Beyond the Bike

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

Stage 4, Part I- Lusaka to Nymibe: Hills, Heat, Headwind & Horseflies.

Having not done any proper cycling for 3 weeks, it was always going to be a tough first couple of days back in the saddle, made worse by a constant headwind, serious hills & rising heat. The addition of some nasty horsflies & limited vehicle support probably made this the most physically challenging stage so far...

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China - helping or hindering economic development in Africa?

If Africa was a physical battleground between east & west during the cold war of the 20th Century, it can arguably be seen today as the ideological 21st Century battleground between the difference approaches to promoting economic development: the western aid model versus the Chinese trade model. Is the Sino-Africa relationship mutually beneficial? I certainly don't claim to have a comprehensive answer to this but it has been interesting talking to Africans on my journey so far about their perception of this, particularly in Zambia...

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Not only building bicylces but changing lives: A visit to Zambikes


A punchy claim from a 26 year old Californian who looks like he had just stepped off the latest series of baywatch but one that I think can certainly be justified by Africa's leading manufacturer of bamboo bikes...

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Stage 3, part II - The Big Push to the Copperbelt

The group saw some cyclists say goodbye but we were joined by fresh blood for the final stage to Ndola. Little did we know that we'd enjoy a police escort out of Zambia's capital city...

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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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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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