Beyond the Bike

Stories from Stuart and Claire's original & recent journeys….
Claire Le Hur

Cambodia - Rebuilding itself with a little help from UWS.

We saw three different sides to the smallest country in our Asian odyssey (except Singapore). Firstly, the incredible ruins of the powerful Angkorian Empire that dominated  the region 1000 years ago. Secondly, the memorials and stories of the terrible  Pol Pot regime only 40 years ago. Finally, a country trying to rebuild itself, trying to escape its recent past and its more powerful neighbours. Our group ride with United World Schools (UWS) really demonstrated how Cambodia is being rebuilt, slowly but surely. Our week with UWS yet again humbled us and made us realise how lucky we are and how important the work they and Beyond Ourselves (in Zambia) is doing. 

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Claire Le Hur

Beyond Ourselves in the Zambian Copperbelt

Spending time with Beyond Ourselves really brought home to me why we are doing this crazy cyling adventure, it is not just for fun and is something I will think about next time I get fed up when we have to cycle up another hill in 35 degree heat!

 group on road

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Stuart Block

Stage 5: Malawi's Lake of Stars & cycle touring, the French way...

Stage 5: Dedza to Nkhata Bay, Malawi. 650km, 12 days Sept 28th - October 11th

My stay in Malawi will forever be associated with music. As well as experiencing my first African festival, I was lucky enough to bump into Jeremie et Claire, an eccentric French couple cycling around Africa with 2 accordions, a clarinet and a didgeridoo...

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Stuart Block

Stage 4: Part II - Nymibe to Lilongwe - "Taking Blackson Home", 430kms, 5 days.

I had arrived in Lusaka without any stokers lined up to cycle into Malawi. 8 days & nearly 800kms later, another 6 people had helped me and Thandie get to the border and into the 'warm heart of Africa'. In particular Blackson Banda, the cook from Janna School in Ndola who would be hitching a lift back to his home village on the border, his first visit in 13 years. Given the recent death of his sister, it was an especially emotional return for him...

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Blackson. 3000kms into the trip

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Stuart Block

Stage 3, part I: Zambia "Supporting The Cyclists: The View From The Truck In The Rear"

A further eight cyclists joined Beyond the Bike in Livingstone, with another support driver - Jo Mackay -  who runs Beyond Ourselves operations in Zambia. This stage of the ride was sponsored by Copperbelt Energy, who had generously bought the Zambikes. The bikes were assembled in Lusaka by an interesting US-Zambian social enterprise that we would donate to the Beyond Ourselves schools in the Copperbelt at the end of the ride. Perhaps the perfect "big society" model for David Cameron back home? A corporation working with a social enterprise to help their needy community with the assistance of volunteers...

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Stuart Block

Safari a Velo in Botswana



Botswana is one of the few countries whose per capita GDP growth has kept up with China's over the last 15 years. Perhaps easier to do in a country with a  population of only 1.5 million (compared to some 150k elephants!). Nonetheless, we enjoyed superb hospitalilty in what turned out to be a very chilled, albeit tiring, ten days in this former British protectorate (formerly known as Bechuanaland).

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