Fastest Crossing of Africa on a Bike

Dutch adventurer Ralph Tuij is in the midst of another epic journey. A few years back, he spent 280 days rowing across the Atlantic Ocean, covering some 16,000km (9941 miles) in the process. Now, he’s attempting to pedal across the length of Africa, north to south, in record time, as he works to raise awareness of water issues on that continent.

The Fairwater Bike Challenge has Ralph covering 12,000km (7456 miles) as he rides from Cairo to Cape Town in less than 75 days, while promoting a new handpump that developed by a Dutch NGO known as BluePump. On the expedition’s website, Ralph says that thousands of handpumps ae in use across Africa, but as many as 150,000 of those are broken down and no longer functional, keeping many indigenous people from having access to clean drinking water. The new pump is described as “virtually indestructible, simple and inexpensive to maintain with local resources and can lift water by hand from as deep as 100m.” The Dutchman hopes to replace at least 25 of the old handpumps with the new ones while on his journey.

Ralph is well into his journey at quickly approaching the finish line. His route has already taken him across Egypt, the Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. He is currently pedaling through Botswana, and has just South Africa ahead. You can read about his adventures, provided you speak Dutch, in his blog. You can also follow his exploits on Twitter as well.

Forget about those three guys that drove across Africa awhile back, this is the real way to see the wild continent, on the back of a bike. Amazing.

This one was sent my way courtesy of reader Graeme de Wit. Thanks Graeme!

Kraig Becker