Many athletes train for something specific. They are dedicated to refining skills, developing strength, and maintaining a peak level of fitness in order to win. Few training programs are designed around the most extreme of endurance sports where the objective is to simply make it home from a few weeks ‘out there’.
Training takes on an entirely new meaning when you are high in the most remote and rugged mountainous corners of Africa with nothing more than a bike and just enough gear to live.
Jeffrey is an adventure philanthropist. Adventure cycling is his sport and his We Ride Africa (www.werideafrica.com) project is his mechanism to give back.
He is hesitant to call himself an athlete because his journey to fitness and such an extreme sport began when he was 300-pounds. Today Jeffrey is a ‘diesel engine’ on a bike with an insatiable desire to ride it places most would rather not go.
Jeffrey’s next trek is across Ethiopia on a fat bike he has named ‘Hank’. From Ethiopia’s capital city of Addis Ababa he will ride south toward Kenya and Somalia and spend weeks riding and camping in various traditional villages. These villages are so poor and off the beaten track that he is fairly confident nobody has ever ridden a bike there. The villages he is riding to are more important than a destination. He is raising money to build water infrastructure that will change these villages forever.
To be able to push your body for 12 to 20 hours a day, day in and day out requires a certain type of fitness. One that takes the element of mental focus to a place few are comfortable going.
His physique is not what you would expect from a cyclist. He is powerful. A dedication to the gym and lifting weights has given Jeffrey an advantage in such remote and isolated places but he knows full well it’s a serious disadvantage when he is on his road bike with the local race club. He is not the fastest but he can go the furthest and he is not afraid of being afraid.
When your sport is adventure, training becomes focused on being physically and mentally prepared for what you can’t prepare for.