Nikki “Lettie” HaynesNix ‘Lettie’ Haynes

I haven’t known Ron for long, but he is just one of those people that you instantly connect with and want to be his best friend. I met him 3 years ago at the inaugural running of the Valley Run between Durban’s Blue Lagoon and the Botha’s house in Pietermaritzburg. The most unassuming gentle giant crawled into my heart. Gentle in spirit but a giant of courage, determination and real-ness. It feels like Ron and I are from the same tribe – we can go months without seeing one another, when we do connect it is as if no time has passed we just pick up where we left off..

For Ron to follow his heart and go on this unbelievable epic journey excites me. His incredible braveness and guts to leave comforts and familiarity behind excites me even more! He has taken the mantra of the Mamuloman “health, vitality and mobility” to the next level through this exciting journey to act on a dream.

His decision to call his bike after me, and ‘straddle’ me everyday makes me incredibly emotional and tears are streaming down my cheeks…battling to see the screen right now. It is such an honour and am blown away!
We are so kicking cancers butt and I know that Zoog and I will be joining Ron on one of his legs of his journey.
I can’t wait to be part of this journey with you Ron Rutland, dig you so so much and thank you for being brave enough to follow your heart and to show the world that life is too short not to!

Bob SkinstadBob Skinstad

It is with great pride that I write in support of Ron Rutland, my friend and intrepid adventurer. We have known each other many years and Ron has been an inspirational partner, tourist, friend, player and cause focused benefactor. This new adventure of his is one that makes me both scared and jealous because of the sheer enormity of the challenge, its various incredible experiences, and the fact that I know no one else that could achieve it!

Ron has been an ardent sports fan since the beginning and the fact that he has combined his wanderlust with a very clear goal of taking the support of the continent to their favourite rugby sons is evident of his ability to connect the dots, however far apart and however difficult!

I look forward to his great success on this trip and will be heading toward some far frontier to spend a few days alongside him, and then I look forward to watching him present to the Springboks – a gift of support made from his sweat, tears and the smiles of enthusiastic supporters along a the road of an incredible journey.

Good luck Ron, chat soon and fare ye well !

Colin CharvisColin Charvis

How far? How many countries? No support vehicles? Solo?

What an adventure. Hats off to a brave man undertaking a fantastic adventure. As with most epic journeys I’m looking at the details with envy.

I’m looking forward to following your travels and hopefully getting a feel for the many vistas and cultures of your vast and varied continent.

You’ll get a warm welcome into the UK in a couple of years. Hopefully we will all recognise you. It will be a long and worth while wait to hear the stories of this unique and defining journey…inspiring or insane?

Pub luc. Ron ymlaen.

Colin Charvis

Craig JoubertCraig Joubert

The fight against Cancer is something which is close to my heart. My dad died when I was 17 after a long fight with Cancer and my mom has successfully battled Breast Cancer and Leukemia over the last 10 years. Having been at Varsity and in a digs with Zoog I was devastated to hear about the fight Nix has been forced to fight with this dreadful disease. Enter Ron Rutland…It is such a pleasure to be able to support Ron in this epic adventure in the name of ‘Lettie’ Haynes and a great privilege to be one of the ambassadors. Ron you are a champion and crazy and this will be one epic adventure! I look forward to following every step of your adventure and wish you all the very best. I very much hope to be in London during RWC 2015 to welcome you and share a warm ale while hearing the war stories. Be inspired by Letties courage and you’ll be a man my son…

Dan NicholDan Nichol

One of my travelling laments is that for someone who has seen most of the world, I have not travelled to nearly enough of my own continent. I’m slowly changing that, but with nowhere near the spirit of adventure that you are!

To set off through a continent as beautiful as it is unpredictable, armed with nothing more than a bicycle, a love of Africa, and an unrivalled passion for rugby, makes for a wonderful, daunting challenge I can only admire. To spend 28 months in the saddle travelling to all 48 of the continent’s countries requires someone brave, spirited and completely daft and no one I know fulfills those three criteria like Ron Rutland!

I’ll be following the journey of rugby’s greatest nomad from the moment you set off from Cape Town, and promise to be waiting in London with a well deserved beer on your arrival and to celebrate with you when the World Cup ends in the Springbok victory that your African odyssey must surely inspire.

Dan SkinstadDan Skinstad

In true Ron style, aiming to do what you are, you are also aiming to raise the profile of our beloved continent and the Boks. You are a giver and the World would be a better place with more Ron Rutlands around.

This trip will change your life, the lives of others, and Africa for good.

Be Brave, Be careful, take it all in and Never give up. When in doubt, and you will doubt yourself at times, pedal safe in the knowledge that many people all over the World love and care for you and want you to succeed.

See you at the Rugby World Cup Final

Francois PienaarFrancois Pienaar

When I first learn about your expedition I thought you are mad!

Giving it some more thought, I must admit that I am a tad envious of someone who had taken the brave decisions to realise a dream. After meeting you, your passion for South Africa and the human spirit is infectious.

It is an honour to be an expedition ambassador, and I look forward to joining en-route at some stage of your incredible journey.

Thank you for choosing the MAD Foundation as your official charity; we know it will be a hugely successful campaign and partnership, and look forward to supporting you every pedal of the way.

Gary KirstenGary Kirsten

I admire your vision, courage and determination to undertake such an epic journey and have no doubt that you will witness the very best and worst our magnificent African continent has to offer.

Things will not always be easy but they will be worth it and I look forward to following your progress throughout the journey.

I hope we can meet up at Twickenham when the Boks begin their Rugby World Cup campaign in London 2015.

Gavin HastingsGavin Hastings

Anyone who decides to change the course of their life by doing something truly inspiring certainly deserves all the credit they can get and certainly gets my vote. To contemplate doing that for the best part of 30 months is something to behold and one can only imagine what experiences and challenges lie in wait for Ron.

I had the pleasure of spending some 10 days with Ron back in 2011 and know him as a man true to his principles of work hard and play hard whilst having fun every step of the way. He will need all those qualities to fulfill his destiny in this African adventure challenge and I wish him all success in his quest to get to England in time for RWC 2015. Ron, the very best of luck and keep smiling every step of the way.

Geniel De VilliersGiniel De Villiers

All the best with your great adventure on the bike! Enjoy it and be safe. I am sure you will have some great experiences! Hopefully you’ll see some of the places in north Africa we passed with the Dakar.


John SmitJohn Smit

Thank you for asking me to be associated with your “Journey of a Lifetime”!

Like you my passion for Africa extends throughout our great continent and, like you, my dream one day is to explore as much of our untamed land as possible, albeit from the comfort of my trusted, air-conditioned, Land Rover.

Your circa 45 thousand kilometre, 2.5 year solo quest on a BICYCLE is mind blowing to say the least! And to visit every African country on your way must surely be a world first, and I cannot wait to follow your progress. And, if possible, I will even try my best to join you for a few days en route.

Ron, thanks again for agreeing to be an ambassador for The John Smit Foundation, my charitable trust. Affectionately known as the “Barney’s Army”, our work at the foundation is aimed primarily at Africa’s abused and/or displaced children – a major challenge for all Africans and one that needs to be addressed! Your help in raising the awareness of the challenges we face as Africans is greatly appreciated.

Take care on your travels Ron; I look forward to meeting up with you in person again at London 2015 when our Boks attempt to reclaim the Rugby World Cup title.

Kevin VermaakKevin Vermaak

I’m inspired by the ambitious and original adventure on which you are about to embark (and just a little envious).

Your experiences in the next 2 years, and those that will no doubt follow this adventure, will surely allow you to look back on a life lead less ordinary.

Good luck and safe pedalling.

Kingsley HolgateKingsley Holgate

Hi Ron,

Herewith a scribbled note as requested. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you need further help. Will be thinking of you today as you leave. Good luck my friend – at times you’ll battle but ride with the rhythm of Africa and when you doubt see the humour of it all and laugh at the eccentricity of ‘The Fat Kid On A Bike.’

Hope to share a campfire ‘out there’ some place.

Safari Njema my friend – Have the time of your life!

Siyabonga and Best wishes
Kingsley Holgate


Scribbled note“To the ‘Fat Kid On A Bike’: My friend, we wish you ‘Safari Njema’ on your great adventure to embrace ‘Mama Afrika’ – may you have the wind in your back and the ‘zen’ of travel on your shoulder. Go well Ron; Cheers! Our thoughts are with you – Kingsley Holgate – 28/06/2013”

Mark AndrewsMark Andrews

When you told me about your planned epic adventure and then asked me to write a messageof good luck, I wondered what David Livingston’s mates told him before he embarked on his travels through Africa. I am sure many told him that he was crazy but I am sure some told him to live his dream and go and make family and country proud.

Good luck out there Ron, you’ve got an incredible journey ahead of you, and I admire you greatly for having the courage to turn your dreams into reality and undertaking what will be a truly epic African adventure. I a I have known you for many years and one thing that has always remained constant is your great attitude to everything you do. Your positive attitude will be your best companion on this trip, make sure you look after it as well as you look after your bike as they will both take you to your end destination.

I will be following your progress with great interest and look forward to hearing all your stories over a few beers on your (safe!) return, and after a successful Bok campaign at the 2015 RWC.

Mike NixonMike Nixon

One person, thinking big and acting today is what we need. In an age of conformity and ‘instant everything’, it’s your type of world-first trip that will generate, through your experiences, the depth of character and understanding our world needs more.

Best of luck and “Safari unjema”.

Ross TuckerRoss Tucker

There is an adventurer in every one of us, but Ron has always struck me as having an appetite for exploration that few others can match. Add his adventurous spirit to a seemingly non-existent awareness of what you or I would see as typical barriers, and you have an epic cycle Tour through Africa that is, well, crazy!

Crazy enough that my own adventurer (significantly repressed by comparison) wishes it was me on this ride, but I will satisfy myself with the hope that I’ll be able to join Ron for even a small part of the journey at some stage. And until then, I get to observe it from afar, both in admiration and in study. You see, I’m a physiologist, and so the idea of subjecting one’s physiology to a journey of this magnitude is too intriguing to pass up. I look forward to the pictures, the conquests and campfire stories, but also to the hidden stories, of how Ron fuels the trip, how he recovers, and how his body (and mind – the brain is still part of the body, let’s not forget!) cope with the efforts.

It’s a fantastic undertaking, the kind of thing that forces you to shake your head in disbelief, until you’re realise that really, you wonder what even a small part of that would be like for yourself.

Ron, I wish you all the best on the journey, for a safe, healthy and epic ride. May the body, the bike and the bones thrive!

Rian ManserRiaan Manser

Having done some adventure travel myself I was astounded when my friend Ron told me of his plans. My circumnavigation of the African continent according to Ron, was a motivation factor of what he has planned; cycling through every single African country from Cape Town to London. Hopefully in time for the rugby world cup kick off 2015.

Not a better, more determined bloke could I imagine taking on such an adventurous but somewhat dangerous task.

Ron has an incredible skill to win people’s hearts, stick to the task at hand and somehow always find the positive.

I cannot wait to watch Ron cycle into Twickenham Stadium, hands raised in victory, millions of Africans watching the very guy that passed through their village.
Inspiration happens when people DO. There is an ocean between saying and doing.

Get ready people. Ron Rutland is about to DO.

Ryan SandesRyan Sandes

Ron is taking on what must be one of the most crazy adventures ever. It’s super refreshing and inspiring to see someone dreaming really big and making it happen. Ron you are a legend and have my support every pedal and step of the way. I am sure you will experience a number of highs and lows along the way but keep looking forward think about the end goal and how good that beer will taste. Respect bud you can do it!

Stefan TerblancheStefan Terblanche

I am delighted to be supporting and honored to be an ambassador for Ron doing this wonderful trip through Africa. We wish him all the best and I look forward to joining him in some exotic location on our amazing continent. Good luck Ron, God speed.

Vanessa HaywoodVanessa Haywood

Ron is completely insane and I can relate, as many people probably think I’m fairly nuts too! What grabs me most is his amazing positive attitude to the odyssey which he is embarking on! He’s determined to paint Africa in a different light to what many people perceive to be a dangerous place. He’s also pretty hell bent on living an extraordinary life filled with inspiring experiences! I hope to join him on a small part of his journey, and support him on this “world first” route!