Beyond the Bike

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

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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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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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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A 'rest' from cycling: Beyond the Bike goes Beyond Cranleigh


Having said goodbye to the majority of the cyclists following the successful group ride, a core of

the group remained to enjoy 24 hours of peace & quiet before greeting 17 students from Cranleigh

School where I teach. They had flown out with fellow teacher Rob Lane for a two week building project

at Kawama Community School in Kitwe...

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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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