Monday, 31 January 2011

Outdoor Gear Sponsor - Guy Pearce

I received an email on Friday 28 Jan 2011 from a man named Guy Pearce.

In this email he asked me what the most important pieces of gear would be that I would like to get out of the way and what it would cost.
I replied with a list of my outdoor gear needed with costs attached.

Guy is the Chief Executive: New Business Development at the JD Group.
And he has sponsored the total amount for my outdoor gear needed, out of his own pocket.
In his words: "My proposal is I'll give you the total amount out of my own pocket (such things are quite tough to motivate in a corporate environment where the policy is only groups)."

This from an individual who has never met me!
Thank you for your support Guy! And for believing in me!

In return I will be giving a motivational talk to the staff at the JD Group.

Sponsored items include:
*Multi-fuel Stove and soloist cooking system
*Petzl Headlamp
*Solar Charger
*Sleeping bag and mat
*Water Bottles

It is the generosity of individuals like Guy who will make it possible for me to live my dream and make history as being the first woman to cycle around the entire African continent!

From the bottom of my heart: Thank you very much!!!

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Friday, 28 January 2011

Water Purification Sponsored by Ripples For Good

They are known as the 2 girls with their 2 dogs on bicycles. They've covered thousands of kilometers throughout Southern Africa to promote change in our waterways.

Now they've traded their bicycles for motorbikes and are still at it. Going from strength to strength.

They are Maria Botha and Liani Broodryk from Ripples For Good, sponsors of my water purification on my trip around Africa!

The product they will be supplying me with is called Aqua Salveo.
The product is a concentrated liquid that needs to be diluted by adding 3 drops (0.09ml) per litre of water, for drinking, bathing and household cleaning. The treatment ranges from as little as 1 litre to thousands of liters and when applied as suggested, the water will remain disinfected for 24 months and will tolerate temperatures as high as 35ºC/95ºF.

More info on their website.

:) Thank you Maria and Liani!!! :)

To support Ripples For Good and follow Maria and Liani's progress, check out their Website.

I doubt I'd be able to fit Hvir, the greatest dane in the world anywhere on my bike...but maybe I can persuade her to pull me up those hills!! :D (Would take a great deal of persuading...and I would have to get past Hanret first!!) LoL

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Thursday, 27 January 2011

My Pannier and Rack Sponsor - Picobella

Picobella Trattoria - This is where I spend a great deal of my time!

They offer the best in Italian cuisine with an extra helping of love and care.
Though I don't spend my time sampling their mouth watering dishes! (Well I do sneak in tastes in between) ;) No, for the past 5 months or so they have been my employers. It started out as an opportunity to earn some money at night whilst I work on getting everything together for my expedition during the day.

Now when I walk into this beautiful establishment and put on my apron, I am amongst friends!

"Pizza angels come to eat here, said the small girl quietly, looking around Picobella.

It is kind of heavenly, kind of homely. Even the mosaic pizza oven has an aura of Byzantine glory. This is where you come for comfort food, traditional Italian family fare, served as solace for the jangled. Very Melville, people climb the steps to this welcoming outdoors-indoors haven all day long. Breakfasting, sunning, coffeeing, introspecting, meeting, reading, lunching, being, dinnering, toasting, chatting, sipping.

What do they do? asked the child. But she was gazing up at the collection of madonnas.
I think they give you love and comfort, replied Déon, one of Picobella’s two owner-brothers, following her gaze.

Picobella does just that. With food that is very happily priced and imbued with soul. "

Thank you so much to Déon, one of the owner brothers of Picobella for sponsoring my pannier bags and bike racks!! These are being shipped from the USA. (Bit more on that later)

I will be sporting my new snazzy Ortlieb pannier bags and Old Man Mountain bike racks soon!! Can't wait for them to arrive! I will be living out of these bags for the next 2 to 3 years of my life!!

Picobella Trattoria is situated at: Nr 66, 4th Avenue, Melville, Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa.
So, should you ever find yourself in this area, pop in and be spoiled to wonderful Italian cuisine prepared by my friends. What's more - have a look at 'My Wall' to get an update of my progress!!

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Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Apres Velo - My Clothing Sponsor from 'Down Under'

A few weeks ago I received an email from AJ at Apres Velo in Australia. (Apres Velo stands for 'After Cycling' - in French)
A friend of his here in sunny (except for Johannesburg) South Africa had referred him to my blog site. His email included an awesome offer, and so I am very excited to introduce you to my clothing sponsor from 'down under'... Après Vélo!

What attracted me to their product was their approach concerning cycling gear, and their funky, fun designs!

In their own words:

"Apres Velo cranked out in 2006 to fill a gaping void within the cycling industry’s casual clothing offering. Leonard Greis and Sarina Tomchin, two Sydney based cycling mates chatted over a coffee or 3 about the severe lack of groovy bicycle-inspired tee shirts that proclaimed their life-long passion for their sport.

Incredibly, the grand and noble sport of cycling seemed to have no “after cycle” wear with street cred. Thus began Apres Velo, which is French for “After Cycle”.

With no finish line in sight, our aim is to develop ongoing ranges of edgy, casual clothing and lifestyle accessories to meet the cultural and diverse tastes of the global cycling community. Hopefully, much loved for our humour, artwork and great products.

Our designs cover a broad cross section of attitudinal and quirky graphics, geared towards Bitumen & Bituchix (roadies), non-polluters (commuters), and dirtydudes & dudettes (MtBers)…..something to suit all bike-fixated obsessives."

I am STOKED about wearing the Apres Velo gear on my trip around Africa!! It's funky and fresh and what's great is that is lends you a level of freedom. I have always worn 'normal' cycling clothing on my previous trips through and around South Africa. But now I can travel in style!!!
AND I can go absolutely ANYWHERE in this gear. Simply get off the bike and go party, without having to change. (Okay except for the fact that I may be a bit sweaty) :D

WHAT'S MORE: is that they have ALSO offered me to be one of their AFFILIATES. What this means is that whenever anyone uses this link ----> 'My Link' to purchase one of their uber cool T-shirts, I will receive 20% of the sale. So this is another way of helping fund my trip!! Awesome!!!

So go and have a look at their website!!
I am currently awaiting a shipment from Australia. Can't wait to receive my gear so I can show you all what it looks like!! :)

Here's a HUGE thank you to everybody at Apres Velo!! I know that this is the start of what will be a long and beautiful partnership!

:) :D :) :D :) :D :) :D :) :D :) :D :) :D :) :D :) :D :) :D :)

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Tuesday, 04 January 2011

Launch Date Postponed

Dear Friends,

For those who aren't aware: The launch date for my cycle trip around Africa has been postponed a bit.
Main reason for this being a lack of sponsorship.
However, do not fear, there are some exciting prospects.
As soon as I have decided on the new launch date I will be sure to let everyone know!

Wishing everybody a spectacular 2011! Go chase your wildest dreams and make them a reality!! ;)

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Monday, 03 January 2011

Chasing stories & finding ‘alive’ : All over the world

Not too long ago I had a great chat, via skype, with a remarkable woman named Sarah Outen, all the way over in London, UK.

In 2009 Sarah became the first woman to row across the Indian Ocean, all on her own.
This year she will set out to travel from London2London: Via the World.

I asked her to write a little something about her adventures. So here it is:

I was intrigued when I received an email introducing me to Jo and her planned cycling epic. (It’s a bit more than a ‘ride’ isn’t it?) I have always wanted to visit Africa, so I really look forward to following her progress over the next couple of years. And who knows, if I am really lucky, I might even be home from my next expedition in time to join in for a few miles of pedaling. That would be special.

That is of course if my bottom doesn’t object to the idea. After all, it will have just endured 2.5 years of expedition by rowing boat, bike and kayak – activities with a reputation of inducing salt water boils, rashes and general aches.

I know this all too well and so does my derriere – in 2009 I rowed across the Indian Ocean, from Australia to Mauritius. It took me one failed attempt and 124 days of rowing. High seas, flat seas, rough seas, wild seas, wide wide seas…. It was out there that I set my sights on the world, yearning to be out on the waves again, despite the salt water sores, the fear, the exhaustion, the monotony, the capsizes. As with anything, there are two sides to the story and the other side of all the not-so-sweet parts is that there were so many exciting, mind blowing, incredible, beautiful times, too. Times when I was rowing under a velvety night so full of stars that the sky seems to go on forever, or when I held the gaze of an albatross as he surfed down beside my little boat, wheeling and cruising over the waves. Or others when I stared down into six kilometers of ocean and let my mind boggle over the blues and the depth and the hugeness of it all.

Everything was huge out there – except for my little boat. And the whole experience regularly showed me that we are nothing on this earth – just a little tiny blip of randomness that happens to be here for an impossibly short while in the grand scheme of things. And that is a humbling, wonderful sort of thought that gives life a whole new meaning really. Even though we are nothing, we can do something. We can make trails and blaze paths; we can be a change for the better, even if only for a short while and life will still go on, even when we have gone.

This is why I am heading out a on a major expedition again – to chase the stories, to meet new people, discover new places and seek out those moments where I feel absolutely spine tinglingly, earth shatteringly alive. I know that it will test me, scare me, excite me, hurt me, energise me, educate me, inspire me, challenge me and ultimately fill me with all sorts of memories and lessons and wonderful times. That’s why I adventure.

Having spoken with Jo a few times now, I think this is a common theme and I wish her all the very best on her expedition and look forward to touching base as we both head off on our journeys.

For more information on Sarah’s ‘London2London:Via the World’ expedition check out her website, Youtube channel and follow her exploits on Twitter.
Twitter: @SarahOuten
Youtube: @SarahOuten

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