15 Oct South Africa: Coast-to-Coast on Dahon Folding Bikes
If you’re a foldie fan you may have already stumbled upon Jan Wouters and Jo Charnock’s site Folding Bike Travels, which they set up following their 2007 adventures traveling from Cairo to Capetown by folding bike, public transport and good-old-fashioned hitchhiking. Their almost spur of the moment trip led to a fantastic book A Hitch-Biker’s Guide Through Africa, which we can thoroughly recommend.
A few years have passed and the pair are at it again. Having been passionate about the convenience and joy of folding bike ownership, they are kicking off their new role with a trip they had been planning for a while. This time Jan and Jo are taking two Mu N360s coast-to-coast, raising awareness not only of folding bikes, but of cycling and their chosen charity BEN (Bicyle Empowerment Network).
The route begins at the border of Mozambique and will follow the coast westwards until they reach their goal of the border of Namibia. Having started in the first few days of October, they aim to cover the full 3,000km (1,864 miles) before the end of the month. This is not an exclusively two-wheeled tour. As with their first trip, Jan and Jo are taking full advantage of the bikes’ folding capability. The very point of a folding bike is to work flexibly with public transit, for those mammoth distances, bad weather days or just if you fancy it. Their route and schedule purposely leaves room to take these decisions, simply folding their bikes and jumping on a train or bus. The real joy of the trip comes from the term coined by Jo: hitch-biking. Many folding bike owners will understand how these portable bikes have the potential to start conversations and build friendships wherever you go. Combine this with their flexibility and you have the perfect equipment for jumping in a new friend’s car, sharing a ride and experiencing something through local eyes (Disclaimer! We’re not telling everyone to go straight out and hitchhike. Please exercise your own judgement and common sense). Equipment wise the couple are traveling as light as possible, including a small tent to camp as often as they can.
You can check out Jan and Jo’s gear and bikes, as well as watch video updates on their Youtube channel. We wish them all the best for the next two weeks and welcome you to subscribe, share on Facebook or comment below about their or your folding bike adventures.