John Stanford

Filed in Adventurers by on August 11, 2015 • views: 3754

John Stanford: Putney to London

9.5 months and 15 000 km ago, John Stanford left London on his bicycle to come to Cape Town in support of ‘Save the Rhino International’ and to have an adventure.



I met John at his mother’s home in Westlake, Cape Town and this bearded bundle of energy opened the gate. Still high on adrenaline from finishing 7 days ago – John welcomed me in and shared his experiences with me.

His bicycle as he fondly refers to as ‘bergie’ or ‘hobo’ was standing on the front lawn fully kitted for our photoshoot.

The idea to travel to South Africa from the UK on motorbike had always been a lingering thought for John, but when friend Pierre suggested they do it together on a bicycle, he actioned the plan immediately. The budget would be less and he time spent on the road / track would be longer thus getting more time not only travelling through Africa but also feeling her pulse and rhythm.


After planning and saving for 18 months, Pierre and John left on their long trip down south. At a juncture in Kenya, they parted ways to follow their own routes to the southern tip of our beautiful continent.

John said he had very few issues or complications on the way. With only 4 punctures in 15000 km and no broken spokes – John has developed a love affair with his bicycle.

Helen, his girlfriend who flew to Cape Town to be part of the finish line was informed today that the bike when flown back home is going to have its own bedroom. The bike may have 2 wheels, but Helen in jest chirped that she feels like the third wheel (hahaha) in this relationship.


The Rhino poaching issue is close to John’s heart and thus he added a fund raising and awareness element to the ride down endorsing the ‘Save the Rhino International’ organisation based in the UK. Always a sceptic and justifiably so, John was cautious to which organisation he wanted to align with as he needed 100% proof that the funds he generates gets spent correctly and wisely – and this is the case with ‘Save the Rhino International’ John states.


Medically besides a diarrhoea attack in Ethiopia and back issues further on in Kenya – all went according to plan. When the first above mentioned occurred in Ethiopia, he was two days from a lodge (2400 high in elevation) and he fought hard to get there – consuming only a litre of coke in 2 days. Weak and severely dehydrated he arrived and 9 days later of recuperation, John was fit and strong enough to continue.

The other injury worth mentioning was because of tumble deluxe whilst participating in a mountain bike race in Lusaka. 400 km out and 3 days away, John received word that his friends had organised him a last minute entry into the 3 days race in Lusaka – He just had to get there in time. Pushing hard for three days, John made it to Lusaka in time for the race and well ….. – watch the video below.
We see the rock – he didn’t…………….

When you meet John, you see a free spirited character that will say yes to anything. He works as a costing analyst in the private medical field, so even though his exterior resembles that of a happy go lucky chap, John plans and thinks everything through with his analytical brain. This is his success and a major contributing factor to his arriving safely here in Cape Town.


When asked what next – “South America seems interesting” was his answer!


John Stanford, you are an Awesome South African – safe travels and happy planning for your next venture.


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