African Bike Trip: Departure Feb. 12, 2011

The frame is a 1990s Diamondback "Ascent X", steel wheels, heavy-duty/thorn-proof tubes, 6speed rear (14/28), front 30 tooth chainring, Falcon thumbie shifter, BMX platforms, full chrome fenders, custom steel front and rear racks and a custom paint job.

The frame is a 1990s Diamondback "Ascent X", steel wheels, heavy-duty/thorn-proof tubes, 6speed rear (14/28), front 30 tooth chainring, Falcon thumbie shifter, BMX platforms, full chrome fenders, custom steel front and rear racks and a custom paint job.

For the TL2 project, BBR is starting what we're calling "le cyclo-naturalisme"....or being a naturalist on a bike. I refurbished three older, steel-framed hybrids from the 80s, turning them into Africa wild-life watching bikes. Here's the one I made for myself.

For the TL2 project, BBR is starting what we're calling "le cyclo-naturalisme"....or being a naturalist on a bike. I refurbished three older, steel-framed hybrids from the 80s, turning them into Africa wild-life watching bikes. Here's the one I made for myself.

Democratic Republic of Congo

Democratic Republic of Congo

Area where the park lies between the Tshuapa, Lomami and the Luabala rivers.

Area where the park lies between the Tshuapa, Lomami and the Luabala rivers.

The plan for an eight to twelve day trip leaving from Kindu in the East. We cross several rivers in pirogues, some on tiny bridges.

The plan for an eight to twelve day trip leaving from Kindu in the East. We cross several rivers in pirogues, some on tiny bridges.

The few "tracks" that exist ford streams and after each rainy season need to be repaired. The area is mixed savanah and forest, flat (damn!, no climbing) and watery.

The few "tracks" that exist ford streams and after each rainy season need to be repaired. The area is mixed savanah and forest, flat (damn!, no climbing) and watery.

Some technical MTB skills required here and there. I'll get off and walk. Thank you! The roads are left over from Belgian logging operations. They are few and far between but bicycle travel is the main transport.

Some technical MTB skills required here and there. I'll get off and walk. Thank you! The roads are left over from Belgian logging operations. They are few and far between but bicycle travel is the main transport.

My brother, John Hart is a wild life zoologist/naturalist who has spent his life working for Conservation in (what was once Zaire) the Democratic Republic of Congo. He spent two decades working studying and establishing a reserve for the elusive forest giraffe known as the okapi. His study “parcel” was overrun in the vicious wars that spilled over into remote eastern Congo from Rwanda and Uganda in the 90s. It is functioning again but he and his wife Terese are currently working in an area of the Congo which has  never been studied: the dead center of the country in the region drained by three tributaries of the mighty Congo River: the Tshuapa, the Lomami and the Luabala. Thus the   acronym name for the park TL2. (See their website<www.bonobosincongo.com>  One of the principal interests in this are is the existence of the rare bonobo (sometimes called the “pygmy monkey), as well as hippos, elephants and more. It is savanah giving way to forest drained by many rivers: fertile territory for observing birds and mammals, fish and reptiles.

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