Emily And James Complete Their 19,000km Ride From London To Cape Town Raising Over £23,000 For World Bicycle Relief.
Adventure cyclists James Davis and Emily Conrad-Pickles from the UK reached Cape Town on 3 June 2016 after cycling 19,000km from London to Cape Town. The couple left London on 12 July 2015 and have been on the road for just under 11 months. Inspired by their journey, they were joined by the British High Commissioner to South Africa, Dame Judith Macgregor, and British Consul-General Cape Town, Ed Roman, for the final 120km into Cape Town. Dame Judith Macgregor commented: “When I heard about Emily and James’s journey I felt inspired to be involved in some way so it was great to have been able to join them for their last section into Cape Town. “For millions of people in Africa the bicycle offers the only transport to get to school, work and the doctor. World Bicycle Relief is working tirelessly to provide bicycles to those that need this lifeline to help them get the education, jobs and healthcare they deserve. It’s a thoroughly worthy cause and I am thrilled to have taken part.” James and Emily’s mission has been to raise awareness and funds for the charity World Bicycle Relief and to date have raised over £23,000.
An Incredible Challenge
Having never done anything like this before setting off, James and Emily threw themselves into the deep end and the ride has not all been plain sailing. During this epic journey, they have been faced with immense challenges throughout their journey including 10,000ft mountains in Ethiopia, 55°C heat in the Sudanese desert, some very tough terrain and road surfaces and sickness which at one point involved a medevac to Nairobi when Emily suffered a severe electrolyte imbalance causing issues with her heart. In Ethiopia, children threw rocks at them on a daily basis and political unrest in a number of places forced the couple to re-route on occasions to avoid trouble.
Despite the tough terrain, sickness and a few mechanical set backs, throughout this journey, and especially on the African continent, they have experienced incredible kindness and hospitality from those they have met – they were even given money to buy food with from strangers who had very little in Sudan when their wallet went missing. People throughout their journey have opened up their homes, offered food and water, helped fix broken bikes in the middle of nowhere and cheered them on from the roadside.
Seeing the Impact
Emily and James have seen first hand the real impact that a bicycle can make to individuals living in the more remote communities. Education is always the first thing to disappear in these areas as people struggle to make enough money and the long term impact of this means that areas will never move forward and develop. Distance can become a barrier to education, healthcare and commerce. World Bicycle Relief, provides specially designed, locally assembled bicycles called Buffalo Bikes to people in rural communities across Africa. When you give a child a bike, student attendance increases by up to 28% and grades increase by 59%. Healthcare workers reach 40% more patients and can see them more regularly and entrepreneurs travel 4 times further carrying 5 times more goods and increasing profits by up to 50%. Incredibly, just £95 will buy a Buffalo Bike and the ambitious couple aim to fund over 500 bikes through their fundraising efforts. Commenting on their cycle: Emily said: “We have learnt first hand just how important and powerful a bicycle can be in rural Africa; enabling people to travel to school, work and to access healthcare and other services where there is often no other alternative transport. “For us, this journey has been a once in a lifetime adventure. But for those living in rural Africa, simply having a bike can be life changing which is why we are so proud to have raised so much money for World Bicycle Relief.”
You can read more about their journey on their website
Inspired by Emily and James’ adventure? Start Your Fundraising Today >