The old adage runs that most things are like riding a bike – you never forget.

And as I took my first shaky ride around the sports hall after 20 years of static gym fares, I was inclined to believe it.


For years as a student I have traipsed with gusto, legs pumping to the ticking seconds.

Now, I need something a little faster.

Regularly mortified by the extra running costs of cars (MOT, road tax, car tax, petrol, permits, fines) and an overly protective streak regarding motorbikes (“are you sure it’s okay? Maybe a coat? Or a protective fibre-glass bubble?”), the humble bicycle regained allure.

I shan’t deny that I am terrified – having learned to ride in Germany the British rules of the road are pedantic at best and multiple at worst.

But I am also excited: I love speed and there are many hills that I am looking forward to speeding down in the dawn hours.

But enough ruminating, for it is where the bike in question originated that is of more interest.

Part recycling initiative and part charity, Recyke Y’Byke takes in old bikes, revamp them to their former glory, sells them and puts the proceeds towards a worthy cause.

Bikes4Africa ships bikes regularly to Africa where they are passed on to health projects for doctors, nurses and midwives to reach otherwise inaccessible villages.

Recent destinations include Uganda, Lesotho, Sierra Leone, Ghana, South Africa and Cameroon.

Thus, as I whizz down a hill squealing with childish glee and adult horror, I shall be equally joyful to know that this is not just any bike, but one that has helped a good cause.

What better way to start the day?

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This entry was posted on April 29, 2010 by in Africa, Frivolities & Miscellaeny, Layla and tagged , , .
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