Twenty-four participants from the UK transport and logistics industry have returned safely after an extremely tough cycle ride across Zambia with new found bums of steel!  The group journeyed over 420km on two wheels from Lusaka to Livingstone in just five days during May, whilst raising funds for Transaid.

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The Transaid Cycle Zambia team visited the charity’s Professional Driver Training project en route and saw first hand the impact of their support which is seeing local driver trainers and students benefitting from improved teaching techniques and quality driver training.

The gruelling journey over undulating tarmac and dirt roads tested the skill and co-ordination of the most senior logistics personnel.  Harjot Singh of Royal Mail and Andy Brown from Wincanton both came unseated on the rough terrain and somersaulted over the handle bars, but even this didn’t deter them from finishing the ride.

Not content with the challenge of the 420km cycle, several of the group decided to end the trip by throwing themselves off the Victoria Falls Bridge in true bungee style – much to the fear of Transaid’s marketing manager who had to stop herself from prematurely celebrating the group’s arrival in one piece!

On his return, one of the cyclists taking part, Chris Dolman from ATS Euromaster, said to Tachoblog, “It was a fantastic ‘once in a lifetime challenge’ that I would highly recommend to anybody.  The combination of the welcoming Zambian people, the awesome landscape and the overwhelming support from the ground team and my fellow cyclists made this a truly memorable experience.  Being able to see the work that Transaid do and experiencing the issues with the road network brought the whole context of the challenge to reality.”

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So far the group has raised a total of £90,000 which will contribute towards Transaid’s work in the region, which is currently focused around the Professional Driver Training Project launched last autumn by the charity’s patron, HRH The Princess Royal.  Transaid has also pioneered a bicycle ambulance project in the region which has already saved the lives of local people, including a pregnant mother who experienced life-threatening complications and several HIV/AIDS patients in need of urgent healthcare.

Transaid would like to say a huge thank you to all participants and companies within the industry who have sponsored the team and given their support. This includes Wincanton, Volvo Trucks, ATS Euromaster, Bridgestone UK, Traderman Systems, Jackson Gilmour, Telefonica O2 UK, NEXT, Royal Mail, JMP Consultants, Bedforshire Police, Jacobs Engineering, System Group, and International Freighting Weekly.

Chris Saunders, Transaid Chief Executive told Tachoblog, “The funds raised represent a huge amount of income for Transaid which is desperately needed for us to continue our vital work to make transport cleaner, safer, and more effective across Africa.  Road deaths are fast becoming the third biggest killer in Africa and with the huge generosity of the industry here in the UK, it is enabling us to make a real impact for the better.”

To find out more about Transaid’s projects or to make a donation please visit www.transaid.org or contact the marketing team by email to marketing@transaid.org