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Bahmed Cycling Challenge Cup

Tuesday, July 17th, 2007

A couple of days beforehand, we heard that a major bicycle race (115 km or 72 miles) would take place on July 1. We decided to check it out. It was supposed to begin at 9, but being on GMT (Ghana Maybe Time), we left home at about 9, met up with a friend at 9:15 or so and got to the starting point at maybe 9:30. No worries about being late, though. The race actually started at around 11!  Not a great way of avoiding the hottest part of the day.

The top Ghanaian finishers of this race would go on to represent Ghana in the All-Africa Games, so these were fast riders.  An ex-pat friend of ours, Brian, was the lone American (and obruni) in the group.  We cheered him on, as did the other spirited onlookers.

Accra bike race

Above: the cyclists approaching Independence Square.

This wasn’t like a typical American road race.  Car traffic continued on as normal, so the cyclists had to make their way over the potholes and rutted roads amidst overloaded trucks, crazy taxis and risk-taking motorcyclists.  In addition, some genius had planned the Milo Marathon on the very same day, on the very same route.  Some of the marathoners looked like serious runners, while others ran in flip-flops (the dollar store variety) or even bare feet.  They should get a medal no matter how they placed among the finishers. (In case you were wondering, Milo is a chocolate milkish drink made by Nestle – just what you’d like to guzzle down after running 26.2 miles.)

Want more race details?  Check out Brian’s blog post about the event.

In the end we spent 6 hours (!) at the race, most of them in the chase car that followed the racers.  (The organizer of the event invited us to join him for the ride.)   We even helped hand out the prizes to the winners — Dan to the 3rd place rider and Giselle to the 5th place rider.  Why us?  We’re not sure, but hey, it was interesting. 

A crazy way to celebrate one’s 40th birthday

Sunday, July 15th, 2007

No, I don’t mean the 40th birthday of Dan or Giselle, but of Matt, a fellow American in Accra. Being a rather energetic fellow, he organized a 40-mile walk/run in Akosombo, Volta Region, to celebrate his 40th. Some invitees balked at the distance. Ten or so of them opted instead to do 40 km (approximately 24 miles). Four intrepid and incredibly fit people completed the full 40 miles.

The route followed a paved road for a short while, then turned off onto a dirt road that passed through a few small villages. It was quite pleasant for walking since there were few cars and lots of greenery. Occasionally we passed another pedestrian.


G Akosombo walk

waterhead closeup

Giselle stopped at the 9-mile mark, due to blisters and the handy presence of a support vehicle. This was also the site of a village where the children enthusiastically greeted the visitors.

village kids


Sunday, July 15th, 2007
How to carry a bottle and keep your hands free: bottlehead Fort San Antonio, Axim, Western Region:  Fort San Antonio While visiting the Western Region, we stayed at Lou Moon Lodge. Nice place. This was ... [Continue reading this entry]