On the 15th of March 2015 one man, by the name of Eelco Meyjes, started cycling a 3,000km ride from Cape Town to Victoria Falls to raise funds and awareness for the tiny orange-breasted waxbill. In the words of his daughter, “It’s not something you’d expect your average rugby watching, Castle drinking, boerie eating dad to do in any sort of hurry; but mine did and I’m all for the madness.”
The ride is going really well so far and Eelco says he is getting fitter each day. Even when he felt down on the second day of the race, a little crowd applauded as he cycled past, giving him the encouragement to keep going.
On day three he cycled past a freshly killed puff adder – a gentle reminder that one needs to be alert at all times. But as he crossed the Klein Karoo and Groot Karoo, a distance of over 700km, sunstroke became a real threat. With temperatures reaching 45°C he made a decision to start riding in the early hours of the morning, finishing for the day before lunch.
By the fifth day he had passed through Calitzdorp in the Western Cape, the port capital of South Africa, and was starting to enjoy his night riding sessions. The challenge now was to manage his recovery and to try and eat and drink as much as he could while riding. He attached a plastic bag to the back of his bicycle, filled with fresh apples and bananas and found that consuming litres of milk at the end of each ride really helped the recovery process.
His daughter continues, “Dad’s only a few hundred kilometres in but already we’ve had photos of ostriches and squished snakes and pumpkins and other characters he’s met along the way. In his words: It’s the crazy things we see when we slow our lives down a little bit. God-speed dad. You’re awesome.”
618 km have now been completed on the Cape to Vic Falls 3,000km Enduro, all in the name of a little orange bird that is suffering massive population declines and urgently needs your help.
You can help with this conservation project by either:
1. Making a donation, no matter how big or small to:
Rare Finch Conservation Group,
Account number 1933198885
Sandown Branch 193 305,
2. Participate in the ALL OR BUST pledge. A minimum pledge amount of R500 will be required to be part of the fun. If Eelco Meyjes makes it all the way to Vic Falls then you will need to pay the money and you will WIN a lovely souvenir coffee mug to thank you for your support. If he doesn’t make it to Vic Falls you will owe absolutely nothing!!! To participate in this ALL OR BUST pledge bicycle ride simply SMS your pledge amount of R500 or more, plus full name and contact details to 082 457 4936 or e mail firstname.lastname@example.org.