Greetings from Cape Town,
It was an incredible journey these past four months. Ten African countries and 12,000 km, (7,500 miles) of exhausting riding. It was a true test of will and perseverance, as the TDA made every day a challenge. The cycling was tough, as we trudged through mud, sand, gravel and climbs that seemed to ascend to heaven. However, pedaling was only part of the story, the deplorable conditions that we endured, especially the first two months of the trip, had our emotions and nerves on the edge. At times, some riders broke down into tears, others screamed profanities and most everyone asked themselves, “why am I doing this?” Riding, laughing, suffering and being totally caught up in spectacular scenery became a way of life for 121 days. It was a lifestyle.
It was an amazing group of people, that made this epic adventure bearable through the back roads of “The Dark Continent.” The TDA staff was exceptional, led by our fearless and knowledgable leader Tallis Wessels. He was a firm, fair and fun loving commander that led a traveling circus in many respects. The cast of characters that committed to this mind blowing experience stuck together in thick and thin. Sickness, injury, dark moods and total fatigue, nothing stopped anyone from supporting their fellow journeyman. It really was incredible, how even if people weren’t the best of friends, they would find ways to help out in times of stress and chaos. I can’t say enough about all my fellow TDA 2016 champions and want to express my sincerest gratitude for their support and friendships.
In some respects we only saw snapshots of Africa, as we cruised through villages and remote areas of the continent. However, in many ways seeing the world from the saddle of your bike is both physically and mentally satisfying. It’s an education in itself. You see how people live, cultural habits and get close to nature. You learn more about yourself and what is important in life. God, family and the simple things are all you really need.
Life is short. Live wide, not long.
A special thanks to my wonderful wife Mary, who puts up with my off-the-wall and sometimes eccentric behavior. Love you.
Congrats Hobe, see you in Oct
Thanks Paulie. Hi to Cathy
Congrats on making it all the way to Capetown Mike – it was a real pleasure riding with you and I hope we get to meet on the road again – happy trails for now
Thanks Crash. Likewise, you were a great riding partner.
Congratulations Hobe, we are so proud of you. What an accomplishment. We enjoyed your blogs & pics throughout the journey. Hav a great time with Mary & look forward to seeing this summer.
Jodi & Derb
See you in the Grove
Thank you for sharing this most amazing journey of courage, hope and charity You are my new personal hero See you in Scottsdale
Scot B. McLean Sent from my cell phone
Thanks Scott. See you in AZ
What a phenomenal accomplishment, trip and story. What you have done, Mike, is amazing. So glad it meant so much to you and I too thank you for your sharing it with us. Yes, you can get off that saddle now for a little while!!! Congrats. Bill and Barbara
Thanks Bill. Best regards to Barb
Unbelievable accomplishment, Mike. Congratulations. Please let us all know (use this blog) of any presentations or written accounts of this extraordinary story you care to provide.Mike Gemus
Mike, incredible accomplishment! So enjoyed all of your FB posts, & blog! I know your two charities will be forever grateful for your support. Can’t say enough about Mary…after spending some time with her in February, know how she was really worried about you, & how she just felt it was like an eternity before she would see you. You are one lucky man to have that support….you two are an awesome loving team. Enjoy your special time together for the rest of your trip.
Proud to know you…oh great adventurer! Can’t wait to hear more of your stories and see more photos in person ! Enjoy every second on the end of your trip with Mrs. Adventurer!
Your are an inspiration to all of us!
Enjoy the remaining time in Africa with Mary and safe travels back Home!
Many thanks Scott to you and Judi. You guys were great supporters.
Congrats on a great ride! So happy for your safe delivery to Mary and hope you both celebrate good grub and vino in Cape Town! Can’t wait to celebrate in Jerz! Love u Hal & JT
Thanks Hally. See you guys soon
Well done, Mike. You make us proud. Incredible journey.
Thanks Lyle. I’m so happy for Elyse. See you this summer
Congratulations on your journey—Joan & I enjoyed reading your blog–see you in Sarnia in the near future.
Thanks Hursty. See you late August. Hi to Joan
Michael – You’ve been a tremendous inspiration these last 4 months, not only physically but spiritually (as well as charitably.) You’re going to be a very tough act for all of us who’ve watched you to follow. Congrats on an incredible accomplishment. Look forward to seeing you. Travel Safe.
Hobe, Great ride! Relax and enjoy your remaining time in Africa with Mary and also the satisfied, exhausted feeling of such a great accomplishment! Even Mrs. Murdoch would be proud of you and might even take an extra ham sandwich out of the freezer for you. Hope to hook up with you and Mary this summer. Jamie and Laurie
Thanks Jame. We’ll
Be in Sarnai the last couple of weeks of August.