Up until recently, mountain biking on Kilimanjaro, the tallest peak in all of Africa, has been strictly prohibited. In order to protect the environment there, not to mention the people both hiking and attempting to ride the mountain, the Tanzanian government has been opposed to opening Kili for biking. But that all changed when a team of trekkers, led by philanthropist Doug Pitt, received special permission to both climb to the summit and descend on mountain bikes, which obviously turned into the ride of their lives.
Doug shares his experience on the Eddie Bauer Blog, providing some nice thoughts on what he calls the “greatest mountain bike descent of all time.” But first, he stresses the reason that he and his teammates went to Tanzania in the first place was to raise funds for clean water projects, something that they were able to accomplish to the tune of $250,000. That money will be put to good use in easing the suffering in remote villages and other regions of the country and it was because of this that President Kikwete agreed to allowing the ride.
And what a ride it was. Doug says that it was a tough and technical descent that kept him on his toes all the way down. The nasty scree fields, which often had to be navigated on foot, eventually gave way to better trail, and it was a rocket ride all the way back to the departure gate. It isn’t every day that you get to ride one of the Seven Summits, and Pitt relished it all the way, even as he screamed past a porter who told him “you crazy” as he flew by.
Reading the description of the descent had me wide eyed, but it also had me thinking “I sure hope he wore a GoPro on the way down!” I’d love to see some footage of this ride! Lets hope he did and we will.
Congrats to Doug and his entire team. Great job on raising funds for such an amazing cause and for riding the mountain.
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