And so it begins!
Riders awoke to a cool satin fog and the wailing of a local muezzin. With the morning just cold enough to send a plume of steam with each breath, a sea of riders surrounded Duncan, the tour leader. Ears beneath shiny new helmets keenly listened to the first of many directions in getting to Capetown. A series of bicycle clicks and the crank of two diesel truck engines meant the official start of the 2008 Tour d’Afrique.
The low fog set a dreamlike scene as riders wove their way through the streets of Cairo. Amongst the blare of horns and unpredictable traffic, women’s faces framed with a headscarf and men peering from beneath their turbans gawked in astonishment as our 62 strong mobile village rolled along.
Signaling our approach to the pyramids, camels and their handlers trotted alongside our convoy, bobbing their heads in rhythm as if listening to some unheard music. Winding our way along the ancient pyramids, we observed people, vehicles, and camels looking much akin to the figurines sold by vendors. The truth being, the pyramids dwarf anything that tries to compete.
Our first day has been windy in the most unfortunate direction – straight in the face. Riders are finding those muscles that are only used for cycling. With today being 128km and a 168km day ahead, everyone is thriving off the thrill of a new challenge and an unrivaled adventure.