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Entering Parana, my third and final state in Brazil & breaking the 2000 carbon free km mark!

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After 5 weeks in the saddle the Global Wheeling Americas expedition is bang on track. With an extremely tight schedule of 400 km’s per week required to reach Burning Man in Nevada in time for late August 2013. This 20 000 km pedal powered environmental pilgrimage across the Americas has left no room for error.

At the end of the 5th week the odometer reads 20 82 carbon free kilometers with a CO2 reading of 311. 17 kg’s and the humble bicycle and its carbon free qualities as a mode of transport continue to impress. The road thus far has not been without its challenges though and entering the state of Parana has seen the introduction of some serious mountainous terrain as I post this blog from 1000 meters above sea level.

My biggest challenge to date in Brazil has been staying alive on the infamous BR 101 freeway otherwise known by the locals as “death highway” here in Brazil. With a population of close to 200 000 000 people coupled with one of the largest emerging economies in the world and a virtually nonexistent railway network. Brazil is exceedingly over reliant on the truck and this major south north thoroughfare connecting the major cities of Porto Alegre and Curitiba in the south with Sao Paolo and Rio further north.

The BR 101 makes for extremely dangerous cycling and some rather stressful days in the saddle as the physically demanding schedule of 400 km’s per week is now compounded by the stress of dealing with these huge diesel trucks, racing past you at what seems like a hundred miles an hour as they shave closely by you. The wind tunnel shaking you to the core as all your muscles contract and clench up as you hear yet another colossal rumble approach from behind at staggering speeds. Navigating hundreds of these trucks on a daily basis leaves you mentally and physically drained by nightfall, I suppose the upside is I am now managing to sleep through the night from sheer exhaustion even though it is often on the side of the noisy BR 101 freeway nestled away hidden amongst some dense vegetation in my tent the “humble hilton”.

Bidding farewell to the Atlantic ocean would be a rather emotional affair as I start to tack north west through the towns of Joinville and on towards Curitiba, the capital of the state of Parana and the largest of the Brazilian cities I would endure with a population of 4 000 000 in the greater metropolitan area.  From Curitiba I will start to head directly west towards the Iguaza falls and the Paraguayan border before tackling the Andes and the interior of the Latin American continent. The thought of thousands of miles and months in the saddle before I would encounter the ocean once again plays heavily on my mind.

My bad luck seems to continue as the last couple of weeks in the saddle have seen my inflatable mattress give up the ghost and succumb to 3 punctures as the debris and glass that litter this busy freeway wreak havoc on my tyres. My customised aluminum camera mount on the front of the bike would snap from the rigours of Latin American roads and the barrage of vibration it has endured over the last 2000 km’s coming up from Buenos Aires via Uruguay. It would take me 2 hours circling the industrial estate on the edge of Curitiba before I managed to source a spot that could weld it back together. On a brighter note, Brazilian hospitality continues to impress as I was hosted by a Fireman and fellow bike enthusiast in the town of Tijucas whilst en route to Curitiba and managed do get some much needed laundry out of the way.

With the mount fixed and the puncture repaired I plot my route west towards the interior of the continent, bidding farewell to the infamous BR 101 as I now rely on smaller roads heading inland. I try to focus on the positives not to get bogged down by the relentless bad luck that has plagued the start of the expedition thus far and continue to crank the pedals in the hope that my luck will turn sooner or later.

And our official CO2 reading for the journey thus far had it been done in an average sized American people carrying sedan….

Scary stats! Thinking twice about jumping in the car for the next quick jaunt to the shops?

Stay tuned as we watch the CO2 tally grow as the expedition unfolds.


Global Wheeling enters Brazil and the humble bicycle continues to impress.

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Uruguay and country number one of this enviro-expedition through the Americas completed. Two thousand carbon free kilometers of Brazilian soil awaits and a C02 reading after three weeks in the saddle that will send shivers down your spine.

Battling through the initial stages of not being touring fit and a persistent headwind, I would reach the border town of Chuy after roughly a week and a half in the saddle and just shy of 600 carbon free km’s on the dial. Just when I had convinced myself that my ears were starting to prick up to a wee bit of Spanish, I would cross into Brazil and Portuguese would now be on the agenda.

Brazil would arrive with a bang, crossing the border at Chuy into the state of Rio Grande do Sul in the south east corner of the country. I would be met by a barrage of wind and rain, back to back storms in the region that had led to 5 fatalities in neighbouring Paraguay would snap my tent in the middle of night one on Brazilian soil. With intense weather looming and a tent that was no longer waterproof my start to Brazil would be an uphill one. Day two on Brazilian soil would bring about being chased and bitten by a feral dog which ended with me coming off the bike and crashing in the rain, I had a few quiet words with Brazil after that and recommended we straightened things out sharpish before I got pissed off…

It would be a wet, windy and rural 250 km stretch heading north to the town of Rio Grande where I’d source the ferry across the bay to Jose do Norte, unfortunately by the time I arrived there, after three days in the saddle and camping in a broken tent the ferry had been cancelled due to gale-force winds and I would have to sit it out until it blew over. Waiting for the navy to give to the green light to cross the bay, I bided my time tracking down a hardware store and in my best Portuguese managed to source some duct tape and a bit of steel tubing to McGyver my broken tent.

One has to be prepared for numerous glitches and speed bumps, and to adopt a somewhat flexible attitude as the nature of long distance solo touring in a part of the world where you have no grasp for the language and you’re constantly up against the elements, things are sure to go wrong and often do.

After a short thirty minute ferry crossing to the southern tip of the peninsular and the town of Sao Jose do Norte, I would tack north on a long narrow 300 km strip of land flanked by the Atlantic to my east and Laguna Dos Patos to the west. A solid three day ride to reach Capivari do Sul, breaking the 1000 km mark in the process and leaving the windswept rural peninsular for the now much more urbanised coastline as I plotted my route north towards the crossing into Santa Catarina and my second state in Brazil.


A new challenge, Brazilian truck drivers that now frequented the more unrbanised stretch heading north would be my new nemesis as the rain and wind gave way to clearer skies, not yet sure of which adversary I’d rather be contending with, my progress north would be a bit tricky but steady none the less.


Well into week three and the clock ticking over nicely, the C02 reading on the onboard computer growing at what seemed to be an exponential rate. Navigating the towns of Tramandai and Torres in the State of Rio Grande do Sul and notching up 700 km’s in Brazil before finally crossing that invisible line into Santa Catarina and state number two in this huge mass of land that is Brazil.

Week three would come to a close and my first blog due after cold wet nights spent in Uruguayan bus stops, bitten by dogs, lost on gravel roads in the south of Brazil, torrential rains, copious amounts of rice and beans, numerous mechanical and electrical headaches ironed out and still only early days.

Well into the state of Santa Catarina with 1480 carbon free kilometers under the belt and counting, Global Wheeling Americas is well and truly underway. A whopping Co2 reading of 217 kg’s, a top speed of 59.8 kmph, an average speed of 15 kmph, and a required calorie amount to do the journey of 17 200 which equates to 86 pints of beer. I know what fuel I’d rather be using… Stay tuned as the expedition develops and moves east towards Paraguay in the coming weeks.


Global Wheeling has dontaed the first bicycle from the Global Wheeling Americas expedition, a project designed to assist in fostering a clean green two wheeled carbon free culture in South Africa’s developing communities. Check out this link to meet the lucky recipient. http://www.bigissue.org.za/uncategorized/wheeling-for-good-big-issue-vendors-cycling-for-a-healthier-sa#more-2867



The carbon crusade begins…

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It can only get easier from here…can’t it?

 After a rather tumultuous start to the Americas expedition behind me, Buenos Aires and the lost bicycle incident firmly written into recent history books, Uruguay and the open road beckons.

Once again reunited with my trusty two wheeled steed and compadre “Little Miss Sunshine”, recently personified in the Sahara desert after a rather long and solitary stretch of sand during my last expedition. All that’s required now is the small feat of clocking up 20 000 carbon free km’s solo on a bicycle across the Americas.

This expedition will be used as a vehicle to convey the undeniable and rather worrying truth about our over reliance on fossil fuels and oil dependency whilst advocating the humble bicycle as a powerful tool in the battle against climate change.

In order to this, I will clock up 20 000 carbon free km’s over a 50 week period averaging 400 km’s per week, I have installed an onboard computer and carbon calculator that will calculate how much CO2 would have been emitted if the journey was being done in an average sized American people carrying sedan.

I will be releasing regular data through the Facebook page and the blogs on the Global Wheeling website as well as the Big issue publication outlining the mileage covered and the adjoining CO2 reading, stay tuned for some rather startling numbers as the journey unfolds

. In conjunction with the 12 month crossing of the Americas, the Global Wheeling foundation will be donating a bicycle every month for the duration of the expedition to the top vendor of the month at the Big Issue publication and NPO. In turn promoting bicycle culture in developing communities in South Africa and spreading the two wheeled clean green ethos of the Global Wheeling NGO.

After  eight days in the saddle, rain wind, sleeping in bus shelters and petrol stations we have clocked up 580 carbon free km’s and have our first CO2 reading.

Touchdown the Americas

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Buenos Aires, Argentina and the launch to the Global Wheeling Americas leg of the trip is underway. A rather stressful start to say the least, Qatar airlines lost the bike for five days and when she finally did arrive, she was rather battered and bruised. A few mechanical glitches have now been ironed out and tomorrow will mark the start of the trip and the first of 20 000 km’s through the Americas.

An early morning one hour ferry ride across the river from Porto Madero in Buenos Aires to Colonia, Uruguay is on the agenda and we are officially on the road. Watch this space for updates as the journey unfolds.

And the open road beckons once more

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After a rather frustrating year on the sidelines with knee problems, the next phase of Global  Wheeling is set to commence. September will bring the start of another 20 000 carbon free km’s, starting in Buenos Aires and eventually ending up in the Nevada Desert, 17 countries and 12 months later.

Watch this space for details…

Cycle to Earthdance 2011 and join the Global Wheeling carbon reduction initiative for the festival.

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Cycle to Earthdance 2011 and join the Global Wheeling carbon reduction initiative for the festival.

Join the Global Wheeling carbon reduction crew that will cycle to Earthdance 2011 in the Western Cape, South Africa and help reduce the overall carbon footprint of the gathering and in the process highlighting the bicycle as a positive tool in the battle against climate change.

Half price tickets to all cyclists that saddle up for the initiative. Join the 2 day ride from Cape Town to Rawsonville which will see us tackle the infamous Du Toitskloof pass on day 2 of the ride.

The ride will start at Cape Town, Civic Centre, gather for 9am leaving at 10am on Friday the 23rd and will be completed over 2 days, being guided by Kayden Kleinhans, environmental activist, adventurer and founder of Global Wheeling that has clocked up over 31 000 km’s across 4 continents by bicycle. Thanks to Superlok Afrika, there will be a sponsored support vehicle (bakkie) to carry luggage, equipped with first aid kit and tools to fix any mechanical problems on route.

The ride is one way, so please arrange with friends and festival attendees to assist you in getting home after the festival.


 Day 1 will see us ride from Cape Town to Paarl where we will camp over at a campsite for the night and chill around the fire sharing stories. (+-70 km)


 Day 2 will see us packing up our campsite and tackling the infamous Du Toitskloof pass and down into Rawsonville closely followed by Nekkies the venue for Earthdance 2011 where we will arrive on Saturday afternoon. (+-60 km)

Total +- 130 km


This is an Eco Charity bicycle ride that aims to raise enough money to plant one tree for every kilometer we cycle to the festival we urge cyclists to get their employers, friends and family to donate, sponsor and support their efforts to help raise funds for the cause.

 R500 gets you a spot on the crew which will cover your ticket to the festival which is reduced to half price, an experienced guide and bike mechanic, one nights camping in Paarl, a support vehicle and a couple hundred bucks donation towards the trees. The first 10 cyclists to register will also receive a Global Wheeling T-shirt




What you’ll need for the challenge:

– A bike in good working order

– Camping gear for the stay over in Paarl

– A positive attitude

– Adequate clothing for unpredictable weather (sun protection recommended)

– Pocket money for snacks and drinks on route

– A lift home after the festival

– R500 to secure your spot

All welcome, the more the merrier.

Non cyclists are more than welcome to join us at the campsite in Paarl on Friday night, feel free to bring good vibes, food, drinks and musical instruments, the reduced ticket rate however applies to cyclists only.


Contact Kayden regarding a spot on the crew


(+27) 720102675

Charity registration number # 080-828-NPO

Global Wheeling arrives in Mozambique and reaches the 20 nation mark, solo on a bicycle. 15045 KM

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Global Wheeling arrives in Mozambique and reaches the halfway point of an attempted 40 nations solo on a bicycle.  15045 KM

Crossing five countries through Europe and fifteen across Africa, the Global Wheeling initiative reaches the halfway point of an attempted 40 countries conquered solo through four continents on a bicycle. This eco pilgrimage, a quest to highlight the environmental plight of our time, a protest against global warming and accelerated climate change as the ride outlines the huge benefits the bicycle has to cover great distances whilst treading lightly on the planet. A long an arduous road through some of the planet’s most volatile countries has now reached the end of phase one.

Crossing into Mozambique and tallying up country number twenty after 11 months of below zero temperatures, desert sand storms, civil war and countless sleepless nights in bushes, jungles and forests in faraway lands. Reaching this milestone feels a strange combination of fatigue, pain and satisfaction.

Phase two of the ride will commence next year which will see, South, Central and North America crossed on my trusty steed “Little MS Sunshine”. In the interim I will be back in my home town of Cape Town, South Africa planting loads of trees, trying to secure some bigger sponsorship for phase two and nursing my left knee which is due for surgery after all the wear and tear it’s been subjected to over the last year.

The Global Wheeling website is lined up for a facelift and changes are imminent prior to commencing phase two, I will also be working closely with Warren Wilmott the man behind Baked Ginger Productions as we enter into the editing of HD footage and production of the Global Wheeling Documentary.

Stay tuned in for some fantastic new angles on the project as it benefits from being on home soil for a while…

Crossing the Kingdom of Swaziland on two wheels. Country 19

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Crossing the Kingdom of Swaziland on two wheels. Country 19          


Leaving Kwazulu Natal and South African soil was somewhat emotional as I had become quite fond of the intense natural beauty and diversity of the province, my exit however would be a magical one. Heading towards the Golela border crossing roughly 30 km from Pongola and flanking the gorgeous Jozini dam, I was stopped in my tracks a mere 6 km from the Swazi border. Two rather statuesque figures blocking my path to country nineteen and the Kingdom of Swaziland. Bidding me farewell before leaving the Republic and what felt like an acknowledgement for efforts two magnificent looking creatures stared me down, gave me a little nod, and slowly wondered off into the bush as if to say well done.

Reaching the border crossing, I flagged down a passing vehicle which was entering South Africa to enquire about a decent spot on the other side of the border to pitch my tent. The day nearing its end and nightfall round the corner the brain clicks into survival mode mapping out different possibilities for safe and secure shelter for the night. The driver of the vehicle turned out to be Digs Pascoe, CEO of the Space For Elephants Foundation www.space4elephants.org which was in the area doing some conservation work regarding the protection of rhino and the implementation of anti-poaching measures. I would soon find myself at the mercy of great hospitality joining their bush camp in the reserve for the night to be awed by stories of some rather accomplished wildlife conservationists and fell asleep to the sound of hippo’s wading in the stunning Jozini dam.

Swaziland beckoned and the crossing of the border instantly bringing a sense of calm as the tiny Kingdom exudes an unmistakable sense of serenity, this little African gem home to a pace that rarely surpasses second gear. I would follow the road northwards crossing the eastern half of the country towards the town of Big Bend where I would find a place to pitch my tent for the night. E 50 (50 Swazi Emalangeni / $7) secured me a patch of grass and a hot shower in the back yard of a bar, a bit of a steal considering campsites in neighbouring South Africa demanding double that figure and rarely that close to the pub.

English speaking Swaziland affording the opportunity to purchase the local African paper and do a bit more than just looking at the pictures. Bringing a wry smile to my face on more occasions than once, catching some rather peculiar adds and notices we rarely find in larger more established countries.

Over the flatlands and up the demanding 6 km climb into the great little town of Siteki, Swaziland never disappointing as I often found myself on beautifully quiet roads in stark contrast to the rest of the continent where you constantly find yourself battling for life and limb as large badly driven trucks force you off the road and into the bush on a regular basis.

It seems the smaller African nations finding a way of creeping into my heart and reminding me why I love this continent, they seem to hang on to the true beauty of this part of the world and avoid the temptations of urbanisation and the greed, envy and corruption that so closely follow, in turn undermining the real magic this continent offers. On that note Swaziland I salute you for remaining a warm, gentle authentic slice of Africa.

Kwazulu Natal, South Africa… Warm in more ways than one, 14 650 km. Country 18

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Kwazulu Natal, South Africa… Warm in more ways than one, 14 650 km. Country 18

Leaving the below zero temperatures of the Lesotho mountains and making my way back down to the coastline of Kwazulu Natal would bring about a serious change in weather conditions. The subtropical warmth of the province, a welcomed ally as I continued to tally up the miles on my quest for 40 nations traversed on 4 continents to highlight the bicycle as a positive tool in carbon reduction and a fantastic weapon in the battle against climate change.

Through Pietermaritzburg where elevations were now less than 1000 meters above sea level, I set my sights on Durban, South Africa’s 3rd largest city. By the time I reached the coast, conditions were a lot more favourable and the long lonely nights in the tent were again becoming a bit more bearable, picking your spot to camp however would be a bit trickier as wildlife in the province is plentiful.

Kwazulu Natal hospitality so far the finest in the land as I would find out first hand, receiving well wishes, cold beers and warm beds on more than one occasion. The battering that my body and my bike took whilst tackling Sani pass has rendered my camera somewhat disabled and has taken on a mind of its own choosing when and if it wants to work, another casualty of the Global Wheeling saga.

The North Coast of Kwazulu Natal being rather fruitful on the media side of things as interviews with local papers, the Courier, Mercury and Observer all taking a shining to the cause. Great to see the South African public showing interest in the cause, and its appreciation for the efforts shown in more ways than one as sponsored digs at B&B’s have been plentiful in this warm part of the nation.

Swaziland is on the horizon country 19 looms and the halfway point of the journey at the twenty nation mark will be realised once crossing the Mozambique border and is now becoming a reality. I envisage crossing into Swaziland in the next 2-3 days through the southernmost border gate a mere 30 kilometers from Pongola with a healthy 14 650 km on the dial.

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