I have enjoyed my time discovering Africa on my bicycle. However that chapter has come to an end in my life. I named my blog Long Day Safaris as the bicycle gave me long days to look and dream in Africa. Most people think of safaris as trips into wild Africa. This was true for many days on the bicycle. Like my first tour in Mozambique. The night I had to stop ridding and look for a village to pitch my tent. As I was afraid I might ride into a herd of elephant in the dark. I was also hoping my blog might spring board me into some sort of cycle touring business. I soon realized this was a very small group of crazy people that would take so much time out to have a great African adventure. Also that most crazy people on bicycles figure out their own adventure.
So I am open to help people with questions about places I have been or lived. I will help you with the knowledge I have gained.
Due to the safety of living on a farm in South Africa and the welfare of my family. I have had to make a tough decision to leave my beloved Africa. Africa is in my blood and the wild bush Pricks me with life. The fight for survival of the people and animals amaze me. The sunsets and sunrises are dreams in my mind. The quenching raindrops that hit the dry parched earth give off a smell of life and survival. Now do not let me get to home sick.
I have immigrated to the United States. Where I have a dream of riding the Great Divide some day. In the meantime I am waiting for my bicycle to come from Africa. I am setting up house and learning the ropes of the American way of farming.
As the title of this blog shows it is a whole new world. It feels like I have turned my clock back forty years. To when I was a child back in Africa. The children leave there bicycles on the lawn in front of the house. On the weekends people are pushing lawnmowers up and down. I have not seen a beggar or a person sleeping on the street. People drive slower and give right of way at intersections. People actually stop their cars for people at the pedestrian crossing. No taxis pushing their way around in the traffic. The pot holes in the road get repaired. There is no trash laying around. The electric supply company gives power 24 hours 365 days, in South Africa the electric company has gone to disrepair and cannot always supply electric. The list can go on for a long time. South Africa was not always in a state of decay as it is now.
Now I will write of gravel ridding in Minnesota. I went down to the one and only bicycle shop in Fairmont. To see what spares they stock. Let me give you a warning. The owner Larry is full of jokes. It will take time for me to learn if he is serious or pulling my leg. I first read of his passion for bicycles on the internet. It will be a great loss to this town the day he decides to close his doors.
My first visit to the shop found it closed on a Saturday. Next visit was after work to find the tools outside where He sits and fixes bicycles. The shop was open and nobody to be found. It is like a museum in there. The bikes all hang from the ceiling. Then there is the stack of bike boxes. Next visit was on a Saturday. This time there was a hand written note on the door to say if you need help phone this number. As my bike is not here yet I decided it was not an emergency.
One day after work I drove past and saw some people sitting outside and talking. So I stopped but I was not ready for what was to happen next. Larry pulled my leg about everything. He then invited me and the other two ladies there to join him for a free supper which he was just going to pick up at the local church. Then off he went with the one lady and came back with some food. Then there was the offer of a cool drink. We landed up closing shop as the sun was setting around 7pm.
So the long and the short of it is. If you are ever stuck in Fairmont Minnesota phone the number on the door and Larry will help. Just remember to put the area code 507 in front of the number. He stocks mostly Trek bikes. He has some Ebikes. He let me try out a recombinant Ebike. That was a little fast and made me scarred with no crash bar in the front.
So I am looking forward to the new adventure. Might just have to let the cold winter pass before I do some touring.