Beyond the Bike

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

Re-introducing the Economic Cycle: Lessons from the Financial Crisis

extended tandem

 

Welcome to the Next Revolution of the Economic Cycle! For new readers, I’m a former city economist (2001-2009) turned teacher who decided back in 2011 to cycle my tandem bicycle back to London from South Africa in an attempt to understand a bit more about our dismal science. The blog used serendipitous encounters with locals to tell the stories of economics in Africa. Topics ranged from how economists value life (based on a high speed accident with a taxi in South Africa) to how religion and mobile phones have shaped economic development.

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Stage 16: A tour of France & Home...

Burgundy to Blighty. June 25th – July 14th, 975 km.

Coincidentally, I’ve started writing this blog whilst watching the Tour de France’s 16th stage: a ball busting 197km in the Pyrenees with a couple of hors-categorie (beyond categorization) climbs. Whilst my final week in France included a 221km day & involved a British team showing the locals a thing or two about cycling, the similarities end there…

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Goldigging in Sudan...

Faisal sells ful (Arabic equivalent of baked beans on toast) & chaai (tea) in a windswept shack on the side of the desert road in northern Sudan. In his spare time he digs in the local area for gold…

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Faisal with his latest find

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Stage 11: Out of Africa & Into Arabia

Khartoum to Luxor, 1470km & a ferry ride up Lake Nasser. Feb 19th – March 11th

People love to talk about ‘Africa’. Yes it is a single physical continent but its human diversity- nearly 3000 ethnicities have been divided, often arbitrarily, into 48 nation states - makes generalisations difficult. As such, sub-saharan Africa is often what people mean when discussing Africa. For me, there was certainly a step change in culture arriving in Sudan, a change accentuated by the fact that we had arrived by plane, rather than bicycle from the continent’s newest country…

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Stage 10: Kampala to juba – Six nations on a Sweet Chariot to Juba...

650km Feb 3rd - 11th. Six months ago, I neither expected to be in South Sudan or indeed singing the French & Scottish rugby anthems to live accordion & bagpipes in the middle of the African bush. But it felt appropriate timing given that the 2012 six nations were kicking off on the same weekend that I headed North. Coincidentally, six different nationalities joined me & Thandie on the road to Juba…

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Stage 7, part II: Beasts & Beaches in Movember…

Stage 7, part II: Mikumi to Zanzibar & around, November 12-26th 502 km

The best part is that you get to cycle through Mikumi national park and be right in the middle of elephants, giraffe etc. Only national park in TZ you can ride a motorcycle and bike through… Whatever you do, do not ride this section at night. Lions and hyenas in Mikumi national park and if they don't get you, the trucks and buses will – haha”….Andres Perez’s warning about the trucks had been accurate. I didn’t fancy getting eaten by a lion either so I set off to cycle the 50km through the park feeling somewhat nervous…

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