Beyond the Bike

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

A week in Zimbabwe: a troubled past and an uncertain future...

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Beyond the Bike in Zimbabwe can be summed up with the following: desperation and hope, education, cricket, rocks, sand, gold mines, lions and rhinos. We only spent a week in Zim which is a great shame as it is such an interesting country but we had to keep moving to make Durban (and the test match for Stu!) for Christmas. 

 

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Beyond Ourselves in the Zambian Copperbelt

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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!

 

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Warm up ride 1 - With the Hungry Cyclist in Burgundy, France

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Can a wine-tasting tour of Burgundy count as a warm up ride Stuart?

Yes, apparently it can! So, we decided to spend two nights with Tom Kevill Davies aka The Hungry Cyclist at his new lodge near Beaune - www.thehungrycyclist.com This turned out to be a great idea for several reasons; Tom is really lovely, interesting and knows lots about the local area, wine, food, cycling etc. The lodge is a lovely old mill house (which sleeps 10), with beautiful gardens, a swimming pool, and gorgeous views across the vineyards in Auxey-Duresses.  The food and wine are obviously amazing.  Possibly more importantly for us it turned out that Tom cycled up the Mekong River a few years ago and so he was able to give us lots of advice. He even found his old map of Laos which he kindly gave us and a great contact (a Canadian restauranteur!) in Luang Prabang!  His advice to get on a boat along the river in North Laos seems very sensible to me, especially when he told us how hilly and rough the roads are there.  Stu has said I am in charge of the Asia section...

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What Can Religion tell us about Economic Development?

Although Adam Smith delved into religion in his 1776 Wealth of Nations, mainstream economists have historically stayed clear. This has recently changed[i] and as I cycled through the Holy Land back in April with fellow economist & stoker Mike Biggs, we reflected on whether economics can be used to analysis religious activity and, perhaps more interestingly, whether religion can help to explain regional differences in economic development[ii]

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