When Dan says the water’s cold, you don’t argue with him. Nor when he tells you to wear two swimming caps on top of each other. I’d never done any wild swimming worth mentioning, so when I turned up at Dan’s regular river swimming haunt one December lunchtime and discovered that the water temperature was two degrees above freezing, I began to wonder if it had been such a good idea to accept his invitation after all.
Last year Andy organised a donation of bicycles in India through the charity Wheels4Life. You can read about this story on his blog.
If you haven’t heard of Wheels4Life, it’s a simple idea to provide bicycles to communities in extreme poverty whose members have no other form of transport — between homes, schools, markets, healthcare facilities, and other fundamentals of life today. The bikes are locally-sourced so that they can be kept on the road long after the point of donation.
Wheels4Life was started by all-round mountain-biking legend and complete nutter Hans “No Way” Rey. You’ll see what I mean about the ‘complete nutter’ part in the above trailer for the new Wheels4Life film. It follows one of the charity’s projects in Tanzania over a period of 14 months.
I like Hans’ attitude towards cycling for utility. It’s the most sustainable and practical form of transport in the developing world, with no running costs and the ability to go practically anywhere, regardless of road conditions (or existence!). I also can’t deny how successfully he’s used the West’s celebrity-/brand-chasing culture to raise enthusiasm and funding for these projects. Good work!