. The bicycle empowerment network (BEN), a Cape Town based company not for gain will facilitate the handover of bicycles to two organizations in Windhoek involved in the treatment and care of patients with HIV/Aids. BEN promotes the use of the bicycle as a rational, sustainable mode of transportation and are involved in many projects to further the plight of the under rated two-wheeled wonder.
Engen has been instrumental in providing the refreshments for the function; which is an enormous responsibility. In the words of David
Houghton, a Canadian cyclist: "We'll eat anything that is not
nailed down and food never tasted this good"
But, Engen is also displaying a real interest in uplifting African communities and has largely sponsored the tour's communication team, Theresa Brown and Astrid Stark. Astrid and Theresa are staging and documenting the hand over of bicycles to HIV/Aids health care workers in various East African countries.
There are three South African cyclists on board, Maarten van Dalsen,
Henning de Jager and Leana Niemand. Both Maarten and Leana are two
of a small group of cyclists that have cycled every single day of the tour since its start in Cairo. This is an astonishing feat as the cyclists are constantly plagued by dehydration, exhaustion and infections from cuts and abrasions.
Unfortunately Henning had a very nasty spill and had to sit a few days on the truck. His leg infection never quite healed. Eventually his leg puffed up to gargantuan proportions and he developed a fever. He had to be rushed to a hospital in Ghanzi, Zambia for emergency treatment. Maarten is a fierce competitor and is still in second place. Leana Niemand from Cape Town is the only female to have cycled every single day up to this stage. She is looking very strong and is thoroughly enjoying herself.
Three broken collarbones, a broken hip, broken fingers, cuts, stitches, dehydration, and multiple bruises are just some to the injuries sustained while traversing the challenging African landscape. However, it has not stopped the cyclists form persevering in their mission to cross Africa by bicycle.
The bicycle expedition is expected to arrive in Mouille Point, Cape Town on the 15th of May where there will be a press conference and a welcoming party.
Follow their brave journey onwww.tourdafrique.com. Pictures of printing quality may be downloaded from www.tourdafrique.com/05media.htm.
Please contact the tour's communication team Astrid Stark and Theresa Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Their South African number is +27 (0) 84 400 42 11. See alsowww.benbikes.org for more information on the NGO that they work closely with in the distribution of the bicycles to health care workers.