Major Award 2014

Rob Garratt, Laurie Price, Freddie John, Marcus Hannon

access to africa

Their story, in their words…

“When the idea was born, it was dismissed by many (and understandably) as a pipe dream and something that was unachieveable. “You have no experience”, “have you really thought this through?” and many more questions were raised. It wasn’t until we heard of the Mark Evison Foundation that our dream of cycling from Oxford to Africa began to seem a possibility.….

With months of planning behind us, we rolled out of Oxford on 24th August for what would be the trip of a lifetime for all of us…. The pace of the cycling was not an issue, but we began to realise the logistical challenge posed by moving 4 cyclists, 3 tents, equipment and 2 support drivers every night. The 6 am starts were one of the toughest aspects of the trip, not only due to the fact that we had all embraced the student lifestyle, but also due to the darkness, cold and dew that dominates at that time in the morning when sleeping under canvas. We arrived into Biarritz in good spirits with 1 week and 935 km under our belts, only 2 weeks and 1600 km to go…

We entered Spain over the fortress that is the Pyrenees…Beautiful but empty roads, with stunning landscapes and strange locals. We pointed our bikes for Madrid and ate up mountain after mountain through northern Spain. Little did we know it but by the end of the trip we had climbed the equivalent of the 3 times the height of Everest and for anyone who knows about cycling, you are not judged by your speed, but by your endurance and ability to climb. I think we proved ourselves worthy on both accounts.”