Interview with Taryn Laurie
Erik Dobrovolsky: Where are you from?
Taryn Laurie: I’m from South Africa, originally from Durban and then moved to Cape Town to go to the University of Stellenbosch. After graduating I moved to the UK
ED: How did you first hear about the Tour d’Afrique?
TL: I came across it on a website about two years ago and fell in love with it straight away. I knew I had to do it.
ED: Has the tour differed from your expectations?
TL: I didn’t really approach the tour with too many expectations of what it should hold, and as for the countries I had no clue what was in store. In terms of knowing that it was going to be physically, mentally and emotionally challenging experience… I was prepared for that. I knew it was going to be an unbelievable experience but I never imagined what it would be like.
ED: How are you finding the race?
TL: It’s cool. There are some parts you do enjoy and other times not so much. It adds a bit of spice to the tour as a whole. It also gives it a bit of purpose, not that the tour itself is without purpose, far from but it just adds another dimension to the overall experience.
ED: How did you prepare for the tour?
TL: Not so much because I was really last minute joining up. I decided to do it this year in November 2008 so I didn’t really have tons of time to prepare. In terms of physically putting in some mileage beforehand, I was in New Zealand at the time touring so I just got a couple of rides in. That’s about it really.
ED: What do you find to be the most challenging aspect of the tour?
TL: That’s a hard one. I think at times just riding day in and day out. At the end of a 6 or 7-day stretch you really feel it in your legs. But I really enjoy the combination of the physical and mental challenge; just being out of your comfort zone is great for me.
ED: What’s your favourite aspect of the tour?
TL: I love the riding, I love being on my bicycle. To be living my dream of being on my bicycle and traveling Africa is just tops for me.
ED: What has been your favourite country so far and why?
TL: Tanzania. I loved the scenery and the people were really cool. The landscapes just blew my mind.
ED: Is there anything else you would like to add or to let people know?
TL: I hope that in a way doing this trip may inspire some people to get out and live their dreams regardless of how big or small they may be. If there is something in your life that you really want to do then just somehow find the way to do it. This is something that I have always wanted to do, and I hope that this story about a group of people banding together to ride through a continent may inspire some people to go about realizing the things they have always wanted to do with their lives.