A BOOK THAT’S BEEN 10 YEARS IN THE MAKING…
“I read a newspaper article about the very first Tour d’Afrique, the year it kicked off, and I can still remember my instant reaction: crazy, doomed, hopeless, wonderful.”
– Tony Wheeler, Co-Founder, Lonely Planet, from the introduction
Exasperating, bewitching, schizophrenic, addictive; the African continent is an assault on your sensibilities. 10: Celebrating Ten Years of the Tour d’Afrique Bicycle Race and Expedition is a powerful photographic journey of the gutsy men and women who have pedaled across Africa on the planet’s most exceptional bicycle adventure. Since 2003, riders and crew of the Tour d’Afrique have captured their intensely personal experiences as seen from the saddle of a bike; most of the time anyway.
A war with a Zambian ant army, mosquitoes, a nocturnal bash-up with a bush pig, traffic and careless drivers, spear-wielding bandits, saddle sores, diarrhea and ass-pounding corrugation have seen some of the toughest riders hop onto the trucks for a respite from the onslaught. Yet, their documented journey reveals how, day-by-day, and often unwittingly, many riders fell in love with the very continent that tortured them from daybreak to sunset.
The book features 160 images and 158 quotes, stories and recollections from 67 international contributors. They illustrate the magic in the misery and the cathartic experience that prolonged, self-induced pain and suffering often brings to those who persevere. Pedaling along the Nile past ancient temples, through the brutally hot Sudanese desert and suffering the undulating biblical landscape of Ethiopia’s rugged Simian Mountains, unlocked unknown reservoirs of courage within many riders. Buying a Coke for a Maasai warrior in Northern Kenya, watching a family of elephants cross the road right in front of them in Botswana, and even dragging their exhausted and sorry butts through the scathing heat in the Sahara has made more than one cyclist weep both with joy and sorrow; occasionally at the same time.
This captivating 252-page book has been compiled and edited by David Houghton – Tour d’Afrique cyclist, and author of three books: 66 Days With Satan – the chronicle of a two-month cycling trip across Canada, The E-F-I Club, which captured the challenges of surviving the Tour d’Afrique, and The United States Of Delirium, in which he wrote on the exhilaration and exhaustion of the solo Race Across America.