Beyond the Bike

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

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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Stage 7, part I: Harsh Trucks but Kind Strangers….

Stage 7, part I: Mbeya to Mikumi. 3– 10 November, 512km

"You are now on a major trucking and bus route all the way to Arusha and the lack of shoulder and the strong wind is probably going to make it hairy. The tarmac has melted and the overloaded trucks have smudged it into treacherous tracks. As you probably know, the truckers and buses could not give two shits about a cyclist on the road and will not even consider accommodating you, especially in Tanzania”…. The words from Andres Perez, a seasoned motorcyclist in the region were with me as I set off from Mbeya, with approximately 800km to go before Dar-es-Saleem and the prospects of a week’s R&R on the beaches of Zanzibar.

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Stage 6: A hitchhiker's guide to Northern Malawi & Southern Tanzania...

Stage 6: Nkhata Bay to Mbeya, 430km. October 13th - 19th

"It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. You have no such accurate remembrance of a country you have driven through" If Hemingway was describing how best to understand the physical geography of a land, what better way to understand its people than by offering them a lift on your very own bicycle taxi...

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Beyond the Bike goes Back to the Future in Zambia...

Beyond Cranleigh Zambia Trip II, October 22nd - 30th

OK, so the Tazara railway is not quite as high tech as Marty's Mcfly's souped up 'flux capacitor' but it was at least able to take me back to Zambia, where the main project that the ride & Cranleigh school are supporting this year and into the future. After nearly 4500 kms on the bike, it was a pleasure to be in same place for a week, back with familiar faces, from both Cranleigh & Kawama School...

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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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