Cycling in South Africa

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“Ride a bicycle: see interesting places, meet interesting people, then save the money you would have spent on a car and fly overseas.”

Everyone’s Guide to Cycling in South Africa, by David Bristow, who also co-authored the Riding the Dragon’s Spine guidebook with Steve Thomas.

A refreshingly complete look at cycling, with emphasis on “Business and pleasure”, “Touring for fun”, and “Bundu biking”, an apt yet mostly forgotten name for early mountain biking in South Africa.  Cycling in South Africa is still as great as it was in 1991.

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I’ll Be Home Just After Christmas

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A book recommendation by Lael Wilcox.  A copy of the book I’ll Be Home Just After Christmas was provided by the author, Matthew Blake, a friend and fellow bicycle traveler.

Not a cyclist or a traveler, Matt Blake left his home in the rain to ride around the world.

In 2009, while riding down the Pacific Coast from Tacoma to San Francisco, Nick and a friend met Matt on the roadside.  He was eating a large pot of porridge and reading a soggy paperback. They spent the next two weeks traveling together.  Matt had already ridden 18,000 miles across Europe and Asia, and south from Alaska.  He continued to the southern tip of South America, north through Africa and back home.  He carried an inflatable globe and a black marker to share his trip with the people he met.  After four years, the lines around the globe finally connect at his home in Banbury, England.

In 2013 he published I’ll Be Home Before Christmas. Matt Blake is stubborn and he knows it. He breaks his bike a lot. He spends months in anguish after he rejects the girl he loves. He carries a full sized can opener and a chain whip. This is a really honest book about four years of Matt’s life. And he’s a damn fine writer.

Buy it. Read it. Share it.

In 2013, Matt cycled to every major league baseball stadium in America.

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Nicholas Carman, Alex Dunn, Matthew Blake in Portland, OR, 2009 (Photo: Matthew Blake)