Two things have arguably saved my sanity in the last couple of years: Afrobeat and cycling.
Afrobeat because there’s something about Fela Kuti‘s infectious grooves that latch onto the third of my brain that would otherwise be screaming with stress and anxiety. And cycling because, well, it’s cycling. I get to exercise, get around pleasantly, lose weight (15 lbs so far) and consume fewer natural resources.
So far I’m yet to find a way to combine these two life-saving obsessions. But AfricaBike sure comes close.
Kona has built a bicycle specifically suited for Africa: rugged, easy to maintain, and cheap. You and I can buy one for $375. But we can also buy one for a health worker in Africa for a mere $100. The idea being, of course, that home health care workers can deliver more ARV drugs to HIV/AIDS patients if they can actually, you know, get to people’s homes. And look! AfricaBike even has its own MySpace page. I wonder if it will be my friend?
As I don’t ride while listening to music — I consider the combination of bike riding and earphones to be almost as nuts as riding without a helmet — I can’t directly combine my love of Fela with my love of cycling. But I can salute Fela’s Pan-Africanism by giving it up to AfricaBike.