As I lie in my hospital bed in pursuit of the aggregation of minimal gain, I now know that vitamins hurt.

Basically I blame Mark Johnson and an inferiority complex born out of a seventh place finish in the Under 8 Alfred Beit Egg and Spoon race, cheated out of a podium position by other boys running faster than me, despite judicious use of my thumb.

My whole athletic inferiority complex came rushing back like a freight train when Mark Johnson stepped off the plane from Australia for our Old Legs Tour with shaved legs. Despite this being a family blog, I thought “Shit, How the hell am I going to keep up with shaved legs?”
And so I allowed Jenny to talk me into an intravenous multi vitamin booster jab. The small print on the clinic wall suggested I would ride way faster than shaved legs so I settled into the plush armchair and screamed silently as the cannula was inserted in my veins. Jenny in the chair next to me told me to stop being a woos and toughen up.

It all went swimmingly well, for about the first thirty seconds. Whence upon I commenced sweating profusely, as in even more than whilst riding on my stationary bike a.k.a. root canal, my veins bulged alarmingly, my eyes rolled and I commenced vomiting. Also round about then I lost interest in proceedings. A hop, a skip and an adrenaline jab later, I was enjoying an ECG complete with oxygen , a heart rate under 40 and a blood pressure reading of 90 over 40. Somewhere around then I’m sure I heard / saw Mr Bean with car jumper leads, shouting clear, but could well have imagined that bit. Although I’ve woken up to find my chest now covered in spare plastic nipple things that look like a shop lifters worst nightmare, I think in case I sneak out of hospital without paying.

Long story short, most probably definitely I’m violently allergic to a preservative in the vitamin cocktail. Oh what fun. I’m in hospital overnight for observation and will most probably have to resort to shaving my legs to try and keep up with Mark Johnson on our way to Mt Kilimanjaro.

And if you think all of the above sounds crappy bordering on unhealthy, I remain in mint condition as compared to Zimbabwe’s poor well buggered economy. This morning the price of fuel all but doubled, again, for the second time in weeks, to $7.90. My nurse in hospital tells me her bus fare home tomorrow will cost her $5.00, up from .50 cents a year ago. And now watch our rate run. Some blogs ago I equated the rate to a picanin who’d just stolen a banana in Mbare. Well our banana thief has just been upgraded to Usain Bolt, on bananas that will for sure make him fail his urine test.

As compared to what’s coming, the winter of our discontent will seem like the good old days. If I was Ed, I’d book myself in for a booster vitamin jab, like the one I had times ten, but only after first shooting my Minister of Finance.

Moving on to positives, Old Legs have started arriving from the world over. Last week, Ryan, over the weekend Mark Johnson with his aforementioned shaven legs, yesterday Reinier in from Belgium, tomorrow Carol Joy from Germany, on Thursday Nik, Hans and Jaap from Switzerland and the Netherlands and then on Friday, Alan Rheeder from Johannesburg, and then the gang’s all here.
I’d like to take a moment to pay tribute to my fellow Old Legs. To help Zimbabwe’s pensioners, they’ve ridden thousands of kilometers in training, often on their own and in crappy weather. They’ve flown across the world at huge personal expense so they can spend the next 5 weeks, away from businesses, jobs and loved ones, to ride 3000 kilometers across Africa, climbing 34000 meters in the process, to raise money and awareness for Zimbabwe’s pensioners. We salute you and thank you. (But that’s still no excuse for shaving your legs, Mark Johnson. Next you’ll be sandpapering your balls.)
Please help them help the pensioners and go to and follow the prompts. In Zimbabwe, transfer to Bulawayo Help Network via their CABS Platinum Account number 1124733450 or their Ecocash merchant number 139149. Monies donated help pensioners country wide.

In closing, this week’s Swahili 101-
Mfupi nyuma na pande zote, hapana nywele juu ya miguu tafadhali Barber!!- Short back and sides and no hair on my legs please Barber!!

Si risasi mimi, tu kutoa mimi vitamini!! – Don’t shoot me, just give me Vitamins!!

Until next week, survive, enjoy if possible and pedal if you can – Eric Chicken Legs de Jong

Photos below – training flat out on my hospital bed, extra nipples to match my extra balls.

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