Sierra Leone: People-to-People
Bicycle Africa / Ibike Tours

  Dispatch 2 - Port Loko  

Lungi-PORT LOKO (80km, 50 miles) Temne is the dominant Ethnic group in this area.

Points of interest: Iron ore mine supporting infrastructure, rural villages.

Cycling conditions: dirt, starting relatively flat, with increasing small hills.


The bicycling started with problems in paradise.  November should be late in the rainy season and statistically, at this time of year, it tend to rain more in the late afternoon or overnight.  For this journey to Port Loko it rained in the morning, which fouled up the departure and flooded the road.  The start was late and progress was slow.  But through it all the warmth of the people and the beauty of the land still shines though.

The mud seemed to cause no end of mechanical problems with the drive trains. The viscose mud probably was at least partially the cause of a broken chain. The silver lining was it led to great interaction with some local guys.  Simulation of bicycle chain repair techniqueUpon understanding the problem, they produced two large hammers and a nail.  With all the pieces expertly aligned and a skilled tap of the nail with the hammer, the rivet was driven back into place and the chain was fixed -- and problem free from there on out.  Very impressive! [The photo is a simulation of the bicycle chain repair technique.]

The predominate ethnic group/language in this area is Temne.  When one child caught sight of the bicyclists approaching the cry would go out, "Oporto! Oporto!" (white man, white man).  It would then be picked up by others until it worked its way through the village and all of the children were rushing to the road.


 Next dispatch.



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