Warrenton, South Africa (Nov. 12, 2015) — On October 9, six African cyclists mounted their bikes in the shadows of the Great Pyramids outside of Cairo to embark on a world record attempt for the fastest human-powered crossing of the African continent. Today, after four weeks of navigating challenging pathways and political uncertainty, the CAROCAP Time Trial team reached the home stretch on its way to Cape Town.
The CAROCAP team left Cairo with a goal to reach Cape Town, 6,613 miles away, in a record-setting 34 days. In addition to their world record ambitions, the CAROCAP riders are also raising funds for the Safari Simbaz Cycling Academy in Kenya and for the provision of 1,100 bikes to support the work of World Bicycle Relief on the continent.
The team set out planning to ride more than 180 miles per day and while this mileage would be an enormous undertaking on perfect roads, this is Africa, and harsh conditions have been commonplace from the start. From the searing heat and sandstorms of Egypt’s Nubian desert to the brutally steep Ethiopian highlands, the physical challenges of the ride soon gave way to the need for armed security to navigate heavy bandit activity in Northern Kenya.
The riders have this week crossed from Botswana into South Africa. SwiftCarbon Bikes founder and former professional cyclist Mark Blewett checked in from the road late last week, reporting hard, 15-hour days filled with crashes and chronic injury.
“This day will last forever in my memory. We fought our heart out for this and we got to the point we needed to be at. I just don't know how to describe the emotion that went into this effort but it's done. No words, really,” said Blewett. “We left at 5:30 a.m. and finished at 8:45 p.m. in Northern Zambia. Headwinds, rain and rough roads all day. Some hectic accidents and some tendinitis to go along with it. Not surprising when you have ridden the equivalent of two Tours de France in 25 days.”
Blewett signed on to provide the CAROCAP team with high-end road bikes from the SwiftCarbon brand he founded in 2008, but later decided to participate in order to support riding in his home continent and bear witness to the ultimate torture test for his bikes.
Despite the harsh weather, rough roads and short nights sleeping on the side of the road, the team has persevered and is on track to arrive in Cape Town on Sunday, November 15. Follow the ride live at www.carocaprace.com.
Commencing October 8, 2015, the CAROCAP Time Trial is an attempt to set the world record for the fast human-powered crossing of the African continent. The team comprises six riders who will cover 6,613 miles in 34 days. CAROCAP will raise funds for the Safari Simbaz Cycling Academy in Kenya and for the provision of 1,100 bikes for World Bicycle Relief. www.carocaprace.com
Founded in 2008 by former South African professional cyclist Mark Blewett, SwiftCarbon pairs industry-leading technology with a unique distribution strategy to provide discerning cyclists with unrivaled ride quality. SwiftCarbon is based in Xiamen, China, at the doorstep of the world’s most advanced carbon manufacturers, ensuring the highest level of production oversight and quality control. www.swiftcarbonusa.com