As per my recent blog post, Warrick and I were in Cape Town last week for the African X trail run. Prior to heading off to register for this great event we had some time to kill and decided to find a nice spot near Stellenbosch to have a quick coffee. We ended up at the Ride In Café which is situated between Stellenbosch and Jonkershoek Nature Reserve. The Café has beautiful gardens and breath-taking views of the surrounding mountains making it a perfect relaxing spot to enjoy a coffee or hot chocolate in my case.
When we arrived at the café we noticed there was a van parked in the parking lot with Austrian number plates. We initially thought that the people in the van must have been touring Africa but then we noticed a guy wearing a cycle kit that said “Cairo2Cape” and the name Michael Strasser.
Inquisitively I quickly googled on my phone to find out who this guy was and to find out more about their adventure and instantly came across a blog cairo2cape.com. Upon reading it I discovered that this guy sitting right opposite us in the café had just broken the record for riding from Cairo to Cape Town in the fastest time. He completed the +-10 600 kilometres in a total of 34 days 11 hours and 30 minutes.
The Cairo to Cape Town Cycling World Record seems to have become a highly sought after title as literally in the past year the record has been broken four times.
South African Adventurer, Keegan Longueira completed the route in 59 days in March 2015. Two months later, in May 2015 his time was beaten by the long-distance British cyclist Mark Beaumont, who completed the expedition in 41 days. Then in November 2015, the multi-national CAROCAP Cycling Team completed the journey in 38 days. And now four months later this Austrian triathlete, Michael Strasser, has managed to take off a further three days taking the record to just under 35 days.
With Warrick and I having just announced our somewhat shorter #Joburg2Kili for Qhubeka cycling expedition we will be embarking on, the law of attraction seemed to be at work for us to come in contact with this guy who had just ridden literally across the continent of Africa. So we took up the opportunity to chat to him to learn more about his adventure and to also find out about the route he had taken and how the roads were especially in the countries we plan to cycle through which was really awesome.
Although we will not be racing for a record on our adventure, meeting Michael Strasser and hearing his story definitely has given us a much needed boost to know that cycling up Africa is definitely not impossible.