Butiama Bed & Breakfast

Butiama Bed & Breakfast

Friday, November 15, 2013

Ross Methven: Ironman cyclist from Edinburgh to Cape Town

By the time he reached Butiama on 14th July 2013, Ross Methven had cycled through 12 countries and covered some 15,000 kilometres. He is on his way to Cape Town, South Africa, and I am informed he is in Botswana now.

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).
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If you want to donate to Ross' cause please follow this link:
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He entered Tanzania from Kenya through the Namanga border post and rode to Arusha. From Arusha he initially planned to ride south towards Babati to Dodoma, then to Iringa and to the Malawian border. That was before I told him I would accompany him to Dodoma if he chose to ride from Butiama through Mwanza and to Dodoma through Shinyanga. He did and I serviced my mountain bike and accompanied him to Dodoma between July and August. Read about our ride to Dodoma here:


On our way to Ukerewe island, curious children gather around Ross' camera to view their photos.
While resting in Butiama I asked him a few questions:

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.
 Q: What have been your highlights so far?
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.

Related link:
http://www.rossmethvensbigbikeride.co.uk/

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