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First Four Super Stars

Greetings frm Luxor, Egypt.

First six days of riding are behind us and we had a rest day here in the Valley of the Kings, once the capital of Egypt. We rode 750 km for our first stint on good paved roads. Windy conditions made for some very long days. Temperatures were ideal for riding, around 20 C, or 68 F. Nights in the tent were extremely cold. One day we rode 146 km against the wind, with a tough climb and I struggled for 8 hours. The “hot shots” raced that day and a few of them finished in 5 1/2 hours. No wonder my ass hurts.

Everyone that is doing this ride is a “super star” in my mind and I will introduce all of them over the next few weeks. Today’s “super stars” are in the photo below, starting from left to right:

Mike  Voisin, age 59 from St. Albert, Alberta, a fellow Canadian. Mike is a director of a forestry company and is married with three daughters. Why did he decide to do this trip? Mike  says” he loves pain.” “It’s something monumental to achieve and is over the edge.” He is raising money for ALS, as his cousin Erik in the UK has been recently diagnosed. Mike’s web page is http://www.bit.ly/11BffyN.

Brenda, “The Mountain Lion,” Trenholme is one tough climber. She resides in  Rossland, BC. Canada.  It’s very evident she does a lot of climbing in the “Kootenay Mtns,” as she left me in the dust the first big climb.  Dr. Trenholme just retired as a GP. She retired in late November and two days later saw the TDA (Tour d’Afrique) on the web and she signed up. Brenda said, “This type of adventure is right up my alley.” Brenda is 62 and has two daughters.

Rupert Dixon, 36,  a super rider is even money on winning the TDA. Rupert has been only riding for three years in and around his hometown  of Devon, England. Rupert is single and rode 16,000 miles last year. Yes, that’s right, 16,000.  Rupert travelled through Africa a couple of years ago  and signed up for the tour to combine his love of biking and love for Africa.

Katja Steenkamp, 33, is one of the stronger women riders from Cape Town, SA. Born in East Germany, she moved to Cape Town 10 years go. Katja runs a mountain biking tour company http://www.breakawayriders.com  She is married and is raising money for Qhubeka, a world bicycle relief fund. http://www.katjasteenkamp.com

That’s all for today. Good night from the banks of the Nile.

Easy Rider,

Mike

 

Four Days Gone and 117 to Go

Greetings Friends & Family,

We started the first morning at the pyramids for a photo-op…. Surreal. I can’t believe the trip has started. Egypt is really hurting for tourists and the government is doing everything to help people feel safe. We not only had a police escort to the pyramids, but we have an escort, (multiple vehicles and guards) all the way through Egypt. All paid for by the Egyptian government. Actually, any group of tourists gets the same treatment.

The tour has two competitions, first it is a race and about 12 of the 19 riders are racing, not me. They race for about 80% of the days.. The second is to get the status of EFI, at the end of the trip. EFI stands for “Every Fu..ing” inch. It would be nice, but I plan on taking two days off when we get to Kenya to visit my charity, The Living Room. My plan is to do EFH, “Every Fu..ing Hotel.” They are few and far between, but a bed and shower  will be like heaven.

The desert campsites for the first three nights were horrid. Sandy, rocky and windy and no facilities. A bottle shower (one bottle of water), the third night was super. A real shower, today, was off the charts. Loving life today. ( Yesterday a different story).

We’ve ridden about 500 km (320 miles), the first 4 days.

Wi-Fi sporadic, pictures to follow I hope.  See you soon.

Ciao,

Mike

Getting Ready to Rumble

Gettting warmed up for the ride.

Helping to build the pyramids.                Traded my bike in for a camel. 

Hey from Cairo,

Zeroing in on day one. I made it to Cairo along with my bike and bags so I’m a happy camper. We spent the day touring the pyramids and a couple of other local attractions.  I feel bad for the people in the tourist industry, as there are very few tourists at the sites. Mary and I were here for our honeymoon, many moons ago, and I remember buses and buses lined up at the pyramids. Today there might have been 50-100 people. It’s a great time to tour around without any crowds.

We had a meet and greet tonight. There’s 23 riders starting in Cairo and 19 doing the whole enchilada, (7,500 miles). 6 woman going all the way to Capetown. Looks like  a great mix of people from all over the world. However, Canada and the U.K. seem to be the dominant nationalities. Ages from 23- 63, ( I’m not the oldest, as Larry from Colorado is a year older.)  This same tour, three years ago, had 70 riders, so people have been scared off, or economy is holding people back.

I’m getting anxious and ready to roll. Friday is blast off as we start with a 84 mile warm up.

Note: Wifi connections are sketchy in Cairo, so it doesn’t bode well for the rest of the trip.

Riding High

Mike

 

Getting anxious

Training ride with Dr. Greg Gramelspacher in NYC

Training ride with Dr. Greg Gramelspacher in NYC

Greetings,

Three months until departure. Many a day wondering if I should reconsider this “off the charts” African adventure. I’m training and feeling good pretty good, other than some nagging old age issues. Trying to do about 200 miles a week, a little yoga and some strength training. The idea is to be strong when I get to Cairo and prepared for the heavy riding schedule. The big thing is not to over train and get burned out too early.

Plenty of preparations needed like getting multiple visas, vaccinations, packing all the right meds and getting my bike ready for many tough miles. I have to manage my packing so to bring only what is absolutely necessary. We are very limited on room, (two duffle bags) and after all the camping gear, spare parts, toiletries, electronics, etc. there’s not much room for luxuries like underwear. The suggested packing list is 3 t-shirts, 2 long shirts, 2 shorts, 1 pr long pants, rain gear, fleece, hat, towel, bathing suit, causal shirt and long underwear….. That’s it for 4 months. Wow.

Ciao,

Mike