Erin's Tour d'Afrique Bike of a Blog!
An 8,000 mile personal and philanthropic adventure across Africa…

Highs and Lows

Writing now from a very windy campsite along the red sea…sorry for the lack of updates! It is day three of the tour d’afrique and the first two days I was so tired all I could do was eat dinner and set up my tent before passing out at approximately 7:30pm.

The tour started with a fabulous opening ceremony at the pyramids of giza. We traveled by a police-escorted convoy out of cairo, and by mid-morning we were heading south on a desert highway! It is amazing how nothing but sand, wind and rock subsist in the desert. The second we left cairo we entered a desolate, barren but beautiful desert landscape. The first night in camp everyone was still figuring stuff out, myself included! Really should have had my brother show me how to set up a tent, but one of my mottos on the tour, as articulated by my like-minded australian roommate annalise, has been “suck it up princess.” Granted, I think I’m the only princess who brought and read the tent instruction manual while assembling in the dark 🙂

Our second day proved to be one of the most arduous days of cycling I have ever experienced, including the ironman training. Keep in mind what this does to your morale when its only day 2 of 120. We set off at 7:15am on a 170 kilometer ride. Half way in, a nasty headwind picked up, and basically cut our speed in half and made the going very rough. I rode with a canadian, german, irishman, australian and fellow american, and we rode in a paceline most of the way with 30 second pulls. For you non cyclists, a paceline is a tightly formed line of riders, who use each other to save energy and increase collective speed. It was very mentally draining with all the debris left on an egyptian highway. We were a strong group, and we were one of the last to make it into camp before sunset. TDA has a rule that you can’t ride past dark, so we were just gunning and bonking (out of fuel) the last 10k. Many others got picked up by the truck. I entered camp, barely got my tent set up, and collapsed while a freak desert thunderstorm and violent winds shook our camp. I was too tired to be scared, but noone slept much. Before I went to bed, the enormity of riding across africa hit me, and I felt very intimidated and demoralized.

Today was much better- tailwind, sunshine and mostly downhill, along the sparkling red sea on one side and sandy mountains on the other. We had the road to ourselves and there was even a coca cola stop! We are highly entertaining to the locals. Today I remembered why I like cycling so much, and we laughed the whole way about how epic and hard core the prior 24 hours had been. It reminded me that this tour is going to be full of highs and lows- each low will make me stronger and each high will keep me going. Tomorrow there are rumors of a beautiful campsite on the beach, cold beers and showers!

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One Response to “Highs and Lows”

  1. Dear Erin,
    Did you go in the pyramids of Giza? Did you see King Tut’s mummy or any of the other Kings?
    Sincerely,
    Angelica Dziurzynski


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