From London to Istanbul, CrazyBikeGuy has raised over R200 000 after cycling 8,800+ km unassisted for charity!
Johannesburg, South Africa – On the 27 June 2019 CrazyBikeGuy, Grant Cameron-Smith completed a three-month, 8800 km endurance mountain bike journey from London to Istanbul raising funds to equip autistic young adults in need for life-long independence through meaningful employment. The R200 000 raised from a broad spectrum of generous donors and sponsors will be used to build South Africa’s first Special Kneads Café, and Skills Training Centre planned to open in Rivonia, Johannesburg, in early 2020.
Founder of the Special Kneads Café, Kim Rundle said; “We are so excited to have received these much-needed funds and cannot wait to get the ball rolling on our new training centre.” Rundle thanked both local and international corporates such as B2B Catering, Illy Coffee, CoffeeQuip, as well as every individual and organisation who contributed to this worthy cause.
Special Kneads Café will work with Edu360 Academy, an independent, remedial education provider operating across Southern Africa offering world-class education programmes to learning-challenged students needing specialist education. The programme focuses on equipping participants to become self-sufficient and integrating into society through employment.
“Every cent will go towards helping young adults with autism develop skills that will enable them to find employment and build independent lives,” added Rundle.
To complete this epic bike ride, Cameron-Smith underwent a customised strength training programme devised by a top bio kineticist. Beginning his journey in London on March 13, Grant cycled across France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro, Albania, Macedonia, Bulgaria and Greece, completing his odyssey in Istanbul, Turkey, on 27th June 2019. Continuous rain and poor conditions made his first month extremely challenging.
On the move for 510 hours, covering an average of 124 km per day at an average speed of 17.4 km/hr, and climbing nearly 10 times the height of Mount Everest during the trip, Cameron-Smith’s not-so-memorable experiences included: bike breakages, hypothermia in France, cycling through ice, snow, thick fog and rain in the Pyrenees, a middle ear infection affecting his balance, food poisoning in Spain, extreme heat and rugged terrain in northern Macedonia and Bulgaria, being attacked by dogs and dodging killer traffic in Turkey, and assisting a motorcyclist who crashed off a mountainside in Italy.
At the start of the ride, Cameron-Smith carried three litres of water, but as he moved further east and the weather grew warmer, his water needs rose to 13 litres per day, increasing his total load to almost 70 kilograms, including his bike. The upshot was that Cameron Smith lost 11kg of body weight during the ride.
Cameron-Smith admits that “this has been the hardest physical and mental activity that I have ever done. The biggest challenge was to keep maintaining a positive mental attitude throughout, especially when physically exhausted, sick, in danger, or when things went badly wrong. This was when it became critical to focus on the greater cause.”
Asked whether, with hindsight, he would do it again, Cameron-Smith hints at another far bigger, and tougher, charity challenge that he is considering for 2021.