Massive cycling effort for the love of trees
Pedalling through eighteen countries in one year completely alone and unsupported, a young Capetonian is working to raise awareness for ‘carbon free kilometers and the planting of trees.’
After clocking up phase one, 30 000km over four continents, Australia, Africa, Europe and Asia and crossing countries such as Guinea, Toga, Ivory Coast, Spain, Morocco, England, France, Belgium and sub Saharan Africa, Kayden Kleinhans is on his way to the final stretch to Mozambique which is country number 20.
On July 28 he spent the night in Chakas Rock before facing the last leg of his journey and his first priority was a well-deserved hot shower, and then astonishingly, he got on his bike, ‘little miss sunshine,’ and went for a ride around Chakas Rock and Sheffield.
He started phase one of this journey on October 3 2010 and begins phase two early next year. Phase two will take him through South, Central and Northern America, reaching 40 nations, an estimated 55 000km across six continents and ending in the Nevada desert in August 2013.
His organization, ‘Global Wheeling Foundation,’ is an NGO, which raffles off all the carbon free kilometers he completes, for the planting of trees. After a little less than a year of cycling, 1000 trees have been planted. by his pedalling.
The trees Kayden earns are planted in the Cape, supplied by a grower who uses up surplus trees and ensures that they are treated well enough to flourish in situ.
The adventures he has had over the past year would fill a book. Once, in Spain, he was mistaken for game and was shot at.
“I was in some woods, rolling up my sleeping bag early in the morning,when bullets flew over my head. I jumped up and shot my hands in the air and shouted.”
He discovered out that it was hunting season in Spain and obviously, they mistook him for some kind of small game. “They were very apologetic,” he said.
Kaydon found that he usually received ‘fantastic hospitality’. On arrival he would approach the chief, ‘who would have the best hut in the village vacated, give me the first serving of the meal and the ‘prettiest maiden’ to serve me.’
Once or twice though, he was not welcome and was stoned out of the area.
As he was entering the Ivory Coast, he hit a wave of 90 000 refugees going the other way, he also got locked up in a United Nations compound until cleared.
One of the passport ‘entry’ notices in his passport is painstakingly hand written by the solitary security guard at the border, who explained that there was no stamp as they didn’t get many visitors.
Asked what he misses most while riding through unendingly strange territory he answered, “good quality fresh food, cheese, (rapturously), communicating, and my nephew.”
Although usually ‘unplugged’ while travelling he does keep a journal on the internet as often as possible.
Kayden is hoping to foster a, ‘think before you drive,’ mentality and awareness of the precious and vulnerable ozone layer.
Though he pays his own living expenses while travelling he has five small sponsors and is looking for more sponsors. He is asking the public to watch his travels and donate. Follow the action on www.globalwheeling.org