New Silk Roads - Canary Wharf to China
In September 2015 Stuart and Claire set off from Canary Wharf, London to discover 'New Silk Roads' cycling through Southern Africa and Asia. They finished nearly 11 months later in Shanghai, China.
Stuart cycled on Thandie (his tandem from the first trip) following ancient and new ‘silk roads’ with his (then girlfriend, now) wife, and fellow teacher, Claire. Keeping the back seat of the tandem free for those they meet en route, Claire rode a bamboo bike, built by an African social enterprise which Stuart helped to set up during his original trip. After a short European 'warm up' they started their journey in East Africa. They followed the route of key natural resources used in smartphones, such as Copper and Gold, along their supply chains to resource- hungry Asia, in particular China.
Using smartphones to record the adventure, partnering with Fairphone (a mobile phone company which puts social values first), they explored the shifting balance of power in the world economy, and other geographical, historical and linguistic themes in an educational project aimed at students worldwide. In partnership with Tutor2U, one of the world’s leading educational websites, and working with the British Council’s connecting classrooms programme, they produced blogs, videos, skype lessons and other educational resources examining themes that have helped shape economic development over the centuries, including trade, technology and education.
The Next Revolution had three key aims:
- Cycle at least 10,000km over three continents.
- Raise at least £50,000 for charity.
- Engage students with global issues and connect classrooms throughout the world.
These aims were all met:
- Stuart and Claire cycled more than 12,000km acorss four continents (including a trip to Australia with Thandie at the end of the adventure!).
- Beyond the Bike - The Next Revolution raised more than £60,000 for charities taking the total raised by Beyond the Bike since 2011 to more than £200,000.
- Stuart and Claire visited many schools en route; primary, secondary, universities, local and international. They produced educational blogs and resources and held skype lessons. Once they retured to London they continued with a variety of educational activities and their latest project is a children's book - The Adventures of Tandie the Tandem.
Watch this short video for a quick introduction: