The Zambian bicycle – A Work Horse Indeed.
The Zambian bicycle – is multipurpose. it doesn't make any difference whether you are touring, running errands or just on a mission to some place, it will take you anywhere.
It can go to places where a car can't go and it requires no expenses for fuel. Breakdowns are minimal and it's easy to maintain or repair. Bicycle repairmen are all over and you don't need to go far to find one.
It's immensely popular with Zambians from all corners of the country. The 'lamba' tribes' men have just fallen in love
with it. It's rare to come across an adult 'lamba' man who doesn't own a bicycle. His men folk will look up to him.
They hold it in high esteem.
In Chipata, in the Eastern province, folks have taken advantage of the high fuel prices to cash in. They offer their bicycles as a means
of transport to the travelling local public. Of course at a fee! And this trend comes in view of the fact that the only bicycle
manufacturing plant in Zambia, the Luangwa bicycle industries, was located in Chipata.
Of course it is very advantageous to own a bicycle and to live near a bicycle factory like the case with our folks from Chipata.
But Zambians throughout the country have somehow come up with a bicycle that constitutes very minimal parts.
This is largely due to the economy.
The ordinary Zambian needs to struggle financially in order to afford a new bicycle. So if you take a close look at the bicycle, a lot of essential items are missing. The bell, brakes and pedals are not necessary as long as you are on the move! In short, you are looking at a homemade bicycle and the owner run out of material to complete it.
Ever seen someone cruising on a bicycle frame mounted on bicycle wheels? The self–propelled bicycle is very much around in Zambia! No mud guards, no brakes, no carrier, a questionable saddle and somebody proudly calls it a bicycle!
That's the Zambian bicycle…
If the worthiness of a bicycle is measured by the quantity of luggage it can carry, then the bicycle is very worthy indeed. Just take a stroll on any busy road in one of the humble neighbor hoods of any city/town and you will be surprised to see the quantity of luggage the bicycle is usually loaded with.
Vintage bicycles are in abundance and the owner can proudly tell you which year he bought it. Although usually the only remaining 'vintage' item on the bicycle is the frame, the rest being recent new additions.
The bicycle is a family property and every family member is entitled to use it, including some of the neighbors, who are in good books.
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