Bike, Hike or Kite- Cultural Travel at it’s best

Let’s talk speed. When you are taking a cultural travel journey to anywhere, cars and buses, trains and planes are great because they get you to a destination in a short period of time. But, have you ever walked, or biked to a town or village?  Whether you bike, hike or kite, cultural travel at it’s best is when you see things that you would not ordinarily see on your journey. While there are biking tours of various places in the world, they are typically exclusively biking. The same is true with hiking. Kiting is something you can do anywhere! There are many places in the world where biking is not so easy to do, as the roads and pathways are not suited for bikers. One place that I have been that was not suited for anything on wheels was in the Hilltribe area of Thailand. I caught a ride with a little truck, and there were no roads, or even pathways. We bumped along for several hours, and I thought I was inside of a dream as we crossed small boulders along the way. This could have been a great advertisement for Michelin tires, as I kept thinking something underneath us was about to pop. There are, however, places in the world where bikes and hikes are the very best way to slow down and see a culture. Here’s an excerpt from an  article by Claire O’Neill on the NPR site about bikes:

“Nic and I both love bicycles,” he writes. “But we really believe that it’s a simple and affordable tool that can really liberate and empower South Africans. By celebrating the few South Africans who do ride everyday, and telling the stories of their lives, we hope to inspire more people to try out commuting by bicycle.”

He says they are currently redesigning the project’s website and working on a book. But on the current site, you can click on any one of the portraits and read a biography: David Mamabolo is a 60-year-old gardener who rides to work; Vidette Ryan likes to avoid parking; Brandan Searle is a fitness manager; and Jors Moentsabato puts it simply: “There where I go, I ride my bike.”



While you might not be able to kite your way around town, biking is a great alternative to cultural travel.  You can see a whole picture show of biking in South Africa at NPR’s site here.   Bike, Hike or Kite, it’s cultural travel at it’s best!



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