On 2 July 2022, 10 mountain bike riders, optimistically described here as middle aged but only if they push through to 120 years old plus, will pedal out of Harare in the general direction of Namibia’s Skeleton Coast in the fifth and toughest yet edition of the Old Legs Tour, to raise money and awareness for Zimbabwe’s pensioners.
As is our want, we’ll ride on the roads less travelled, 3000 plus kilometers of them, mostly dirt. We’ll ride through a town called Gokwe, into the wilds of Chizarira, via Milibizi and alongside the mighty Zambezi, and into Victoria Falls for our first rest day. And then across epic Vic Falls Bridge and into the back of beyond that is western Zambia and then on to the Angolan border, back across the Zambezi River at Katima Mulilo, and then down into the Namibian hinterland via Grootontein and past Etosha National Park, through the Namib Desert taking the scenic route via Desolation Valley, Spitzkoppe and the White Lady Bushman and the Brandberg Massif. Then we’ll head across to the iconic Skeleton Coast, south through the aptly named St Nowhere, Cape Cross and the Dead Sea Swimhole towards our finish line at Swakopmund. I am exhausted just having typed all of that, but also so excited.
The Old Legs is an especially apt description for this year’s peloton. Al Watermeyer will be the senior man, aged 73 years young, with Eric de Jong the youngest at just 63 years old. And in between we have Graeme Fleming, Adam Selby, Mike Reimer, Rob Cloete from Zimbabwe, Alan Crundall, Pete Brodie and Mark Johnson from Australia, and Nik Bellwald from Switzerland. Eeeish! Already I can hear bones creaking.
As always, we are riding to help the generation that built a country, a generation who have lost their wealth and had their pensions reduced to zero by thirty years of economic stupidity and two bouts of hyper-inflation. Doctors, lawyers, farmers, plumbers and engineers, after a lifetime of hard toil and saving have been left with zero. And worse than that, many Zimbabwe’s pensioners have also lost their families and safety nets, scattered to the furthest corners of the world to try and start their lives over, often from scratch, leaving them in the invidious position of not being able to be there for their parents. Without charity, many pensioners would have nothing.
Help us help them by supporting our epic cause and our epic adventure- 10 pairs of Old Legs pedalling 3000 km on mountain bikes on dust and dirt and through wild animals, across some of Africa’s harshest landscapes.
Follow the Old Legs Tour on Facebook or on www.oldlegstour.com. But please be warned, we ride slower than paint dries.