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Lance, this is where you should seek absolution, not on Oprah. And spare us the bestseller that everyone who ever cheered you on will read, just to find a glimmer of vindication. Save us the R249 and drop some of your own cash on a trip Malawi. It’s cheap. But no holiday for you. No languishing by the Lake of Stars and definitely no puffing on the green dragon – we all know where that’ll get you. It’s time you climbed aboard a real bike: Njinga, the iron horse of Malawi.

That’s right, Lance, no carbon fibre here, and step away from that custom saddle with the speed tassels. This is your seat on Afana Ofewa Transport. On the back you go – Charlie will show you how it’s done. Up the hill, up and up you go. He’s out of the seat, pounding the pedals in an enviably smooth rhythm worthy of any tour and popping big beads in the 40 degree heat. No rest, not even on this single speed with a passenger on board (Have you put on weight lately?). And notice Charlie is chatting away like there is no tomorrow. Up, up, up. Chatter, chatter, chatter. Tireless. What’s the secret? Well, it’s an interesting formulae: part fuel crisis, part food crisis, part unemployment and a double dose of African spirit that’s determined no matter what. And with that alone he keeps the country moving, delivering wood, pots, goats and regular folk, just like you.

3 Responses to “Tour de Malawi”

  1. Peggy Crane

    How many people can fit on a bike? I’ve seen 5 in Malawi. Sometimes a goat too. Wish I had a picture. The people are so resourceful and friendly.

  2. Jane Bonin

    Dear Christine,

    What a wonderful photo essay. Were you in Malawi when the Cape to Cairo people cycled through? Do you know anything about Pedals for Progress?

    Come see me when you are in Washiington.


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