Kili to Cape by bike
Trip to raise funds for schoolgirls
CAPETONIAN Chris Dippenaar sees his expedition to Mount Kilimanjaro as warm-up for next year’s “real deal”, despite the fact that he he will be doing it with an 11kg bike on his back.
And while other summiters will be walking down the mountain after reaching the peak, Diepenaar will be riding down the mountain.
Diepenaar will embark on this gruelling activity in an attempt to raise funds for schoolgirls.
However, asked why he decided to hike up the 5 895m mountain with a bike on his back, Dippenaar said: “I really like riding my bike.”
He got the idea of hiking up Kilimanjaro last year when he attended a benefit dinner for Caring4Girls.
“I was sitting there and thought I need to do this.
“When I asked if I could go up with my bike, everyone thought I was a little crazy.”
Fortunately, the bike was donated to him.
“All in all with my backpack and water, I will be carrying 16kg. It’s not that heavy but it is just an awkward structure.”
Dippenaar will not be the first to take his bike up the mountain.
Rebecca Rusch and Patrick Sweeney summited the mountain to raise funds for World Bicycle Relief in March last year.
Dippenaar says this adventure is one of the craziest, but most exciting, things he has done.
“This is just the start of my big dream for next year’s Kilimanjaro,” he said.
Dippenaar plans to take his bike up the mountain again next year, ride it down and then ride all the way back to Cape Town.
“I am already talking about it now because I want to convince people to come along with me. If we get the funding, it will take us about two months to complete the journey. We are doing it for a great cause, so that will be great,” he said.
When Dippenaar returns to Cape Town from Kilimanjaro, he will stop in different countries to discuss menstrual health with communities.
His motivation comes from being the father of three girls.
“My oldest daughter is at the age where she will get her periods (soon). I don’t want menstrual challenges to be one of the challenges that stop her or her peers from attending school. I also want to show my young girls that there is nothing wrong with raising funds for a taboo-ish subject like this.”
His passion for raising funds for girls has aroused the interest of his oldest daughter Mia, 12, who plans to join him on the Trek4Mandela expedition next year. Hikers can go up the mountain from as young as 10.
“She is keen to do Kili with me next year. She wants to be the youngest girl to climb up the mountain with her bike and cycle down,” Dippenaar said.
“She wants to be adventurous like her dad, but it is still not confirmed if she will go.
“When I come back from this year’s climb, I will discuss it with her and see if she still wants to do it,” he said.
To practise, Dippenaar hikes up Table Mountain at least twice a week. He said: “I go up the mountain with my bike and come down on the cable car. So I do that twice. Coming down with the bike is not easy on the knees, and is dangerous.”
“I am novice who just has a thirst for adventure. I want to ultimately inspire young kids and raise funds at the same time.
“I want them to know that you can accomplish anything if you persevere.”
ADVENTURER: Chris Dippenaar will be climbing Mount Kilimanjaro with an 11kg bike on his back.