Kili to Cape by bike

Trip to raise funds for school­girls

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - TE­BOGO MONAMA

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.