Campaigner Simon Milward is crossing the Western Sahara on a solar-powered push-bike, to prove that sunlight is a viable source of renewable energy even in the desert..
Braving the burning sirrocco wind and getting his passport confiscated by Morrocan toll road officials were the least of his worries as he started the trek from Guelmin to the Mauritanian border.
Cloud was the problem.
“I’ve tested this bike in England on cloudy days and it does still work, but only on the flat. On the slightest gradient it becomes very hard going”, says Milward.
The intrepid cyclist has to carry his own solar panel, and relies only on the back-up of his brother Adam in the support van. He expects the charity ride to take at least two weeks, and is raising funds for Oxfam.
“Raising the money is fantastic and I’ve set myself a target of one thousand pounds” he says. “But raising awareness is far more important. Sunlight is abundant in the Sahara yet no-one is exploiting solar energy.”
Listen to the Solar bike Simon Milward interview from the PassWord with Peter Warren radio show.
You can track Simon’s progress on the route to Mauritania via View Ranger GPS Tracking at www.viewranger.com
These are the tracking details – Username: firstname.lastname@example.org PIN: 1234
Cheer him on by commenting on his blog http://www.aktfoundation.org/?p=2122
Support the Oxfam charity appeal at http://www.justgiving.com/Simon-Milward