Why are we doing this?

26 May

Why on earth did we decide to cycle all the way from leafy Surrey to the hot and dusty streets of Nairobi? It is a sensible question with a few different elements to an answer that is mostly not very sensible at all.

Dan Martin, a fellow adventurer planning a simply ludicrous Global Triathlon, gave an answer to the ‘Why?’ question in a recent interview that chimes with our own reasons. He said:

 “There’s a certain element of ‘if you have to ask, then you’ll never understand’ but I rationalise it down to two things. One, because I want to and two; because I can.”

Yes, we want to and we certainly hope that we can make it to Kenya. We want to see more of the world, experience different cultures, meet new people and see some fantastic sights. But, we also want to embrace a bit of the misery too. It’s going to be really, really tough. We have to cover a lot  of miles every day to make it to Kenya on time – more than Mark Beaumont did per day when setting his round the world record, ouch! We will have to negotiate deserts, mountain ranges, alien dialects and strange food. It certainly won’t all be plain sailing and there are bound to be plenty of mishaps and misadventures along the way that will test us both mentally and physically. That is all part of the why, challenging ourselves and hopefully succeeding.

But, amongst all this adventurous bravado there is a good, honest, sensible reason that has fuelled our passion for this challenge from day 1. That is the difference we (and all of you who are supporting us) can make to the lives of those helped by the Turning Point Trust.


On the edge of Nairobi there is a mass of humanity living in appalling conditions. It’s called Kibera and it is a 3 km2 slum that an estimated 1 million people call home. Rubbish and raw sewage run down the lanes, families live in single mud rooms with leaky tin roofs, and crime and insecurity are rife. Even Lenny Henry, a seasoned visitor to Africa with Comic Relief, couldn’t help but be moved by the pitiful hand to mouth existence of Kibera’s inhabitants whilst living there for a recent documentary. 

Turning Point work to raise people out of this poverty through Children’s centres, finance programmes and farm projects that move single mum’s and their kids out of Kibera to a new life in the country. That is what we are pedalling for, it’s the answer to our adventure.

Fun on the Farm




2 Responses to “Why are we doing this?”

  1. smiffy42 May 31, 2011 at 9:23 am #

    Mat, you make this sound like to have entered (that might be a bad choice of word) a Miss World contest “We want to see more of the world, experience different cultures, meet new people and see some fantastic sights. ”

    Will you be riding some sections in evening wear and some in swimwear?



  1. Cycle to Kenya in 70 Days - May 27, 2011

    […] a recent blog post, Mat and Tim talk about why they’ve decided to ride a tandem to Kenya: We want to see more of the world, experience different cultures, meet new people and see some […]

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