An ‘Impossible’ Milestone – CycleTouring Innovators Celebrate Their 100th Expedition

19 February 2024

“At the tender age of 51 years old, I found a purpose for the rest of my life. To create a company that will enable regular folks, young and old, male and female, who are neither extreme athletes, nor dedicated lifelong fitness buffs…to get on a bike and simply have the adventure of a lifetime, get to know a bit of the world, experience different cultures and in the process change their perspective on this amazing planet we live on.” Henry Gold, founder of TDA Global Cycling 

The 2024 Tour d’Afrique that is currently crossing the African continent from Cairo to Cape Town is the 100th long distance cycling expedition run by TDA Global Cycling. 

TDA Global Cycling launched in 2003 by doing something no other company had done before. Founded by Henry Gold and Michael DeJong, they created a supported cycling tour across the entire continent of Africa (Cairo to Cape Town) called the Tour d’Afrique. 

As Henry Gold, now the sole owner, recently remarked on the company’s blog there were initially many doubters. “Crossing Africa from top to bottom on a bicycle was an idea that resulted in a variety of reactions from ‘I am in’ to ‘this is simply not possible’ to ‘you have no idea what it takes to cross borders in Africa’ and ‘you have obviously not spent a day in Africa – if you had you would know this is simply impossible.’”

© TDA Global Cycling

The first tour set a Guinness record, and set the foundations for a new company and a new type of long distance supported bike touring for amateur adventurers. Similar tours, open to everyday cyclists were created in over 80 countries in the years that followed. Each carries with it an expeditionary spirit borne out of that first ride across Africa. “Each one requires an enormous amount of planning, lots of hard work and most of all a devoted and enthusiastic team that has the ability to prepare for the unexpected challenges that arise,” said Gold.

Commenting on the milestone on the company’s Facebook page, one past participant shared what the tours meant to them. “Your tours are so fascinating and inspiring. And very challenging, which keeps us on our toes and pushing boundaries some of us didn’t know we could ever tackle.” While another commented in their website that “You have changed so many lives and have made us realize that nothing is impossible. Joe and I still talk of the TdA most days even though it’s been 20 years since we did it. A lifechanging event doesn’t begin to describe it. Well done, Henry, and I look forward to the 101st tour!”

© TDA Global Cycling

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