Shouting from my shed

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Not things but men and women

A few weeks ago I was delighted to host three very dirty, extraordinarily hungry cyclists at my home. These guys had cycled from Cape Town back to England and were on the final leg of the epic ride back home to Ireland.

Maghnus wrote these words as he approached the finish line. I wanted to share them with you here.

Within the next couple of days we will reach Ireland. We have stories.

We have stories of danger, excitement, humour and adventure. The countries we have cycled through, the majesty of nature and history, the rivers crossed, the deserts, the forests, the heat, the cold, the sand, the mud and the snow.

Among the places we have called home from sunset to sunrise: schools, churches, mosques, police stations, hospitals, bars, restaurants, sidewalks, sand-dunes, garages, gardens, derelict houses, storm drains, living rooms, border crossings, bus stops, dams, and courtrooms.

We have been low on money, low on food, low on water, low on fuel, low on morale, low on patience, and low on resolve. We have seen and done things out of the reach of our imagining minds a year ago, and we have done all this because of the people.

From Turkey to Tanzania, from Israel to Italy, and from Zimbabwe to Ireland we have trusted in, depended upon, and have been astonished by people.

At times when the very idea of the journey seemed a little outrageous it was the people at home who encouraged and lent a hand in countless ways.

When we hit moments of difficulty and were reluctant to continue it was people who, with simple acts of kindness, reminded us of the joys we had forgotten, our minds deluded by dejection.

When displays of welcome and kindness seemed unsurpassable, they were surpassed.

When we felt we could ask no more, more was offered unrequested.

Bike Africa was made a reality by the simple goodness of people and its success inspired by a thousand acts of selfless generosity. “Not things, but men and women.”


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Shouting from my shed

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