Gearing up for Africa!

Welcome back to our blog – new and improved! Over the last few weeks, we have loaded all of our personal belongings into our mini cooper, driven from Ottawa to Denver to leave our things with family (thanks Les!), and have been preparing for what is sure to be our biggest adventure yet.

In addition to spending as much time as possible with family and friends, here is our take on how to prepare for a ~6-month cycle tour through Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Lesotho:

  • Clean and tune bikes: This step was mostly performed by Phat Moose Cycles in Ottawa. They attached custom kickstands that can hold the weight of our fully-loaded bikes. We are most excited for this modification – easy to please! 🙂
Simon got down to the nitty gritty with a bottle of rubbing alcohol and a toothbrush.
  • Get the gear! This has to be the funnest part of our trip prep. It is not often you can give yourself (almost) free-reign at REI, but if Portlandia has taught us anything, it’s to “get the gear!” We’re saving money on our mode of transportation and accomodation, so it was important to us to have quality items that would stand the test of time:
  • Ride bikes? A few times… we haven’t had much conditioning on the saddle lately. If S. America taught us anything, it is that there is no way to fully prepare yourself for 8-hour days in the saddle except spending 8-hour days in the saddle. We plan to start the trip with shorter distances, conditioning ourselves as we go.
  • Pack the bikes and say our goodbyes – I don’t know which is more painful?

After 21.5 hours of flying, and 13 hours of layovers, we made it to Victoria Falls August 14th. We’ll be in the area for a week leading up to Simon’s cousin’s wedding, and then we’ll finally be on the bikes again!



7 thoughts on “Gearing up for Africa!

  1. Amazing! You two look well prepared (though it looks like Simon has packed more clothes than Olivia…). I like the use of labels on your photos – so interesting. BTW, Wild Oat has your photo up on their wall “Missing Customers” – lol.


  2. Ummmmm, was just reading this again and it said you’re gone for six months?? You told us it was three months 🙂


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