We, Simon Alston and Craig Northam, will cycle over 12,000km from Cairo to Cape Town, starting in February 2007.
We hope to arrive in Cape Town in June, having travelled unassisted through Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Botswana, Namibia and finally South Africa.
We will be raising money for two charities, Re~Cycle and the Bicycle Empowerment Network (BEN). Re~Cycle is a UK charity that provides bicycles for empowerment/mobility projects in Africa. These projects are run by local organisations such as BEN, a South African charity. Our goal is to raise a minimum of £10,000 to pay for shipments of bicycles and help implement projects on the ground.
These two great organisations have a direct and sustainable impact on the lives of both individuals and communities. Past projects have meant that school children and low paid workers can now cover considerable distances in order to learn or work (some rural households spend up to 25% of their income on transport); HIV/AIDS health workers can reach remote villages; disadvantaged youths have been provided with a rickshaw and an independent livelihood.
We will visit some of these projects with the intention of promoting them through various media. For example, Magicalia (publishing group for RCUK, LondonCycleSport.com, SheCycles.com and Bikemagic.com) will be serialising our trip on a number of their internet sites, as will our sponsors Kona (international bicycle manufacturer with significant charitable involvement in Africa) and Paligap Ltd.
Craig and I feel very strongly about the benefits that the humble bicycle can bring to communities in a continent that is so marginalised today. We hope, therefore, to promote and support the work of organisations like Re-Cycle and BEN through our journey.