DO I NEED TO TRAIN FOR THIS RIDE?
The short answer, yes. Your ride, and experience as a whole, will be that much more enjoyable if you get some time in the saddle. Days can be long (up to 6 hours), and you can expect rolling hills, hard packed dirt with some sand, and a little asphalt! Historically Chooda has organized training rides on weekends during the months leading up to Bike Zambia, for folks living in the San Francisco area. All riders will be connected via social media and email long before you depart, so organizing your own rides with fellow participants will also be easy and a great way to meet other members of the group!
can I use my phone in zambia?
Many US carriers have great international plans these days that you can simply add onto your existing plan for the duration that you are away. We suggest that you research options there first. Alternatively, a SIM card can be purchased in Zambia, and we can pre-arrange this for you if you want one. You will need to have an UNLOCKED phone for these SIM cards to work. We will have electrical charging stations along the way, and many places that you will stay will have WIFI, but it is never guaranteed to work or be fast.
What type of vaccinations do I need?
Chooda recommends that you follow the guidelines set forth by the Center of Disease Control and Prevention for travel in Zambia. Play close attention to the Yellow Fever requirements as some countries require it on entry (South Africa for example). So if you are planning on traveling and visiting other countries you should get that vaccine.
Do I need to bring my own bike?
No! We will all be riding on the same mountain bikes which will be provided for you on arrival in Zambia. They are from a German company called Silverback and have suspension forks at the front and a rigid frame, with no rear suspension. It is essential that we are all on the same equipment as accessibility to spare parts in Africa can be challenging, so to have multiple makes and models is impossible. You may bring your own seat if you have a favorite and we will ask for your bike size during the registration process.
What are the accomModations like?
Most evenings are camping in campsites that have all the normal amenities like showers and restrooms (please note, there is no guarantee that the showers will be warm, but they will always be refreshing!) There are a few evenings that are in hotel like accommodations or 'luxury camping'. You will be asked who you want to share a tent/room with, prior to departing for Zambia. Every rider will need to bring with them a sleeping bag (we recommend at 20 degree bag) and a travel pillow. Temperatures rarely dip into the 40's in June and July, but the nights can still be chilly!
How is the ride supported?
Chooda has worked with an outfitter on the ground in Zambia since year one. Thorntree Safaris are there for you from the second you land, through to the end of the event. We have support vehicles that travel with the riders to ensure everyones safety throughout. Don't worry, they won't be so close you are getting a mouth full of dust!
WILL THERE BE MEDICAL STAFF?
There will be a medical professional that joins the ride, yes! It is important to note that they are volunteering their services and are there in an advisory capacity, and in the case of emergencies only. We will provide you with a list of basic medications that we require you to be self sufficient on (ibuprofen, antibiotics, Pepto Bismul etc) this must also include any prescription medicine that you might need (inhaler's, Epi pen's, RX drugs). We can connect you with our medical staff prior to the ride if you have any specific concerns or questions.