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That EFI thing
It occurred to me the other day that the vast majority of riders that set out to bike from Cairo to Capetown come with the goal to EFI (which Cristiano already wrote about the other day – basically E stands for Every, I stands for Inch, and F stands for whichever F word you think best describes those inches). Unfortunately every year only a handful of riders are actually able to achieve this due to medical or mechanical issues or simply lack of preparation along the way.
Sometimes it’s the frustration of multiple flat tyres or some more serious mechanical issue that can’t be fixed on the roadside that will force a rider into the truck. Sometimes other riders that are already on the truck as it passes wlll kindly lend a bike in the spirit to hang on to their EFI. Sometimes riders are just physically unprepared for the demands of the tour and lack the physical fitness, come with a poor bike fit that results in injury. And sometimes it’s for medical reasons that riders end up taking the truck.
There are three main medical reasons riders take the truck: knee or Achilles pain from improper bike fit, saddle sores, and gastro.
Of these, at the moment, it’s the gastro that is the culprit for ending the EFI dream.
Every year cycling through Ethiopia there seems to be a gastro outbreak and 2011 is no exception. Hand washing is the most important thing if you want to stay safe, but our tired western tummies simply aren’t used to Ethiopian tummy bugs!
The best treatment for travellers diarrhoea is rest, fluids and more rest, but because of the EFI dream many riders choose to ride through their illness prolonging their recovery time, pushing their bodies to dangerous levels of dehydration.
While I have great respect for anyone that can EFI this journey I believe it to be a much greater strength to respect yourself when you’re not well, jump on the truck, let yourself get better so that you can continue to have fun back on the bike in a couple of days time!
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