Friday, April 17, 2009

Local Media Covers Enduro Africa 2009

On Wednesday, I was tickled to receive an email from a colleague alerting me that the online edition of our community paper, the Gazette, had published an article on my participation in Enduro Africa 2009.

Here's a snippet:

On his next motorized adventure, he may not find a lot of stress relief. But Forsyth, who works at the National Institute of Mental Health at the National Institutes of Health, can't wait for the 1,500-mile off-road motorbike ride to start.

The ride, Enduro Africa 2009, will start on Oct. 2 this year and will take about 100 riders all around the southern part of the continent, beginning in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. The ride is expected to take about eight days and will test the riders' endurance as they traverse the beautiful natural terrain and countryside of the area, from mud-jammed streams to mountain passes and open plains.

I have to admit that I was a bit nervous speaking with the journalist - it simply isn't a big part of what I've been trained to do as a scientist. But I quickly found that my enthusiasm for the work that the charities do, the tremendous need in Sub-Saharan Africa, and the prospect of a long distance, off-road ride through one of the most beautiful countries in the world took over. Within minutes, I was practically standing on my chair, hands gesturing wildly ... the whole routine.

Forsyth is trying to prepare for the grueling trip by taking off-road courses in Virginia, and jokes that he'll end up mimicking previous bikers who are shown in a 2006 video tumbling off their bikes into a rocky stream. He has a lot of mountain biking experience he thinks will help, even though he isn't sure what the exact route will be yet for the Enduro Africa race.

The interview was fun and offered important lessons about being well prepared. But the article has already led to a number of fascinating discussions about HIV, including what it is doing to Washington DC as well as other urban and rural areas of the U.S. Makes me wonder if the next trek should be Enduro America. More on that later.

Two important corrections to the article are noteworthy. The first is that no UNICEF-specific sites will be visited, although others will be. And second, because EA ended its affiliation with Riders for Health last year, it will not donate our bikes to charities, which will enable it to maximize the amount of funds donated.

Click here to read the Gazette article, which includes an interview with another one of the 6 U.S.-based riders.

1 comment:

Andrew said...

Thanks so much to Ed, Julia, Charlotte, and others for their generous contributions during this fund drive. We're well over 33% of the way toward this weekend's goal of raising an additional $1000. Thank you, thank you, thank you!