two wheels making a world of difference
Ride Climb Transform

Answers to more comments

Thursday
Feb 24, 2011
Kelly's picture
by Kelly at 4:17 am

Keep the comments coming! I love it!

To Leigh and Abby and Jim: thanks for the encouragement. We'll take all we can get!

Parker: you CAN follow in our footsteps one day. All you have to do is decide that you want to do it, and you can do anything you set your mind to. It is interesting to be in a foreign land. The people, landscape, animals, scents, feelings -- everything is different. And the goat: it was delicious. What we had last night was better still. It was in a Maasi village and roasted over a fire. Simply beautiful. Look for Carroll's photos later.

Sophie: Thanks for the encouragement. The plane ride was very long, and that is enough to make us tired. Add the community group work we've been doing, and the hundreds of kilometers of bike riding in the East African sun, and we are even MORE tired! But we'll keep on pushing. As for the groups we give bikes to, it differs. Sometimes there are just 10 or 15, sometimes 100.

Jonathon: Yes, we all practiced for the climb. However, the one thing you cannot practice for is altitude. There is no way to prepare for that. All you can do is go slowly and hope that the body adjusts. The goat was delicious. As for the slum, we had local people with us there, and many others knew we were there for a good reason -- to help them. if we had not had the local people to guide us, it would have been unsafe to go in some of the places we went. luckily, everything was fine. Tired or dehydrated? we're all a little bit of both, but we drink lots of water to be as safe as possible.

I am out of time now, but i'll write a bit more later. Cheers!
Kelly

clemson advancement foundation for building and design

Wednesday
Feb 23, 2011
Jean's picture
by Jean at 7:49 am

We've just received word that the clemson advancement foundation for building and design will be a sponsor of this trip to assist me in researching the role of bicycles in developing countries. My research is being coordinated through my graduate degree program for city and regional planning at clemson. Many many thanks to them for their support!

I have already been able to interview more than a dozen bike recipients, local chiefs, and local aid organization staff. Their responses are providing valuable insight into how globalbikes are used, how their local programs operate, and how bikes are contributing to transportation, to quality of life and improving the environment.

I am excited to sort through these conversations when I return to the states and more fully understand how two wheels are making a world of difference...

On the bike and loving the ride

Tuesday
Feb 22, 2011
Kelly's picture
by Kelly at 7:25 am

Yesterday we left Nairobi. Leaving town was an adventure unto its own. Traffic there is chaos only mildly controlled. If any one car, bike, donkey cart (yes, the are in downtown Nairobi traffic), or pedestrian slows down, the whole system would collapse. Yet, it somehow works, and we pushed our way in front of speeding cars and shoved through town, and that is the proper and expected way. It is not for the timid.

Once we finally left town, we finally felt release - we were out of the city and in the bush. Our destination for the day was called "Bush Camp" in Kajiado, 87 kilometers away. Along the way, we saw zebra, ostrich, gazelle, and more species on plants and trees with thorns than I ever imagined existed. In fact, thorn birds nested just above our tents. Amazing. There was a zebra roaming around camp at dusk, and a herd of them moved by in the night.

At Bush Camp, we met with the local Maasi chief and a youth group trying to improve their community through HIV education, soccer (instead of getting into trouble), and other educational activities. We gave them two bikes to help with their activities. That makes 83 bikes so far. Two more in the morning, and 30 more in Tanzania. They offered us a goat for dinner, which we could not refuse. We also ate ugali, a traditional dish made from corn, along with spinach, potatoes, and other small items. We slept beautifully in our tents (thanks, Catoma!), except when then zebra came by.

Today we rode 77 kilometers to Tizi Camp in Namanga. We saw more wildlife -- gazelles, camels, zebra, a hare (killed by a Maasi warrior and taken away for dinner). Sadique, one of the Kenyan riders who is with us for the ride, explained that camels were common, which surprised me. Now we are sitting under an acacia tree, enjoying the breeze and a relaxing afternoon. Quite welcome after the heat of our ride. We'd all be crispy if it weren't for LUCA Sunscreen! The sun is right on top of us.

Cheers!
Kelly

We are riding!

Monday
Feb 21, 2011
Curt's picture
by Curt at 2:57 pm

The ride has started!! This morning we were flagged off at the UN compound by Edward Norton. After circling around the corner - we where off for a minute - there was some complications with our support vehicles. That wrapped up in an hour or so and we were imediately an hour and a half behind schedule. While this isn't that big of a deal we had one main concern - the Heat.

We would be riding through 90 + degree heat. One thing that we couldn't prepare for - traffic. It was like nothing I have ever ridden in. Not only are we on the left hand side - the round abouts and big trucks were tough to negotiate. After a couple of hours we where out of town and after lunch we labored on to Bush Camp our campground for the night.

We have just wrapped up a great supper of goat (grilled and fried), tomatoes and onions, spinach, pasta, fries, ugali (kenyan dish that seems very similar to polenta). Soon to bed.

Thanks for reading.

Curt

On the bike today!

Monday
Feb 21, 2011
Kelly's picture
by Kelly at 1:09 pm

We've moved into Phase 2 of the trip: out of Nairobi now and on the bike! Today we rode 84 kilometers, at first through the chaos that is Nairobi traffic (it's like nothing I've seen before), and then into a more savanna-like habitat. It's a bit similar to Serengeti. We saw zebra, ostrich, impala, leopard frogs, thorn trees and thorn birds -- lots of things. Beautiful! Did I mention that it's about a thousand degrees here? Well, it is. Thanks to LUCA Sunscreen, we aren't crispy yet.

We got to Bush Camp at about 5 o'clock, unloaded, pitched tents, and had a delicious dinner: the local Masai chief offered us a host for dinner, a kindness we could not properly refuse. So, ugali (sorta like African grits) and goat and sauted spinach and fried potato. Yum!

And now we're talking about tomorrow, and then it's off to the tents!

Good night!
Kelly