Why? That was the first question I had in mind when I heard from Dr. Thomas Molony of Ross' epic voyage that began in Scotland in January 2013. Ross is raising money for the United Nations Fund for Children (UNICEF).
|On our way to Ukerewe island, curious children gather around Ross' camera to view their photos.|
Q: Are you normally a physically active person?
A: I played rugby a lot while in Scotland. But when I moved to work in London my lifestyle changed. I had long working hours and was not as active. When I started cycling I was pretty unfit and overweight. Experienced cyclists say it normally takes a person 2-3 months of continuous cycling to become bike fit.
Q: What has been your biggest surprise?
A: The unexpected generosity of people I come across. In Albania, people don't accept money for coffee or water.
Q: When do you expect to reach Cape Town?
A: At the end of this year, around Christmas.
Q: Give me some vital statistics of what you have done so far.
A: I have cycled 80 days until now. The longest I have cycled is 88 miles (140.8 kilometres). The coldest day was 12 Celsius, the hottest 29 Celsius. The fastest I have cycled is 48 MPH (76.8 KPH). The longest time without washing was 4 nights. I drink about 8 litres of water each day.
Ross carries all necessary items on his bicycle: tent, food, clothing, water, and spares.
Q: How much total weight do you carry?
A: When I left Edinburgh the total weight, including myself, was 150kgs. I weighed 85kgs; I now weigh 70kgs.
|Near Dodoma, with his bicycle, less the 15 kilos he lost along the way.|
A: The small acts of kindness that I mentioned and reaching the top of a mountain. Also, the cold beer at the end of a day.
Q: Have you had a what-am-I-doing-here?* moment?
A: All the time, especially while cycling uphill. When I reach the top I get a great feeling that makes the pain and agony of uphill worthwhile.
*It is a term I use to describe my challenging moments while climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro.