Beyond the Bike

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

The Importance of Remittance Payments & Mobile Banking in Africa…

Joseph is 29 years old and makes a living selling vehicle parts in the dusty trucker town of Igawu in Southern Tanzania. When he approached me during my breakfast and flashed 2 fresh $100 bills, I was naturally interested to know where they came from. I offered him a ride north to find out…

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Show me the Money... Jerry Maguire and other lessons from Malawi

"Mzungu, show me the muni!" is the constant request from kids that have greeted me on the side on the road  in Malawi. Three questions spring to mind from these experiences: 1) Have all the kids been watching too much Jerry Maguire 2) What is money and what is its primary function in this part of the world? 3) Would giving the kids or anyone here money help them?

 

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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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A day's cycling with Malawi no 1 racer: Lilongwe to Dedza, 90km

You're more likely to find an African cycling a racing bike clad in sponsored lyrca in Richmond park that in Malawi's capital city. When I bumped into one en route to the market whilst in Lilongwe, I'm not sure who was more surprised...

Sindiwe Banda, Malawi's no 1 cyclist...

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The Bicycle - A merit good and an integral part of sustainable transport solutions?

A recent economic study1 found that bicycle ownership can boost household income in sub-Saharan Africa by 35%.  I may be biased given my passion for cycling but I think there are indeed some very strong economic arguments for encouraging more bicycles both in the developing and the developed world.

The bicycle: more than just a mode of transport

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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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