Saturday, April 19, 2014


You may know that the TDA is a race as well as an expedition. When I embarked on the tour, my expectation and intent was to complete the total distance, the vaunted EFI (Every F#*kin Inch). As the tour rolled on and I lost EFI in the Sudanese sands, I was persuaded to pick up the pace and compete. 

The title of this post has the name of an iconic dog sled race in Alaska. As a cryptic crossword buff, I use this word to break down my feeling about the race. The ID stands for the premier racers this year: Ina, Dave & Dave & Dieteric. They often set out as a mini-peloton and invariably they win the day's race, referred to as a stage. Iter is the Latin word for way. OD is overdose.

Due to the sympathy of the best riders, ID, one stage was left open to the other cyclists. The clearly superior or faster cyclist opted to stop at an oasis called Planet Baobab for a dip in a pool and a cold beverage. There are other strong peddles who could have won the stage. One of my comrades, Michel, another Dutch rider, indeed beat me to the finish line. However, due to a flat that lengthened his overall time for the stage, I sneaked in with the best time. Luck. Karma. A stroke for the ego.

The ultimate winners are all of us. We have each accomplished our respective goals: to see Africa by bicycle and cooperate with our friends to make it to Cape Town with rich memories of landscape, pain, relief and experience.