I had the privilege to meet Gerald Coniel in 2012. What an inspirational human being. It’s not every day that a 24 year old can meet the CEO of the company he works at. Let alone having a conversation with him. Gerald is one of those people who leave you inspired after a five-minute conversation. Especially if he tells you that he cycled all the way from Cairo to Cape Town while having some severe hip injuries/difficulties in his younger days.
When Gerald visited South Africa from Europe for Junk Mail’s 20th birthday, he gave us all a copy of his book titled “The Slow Way Down”. A book that inspires you to do more with your life. A message that motivates you to just slow down a little, and get out of your comfort zone.
What I like most about this book is that we as South Africans don’t take the time and effort to travel our own continent, but always flock to Europe. Most of the time, it is the other way around with Europeans. They are hungry to experience South Africa and our rich culture.
12 000 km on a bicycle. From Cairo to Cape Town. Giving up everything that you were doing for four months and just cycle. Now, any true cyclist will know what type of impact a 12 000 km race will have on your self esteem, and not to mention your butt.
Just by reading this book, it feels like you are part of this grueling experience. You can feel the pain he feels. You almost start to cramp. Your heart starts to race as you realize, he might just miss the cut-off time and not be part of the EFI, Every Flippen (for a lack of better words) Inch, club. If you are an avid cyclist, you will know this abbreviation.
Just imagine, you only have 40kg that you can carry with you (on a truck obviously). What will you take with you? Gerald Coniel tells us how he sacrificed cycling gear, warm clothes, and other essential utilities just so that he can actually capture every single inch of this race. 12 000 kms to cover, Gerald commits himself to take a photo every kilometer. You can do the math.
From sandstorms to tropical thunderstorms. Peanut butter sandwiches and a lot of bananas. Experience every single moment of this amazing book. Be sure to grab a copy on Amazon and experience the heart and commitment of someone with a clear mindset and true dedication.
If this book does not leave you inspired to buy a bicycle and go out to cycle, I don’t know what will convince you.
Hats off to Gerald Coniel!