I rode 240 km this weekend on my bicycle. I had heard lots about the town Alma. However did discover it is just a T junction with a bottle store, grain silo, primary school and a squatter’s camp. The road to get there is not recommended to cycle best done with a bakkie (pick up) or a 4X4 vehicle. This is the end of sand road to Alma. Only the T junction was tar.
On to Vaalwater. Nice new tar road with some monster hills. At the camp site I was told that cyclists come to train on these hills for the Cape Augus race.
Feels like Africa begins here. Take note of the following signs just before town.
It is a sandy town that wants to grow but with the lack of employment opportunities. Thus many houses standing empty. All along the main road biltong shops advertise. Looks like biltong and game animals are the main export of this area.
I tested out some weight saving strategies on this trip. Cut tent pegs by half. Crocs (light Chines ones) for time off of bicycle. Cut unnecessary tools. Cut down on traveling with food, ate at restaurant and stopped at shops for food. Mounted solar panel on Velcro (to charge cell phone and camera) for places where there is no electricity. Pouch to hold cell and camera.
On the way I passed Modimolle and dropped in at the bicycle shop to see what needs to be done to my bicycle for the trip to Malawi. Also looked at camping shop to see if there are lighter tents.
All in all think it was a very good trip. For those of you, light is much better. Lighter load made the ride much more pleasurable. Well there is room for more weight saving for me.
Well it turned out to be a meeting of the local chiefs. SABC TV was invited to document the happenings for Roots program on TV 3. Then there was entertainment from community groups that did dance and played traditional music( with electric guitars,keyboards and drums).I was squeezed into program. However there was no screen to put up my presentation. Expecting this would happen I resorted to presenting some of equipment needed to take long trip on a bicycle. Ending in businesses and uses of bicycles to help create a living for people. There was a second presentation of a Chines engine that is bolted onto bicycle frame.This mode of transport will give you one liter petrol to 100 km. This drew a lot of attention. There is a big demand for cheap modes of transport out in these very rural communities. As a result one of the chiefs gave permission for a community activist to get a office at his offices. Here she can train children to ride bicycle and teach them to repair them. She will also co ordinate giving sponsored bicycles to deserving learners, to help them get to school. They are setting up a web page for interested persons.
Saturday 19/10/2013 there is a community activity at the Ga-Morwe Stadium. It is transport month so they trying to base it on cycling and cultural entertainment. I have been asked to talk to promote cycling and to share some of my adventures. After I have spoke I will post a condensed version.