Cycle Tour ’99

June 1998 Stephen Bonaconsa sat me down with what was a very big question. “You keen to cycle around the world next year?” Context – I was 17 and busy finishing matric, grade 12 or whatever you call it these days – my last year of school. That and I wasn’t a cyclist. I had a R700 mountain bike from the local supermarket which was pretty kak and no real ambition to make every second count like lance. I did, however, have BIG dreams and BIG ideas… which meant I immediately said “yes!” oh and as long as my mom and dad were cool with it…

Arrival in Cape Town - 17th Jan 1999

Arrival in Cape Town - 17th Jan 1999

They were. The next 6 months was a blur. Intense training sessions began. We met at the BP on umhlanga rocks drive in the morning 9I used to drive there as it was a pretty mean uphill…) Steve and I would then hit Umhlanga Rocks and back… all 8km’s of sheer cycling endurance. You can imagine how well this bode for our first day – January 1 – 126km from JHB to Parys. I hit the wall about a thousand times.

Aside from the training we did a whole bunch of talks. The reason being is we had a mission – to raise R1million rand for children living with HIV/AIDS in KZN. We aimed to contribute toward the cause of McCords Hospitals Sinakathemba project as well as a home called ‘Lilly of the Valley‘ childrens home.

That year was unbelievable. At 18 years old I can say that I had an experience that I wish most young people could have when they leave school – experiencing culture, testing your limits, fighting for a worthy cause and meeting extraordinary people and accomplishing a major goal.

Our year was spent cycling across 16 countries. The route was as follows:

Johannesburg – Cape Town (South Africa)

Perth – Sydney (Australia)

LA – New York (USA)

John O Groates – Lands End (UK)

Amsterdam – Reggio Da Calabria (EU)

Parts of Egypt and Israel

Nairobi – Johannesburg (Africa)

We raised R1.7 million for the children. We learned, we saw, we fought, we cried, we laughed, we struggled, we conquered and we loved.

The ‘cycle tour ’99‘ tell out story.  Or have a look at our old website!

please note due to 1999 being one of the first years the digital camera came to SA the picture quality at times is not great. We took anti shock CD walkmans as well. classic. imagine what it would have been like today… ipod, twitter, blog… eish… the good ol days of adventure!


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