Ok – lessons I’ve learned while bicycling across Namibia:

1) Never, and I mean never, jump in with a group of seasoned, hard-core cyclists for the last 1,200 miles when they’re on the final stretch of their unfathomable 7,500 mile ride and expect to keep up.

2) Namibia is a friggen desert. My Garman thermometer registered 112.5 degrees mid-day. Hydrate is the mantra.

3) Most of the roads in Namibia are dirt, wash boarded, full of sand and very dusty. Momentum is a concept – not a reality.

4) People in Namibia drive very, very fast and have little, actually no, regard for cyclists so you better get the hell out of the way.

5) Namibian flies can actually keep up with you at any speedy and repeatedly attempt to nest in your nose holes.

6) You can actually bruise your bum on a bicycle. I mean black/blue bruise. (I wear 2 pair of cycling shorts – seriously.)

7) After being “in the saddle” for 8 hours you can go to bed at 6:00pm and not wake up until morning.

8) It’s possible to wash all of your riding gear in an 8 x 14 inch sink. It takes approximately 6 hours for a pair of padded cycling shorts to dry.

Yes – these first 7 days have been quite a learning experience. A little more than I bargained for perhaps. But I’m still here and I’m still pedaling.

More to come! Gil

May 5th, 2016

Posted In: Extreme Karma Event

[Photo: Troy, Kevin, Gil & Eric on our first rest day in largest sand dunes in the world ]

I do remember mentioning that occasionally one should put oneself in a position to ask “What in the ever loving world have I gotten myself into!”

At this very moment I cannot recall the exact thought process behind that sentiment.

I have just come in from the 7th day of riding ALL DAY. The 1st 6 days on rough sandy roads. Today we rode on a little pavement – that was very nice. All days have been in 112 degrees heat.

You might wonder what that does to a person. Here is a small idea:

It is 6pm. I am about to go to sleep for the night. After the days ride, covered in dirt and a little fatigued, I drank 1/2 gallon of water, a beer, 3 cokes, and some energy drinks.

OK!! I am out of my comfort zone. Let the comfort zone expanding begin.

Goodnight, Gil



May 4th, 2016

Posted In: Extreme Karma Event

Note from Kevin:

We are here in Namibia, nice people, good food and very clean. We are staying few miles from where the tour group is staying , so I thought it would be a good idea to ride over and pump up my tires with a good pump with a pressure gauge on it. First off they drive on the wrong side of the road. Instinct says to swerve right when flustered, here it puts you right into oncoming traffic. Quite unnerving.
Finally I got to the group camp, the crew was there along with a few other riders. I found a pump, started with the back tire took it up to 60 psi and boom, blew the tire off the rim. It splattered tire sealant all over the area and me… the next 45 minutes was spent trying to reseat the uncooperative tubeless tire that now has a tube in it.
I’m sure they are thinking what the hell is he doing here… Oh well first impressions…
Off we go tomorrow. Maybe things will go better. Looking forward to it


Note from Kim:

Day 2 of riding is complete. 13 more to go! I note safely from my cozy office. (hee hee hee)

April 29th, 2016

Posted In: Extreme Karma Event

After 5 months of training…

We’re finally off to Namibia. Meeting up with Kevin in Seattle.

Hope the bikes make it!

April 22nd, 2016

Posted In: Extreme Karma Event

Amigos y Amigas,

We (brothers Gil & Troy Gillenwater, Kevin Johansen & Eric Brandenburg) have decided to shake up our comfortable lives & embark on our own “Extreme Sport/Extreme Karma” fundraising event.

Get this…

Our friend, Mike Hobin, is riding the entire continent of Africa from Cairo, Egypt to Cape Town, South Africa – 7,500 miles. Can you believe it? We will be joining Mike in Windhoek, Namibia and riding the final 1,200 miles into Cape Town – in 15 days.

Mike started riding on January 15, 2016, and we will join him on April 28th. Namibia has the largest sand dunes in the world and 30% of the roads will be paved. Now that’s an adventure.

Mike is a Rancho Feliz “Guardian Warrior” and he is raising money for Rancho Feliz. We want to do the same.

So please check out our posts and support our efforts with a donation. (Our shared goal is $50,000 and all donations go directly to the charity and not funding our trip.)

We are firm believers that in our relative existence, comfort zones are most often expanded through discomfort. And if occasionally we don’t ask ourselves,

“What in the ever loving world have I gotten myself into!”

We’re not doing it right.

Talk with you soon!

Gil, Troy, Kevin & Eric

April 21st, 2016

Posted In: Extreme Karma Event

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