Woman plans bike ride across Africa - Metro US

Woman plans bike ride across Africa

While many people are eyeing fitness and philanthropy goals for the near year, a Carleton instructor is working now to make hers happen.

A contract instructor in the School of Mathematics and Statistics, Lynne Wolfson will be trading in her laptop for a bicycle and thousands of kilometres of open road when she takes the winter semester to ride her bicycle across Africa.

The 11,800-kilometre ride starts Jan. 16 in Cairo and will take the 26-year-old Ottawa native through Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, Zambia, Botswana, Namibia and South Africa. It wraps up May 15 in Cape Town.

The beneficiaries? Healthcare workers in Africa, for whom Wolfson is hoping to purchase dozens of bikes.

“When you go to a place, you don’t want to feel like you’re just taking,” said Wolfson. “I wish to give back something I strongly believe in: bicycles. The most accessible, sustainable and efficient form of transportation in the world.”

For healthcare workers, getting around is key, Wolfson explained.

“Having a car in Africa is fairly expensive and bicycles are efficient for transportation and faster than walking. They can get to places they may not otherwise be able to get to and see more people.”

The trip will be a challenge, even for the former competitive cyclist.

“I’m pretty nervous,” she admitted. “You’re on the bike everyday, all day, and that’s not something you can train for at home.”

People at home can track Wolfson’s trip at lynnewolfson.wordpress.com or on Twitter @LynneWolfson.

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