Greetings from Wadi Halfa, Sudan. GlobeRiders 'Cape to Cairo Expedition' is on the final leg of the journey from Cape Town, South Africa, to Cairo, Egypt.
What a Ride it has been and no words can give the experience the justice it deserves. We have taken thousands of pictures and hours of video and made friends along the way that have changed our view of Africa. This is not my first visit to the continent and I know it will not be my last.
Just a few weeks ago we had to go by car for 13 hours, yes, there is a long story behind that and I can tell you that experience really made us triple the appreciation we have for being able to ride our own bikes. The experience from the cage (car) to sitting high in your saddle on a bike was dramatic. The interaction with people, feeling the climate and being able to dodge potholes made all the difference from the isolated journey in the car.
There are four bikers, all on BMWs and each of them have various Touratech parts - from panniers to skid plates. I have the extra heavy duty skid plate with rubber and steel reinforcements, and once again it has proven to be a must have. Dan on his HP2 has another brand of skid plate and it is now hanging on with baling wire.
We have been riding the bikes hard and on surfaces that would rattle anything to pieces. All I can say is that it has paid off to have lock tited crucial nuts and bolts, keeping them from coming loose.
I love the new Zega Pro Panniers. The locking mechanism itself is worth the upgrade. Being able to remove all of my luggage in one move with an inner liner bag is extremely convenient on such a long journey, since we unload our luggage almost every day.
If you should be so unlucky to get a dent in one of your panniers (no names mentioned) the aluminum panniers are easy to hammer out. I have seen plastic panniers that are impossible to fix after a light crash, certainly not something that you would like to travel the world with.
As I am sitting here writing this little story, I am searching for a good break down or equipment failure that I can share with you, but honestly I did not experience anything like that this time around. The journey has been pretty smooth with the exception of a few bad punctures. All I can say about that is that you should never to go riding without a set of spare inner tubes!
Even with tubeless tires, you might need to fix a bad puncture by inserting an inner tube. I have done it twice on this journey. If you feel a little insecure about tire repair and punctures, I highly recommend you pick up one of GlobeRiders instructional DVDs, all of which are sold by Touratech world wide.
Having basic tire repair and bike maintenance knowledge gives you the piece of mind to ride further and have more fun. There is a saying that half the trip is in the preparations leading up to the journey.
GlobeRiders Cape to Cairo Expedition 2012 arrived in Cairo today August 1st. We've had an incredible journey with lots of challenges, but most of all we have met so many good people and traveled on incredible roads to get from the bottom of Africa to the top.
Ride Safe – Ride Far!
Helge Pedersen, GlobeRiders