Posted in Cairo to Capetown

DAY 38-It’s a wrap-CYCLING FROM CAIRO TO CAPETOWN

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IT’S A WRAP

~N.A.MARTIN

Three men were catapulted into a select ‘elite’ category of human beings today as they crossed the line in Cape Town on their bicycles after having cycled 10,800 kilometres in 38 straight days to claim the world record and the admiration of thousands, for the fastest human crossing of the African continent.

Their Journey began on the 9 th September 2015, in Cairo and ended on the 15 th November 2015 at the Cullinan hotel in Cape Town, where friends, family and followers patiently waited for their arrival.

Seven riders were lined up to start, yet only three remained in the final days. To say these three men were broken, is an understatement of enormous proportions, with words simply incapable of accurately portraying their condition.

Their smiles were out in full force however, as exhilaration and relief quickly took the place of pain and suffering.

On a personal note, following such an epic Journey for 38 days, with an unwavering intensity has taken it’s toll on me. Strangely, the seemingly rapid ‘END’, has left me feeling rather empty. I could almost say, I feel a strong sense of anti-climax settling over me, in a way I’ve never felt before.

Saying goodbye to extreme feelings is actually difficult as they provide the much needed peaks in our lives that keep us interested in the world around us.

So the question on my mind that has no answer, is…

‘What now?’

I think I’d like to simply embed myself in the memories for a while longer, for my heart is still fully entwined within them.

Everyone,

Thanks for the memories.

xN

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Posted in Cairo to Capetown

Michael jumps on a plane to Cape Town to see his brother finish-Only he doesn’t know.

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MICHAEL FLYS TO CAPE TOWN TO SEE HIS BROTHER FINISH.

This post is NOT going to David.

Michael and his brother Dave, have always been close.

They grew up together in Africa, a time that is fondly remembered by both.

When they are together, it is as if they were never apart. They instantly fall into hysterics when reminiscing over the many stories of yesterday.

The holidays on Lake Kariba, the New Years parties, the house parties and the mammoth cycles they attempted together with nothing but a couple of dollars in their shorts, are precious memories that they own.

I often say to Michael,

“It’s a shame you don’t have many photos of those times”

Michael of course, who has never been one in need of possessions, simply responds with;

“Babe, it’s all up here” ….pointing to his head.

Michael left Zimbabwe at the age of 19 when he was granted a scholarship to study any University degree of his choice, anywhere in the world.

Reluctant to leave home, he worked for a while and took a gap year, to think about this opportunity further.

His decision was to fly to Australia and accept the opportunity to study a degree in Engineering at the University of Western Australia.

His heart was broken in two when he headed off to explore unfamiliar territories, leaving behind his closest most dear friends and family. It was not a happy time.

As his scholarship only paid for tuition and accomodation, he had no money and no means by which to go home during the breaks.

So as Michael does, with a grand total of $1-25 in the bank, he made a plan. He worked so hard, that his University results were of the highest in the state, and consequently he was granted annual scholarships from engineering companies. This was enough to pay for one air ticket.

Not a cent was spent during the uni year on irrelevant items, his air ticket money carefully protected and set aside to purchase the ticket that to him, was worth a million suns. The ticket home.

A ticket home, every year, for four years, where his heart was nourished and his energies to finish his degree were re-built.

Dave and Mike had some golden times in those breaks. It was during this time, that Michael truly learnt the value of family, and how they were not simply people he was related to, but an extension of himself. They had been his whole life, the creators of his sense of self, an influence on his identity.

…and you know what? He has never lost that. He speaks to his parents once a fortnight and hears of David’s shenanigans on a regular basis.

They remain, and always will be, a part of each other.

So if we fast forward a few years, living arrangements are such that Michael is here, with us, and Dave is there, in Zim. There is a lot of water under the bridge for both of them now, 20 years later, as they pursue their careers and build their lives into their story.

I could probably count the number of times on one hand that Michael and David have seen each other over the past decade, and sometimes, in his quiet moments, I catch him staring out the window, quietly pondering what his family are all up to in that moment. That’s hard. Like a bottomless hole, that can never be filled.

Deep, deep, down, his heart is sore, as his brother, will always be…his brother.

This brings me to let the cat out of the bag.

Some of you may know that David is currently involved in an epic cycling journey. He is attempting to break the world record for the fastest human crossing of the African continent.

The world record is 41 days and 10 hours….

David is on target to smash it in 38 days.

Michael has been following his every move via the Internet, hoping he is safe and well at all times. I have caught him sneaking a peak at his iPad at completely odd times in the middle of the night, just to check in on his brothers progress.

Two weeks ago, he bought a golden ticket laden with heart and soul, hope and anticipation, to Cape Town, to meet his brother, at the finish line.

David does not know that his brother is going to be there, and I am certain it’ll be one of those moments in time that they’ll never forget.

So two days ago, Michael jumped on a plane, and he now waits at the finish line, for his brother to come.

‘Don’t worry about photos, babe. Just stand there and soak it up. I know you’ll keep it safe in your head, as you would say, for you to draw on freely, whenever you want.’

Selfishly, I long to be there too. To witness the joy and the relief and the outpouring of emotion that only family and close friends can truly feel, but at the same time, I understand this is exactly as it should be.

This precious moment, with his broken, beard clad, beautiful brother, irrespective of what others say or do, is owned by them.

They will be 16 again, for a few minutes, when they first spot each other, for ones heart never ages.

It’s important that they have this, and I am so, so happy that Michael, in perhaps one of Dave’s darkest hours, will be there to hold him up, when he is unable to do so himself.

X

Photography by Cairo2Cape
Photography by Cairo2Cape

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Posted in Cairo to Capetown

DAY 38-THE LAST DAY!!!! Cycling from Cairo to Cape Town, 15/11/2015

I have just had word that they may need to cycle 25km more, as a result of changed traffic conditions. This may delay their arrival.

ARRIVAL TIME?

6-7pm, Cape Town Water Front

0300 Aussi time (Monday am)

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‘Beautiful….but by God it’s brutal’-Nick

Thank you for the memories.

The riders have just under 200 kilometres to cycle today, before they land a new world record, an ocean of new admirers, and the arms of their loved ones, sorely missed in the recent dire hours. There will be floods of tears as friends and family see them for the first time since their epic journey began.

For me, it’s been a personal journey as I’ve watched my husband and his family support David Martin, one of the three riders remaining, from the other side of the globe, so, so far away, yet so, palpably close.

It’s united them again in heart, as together they have shared concern, anticipation, excitement and pride.

For the riders, they’ve created an erasable memory, experienced by few on this planet. It is a story of great personal triumph, incredible human resilience, determination and extreme physical battering.

The three men that began this journey, will not be the same three men that end it.

Irreversibly changed, as a result of the extreme nature of their experiences-simultaneously traumatic and exhilarating. Time will only tell how these changes will present themselves, but for now their only thought is the same thought that has plagued them for 38 days-Just keep rolling until this thing is over.

The dynamics of 10 strangers thrown together for a month and made to survive, had the potential to have been a major challenge, but amongst these challenges, some serious bonds will have been born. Brothers, who share a connection that no other will ever understand. Connected for life, through their memory of Cycling from Cairo to Cape Town.

On a personal note, I would like to thank them. I have enjoyed sharing their journey from afar, and will never forget the images posted, that are forever imprinted in my mind.

Thankyou Dave, David, Nick and Mark.

Congratulations, you did it.

There was never an expectation from the world, we were happy to simply watch and enjoy, despite the outcome, but you have taken yourselves to a new level as human beings in my book.

Resilient, physically tough, athletically superior, focused, determined, survivors.

You have been an inspiration to many, your achievement soon to be documented in the record books.

Thanks for the memories.

Finally, I say thank you to all of you, who have followed these lads and shared in their battles and successes, with me, on this site.

May we share many more womderful stories.

Meanwhile, stay tuned for the final wrap up, when the boys cross the line, and embrace their fans that are nervously awaiting their arrival.

VIDEO FOOTAGE FROM THIS MORNING-Still doing it tough.

Beautiful….but by God it!’s brutal”-Nick

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‘Final day of #CAROCAP tomorrow and a new world record! Please come and join us in welcoming Mark, Nick and David as well as their unbelievable support crew to Cape Town. We’ll confirm details tomorrow but plan on being at the Cullinan Hotel at around 4pm for the official finish.’

‘Whilst they pedal their penultimate day through the Karoo, I’m half way through planning tomorrow’s final day of CAROCAP’s World Record Cairo to Cape Town cycling madness. Undoubtably the hardest month of work ever, putting SAS sleep deprivation training to shame! It’s been amazing supporting and studying every move of these hard bastards, Nicholas Nicholas Bourne, Mark Mark Thomas Blewett and Dave David Martin (not to mention David Kinjah Kibachia and Didi). Sanity kept level by the bantsmobile support staff of Kippa, Rose Manley, Bennet Wright all working beyond the call of duty and the random shenanigans and awesome beauty that Africa throws at you. What a very special continent. Special shout outs to latest morale boosting additions Patch and Mumsy. Not long now til the miserable pain and suffering ends – not the cyclists, but for the wifey Catherine Giles 🙊😢-Chris Giles

‘The exceptional rides of team #CAROCAP, #SwiftCarbon #UltravoxTi!
7 cyclists were to start #CAROCAP. 5 made it to Cairo. Only 3 remain to cross the finish line @VandAWaterfront tomorrow. Will you join us?’Swift Carbon Bikes

‘Only 263 km left to complete on the team’s epic Cairo to Cape Town world record challenge. They completed 332km today through the Karoo, all of which was into a brutal headwind. They’re all absolutely exhausted but also very excited that it will all be over some time tomorrow afternoon – with a new 38 days world record set!’-Carocap

‘And so another 11 hour, 300 plus ride comes to an end on the penultimate day of Carocap. Once again the gods conspired to make this an epic battle , this time against a raging headwind down the N1. We finally finished up in Laignsberg at 9 pm after starting at 5, but what this means is that Cape Town is within striking distance tomorrow ! So looking forward to seeing Tom Blewett and riding the last bit with him. Anybody is welcome to come out and ride with us into Cape Town , we should be coming through Melkbos at about 3.30.’-Swift Carbon Bikes

‘It’s 4 am and stage 38 of CAROCAP, the last stage. I was hoping to feel elated and energised but just so tired with my body battered to a pulp it’s going to be another hard day, just thankful it’s one of the shortest of race.’-Nick

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Posted in Cairo to Capetown

DAY 37-200 km’s done, now lunch, then keep going

‘Lunch stop at 200km on today’s stage on the N1 South Africa. 132 km to the end of today’s stage. Just 400 km from here to Cape Town. So close I can taste that first beer!’- Nick

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Posted in Cairo to Capetown

DAY 37-Cycling from Cairo to Cape- NEW VIDEO FOOTAGE JUST RELEASED

Video footage released 5 minutes ago!

So great to see them cycling right now.

A bit worried for Dave, My brother-in-law, as he was allegedly very sick yesterday.

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