The simplest explanation for Ibike / Bicycle Africa genesis is it
is an extension of the passions of David Mozer, its founder, and an
educator, bicyclists and African studies specialist.
David first work on multicultural education in the
mid-1960 as a student videographer for a program exchanging video tapes
with schools in Japan and later as an advocate for more cross-cultural
education programs before the local school board, and then as a
participant on the cross-cultural programs that were created.
About the same time he started bicycle touring.
He started by criss-crossing the region around where he lived,
either with friends he could persuade to join him or by himself if none
could be found. As an undergraduate David had an interdisciplinary major
that include biology, ecology, political science and ethnic studies.
His first trip to Africa was in 1975 as a Peace Corps Volunteer to
Liberia. During the next two
years he taught math and science and hiked hundreds of miles visiting
isolated village schools directing an education extension program.
He then traveled extensively studying the rest of West Africa.
After completing a Masters Degree in Applied Economics, David
returned to Liberia on contract with the American Embassy, at which time
he administered a grant program for village development and reported on
economic conditions. During
his travels, David collected hundreds of pieces of African art, a stack of
material on culture and folklore and extensive knowledge of conditions in
Apprehensive about the prospects for personal fulfillment
in any of the obvious career tracks, David set out to design his own.
He made part of this work challenging some myths and misinformation
that flows through Western society and helping people learn about,
understand and appreciate the diversity and complexity of the world.
To do this there is no better way than a first hand experience. He felt the strongest rewards and contagious enrichment from
travel came not just from see natural feature and wildlife, but when you
combined this with learning about the diversity and complexity of cultures
and meeting people as well. To
be true to other values he held, he wanted the program to be
environmentally friendly, economically beneficial to the host community
and culturally sensitive.
With this philosophy driving the structure, the first
programs explored the diversity and complexity of Liberia, starting in
1983. During the program,
participants stayed in villages, and ate the varied and succulent local
cuisine. Discussion ranged
from agriculture to zoology, making stops at anthropology, architecture,
geology, history, meteorology, political science along the way.
Participants learned about traditional religion, healing and
education, and modern development programs, health care and education, met
civic leaders and enjoyed the lush beauty of the land and generous
hospitality of the people. After
the first trip one of the participants offered, "A
month on a Bicycle Africa trip is worth four years of college
But part of the information void for Africa is the
tendency to under-report its diversity and to let one country represent
Africa, so systematically, over the next seven years, keeping to the same
philosophy and design, the programs was expanded to include the
exploration of the diversity of other parts of West Africa and destination
in North, South, East and Central Africa as well.
Each program is design to highlight the diversity and complexity of
the area. Even within each
region contrasting programs are offered back-to-back so the participants
appreciate that it is difficult to generalize about even small areas of
Africa. Since 1983 we have
offered programs in more than 20 countries using more than 40 different
In the late 1990's we started to expand the program
again, this time to outside Africa. Using
the same philosophy that world is complex and it is best to explore it in
an environmental friendly, economically responsible and culturally
sensitive manner, we have added cultural heritage programs to Cuba and
other destinations in the Americas and Asia. The Bicycle Africa
program is now part of a family of programs called Ibike
Complete Chronology of Bicycle Africa Cultural
Unique Programs To Special Places For Memories Of A Lifetime!
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