Challenging climate change on a bicycle

2017-09-26 06:01
Brent Hazell and Jason Smit are cycling across South America to raise awareness for others to do one thing for the planet.

Brent Hazell and Jason Smit are cycling across South America to raise awareness for others to do one thing for the planet.

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Two friends from Constantia are cycling South America to raise awareness for the Do One Thing (DOT) Challenge and inspire many others to do one thing for the planet.

Brent Hazell and Jason Smit will cover 11 000km in seven months. That is an average of 60km cycled per day.

This is an initiative that Braam Malherbe, extreme adventurer, motivational speaker and conservationist, conceptualised and started a few years back.

These two friends, who describe their relationship as brothers from each other’s mothers, left the country at the beginning of this month to start their journey in Ushuaia at the southern tip of Argentina. From there they will head north with the intention of reaching northern Colombia within seven months. Hazell recently resigned from his job to undertake this journey of self-exploration and Smit is an aspiring development activist.

Their tour will take them through some of the highlights of South America, including the ice caps of Patagonia, the beautiful ancient ruins of Machu Pichu, and Charles Darwin’s Galapagous Islands.

Originally they planned to embark on this journey primarily for self-discovery, but after they attended Malherbe’s motivational talk and heard about the DOT Challenge they decided that this was their purpose and that the last piece of the puzzle had been found. Climate change is a topic about which both feel strongly and they are going to help to reach the goal of getting as many people as they can to do one thing every day for the planet. Along the way they are going to be completing challenges to try and grow as individuals. One of these challenges will be related to DOT, where they will do one challenge a day.

“The place that we all call home is sick. We all have the power and the responsibility to make changes in the way that we live to create a more sustainable society. I look forward to sharing how easy and rewarding it can be to make these changes with my friend, the boy I moved next door to when I was six years old,” says Hazell.

They have taken a drone, a GoPro and a camera along with them in order to document the challenges, to be posted on the DOT Challenge’s social media platforms.

Smit has similar goals and is equally excited to embrace this journey with his best friend. “Somehow I have ended up here with one of my best and oldest friends and for a cause which every self-respecting human being can identify with,” he says. “When you experience the wonders of nature you cannot help but feel a responsibility to protect it.

Malherbe, the founder of the campaign, arrived back from his latest expedition, the Cape To Rio Row, in May. He and his rowing partner, Wayne Robertson, rowed unassisted from Cape Town to Rio de Janeiro, a distance of 8 100km in 92 day. “After coming close to death and wondering why I was doing such a crazy thing, it truly gives me hope when I see young people, like these two, passionate about embracing change and taking positive action. In this case they are riding their talk,” says Malherbe.

Read more on:    environment  |  climate change

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