Henry Gold, founder Tour D’Afrique. All photos courtesy Tour D’Afrique.
Most people facing unemployment at the age of 50 would turn towards the safety and comfort of what they know to get back on their feet. When Henry Gold was in that position, he decided to lead a four month bicycle expedition from Cairo, Egypt to Cape Town, South Africa and organize a race on the same route despite having never bike toured or raced a day in his life at that point. Gold thought his adventure was going to be a one-time thing. Instead, it gave launch to his bike touring company, Tour D’Afrique. Twelve years on, the company offers 10 expeditions and races on six continents. I spoke to Gold about his history working with NGOs around the world, the African bike-manufacturing project he tried to start that helped inspire Tour D’Afrique, the joy and challenges of leading multi-month bike expeditions, and much more.
Dutch writer and bicycle tourist Grace Johnson launched a new online magazine this month called Bicycle Traveler. The free (and advertisement-free) digital publication is, as you’d imagine, focused on stories and photography about bicycle touring.
The content in Issue #1 is a bit of a mixed bag. Several of the articles appear to be excerpts from bicycle touring blogs and they read that way. But, the feature article more than makes up for it. It’s about Eric and Jack Attwell, two South African brothers who rode the length of Africa then all the way to London in the 1930s. It is well written and provides a fascinating snapshot of both 1930s bike touring and Africa itself.
I’m looking forward to future issues of the magazine. It’s a respectable and ambitious project, made all that more ambitious by the fact that Johnson and her husband Paul Jeurissen are in the midst of their own world-wide bike tour. The two of them sold their house in the Netherlands in 2010 and set off on the road.
Go check out the Bicycle Traveler site, download the first issue, and explore the magazine for yourself.