Works Sponsorship Programme : Andrew Pincott
Words: Andrew Pincott
Photographs: Andrew Pincott & Mark Richardson
We’re happy to announce that the first person we'll be supporting through our Works Sponsorship Programme will be Andrew Pincott. We met for a coffee to hear more about his plans.
Will this be the first motorcycle trip you’ve been on?
Aside from touring and weekends away, this will be the third trip I’ve been on in Africa. All have been to raise money and support Riders for Health - a charity which uses motorcycles to ensure life-saving healthcare reaches rural communities in Africa
The first trip was to Zambia in 2011. Twelve of us including the Riders for Health’s co-founder, Randy Mamola, and MotoGP star Alvaro Bautista covered 1100km across the country from top to bottom, side to side. In 2015, nine of us went to visit the operations in The Gambia. We travelled to hospitals, health clinics, and out to meet health visitors and nurses working within communities. These photographs are from those two trips.
What’s the plan for your trip in October?
Fourteen of us will be delivering twenty-two new Suzuki DR200 trail bikes to health workers in Lesotho. We currently have two people there already who will be travelling with us in a 4x4. We also have a paramedic… just in case.
We’ll be riding for twelve days - starting and finishing in Maseru, the countries only city. On route, we will be riding out with health workers to visit five remote clinics and passing the Mohale and Katse dams. The plan is to replace the existing motorcycles with our new bikes when we arrive back in the capital.
It promises to be the most challenging trip I’ve done in Africa. We will be climbing 10,000ft up into the mountains, covering some very tough terrain through powerful weather systems. Yes, we have a support vehicle, but there will be places that they wont be able to follow. A trip like this is inspiring, humbling - and daunting. As many of my fellow travelers will tell you, riding off-road is not my forte. I wouldn’t normally consider it unless it was for a worthy cause like Riders for Health.
What inspired this trip?
After several years fundraising in the UK, the opportunity to meet the health workers we were supporting in Africa, and raise more money in the process, was irresistible.
The people who have inspired this trip are many. Whether it’s the people I’ve met or seen on the two previous trips; a midwife eagerly looking forward to riding to her reach her patients instead of walking 30km, the unrestrained joy of the children and people you meet or the contrasting languor of the undernourished children you see.
Two of my biggest inspirations are Andrea Coleman and Randy Mamola - the co-founders of Riders for Health. Their strong belief in the power of the motorcycle to save lives drives them on, and us with them.
Could you let us know a bit more about the work Riders for Health do in Africa?
In Africa, doctors, nurses and ambulance drivers have to cross vast areas of incredibly tough terrain to treat patients. This creates a very real challenge as the vehicles and fuel may not be available or reliable and, there isn't the network of well-maintained roads or service centres that we have in the developed world. In a lot of places, a motorcycle is the only way to ensure life-saving healthcare gets to rural communities.
Riders for Health train and provide reliable transport to health workers so that they can reach remote villages and families whenever needed with both medical supplies and the education and instruction that must go alongside those remedies. Two Wheels for Life is an arm of this charity tasked with raising money to fund these programmes in the UK.
For more than twenty years, Riders for Health has operated in the Sub-Saharan Africa. It now has active operations in eight countries.
What is important to you when it comes to motorcycle clothing on expeditions?
Lesotho’s climate is wide-ranging. In September / October it can vary from 6 °C at night to 24 °C in the day. Rain and even snow is not unknown at altitude. I want clothing that will let me concentrate on what I’m doing and where I am, not how to cope with changing conditions. I also want something I can wear off the bike - without always looking like I’m dressed as a biker. The Eversholt Jacket neatly combines form with function.
How can people help to support this work?
I'd obviously be pleased if people would help by sponsoring me. Here’s a link to my fundraising page.
For those looking for other ways to support Two Wheels for Life, and thus the work Riders for Health’s do in Africa, on their website you will find online auctions and information on other activities which help to continue this good work.
On this trip to Lesotho, we will be supporting Andrew with an Eversholt Jacket. If you are planning a motorcycle trip and would like to be considered for sponsorship, please follow the link below to apply.