Mount Kenya & Mount Kilimanjaro back to back on bikes with Hans Rey, Danny MacAskill and Gerhard Czerner
As I was putting one foot in front of the other, I kept telling myself that I have been lugging bikes up and down hills and mountains for over 30 years and if it ever mattered it would be right now, right here in the next few hours. I was a few hundred meters below Gilman’s Point, the crater rim of Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa. From where it would be another 1hour and 30 minutes to get to the true summit, the Uhuru Peak (19400ft/5,895m). At this point I had to dig deep, with fresh snow on the ground, a bike on my shoulders as well a big heavy backpack. The high altitude and oxygen deprived air made things tougher than expected. My partner on this trip, Danny MacAskill and Gerhard Czerner were struggling as well.
Chances are that in the past, if you had heard of Tasmania, it was for one of the following reasons; It is a decent sized island 150 miles off the big island, Australia, there is a tough little creature that lives only there, called the Tasmanian Devil, immortalized by the “Looney Tunes” cartoons, there are a lot of poisonous snakes and an abundance of wilderness for them to thrive in.
It is ten thirty at night at the end of a stormy, rainy cold day somewhere in the remote wilderness of Iceland. We are still quite a distance from our refuge for that night when the short Icelandic night draws in. Suddenly our Land Rover support vehicle’s axle breaks, we stop just in time before the left rear wheel completely falls off.
This was one of those times when we were extremely thankful that there is a cell phone signal almost everywhere on this 103,000 sq. km island, and so we were able to call the refuge keeper to come to our rescue. Magne our support driver had to brave this hostile environment solo all night and wait for spare parts to come the following morning so that he could repair the Land Rover. As they say; an adventure isn’t an adventure until things start to go wrong.
Take two world champion expert trials riders, put them on a boat en-route to Corsica and let’s see what we get with the prefect mix of Hans Rey and Kenny Belaey.
But first, while we wait for Kenny to arrive from Belgium I suggest a little ride close to my home in the Calangues.
It is black; I cannot breath, I cannot move…as though from a dream I hear Hans’ voice calling me trying to find out if I am OK. The voice is distant.
A young man; 18 year old Kevin, stands on a dusty street corner on the outskirts of Antigua, Guatemala. Two years ago he received a bicycle from Wheels 4 Life through his school; “Escuela Proyecto La Esperanza” which was founded and is run as a UK based charity. They produce an excellent educational program for the extremely poverty stricken people of the Antigua area in Central America.
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