#ConquerAsOne Entry: Cecil Bosman
This is an entry to the Absa Cape Epic #ConquerAsOne competition, submitted and written by Cecil Bosman.
In 2007 I cycled from Marrakech, Morocco to Knysna, South Africa covering 18500 km without any support. My riding partners and I, used the trip as a platform to raise funds for an Aids Orphanage called HOKISA that is based in Masiphumelele, Cape Town. We ran a blog during the trip and did many newspaper and radio interviews to raise awareness.
I planned to do the journey alone, but my dad was concerned about my physical and mental well being tackling such an enormous solo journey, so he convinced my cousin, Philip, to join me. We started in Marrakech and journeyed south through Mauritania and the Sahara Dessert. This was extremely tough as cycling was only possible at night due to the extreme heat during the day.
We continued further south to Dakar, Senegal before turning east to Mali. Mali is a magical country and one of the highlights of the journey. From Mali we did Burkina Faso, Benin, Togo, Ghana and was then refused entry into Nigeria as the borders were closed after four Americans were taken hostage by the Taliban. We had to cycle back to Ghana and caught a flight to Kenya to continue our trip.
From Kenya we cycled to Tanzania. My brother, Francois, joined us in Dar es Salaam. The three of us journeyed over the Livingstone mountain range into Malawi and then all the way south along the lake. In Lilongwe we turned west again and did the breadth of Zambia. From here my cousin headed down south and back home due to family responsibility. My brother and I continued west through the Caprivi region and then south to Windhoek. We were zigzagging our way home and headed east again from Windhoek, through Botswana and the Kalahari to Johannesburg to compete in the 94.7 and raise awareness for HOKISA. We were quite a site on our heavy (60kg) touring bikes and upset quite a few roadies by climbing faster than some of them on the hills.
From Joburg it was a beautiful cycle down to Cape Town and then Knysna, our home town.
Cycling through Africa unsupported is no joke. I could not have completed this journey without my brother and cousin. We suffered together, often questioning our decision to tackle such an enormous trip. We laughed together and celebrated the beauty of Africa and often felt we could go on forever… whatever the mood it was always evident that this journey was best shared, as it goes for most things in life!
My brother and I cycled almost 9000km together. We raised funds and awareness for HOKISA. We became best friends and we still are today. We still do most of our riding together and have done many races in the past few years. It is our dream to do the Cape Epic together.
We have many cycling stories to share with fellow riders in the race village.