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The world on a bike

Sarah Kelsey is a lifestyle writer, editor and spokesperson based in Toronto. She was the editor of AOL/The Huffington Post Canada’s StyleList, Style and Living sites. Today, she's a freelancer writing for some of North America’s top pub...

pedaling around the globe!

From SheKnows Canada
When SheKnows.com first heard of Tour d'Afrique we knew we had to interview its founder, Henry Gold. After several years working in international development and travelling Africa, he made the leap to full-on entrepreneur at the age of 50. Today, his cycling tour company offers bike tours to people of all ages and skill levels from around the globe. The flagship tour traverses 7,500 miles of the African continent from Cairo to Cape Town over four months. Gold took a moment to chat with us just as he was busily preparing for his next big bike tour.

SheKnows.com: Tell us a bit about Tour d'Afrique.

Gold: When we first organized the Tour d'Afrique it was considered not doable. It was like breaking the sound barrier. People thought we were crazy. It was tough. Really tough. We were exhausted. Most of us lost over 20 kilograms and, for someone like me, that was a lot of weight. We were always hungry, dirty and thirsty. I thought halfway through half of the group of 33 would leave. Yet none quit. There was a sense of, "I am loving this. I am where I want to be."

SheKnows.com: What can someone taking your tour learn about life and Africa?

Gold: Africa, in spite of what you see on TV and in the press, is a wonderful continent, full of life and colours and the highs and lows of being human. It is a place of laughter and sadness, of music and wildlife, wonderful mountains and majestic desserts. For me, Africa is still the place where, due to a lack of so-called development, life seems to have more freedom, laughter, simplicity and, yes, tragedy. You feel everything more in Africa. Africans are the most generous people in the world, perhaps because they have so little compared to the rest of us.

As to what you learn about life, I quote one of our participants, a lawyer from New York City: "You realize how little you need to be happy."

SheKnows.com: What's next for you and your company?

Gold: After establishing trips on four continents, we thought it was time to do one in our backyard. So we decided to do a coast-to-coast ride that will start in San Francisco toward Los Angeles, than turn east across the Rockies, Route 66 to Chicago, then head toward Canada and end in St. John, Newfoundland. It is the longest organized bike tour in North America (hence its name North American Epic). It allows both North Americans and others to get a taste of the physical and cultural diversity of the continent.

Tour D'Afrique - North American Epic Tour Info:

Tour d'Afrique's guests will cycle 76 days, averaging 106 km per day. The total journey is 92 days including 15 rest days and one travel day. The five-leg journey includes "The Wild West," San Francisco to Flagstaff, AZ; "Across the Great Divide," Flagstaff to Wichita, KS; "The Land of Oz," Wichita to Chicago; "Urban Pleasures," Chicago to Quebec City; and "Maritime Charm," Quebec City to St. John's. Participants can sign up for all 92 exciting days, or any combination of segments.

The cost for the full tour is $9,950 USD, per person. The journey can also be experienced as five distinct shorter segments with pricing starting at $1,800 USD.

For more information on Tour d'Afrique, visit www.tourdafrique.com.

Watch the Tour D'Afrique 2010 - Cairo to Addis


 


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