This post was inspired by Steve Jackson’s “Journey to Work” Flickr video that he posted last week. He encouraged others to participate, so this is my contribution.
The place I call home, Buea, is a scenic mountain town sandwiched between Mt. Cameroon and the Atlantic Ocean. It’s unique for many reasons, not the least of which is a gloriously pothole-free, four lane slab of asphalt with a center divider that stretches from the forest at the mountain’s base to the car park at Mile 17—a rarity for Cameroon. This road is built on one long, continuous hill and is bordered on both sides for its entire length by gutters that are a meter deep in places.
As an aside, these gutters have an odd habit of attracting unwary white men into their depths. I’m lucky to have never suffered a gutter fall, and I hope to keep it that way.
As African highways go, it’s a wonderful piece of engineering—and a cyclist’s dream. My house is near the top of said highway. This means I can (and often do) roll out of bed, slurp my morning coffee, push my bike out the front door and, after a few pedal strokes—coast all the way into the office. Time from home to work: less than five minutes. Carbon footprint? Nada.
Before I could shoot a video from the bike, I first had to find a way to attach a camera to the handlebars. Steve suggested strapping the camera to my head, but in the end I opted for a solution that made the best of what I had on hand. So without further ado, here’s my morning bicycle commute to work:
Needless to say, climbing back up this hill on the return leg takes a bit longer and makes for much less interesting viewing.
For those with an interest in bikes, here’s how I built mine in Cameroon (start at the bottom). If any gear heads are wondering about the “fixie” claim when I mention coasting, I’ve since traded-up to a fixed/free flip-flop hub. Life is good.
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