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  1. #1
    Senior Member slagjumper's Avatar
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    Zimbabweans turn to pedal power as the petrol pumps stay dry

    Few countries are as messed up as Zim, but out of the ashes comes something good. When I was there for 2 weeks in 1998, I rented a Hertz mazda 606. It cost $1 US / mile + gas at about $4 a gallen. (I did shamlessly disconnect the speedo) Since then Mugabe stoped paying for gas import tab and bang no more gas. What can you say in the land where the stateowned telco charges $25,000 a month for dsl speed connectivity. I like the part where employers are buying the bikes to get people to work faster.

    http://www.capetimes.co.za/index.php...icleId=2902278

    Zimbabweans turn to pedal power as the petrol pumps stay dry
    October 4, 2005

    Harare: Fed up with fuel pumps that often run dry, commuters in Harare are trading petrol power for pedal power.

    The humble bicycle is becoming a vehicle of choice as Zimbabwe wrestles with its worst fuel crisis since independence in 1980, prompted by a severe
    foreign currency shortage.

    There are long queues outside those service stations that are still getting deliveries, with cars, buses and trucks sometimes parked for days before getting rationed fuel.

    Fuel shortages have also caused a surge in the cost of public transport, with private bus operators doubling their fares last month.

    Many Zimbabweans, like 33-year-old Biliat Jorindo, say they can no longer afford bus fares and must find an alternative. "This is my new car," he said, as he unwrapped his new black bicycle, partly funded by his employer, a security firm.

    "For us there is no other way. This is now my only means of getting around," said Jorindo, who will now be cycling the 8km to work in Harare from his home on the city's outskirts.

    On a good day, said Jorindo, it could take him between 30 and 40 minutes to get to work using public transport.

    On a bad day, when there are fewer buses, it can take up to three hours, he said.

    Jorindo is one of the lucky ones who lives fairly close to town.

    "Some people cycle in a round trip from places like Chitungwiza or Ruwa (townships south of Harare) to work and back, a trip of up to 100km per day," said Laster Chihuri, 36, a fellow security guard.


    In central Harare, the bicycle business is booming, dealers said.

    "The fuel crisis is definitely having a major influence as more and more people turn to cycling," said Yunis Mahomed, owner of Manica Cycles.

    He said companies were buying bicycles for workers, mainly to try to cut down on the time it takes people to get to work.

    "The only problem is that I'm battling to replenish my stock. It's difficult when you sell, say 200 bicycles this month, and there's no foreign currency to buy more," Mahomed said.

    Zimbabwe has had a severe fuel crisis since late April when foreign currency shortages disrupted petrol imports.

    The crisis has crippled municipal and emergency services in Harare, with only one fire engine in operation, and city authorities have admitted they bought fuel on the black market to keep afloat, the state-run Herald newspaper reported last month.

    Two weeks ago, the leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, Morgan Tsvangirai, began walking the 8km to work to protest against the fuel shortages.

    Ordinary Zimbabweans are faced with few choices but to start peddling.

    Said security guard Chihuri: "Cycling should be practised for the sake of enjoying, not for the sake of surviving." - Sapa-AFP

  2. #2
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    where is the rest of the word

  3. #3
    Senior Member slagjumper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by electricmike
    where is the rest of the word
    Seems like there are 2 kinds of car free. Those who chose to be and those who must be.

  4. #4
    Junior Member volcker's Avatar
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    Good for them, we should hope for a dictator of our own so, we all can go car free...

  5. #5
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    I've been so poor I had to go bike-only, and I have a friend who's bike-only now, in fact quite a few ppl in the US are bike-only they're just not talked about. And bush is quickly becoming a dictator - so, you're getting your wish!

  6. #6
    I'm made of earth! becnal's Avatar
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    Becoming?

  7. #7
    Senior Member slagjumper's Avatar
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    I hate to bring this around to oil but seems like since we went in to Iraq, the insurgents and US military kinda crippled refining capacity in the #2 most plentiful source of oil. We actually bring oil in now to support the "effort". Lets "hope" the insurgents don't start in on the #1 supplier's facilities. The Saudis would be so unhappy. In the case of Zim. Mugabe is a a hole. At least George rides a bike. It's funny that they talk of "black market" oil, since nothing could get into Zim without Mugabe's say so.

    This really does look like a "black" finger plot to make the lower 48s 2% supply increase 200% in value every 4 years. Presidents of the free world can bleed their countries dry as well.
    Last edited by slagjumper; 10-08-05 at 10:06 PM.

  8. #8
    2-Cyl, 1/2 HP @ 90 RPM slvoid's Avatar
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    Holy moley... ""Some people cycle in a round trip from places like Chitungwiza or Ruwa (townships south of Harare) to work and back, a trip of up to 100km per day," said Laster Chihuri, 36, a fellow security guard."

  9. #9
    I'm made of earth! becnal's Avatar
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    100 km is only 4 hours on a bike. Spread over a day, that isn't bad at all. And don't forget time on a bike is FUN.

  10. #10
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    It's a lot more than 4 hours on Zimbabwean roads, on a single-speed 50 pound bike. I don't think it qualifies as fun, any more than gardening counts as fun when it's all the food you have, or fishing counts as fun under the same circumstances.

  11. #11
    I'm made of earth! becnal's Avatar
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    I disagree.

  12. #12
    2-Cyl, 1/2 HP @ 90 RPM slvoid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by becnal
    100 km is only 4 hours on a bike. Spread over a day, that isn't bad at all. And don't forget time on a bike is FUN.
    Ahahaha you try averaging 25km/hr on those roads on those bikes...

  13. #13
    Senior Member slagjumper's Avatar
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    I know this is divererging but---
    I saw something about abulances being pulled by cattle, (damn I wish I had a photo of that). Even the bike-free might not want to go that far.

    The bike riding is the least of the problems in Zim. People getting arrested for walking to work. Its like a critical mass for pedestians.

    http://www.mg.co.za/articlePage.aspx..._news__africa/

    More news from Zim--

    Zimbabwean police late on Wednesday released an opposition lawmaker and at least 16 of his constituents who were arrested earlier in the day for walking to work to protest chronic fuel shortages, their lawyer said.

    Gilbert Shoko, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) MP for Budiriro suburb in Harare, and opposition supporters were arrested as they walked to the city centre, their lawyer, Alec Muchadehama, said in the morning.






    biodeisel should check this out.
    Zimbabwe to start growing oil-rich tree for fuel

    Harare, Zimbabwe



    05 October 2005 02:29

    Zimbabwe will soon start growing the oil-rich jatropha tree to manufacture its own blend of diesel as the country battles to overcome acute fuel shortages, state radio reported on Wednesday.

    The jatropha plant -- a small deciduous tree that can grow in arid areas -- has seeds rich in vegetable oil that can be burned as a substitute for diesel.

    "Zimbabwe will soon start growing the oil-rich jatropha tree on a commercial scale to help alleviate fuel shortages in the country through the manufacture of bio-diesel," the radio said.

    It quoted an official from the Biosafety Board of Zimbabwe as saying the Science and Technology Development Ministry "has plans under way for massive production of jatropha during the forthcoming farming season".

    Zimbabwe is in the grips of its worst fuel crisis ever, with most filling stations having gone for weeks or months without deliveries of petrol or diesel.

    Only a handful of filling stations are selling fuel to long queues of motorists who have managed to find foreign currency to pay for fuel.

    Zimbabwe has been battling shortages of foreign currency for the past five years. As a result, the country has struggled to pay for vital imports of fuel, power and medicines.

    International reports say a tonne of jatropha seed oil can yield up to 1 100 litres of bio-diesel.

    In August local pig farmers were reported to be applying for funding from the central bank for a project to generate electricity from pig manure. - Sapa-DPA
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    Last edited by slagjumper; 10-11-05 at 02:28 PM.

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