Fun Zim Ride

Richard Pantlin
Join the ride

That’s great !
First and foremost:

If you do decide to take part in the ride, you do so entirely at your own risk.  Neither of the charities being sponsored via this site nor any of the organisers of the Fun Zim Ride, takes responsibility for your safety or your travel arrangements.  Having said that, the more people take part and raise funds for Zimbabwe, the better and the more fun it will be.  The organisers are happy to share detailed plans and contacts with like-minded riders to facilitate that.
Secondly – some practicalities:


To be confirmed but the current intention is to complete the ride in Harare on Zimbabwe Independence Day Saturday 18 April 2009.  That means leaving Bulawayo on Wed 9 April.  You should allow at least a week in advance to acclimatise and make local arrangements.  Easter Sunday 2009 falls on 13 April.

The ride

The ride will be physically challenging: 7 days cycling at an average of 80 kms (50 miles per day).  A reasonable level of fitness and bike training will be required but the objective is not an extreme physical endurance test.  There will be time for rests, contingencies, some sight-seeing and socialising.  Most cycling will be done in the mornings before the full heat of the day.

The roads

Due to fuel shortages even the main roads are relatively quiet and it is intended to stick to tarmaced roads.

The physical conditions

Temperatures will be cooling by April but still above 20 degrees C in the day perhaps dropping to 6 degrees C at night.  It will be dry season but there may be showers.  Strong winds are not expected.  Broadly speaking, there is a down gradient for the first third of the ride (dropping approx 400 metres in height).  Into and beyond Masvingo there is a more gentle incline to varying degrees for the remainder of the ride into Harare which is at a similar elevation to Bulawayo.


It is expected that accommodation will be a mixture of camping and staying in houses of personal contacts with one or two nights in commercial lodgings.  You may need to make some of your own accommodation arrangements.

Food & water

There are some food shortages and clean drinking water can be difficult to obtain.  We will have to carry some of both plus sterilisation equipment as well as relying on local contacts in some of the towns en route.

Local support

The only local support for the ride as such is expected to be one or two local men who will act as interpreters in Shona and Ndebele and provide a degree of security.  It is hoped that they will also pull a trailer with supplies and equipment.


The intention is to purchase bikes locally including a trailer of the type that can subsequently be used as a bicycle ambulance.  The bikes are expected to be left in Zimbabwe as part of the charitable effort.  If you join and wish to bring your own bike you will have to make your own arrangements.  We will need to be self-sufficient for repairs and spares and have contingency plans for major problems.  There will be no facilities for cycle repairs or spares between Masvingo and Harare.


You will need to make your own arrangements for inoculations and medical supplies but we may be able to offer advice nearer the time.

Flights & insurance

You will need to make your own arrangements for flights & travel insurance.


As you can see, there is a lot to think about and many arrangements still to be made. If you are still interested in joining us, then you may well be the sort of person we are looking for!  We will be able to provide you with more information and would be keen to talk to you and meet well before the ride.

Please email:

through my page at

Just Giving

For details of the supported charity, click
Help International

Thanks very much!