Devil’s Peak cyclist takes on 3000km trek for Operation Smile

Dan Meyer, his bicycle and 16 kilograms of bags ready for the 3000 kilometre trek.

Devil’s Peak resident Daniel Meyer will cycle from Copenhagen to Rome to raise funds for Operation Smile, an organisation that facilitates corrective surgery for children with cleft lips and palates.

Mr Meyer, 39, will depart from the Danish capital on Friday July 8 and will aim to complete the challenge in six weeks.

“I was initially going to do a 500km run but after I spoke to (extreme adventurer) David Grier I took up this challenge.

“It’s for charity, it’s to put a smile on a child’s face and it’s a purpose worth cycling for. Even if it’s just for one child’s surgery I want to do this and inspire people, and I’m doing this with the contribution of my family and friends, and I’m excited about this,” said Mr Meyer.

The 3000 kilometre cycle can be tracked on and also where people can contribute to Operation Smile.

“I have to cycle 100km every day to complete this challenge. I’m as fit as I possibly can be as I started preparing for an Iron Man six months ago. So it’s two challenges that I’ve taken on and it’s about physical and mental strength. But if it wasn’t for this charity then I doubt I would do it. So the motivation is there and I want to make a difference even if it’s just for one child.”

Mr Meyer, an avid surfer, said he initially thought that cycling through Europe would be a flat, smooth route.

“When I plotted the course I thought this is going to be easy, but then I realised that there are mountains and that I’ll have to go through the Swiss Alps. There’s 20 000m of uphills – that’s like cycling up and down Table Mountain 20 times with my bags,” he said.

He will be carrying a total of 16kg on this trip, including a tent to sleep in.

“I’m taking a tent and I’ll be sleeping alongside the roads. If I can make a few friends along the way then maybe I’ll be invited to sleep in a spare room. There’s no point in booking accomodation as that money could go to charity, but yes, I’ll be sleeping in the bush. I have some clothes, water and food that I’m carrying with me.”

Operation Smile marketing, communications and events co-ordinator, Ronel Visagie, wished Mr Meyer well on his journey to raise funds and to create awareness about cleft conditions.

“Without the support from people like Dan, our volunteers and donors, we can not do the work we do to create more smiles for people born with a cleft lip or cleft palate that does not have access to safe surgical treatment,” Ms Visagie said.

To contribute to Mr Meyer’s fund-raiser, go to