If you are holding a globe of the earth, we started somewhere near the bottom, went all the way up to the middle, and then tumbled all the way back down to the start again. Why didn't you carry on all the way to the top, I hear you ask. Well it's complicated, but it involves the fact that Zanzibar and Namibia were on the way back (two of our favourites), we had heard that cyclists get stoned in Ethiopia (apparently nothing to do with drugs), air-tickets are expensive and flights carbon hungry, and we always liked the pointless idea of a round-trip. Well not exactly round, but a rough figure of 8 anyway.
Despite some last minute frantic packing up of our whole house, we eventually made it onto the road! Chapter 1 will be out soon! It involves wind-storms, operation pigeon and (by the looks of the clouds above us as we post this) lots of cycling in the rain.
The illustrated trials and tribulations of the Phillips family's first seven days of bicycle adventuring through South Africa. As told by Axel the bicycle.
The humans attempt to become real adventurers this week - wild camping, dog-chasing and people-meeting. Also, if you are interested, see the newly-updated gallery for some photographic evidence that these things are actually happening. Be warned: humans, unlike us bicycles, are less good-looking in photos than in cartoons.
The adventure continues in another weekly(ish) chapter - as told by Axel the bicycle...
Another Monday, another chapter of the Phillips family's (mis)adventures through the Eastern Cape - as told by Axel the bicycle.
The hardest week of riding for the humans so far, but also the most eventful. Discovering new relatives, being caught in lightening storms, encounters with alpacas and various other surprises. As always, as told by Axel the adventuring bicycle.
Axel the bicycle recounts another eventful, chaotic week in the lives of the Phillips' adventurers as they try and make their way up through the stormy Free State. Next week will be a rest week so instead of a regular chapter we will be posting an FAQ section dealing with common queries put to us like 'Do you carry a stove? Do you cycle with underwear? Do you use clip-in pedals? What possessed you to do something like this? Where is the money coming from? What are you doing with your tent on my front lawn?' And so on. If you have any questions about anything (anything relevant to us that is, preferably no 'what is the capital of Latvia?' types of questions), send them through and they will be answered.
As promised, for this week's chapter Axel the Bicycle has answered some of the most popular questions the humans have been asked along the way so far. Next week (Chapter 10) the storytelling will resume (and there is lots to tell). Importantly, to end this post is a special road safety cartoon designed for road users all over the world - please save the image and share if this is something that you care about!
Axel and the bicycles get a brief taste of city life as the humans stock up in Johannesburg before they make for the border. Chapter 11, out next week, will include a big map of South Africa with our route drawn out properly, from Cape Town all the way to the Groblersbrug.
Adventures in wild animal spotting (that’s live animals, not just roadkill), interesting new friends, a new province and, after 11 weeks of wheel-spinning, a new country. Also, a map of our total South Africa route. As always – as told by Axel the bicycle. Please “like” our new Facebook page or follow us on Twitter for more regular updates and cartoons!
Fittingly, Chapter 13 is the scariest chapter of them all. Rogue elephants, lion-camping, general unnecessary psychological trauma - the adventure is starting to become quite real!
The humans and bicycles leave Botswana to begin their adventures in Zimbabwe. The Adventure Gods decide that this is a good time to show that they have a sense of humour. Apologies for the delay in posting - internet shortages and malaria to blame. As always, as told by Axel the adventuring bicycle.
The attack of the malaria army, encounters with hippos, a new country - it's all here, as told by Axel the bicycle.
To make up for recent shortage of cycling, humans and bicycles decide to take the Great East Road and cycle right across Zambia. The adventure gods make use of the opportunity to practice some new adventure-techniques. As told by Axel, the best bicycle of them all.
Another week of horribly tough riding in a new country, with new things to taste, new things to lean, and a new phobia for Tegan. As told by Axel the bicycle.