“If you can dream it, and believe it, you can achieve it” – Bushy Mckelvey
There is the old saying, “If life gives you lemons…” Well, life gave Bushy Mckelvey lemons and he didn’t only make lemonade. He rode his motorbike over mountains that most of us would only ever look at.
He is a bilateral below-the-knee amputee who had his legs amputated after two separate accidents. The first was his right leg after a collision with a taxi in 1999. Nine years later it was his left leg, when he was hit by a car on his way to a bikers’ function. But this did not deter him from getting back on his bike to inspire others and raise money for his charity “Out on a Limb” (OOAL). He teaches defensive riding techniques in his home province KZN. Bushy is also the first person called to counsel severely injured motorcyclists during their rehabilitation. His achievements are remarkable and would be challenging for anyone, regardless of their abilities.
HE DID NOT LET HIS AMPUTATIONS KEEP HIM DOWN
After his second accident, sitting at home was never going to be an option. So, in 2010, he set off from his home town, Pietermaritzburg, to Lesotho, becoming the first bilateral amputee to scale the Sani Pass, also known as the “roof of Africa” as a “warm-up” for his grand tour in 2012. In 2012 he set off for Namibia and Botswana on a documented motorcycle adventure riding under the banner of OOAL. The charity built much-needed toilets in Namibia and released cheetahs back into the wild in Botswana. In between there is skydiving, paragliding and swimming with sharks, just to keep his adrenalin up.
THE FIRST WORLD RECORD
In 2014, Bushy realised his dream to get into the Guinness Book of World Records for the greatest distance covered by an individual on a motorbike, over a 24-hour period. His remarkable record of 3256.5km, at approx. 220km/hour was set at the Phakisa Oval in the Northern Cape. The record stood until 2017.
Fast forward to 2020 when he had planned to become the first bilateral amputee to circumnavigate Africa on an adventure motorcycle. It was going to be a fully documented epic tour together with his teammate Johann Greyling. Planning was well underway when COVID-19 happened.
Not only did COVID-19 close the borders, but he also contracted the virus. So, he is not only a double amputee but a Covid-19 survivor as well.
GOING FOR THE RECORD AGAIN
This weekend on the 22nd of August from 18h00 to the 23rd at 18h00, on a farm road outside Wartburg in KZN, he will attempt to reclaim his record. Riding a KTM1290 Adventure bike, wearing Brad Binder’s #33 on his gear, he plans to break the 2017 record for this feat.
His chosen causes for the ride are Doctors without Borders and the Grand Lodge SA Feeding Scheme.
Let us celebrate and cheer a remarkable man on a remarkable mission.
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GOOD THOUGHTS • GOOD WORDS • GOOD DEEDS
My background is in publishing and education for all ages, my passion is reading – often multiple books at a time. I am also guilty of being a member of the “skip to the last page” club, although it is a bit more difficult with e-books. My family says I’m witty, warm-hearted, kind and honest. I think they want something. I love family get-togethers, animals, food, and road trips.