After a 41-day trip on a bike from London to Lagos, the Nigerian behind the feat, Kunle Adeyanju deserves to be celebrated for daring to pull off such a physically and mentally tasking quest.
Below are 10 things you should know about his journey as revealed in this interview with the CNN.
He Slept Only 3-4 Hours Every Night
“I am sleep-deprived because I slept only three to four hours per night. But I feel proud because I accomplished this challenge.”
He Did It For Polio
“Polio is a personal thing for me… as a boy, my best friend had polio and when we go swimming or play football, he could do none of those things.. Sadly, my friend passed away some years back. If he hadn’t had polio, he probably will still be alive today.”
The Most Dangerous 30 Minutes of His Life
“The experience of riding the Tizi n’Tichka pass, that’s the path that take you to the summit of the Atlas mountain. It’s regarded as the most dangerous road in Africa. It’s packed with adrenaline and it’s a road where you take your eyes off the road for one second or you can go into the ravine…
“It takes about an hour 30 minutes to ride a mountain pass. And I can tell you, it is one of the most difficult one hour 30 minutes of my life.”
The Temperature Once Hit 53 Degrees Celsius
“There was a time I checked the temperature when I was on the Mauritanian side of the Sahara and the tarmac was 53 degrees Celsius (127 F). I was pushing my bike at 150 kph and it was an accident waiting to happen,” he said.
The Sahara Was Eager to Kill Him
“The Sahara is an unfriendly environment,” he said. “It’s not designed to support life. The Sahara is there to kill you. It doesn’t forgive. You make a mistake and you may not come back.”
The Horrors of a Sand Storm
“The Sahara on the Moroccan side is totally different from the Sahara in Mauritania. On the Moroccan side it is extremely windy. I experienced a sandstorm twice which lasted for about 30 to 40 minutes. I had to lay the bike down and lie face down for 30 minutes until the storm passed,”
He Got Carried Away
“I got carried away and I was drinking as I was tired and by the time I realized I had only one liter left in my hydration pack and I had around 450 kilometers still to go.”
The Moment He Almost Died
“Nature spoke for me. Some guys were doing a desert Safari. I drove to them and I couldn’t speak… my speech was slurred… The guy just said ‘don’t talk, don’t talk’. Then he went into his car and gave me two 1.5 liter bottles of water. If I didn’t see those guys, I don’t know whether I will be here today.”
The Moment He Began Hearing Voices
“It brings the voice sound waves clearly to you… and you hear voices all around. Many people think it is spirits but it’s just science.”
His Unexpected Discovery About Africa
“Before going on this ride, I read a lot about the CIA World factbook on the countries I was going to travel to. For example I knocked Burkina Faso off my trip because of what I read about Burkina Faso, but the moment I stepped my foot on the African continent… I can tell you everything I read about the African people or the African country is false, he said.
“Africa is beautiful. It is a land of diversity. It’s a land of hospitality and people are friendly and nice… It was a big eye-opener for me to say that we have been underselling Africa… and we’ve been we’ve not been saying the right things about ourselves. That’s why I have launched a campaign called ‘Think Africa.’ My next vacation, all the things I want to do is in Africa. There’s so much to discover on this continent.”