B I D I I Y E T U 2 0 2 3


Bidii Yetu 2023 : Day 1 to Day 5

Day 1 

Bidii Yetu 2023 officially kicked off at 0731 from Swakopmund. We spent the night in Swakopmund Municipality camp. Everyone was slightly nervous so woke up bright and early. Danny, a Namibian friend, was at the accomodation at 06:30 to join us until Arandis. He’s an absolute delight to have around. He took us through alternate routes out of Swakopmund so we didn’t hit heavy traffic. People were extremely patient on the route. Our convoy included a support vehicle up front, riders next and another vehicle at the end. This worked beautifully, motorist were extremely patient throughout the day. Many hooted to show love and support.

It was lovely at just pass 20km to leave the cold foggy weather behind, we finally saw the sun again after two days. 

We rode for 2 hours before we put in the help stem on Olaf’s bike. This allows the abled bodied riders to help him along. As we ride, the rider will hold onto the bar to assist with speed. Everyone tried their hand at pushing, but Matt has done it before and is simply a pro. We left him to do a lot of the assistance. 

For lunch around 1330 we stopped on the side of the road, the tour company pulled out 2 tables and made us some well deserved sandwiches. This was exactly what we needed. After lunch we headed to the finish which was 7km away. We stayed at the Namibian Institution of Mining hostels compliments of Danny, who paid for our restful night after hearing we were to sleep in tents. Thanks a mil Danny.

Supper was tasty, sausages, carrots, green beans & mash. We ended the evening with a cup of warm tea and Matts melodies. 

Day 1: 60km

Swakopmund to Arandis

Day 2
We went from Arandis to Usakos. Our morning started with filtered coffee & French toast. It was a 90km day.
Danny, who cycled with us yesterday, and his wife, Crystal,  were heading to airport in Windhoek and passed us on the road  and miss a chance to stop and cheer us on. We took a quick break to say thanks and send them on their way.
At 18km we took break and did a wardrobe change. We peeled  off all the warmer layers as the heat started setting in as we traveled inland.
Today was a great day , we stopped only once before lunch and averaged 13-15km an hour. The heat seemed blistering but on the bike it was pleasantly manageable.
Just after lunch, Olaf’s bike woos started again, however the mechanic in him, along with our tour coordinator, Alfie,  got it sorted in no time with some Vaseline.
Lunch was at 1230 at around 47km.
Our tour group, Epic Enabled, provided ham, cheese, peanut butter and jam sandwiches and salad. Gherkins and beetroot salad were a great add on.
The last 43Km into Usakos was downhill, fast, and lots of fun. We finished the day at 1605, completed 93km and climbed 653 meters. Our average speed was 16 kph and we are getting into a rhythm riding together holding on to Olaf’s bar and bumping Jay up hills. It was a brilliant day in the saddle. The team finished strong. Dinner was beef and fish with stir fry. Excited for day 3.
Day 3
Usakos to Wilhelmstal

Today was a perfect Mother’s Day, we all celebrated it with Marcy, our only mum out here. We indulged in pancakes & syrup for breakfast … yummy. We set off at 0755 from Nubeb a pretty desert accommodation. The apartments were huge, and as an extra we had air conditioning and a bath tub. Baveesha took advantage of this luxury and had a lovely soak.

10km into our ride, Franco, our driver, spotted giraffe in the distance, Marcy and Baveesha got to share in that experience, the rest of the group was too far ahead. We’ve been enjoying watching ethe terrain change from the desert sand, to small shrubs and sand, to full on trees and mountains. What was also exciting was seeing wild flowers, yellow and purple ones.

Today we noticed one of the trailers tail lights wasn’t working. Alfie tried fixing at lunch but with no joy. The flash unit on the vehicle needed to be replaced.

We stopped for lunch at one of the established rest stops. Because we have made good progress for the day, we spent a little extra time there. Some took power naps to revitalise themselves.

Soon after we left, we arrived at the turn off to our glamping experience. The vehicles stopped to load the riders and bikes because of the 6km gravel section. Baveesha has a mountain bike and she said she’s going to ride it. With that thought everyone just started pedalling. The gravel was fun, but full of stones, wash boards and sand and the hand bikes got stuck in the sand.  The rest of us pushed them out and off we’d go again. Olaf and Jay have an infectious spirit. Nothing can stop these two,  except a flat tire, which she had. Once we arrived at the camp site, another level of beauty emerged. The tents were on wooden platforms and had goose down duvets, fluffy cushions, carpets and the cherry on the top was the roofless bathroom letting us observe the sky.

From the porch we fixed Jays bike, drank beers and star gazed.

Supper was grilled chicken, butternut, jam squash & baked potato.

A beautiful day indeed, simply so pleasant. This day scored a 10/10





Day 4

15 May 2023
Country : Namibia 
Wilhelmstal – Von Bach Dam 

Waking up in the glamping site is a beautiful representation of Africa. Alfie, owner of our support company, Epic Enabled, went out early to sort out the flash unit. He needed to go to Okahandja to buy the part and return. This meant we had no front vehicle for about 3 hours. Once we started the ride, we immediately noticed its absence, the head wind was tough to navigate. Together with this wind, the terrain become tougher as well, the climbs were steeper, some reaching 7%. We kept pushing with the hope that it’ll get better after a bit. The last issue we had was that Olaf’s bike was stuck in one gear. This meant climbing was going to be our biggest challenge.

Initially we had one orange pole to assist the abled bodied riders Matt, Marcy & Baveesha to assist Olaf with a push from the right. However Baveesha, who recently had a shoulder operation to fix the clavicle bone on the right , was struggling to push from the right so requested the left pole be added on. This worked out brilliantly, as the double pole helped with steep climbs and terrible head wind. The game plan was to use both poles simultaneous to lessen the pressure on either rider. We stopped a few times to take a break. Alfie returned at 1230, we had lunch while he sorted out the vehicle light.  The second half was a little better, a lot less wind. We headed into the Okahandja district , here traffic started picking up. We eventually reached the Von Bach Dam turn. These two hills here were steep, 9%, we managed to get Olaf up the first one but it was a tall ask, Olaf and Jay decided to jump into the vehicle. Marcy, Matt & Baveesha rode the last 4 km of rolling hills into Von Bach Dam. This resort was stunning, edged at the bank of the Von Bach Dam, however it was not wheel chair friendly. The hosts however got us help with luggage and pushing wheelchairs.

The venue was beautiful so we didn’t mind the small inconveniences, but would rather not do that again. It causes too much reliance on other people, making those with disabilities feel frustrated and dependent, which they are not. We are becoming increasingly conscious of what works and what doesn’t work for persons with disabilities.  No to stairs, no to steep climbs in a resort, no to tiny showers with a step to enter, no to small spaces- wheel chairs need to move around, they need at least a meter all round to maneuver in all spaces.

We chilled, enjoyed a double rainbow, showered and got ready for supper- lamb chops, chicken, veggies topped with malva cake and custard.

A beautiful end to the day

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