THE LONG RIDE: Four scooter addicts travelling from Cape Town to Dublin in aid of children’s hospitals stopped off in Bathurst last Wednesday for an ice cream at Treat. From the left are Dave Manor from the USA, Lauren Coyne from Treat in Bathurst, Christopher Venter, Ian Chamberlain and Hein Gerber Picture: TANYA SCHENK
RIDING scooters, and without the aid of any support vehicles, four men are currently riding the 35 000km trip from Cape Town to Dublin, Ireland, in aid of children’s hospitals.
They recently stopped in Bathurst on their way through and met up with Lauren Coyne from Treat where they sample the delicious homemade icecream.
They began their epic journey at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital on February 1 and departed from Cape Town the following day.
The team consists of Christopher Venter, Ian Chamberlain and Hein Gerber from South African and Dave Manor from the USA. On their journey, planned to take eight months to complete, they will be visiting a total of 14 Children’s Hospitals in order to raise money and awareness.
Venter answered some questions about their expedition.
TotT: What made you decide to take on this kind of trip? And why Dublin?
Venter: My daughter had heart surgery at the Red Cross Childrens hospital as a baby and now I want to give back. This is the only way I know how.
TotT: Why did you choose Children’s Hospitals as your cause?
Venter: When your kid has to undergo heart surgery, it makes you open your eyes to paediatric healthcare and its needs.
TotT: What kind of preparation did you do for the trip?
Venter: We spent four years of working on all aspects of the trip, including the sponsorship.
TotT: How long did it take from when you decided to go and when you actually left?
Venter: The concept came about during our last trip in 2006, but we decided seriously four years ago.
TotT: How do your families feel about the expedition?
Venter: It’s hard for them, but they all love and support us. They know how important this type of thing is.
TotT: Are you worried about how your scooters will hold up?
Venter: The LML scooters are tough as nails so we are not too worried about them at all.
TotT: Any problems on the roads?
Venter: The ride from Port St Johns was not only long, but we encountered lots of animals on the first stretch as well as major potholes, crazy drivers and to top it off, heavy mist, rain and busy village traffic on Saturday morning. It was interesting.
TotT: You must travel very light, what do you miss that you have had to leave behind?
Venter: We just miss our loved ones and wish we had an airline sponsor so that we could have them come visit us periodically.
TotT: So how have you found the trip so far?
Venter: The trip is going super well. We are in Durban now and all good so far. It is tough riding such long kilometres but otherwise it is all good. My saying of the moment is “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time”.