The BUDAPEST-BAMAKO spans two continents, with the Hungarian capital as the starting point and the finish line in Freetown, Sierra Leone. This bridge between Europe and Africa is not just a race, but also brings help to the inhabitants of several villages.
Laura Cola is back in the game, and taking part in the competitive arena. She will take part in two major events in the saddle of a Honda CRF 250 Rally, decked out with GIVI accessories for the occasion. The first race, BUDAPEST-BAMAKO, is just around the corner.
Laura Cola — known to many as the founder of Donneinsella, the school of motorcycling for women which started operating in 2008 — returns to the saddle to take part in two on-off road challenges. These long-haul events are seriously demanding, with timetables to respect, GPS coordinates to pinpoint, makeshift bivouacs and precious little sleep. GIVI Explorer will be following the two challenges closely.
“The ColaZ Roads 2020”, as Laura has named her project, will see her participating in the 5th edition of “Budapest to Bamako” as well as the 2nd edition of the “Gibraltar Race”.
The first one up is just around the corner, with engines starting on 31st January and arrival scheduled for 16th February.
It will be a true Dakar-style expedition, leading large numbers of participants through part of Europe and along the west coast of Africa, all in the right spirit: respect for local populations and a sense of group solidarity.
Laura’s motorcycle, a compact and easily manageable Honda CRF 250 Rally, is well equipped with water-resistant bags from the Gravel-T line (side bags, a tank bag and a rucksack with an integrated water bag), allowing for a fairly heavy luggage load (tent, pans, clothing for 15 days, spare parts, etc.) and with the addition of extra LED spotlights and the Power Hub kit to power a mobile phone/navigation device.
We will give you a description of the race itself at a later point, preferring at the moment to focus on the itinerary and the humanitarian goals linked to it.
There will be 16 stages, totalling 8,000 km. The European part of the journey will involve a series of legs taking participants from Budapest to Spain, before crossing to Morocco in a ferry. From here, the convoy will proceed through Mauritania, Senegal, Guinea, and finally Sierra Leone.
The humanitarian aspect of the event involves major help for efforts to provide a drinking water system for the village of Dindefelo, Senegal. The project includes solar-powered pumps, a water tower, and a filtration system. Race organisers have already begun construction, which is to be completed by the end of the race, with the opening ceremony planned for 13th February.
In Sierra Leone, carbon emissions will be offset by planting fruit and medicinal oil-producing trees!
This African nation has been the victim of slash-and-burn agriculture and irresponsible forest management practices. The aim is to plant 2,000 trees that will not only improve air quality and provide shade, but will also generate cash income for villagers along the Bumbuna Falls Freetown route for many years to come. In addition, villagers will also receive training in managing and caring for the trees.