Posted by: twistsoffeet | October 11, 2011

My next Adventure

Yes everybody I am still here, although honestly my life lately has not been exciting or inspiring so I have not been posting for that reason. Also I have been spending much of my time searching for a job. The job search has not yet been successful however I do have some possibilities that are exciting.
My last tour did not come about instantly but instead took much planning and research. It is for that reason my next adventure is now in the beginning stages of planning. In all actuality this adventure will not take as much planning on my part because much of the planning has been done for me. The training is going to be extremely demanding though. Also the financial aspect is extremely daunting. This next adventure is going to cost about $30,000.00 or possibly a little bit more. Just a little bet intimidating and scary to think of financing this adventure while still supporting my life until that time.
So, just what is this adventure I am speaking of you ask ? This is so exciting and it will be such a challenge that my heart rate increases at just the thought of it. OK here it is: I intend to ride in the Tour D’ Afrique 🙂 Just what is this? Well it is a 12,000 Kilometer bicycle tour/race that begins in Egypt near the Great Pyramids and from there travels through I believe 12 countries over 120 days with 96 days riding, eventually ending in CapeTown South Africa. There will be numerous days of approximately 125 miles per day including 6 days in a 7 day period of over 100 miles per day. It is a supported tour so I do not have to haul my trailer on this tour or thankfully even have heavy Panniers because the swag wagon will carry my gear and they also provide 3 meals per day on most days. I am excited about camping in a tent in “AFRICA” and about doing a 200 meter bungee jump near Victoria Falls or if possible climbing MT. Kilimanjaro.
Just so everybody doesn’t think this is all about the adventure I will tell everybody this is actually a ride for a cause. The cost of just the Tour and not including airfare to Egypt and back from Capetown is nearly 10,000 Euro’s this pays for food some of the support but many of the support crew are volunteer’s ie. cooks etc.. There is a medical staff but I will need travel insurance to cover major issues including evacuation and repatriation back to the U.S. . So what is the cause that is the benefactor of this tour? Much of the cost of the tour goes to purchase bicycles that are donated to health practitioners in Africa so they do not have to walk miles to visit their patients and thus are able to see more patients. I personally hope to continue to use this opportunity to raise awareness of Rheumatoid Arthritis and hopefully inspire others to live a healthy active lifestyle. I am also hoping that on rest days there may be some opportunities to volunteer in some fashion that will help others less fortunate than myself.
On my last tour I did not seek donations or support from anyone although many people helped me by providing meals on occasion and the occasional hotel room for a night. Although I am not asking directly for contributions ( but they would be gratefully accepted ) I am asking for help from my readers. The help I am asking for is more in the realm of intellectual assistance. I am asking for suggestions on how I can pay for this. If you know of an organization that may be willing to assist through some sort of sponsorship let me know. If you can think of some sort of fund raiser that would help let me know. I am really not very good about asking for this assistance because I have always done it on my own but this is just so much bigger than what I have previously done. I also realize that this is a very difficult time financially for many people and indeed it is very difficult for me in this economy so I am certainly not soliciting funds from those that are already struggling. However I do believe that where there is a will there will be a way. I also believe in prayer and if it is God’s will that I do this then I will do it.
In the end I do have some time too put this all together. This is an annual race/tour and the tour I intend to participate in begins in January 2013 giving me almost 15 months before I leave.
Things I need for this tour is an extremely lightweight and compact sleeping bag and a solid well ventilated tent with a fly that will provide weather protection during the rainy season that I should probably run into about 2/3 of the way through the tour. I will also need a new bike preferably steel to stand up to the stresses of the tour while still being weldable if needed. The simpler the bike the better although a shock absorbing seat post would be nice and a front suspension is also a possibility. The bike must have room for fat large diameter tires and only in 26″ will size. Although it doesn’t have a front suspension a Surly Long haul traveler or their new Disc traveler with disc brakes is in all truth probably the best bicycle for this tour. I need to get many vaccinations some just booster updates and other new vaccinations such as yellow fever. The need to protect myself from such nasty afflictions as Malaria which currently take the lives of  over a million persons every year in Africa and the possibility of a assortment of stomach upsetting fungal bacterial and viral attacks and also assorted parasites, so a number of visits to the travel clinic are going to be in line. I have long been aware of the dangers of Malaria and have supported in a small way through my meager contributions to different organizations that research treat and try to educate and prevent Malaria and this trip will give me an opportunity to not only witness 1st hand it’s affects but also hopefully through this blog raise awareness and hopefully some contributions to different organizations that are working to eradicate this horrible disease.
I will not be posting daily for a while or maybe even weekly but my posts will continue when I feel as though they are relevant. I will however read and respond to any suggestions or comments I receive. Hopefully I will receive some good suggestions that I will be able to implement and raise funds for this trip. In the interim I hope that I will at least be in the thoughts and prayers of everyone out there. I do need your help and suggestions and prayers on this journey but I believe that together we can do some very good things that help many people.
Also just for all of you who followed my previous tour and are curious or concerned about my health I am indeed doing well at this time. Yes my RA is still out there and in my face but that is just a part of my life I have to deal with and since I am remaining active I am at least managing some of my symptoms.


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