Go Ahead, Test Your Limits

Tuesday, August 24, 2010
By SeattleTool

Testing one’s limits looks different to every person. For some, it’s staying up past midnight to work on a prized car. Others have to go . . . well . . . a little further.

Racing jets, perhaps. Or circumnavigating Africa, solo, on a motorbike.

This month, 42-year-old bike enthusiast and gym teacher Spencer Conway finished his  286 day circuit around the entire continent of Africa. No camera crew. No support truck. Just Conway, a tent, the supplies he could carry with him and the belief that people along the way would give him a hand.

 And aside from getting shot at once and robbed a couple of times (he did, after all, travel through some of the most dangerous places in the world) the teacher experienced an outpouring of humanity that kept him and his Yamaha XT660 going through the 37,000 mile, 32 country journey.

Conway didn’t tackle the feat without bringing a message with him though. The ride has raised more than $42,000 (Cnd) so far for the charity Save the Children -- which builds and equips schools in Africa -- and more funds will stream in once the trip is chronicled in greater detail in days to come (http://www.africa-bike-adventure.com/home.htm).

The next time you’re sweating over a blown tire or a brake adjustment, think of Conway.

While Conway’s was a feat of distance and endurance, racers at this month’s Race the Base in Cold Lake, Alberta will be testing themselves amongst quick shots of jet fueled adrenaline.

Drivers of exotic cars are putting down the $1500 (Cnd) entry fee to race jets . . . fighter jets . . . on the runway of a military base, August 27-29 . The event’s website (www.zrauto.ca/race-base-challenge) invites entrants to “break the 300 kph barrier legally" . . .you won’t need to worry about pesky nuisances like speed limits, road construction, mini vans and cops.”

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