Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Enduro Africa - Ride of a Lifetime

Well folks we are back and have had the experience of a lifetime, thanks to Global Enduro and Mike Glover's Red Cherry Adventures. I have to say that the team were brilliant, Big Mike Glover is a real character with a sense of "I am gonna help these kids"
It was a real heart lifting experience to visit the two schools and deliver tables, chairs, toys, posters, matresses so the small children can have a comfortable knap in the afternoon. Build a Jungle Gym, fit doors on classrooms, carpets, fit locks and concrete window sills to finish off abandoned projects.
As I think I have said before, these kids have nothing but are still happy, little boys wearing Barby T shirts, odd shoes and obvious hand me downs, however most of the kids are turned out immaculately in uniforms with crisp white shirts, even if they are bare footed.
Take a photo of them and show them on your camera to make their day, if only I had a mini printer so I could have printed them off a photo!
The last day was a hard one, descending a steep muddy gorge to a River crossing with a demonstration by Eddie, Gary and the legendary Darell Curtis who lead the Yellow team for our trip, is there nothing they can climb? Respect, and I mean big time.
Mike Glover will occasionally ride with you and you may hear the phrase "You have been Glovered" when he leads you from the planned route to try something a little more interesting!
The two Doc's Emile and Adrian were characters, you may hear about a TTFU tablet (it's invisible and delivered orally!) Plus the phrase "If you can't fix it by beating it with a hammer, then it's probably electrical" The Doc's are surgeons, Emile holds a record of treating 22 patients with stab wounds in their hearts in a space of 9 months(Capetown A&E), 19 survived. When Eddie picked up a 2" cactus thorn in his hand he was in good care, still hurt like a B'stard though!
A cracking night followed at the TO Strand Hotel, watch out for the swimming pool finale that has become a ritual.
I am sorry if I have made one or two of you apprehensive, you will utter the "F" word many times in many forms i.e."What the F" , "F in Hell", "F right off" etc, I wish I had a F ometer in my helmet to count the times I said it but I wouldn't miss a moment of it.
Mike Glover will issue a safety brief on the first night and team briefings nightly, including issuing Spirit and Dick of the day awards, listen to what he says, he knows best trust me.
Just to reiterate some helpful (I hope) hints:
  • Don't ride in someone elses dust, it tastes like Shite and you will not see that rut that will spit you off, you must plan ahead and read the roads, never travel so fast that you can't stop withing the distance you can see to be clear.
  • Expect a dog to run out and I can assure you it will, our count was 5 dogs and a tortoise.
  • Expect a cow to be round that bend, there are bloody hundreds of the things all over the shop.
  • Goats generally run away from the bike(not always as I found out) sheep are just suicidal!
  • If you are not comfortable with the pace of your team, slow down and tell the leader/sweep, there is no shame in moving down a group. If you race everywhere you will miss the scenery.
  • Don't day dream about that nice shower and a beer at the end of the day, the roads have a nasty habit of turning a corner and turing into a 1 in 20 just before another tight bend.
  • Don't be fooled by the roads, cars use them too, I saw two riders do a right hander on a hill on the wrong side of the road, a black truck just missed them!
  • Watch out for shiny clay roads.
  • 30mm handlebar risers would be good investment, Alfred with gladly fit them for you, it will make standing up on the little CRF230's a lot easier and enhance your enjoyment of these brilliant little parafin donkey's.
  • Spare goggles are a good idea.

If I can help in away way to make sure you are prepared for this fantastic ride, I will check the blog on a regular basis before you leave. It would be good also to receive some comments on here whilst you are out there.

See you at the Dirty Weekend in Wales next year.

Have a graet time, Bob&Neil


  1. thanks for everything!!!! without your blogs ,id be going there blind ,not knowing anything , :-) roll on the sore arse ..

    ps did you spend much ??

  2. Bring it onnnnnn! Great post and has only fuelled my excitement! Roll on Friday!!!!

  3. Cheers guys, took £350, had £80 left at airport so spent it on the Mrs.

  4. blimey , im taking too much lol £500 in rand ..doh

    better safe than sorry though i suppose !

    bob , do you think some kids clothes would be of benifit to the trip ,if i bung them in my case ???

  5. Matt,
    If you can fit them in I am sure there will be takers, even a plastic water bottle is a prized possession. I won't ever throw any clothes out again, I'll seek a charity that delivers clothes direct to SA.
    Just be careful you don't start a stampeed, one of the guys in our group took a bag of sweets to one of the schools(we were told not to) kids were climbing over hot bikes to get one! ouch!

  6. Good I'll take £20, drinks are on you Matt :)

    Bob - Brill thanks again - Any ideas on where the hell we can get a 30mm riser from in 2 days?
    Cheers Gaz

  7. gaz , i'll buy you a beer mate lol... i think i can get some of my daughters old clothes in my case , will just give them to the touch africa project , as not want to start a stampede lol

  8. Please be careful guys [I did EA2008 Ride 2] cos if the locals hear that you have "gifts" of ANY kind they can and will phone the next village along and you might get "intercepted" along the way. for your own safety it not worth the danger. Sounds aweful but anything that it considered useful for barter will be taken - by force if neccesary. We had stones and rocks thrown at us and boulders placed in the middle of the road - be careful

  9. Try your local Honda dealer, however I wouod think 30mm risers should be fairly universal, could try M&P motorcycle products. Did mention it on blog last week out in SA. I felt I was leaning too far forward, hit a bump and it unbalances you so you have to bend legs more and shift your weight to the back of the bike.

  10. Yes, I have to say that we did have some rocks thrown at the bikes, it was rare, I also saw some old bike wheels placed in the road. When the chap on our team opened a bag of sweets for the kids they went into a frenzy!
    If you take time to look and listen to the kids on the side of the road they often have their hands out and are shouting "sweets", its heartbreaking really. Wave back and ride on!!!