Ayesha’s Cycle Challenge

A poetic summary of reflections on my Andalusia Cycle Challenge 2016 for Islamic Relief’s Water4Life project:


Cycling through the plains of the stunning South of Spain

While desperately trying to distract myself from the pain

That led from my backside right down to my knees…

I inhaled the smell of a thousand olive trees

Breathtakingly beautiful were the views during my rides

Those and my company made the journey worth while

You couldn’t possibly imagine the challenges I met

Or the experiences I had right from the outset


From riding over dead rabbits and routine falls off of my bike

To walking into doors and damaging my nose like I’d been punched in a fight

I jumped around screaming after a horrible wasp I was stung

Eventually emotions took over and it was my mother who I rung


Day two entailed the toughest route yet with plenty of incline

It was also the day I did it – IT was my first time

I couldn’t hold back any longer, I was bursting for a wee

And so I was told ‘choose one, there’s plenty of trees’


I’d have never mentioned it to a soul if it hadn’t have been

That I was recorded mentioning it on Facebook by my peer Nadeem

A week I spent – day and night with my new friends, my cycling team

Without them I’d have never made it, especially my banter buddy, Faheem


I’ll never be able to explain the agonising pain I felt for days in my bum

And I honestly can’t thank Uncle Tariq for his cream enough

I thought I’d be fine with my padded shorts and gel seat

How terribly wrong I was and it only got worse in all that heat!


Admittedly for the physical challenge I wasn’t really ready

Yet I pursued my mind over matter and soon found myself going steady

Never however had I anticipated the emotional strive

Uncle Tariq made me realise I could do it; he said I was ‘full of life’


In spite of all my crazy and some self-inflicted struggles from the day before

And after having to reluctantly carry, my bike up five floors

Every morning I woke up feeling positive and eager to pedal on more

Because of course I remembered what I was cycling for


Litres and litres of water I managed to consume

While cycling with layers of sweaty clothing with very little room

As I pressed my feet down in the scorching heat between 30-40 degrees

I was grateful to God for saving me from the third world poverty disease


And so I became conscious of how fortunate I was to know

That water was in my hydration bladder and was never going to go

And when it ran out, Yusuf or Tariq were there to help us to refill

While the ones we were cycling for were suffering, with unsafe water or even being killed


Eventually my journey came to an end and oddly enough I was sad to let go

After cycling through the beautiful Andalusia I took many lessons home

Another year, another accomplishment for me

Bring on the next challenge I say! I’ll see you in 2017!



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