ENG – It’s been a few weeks since I launched my crowdfunding campaign and a bit more than three weeks since I left Brussels. Since then, a lot has happened and it seems my call for support has been well received despite my lack of presence on social media. All in all, it is 1.180€ that were transferred to the bank account of the Belgian Diabetes Association as of Octobre 12th 2017. This is a considerable amount, yet I will need your help to spread the word on social media, your group of friends, colleagues and relatives to reach the target of 5.000€ and make it possible to reach the necessary amount to make Bike with Diabetes a reality in Egypt, the Sudan and Ethiopia !
But how has the cycling been so far, you may wonder ?
Well, the weather was a bit capricious and rainy the day of the departure, yet many of you were present at the feet of the elephant of place Flagey ! I’m not sure how to describe the event as it was the consecration of hundreds, if not thousands, of hours of research and planning. The dream was becoming a reality as I was leaving a well settled life to dive into another reality where the unknown waits at every next corner, however terrifying or thrilling this may sound.
My friend Ryan McKenna, the creator of the dynamic temperature map of Africa, cycled with me for three days before flying back to Ireland.
Since then, my friend Sarah who I met at the Cycle Touring Festival in Clitheroe in 2017, joined me. I believe we make a good team even though Sarah, more often than not, has to wait for me when I finish packing my stuff in the morning or when cycling. Indeed, the trailer containing some of the gear I need, feels as heavy as a dead donkey whenever the road goes upwards.
Yet, all in all, it took us only 10 days to cover 675 km and reach Dijon, the capital of Burgundy.
We spent a well deserved day of rest at André, Brigitte and Clémentine’s, hosts we found on Warmshowers, a social network of traveling cyclists. Then another day of rest as I had a few matters to solve in prevision of the next leg of my journey in Egypt and the Sudan.
Sarah cycled further south as I took a train towards #Lyon where I met with a few good friends and discussed a few matters concerning Bike with Diabetes.
Near Montelimar I was informed that the container I ordered in the Netherlands had arrived in Spain, at Industrias JLL, which will produce a custom made trailer for Bike with Diabetes. Though the container won’t prevent robbery by itself, it will reduce the risk as it can be locked, unlike the simple bag I was travelling with until then. I hence needed to bring my bike down to Alforja for measurements which I could do thanks to my friend Philippe de Buck who suggested me to take his car.
This means I am now near Barcelona waiting for the trailer to be produced. And once again, I’m being hosted by wonderful people who carry their name very well : the Bueno family !
Five children, nine grand children and a bunch of comics to read, among which those drawn by Cristina Bueno. This means I’m practising my Spanish and am even learning Catalan thanks to “Sostres”, one of Cristina’s comics !
And once the trailer is ready, probably before I get fluent in Catalan, I’ll drive back to Montelimar to bring back the car to Philippe. I will then have to hurry towards Marseille to be on time for the boat that will bring me to Egypt. I’m pretty sure the crossing of the Mediterranean will be a story in itself…
Last but not least let me remind you how you can support Bike with Diabetes :
1. By transferring the amount of your choice to the bank account of the Belgian Diabetes Association (ABD) through a unique or monthly payment. Make sure to mention « Donation to Bike with Diabetes » in your bank transfer. Without that mention, the money will not benefit Bike with Diabetes !
REGULAR BANK TRANSFER :
Association Belge du Diabete ASBL
Place Homere Goossens 1
BE 55 7360 3230 8744
BIC : KREDBEBB
COMMUNICATION : Donation Bike with Diabetes
2. Through an online payment via PayPal through this link : https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=D9Y7LU4NAXRGQ
In both cases the ABD will send you a donation invoice for amounts superior or equal to 40€ (beware that PayPal transfer fees apply). The invoice you will receive from the ABD is valid in all EU member states, UK included).