by Steve Wilson
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When classic motorcycle author Steve Wilson planned his 6,000-mile ride through Africa, perhaps his last real run on two wheels before the bus pass took over, the journey sounded challenging enough - just two Brits on 1950s Ariels, using their own resources to survive life on the wild roads. It became even more hair-raising when events meant he would have to do the ride solo.
In this moving account Steve chronicles the entire experience: bike preparation, organisation, mechanical mayhem, personal discovery and, one of the reasons for the trip, raising a cheque for GBP2,000 for a small school in Kawaza, Zambia.
● How a holiday in Zambia provided the spark for this trip, to raise funds for a Trust backing humanitarian projects in South Luangwa National Park.
● An ordinary biker's African odyssey, the antidote to Long Way Down, with no showbiz back-up, in fact no back-up at all except, as it turned out, the kindness of strangers.
● Riding across South Africa, Botswana, into Zambia to the school in South Luangwa, then back via Zimbabwe and through South Africa again - until the Ariel's big end finally let go, just a day's ride from Cape Town.
● Dogged by mechanical disasters, accompanied by local classic bikers, welcomed by subsistence farmers, awed by the landscape, scared by the crocs.
A revelation of a story, packed with technical interest, wittily written and sharply observed.
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