Archive | May, 2011

Bikes for Africa Trailer

27 May

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I present to you the trailer for the upcoming Bikes for Africa Documentary.

Another impressive masterpiece from Mr Richard Sidey!

Exciting times indeed, Sich I have just got back from an overnight bike trip where he talked me through the finer (I should say the simpler) points of filming and what I need to do to capture the required footage whilst in Africa. I’m rather excited about it.

For more information on the doco go to the website, spread the word, get involved.

Possible book!

25 May

The title of this blog post was the title of an email I received about this time last year. Mandy and I had just arrived in Melbourne and were sitting in a café, Mandy logged onto my email and said

“Hap, there’s an email here saying ‘possible book.'”

To which I replied, “It’s probably one of my blog readers telling me I should write a book.”

Well, I was right. It was one of my blog readers. As I read through the email I started to have a bit of a “this must be spam” moment. This blog reader had seen my interview with Paul Henry on the Breakfast show and had started following my blog. It just so happened that she was the New Zealand commissioning editor for Allen and Unwin book publishers. After a quick google, I found that Allen and Unwin weren’t a Nigerian book publisher but rather Australasia’s largest independent book publisher. Publishing such authors as Jodi Picoult and one of my favourites, Paul Carter (author of “Don’t tell mum I work the rigs, she thinks I’m a piano player in a whore house”).

Fast forward one year after getting my head around book contracts, whether to use an agent, ebooks, international book markets etc, I have signed my book contract. You could say a dream come true. The best thing about this is when I’m filling out forms and it asks for occupation, I can now write something instead of leaving it blank.

This book has been the reason why some of my blog posts had started to be a bit less frequent as I have been busy tapping away at the keyboard.

The book will be hitting book shelves October/November 2012!

Thank you to you guys my blog readers for following my travels, putting up with grammar (lack of) and supporting me in this little journey. Thank you.

An inspirational meeting

24 May

Hey Folks,

I’m just back from a little inspirational meeting with English adventurer Dave Cornthwaite. I had the pleasure of catching up with Dave between his speaking appointments and fitting it in between filming for the doco and the packing for Sich’s and I little bike ride.

Dave has been on quite an adventure, after setting the record for the longest skateboard journey Dave has set himself the goal to circumnavigate the globe with his 1000 expedition.  The world is 25,000 miles in circumference, he has decided to do 25 individual non motorised 1000 miles journey. These journeys include crossing 3 oceans, going to both the north and south poles and journeys in all 7 continents. Not to mention aiming to raise 1,000,000 pound for his chosen charities in the process.

But the 1000 expedition is only the tip of the ice berg for Dave, go and check out his website and follow his wicked journey at

Bikes for Africa doco

23 May


A little excited Happa writes this post. Sich and I have just finished our first day of filming, well actually Sich does the filming, I just do would I would do normally while he holds the camera getting all excited about the light, atmosphere and exposure (I don’t know what exposure is, I just put that in there, to me exposure is what the guy wearing the trench coat at the playground does).

Due to the big budget nature of our Bikes for Africa doco, Sich has been put up in the finest accommodation Melbourne has to offer, yip you guessed it, our couch. To think Sich was walking down the aisle with NZ celebrity Lisa Chappell from McLeod’s Daughters a few days ago to now sleeping in a shoe box apartment lounge room that he shares with two bikes. Sich is like a cucumber floating down the river, he’s cool and goes with the flow.

It’s bloody gold, it’s one big creative nest in here at the moment, I’m writing away, Sich working his cinematic magic trying to make the tall skinny guy with patchy facial hair look remotely camera worthy (so much for the lens adding a couple of kgs!) and Mandy working away at Beer Bikes and Bands whilst cooking us pumpkin risotto.

It’s been awesome, great working with Sich, a man who’s super talented but yet so darn chilled out and down to earth. We’ve been talking a lot about the doco, his ideas for it, what I have to get filmed in Africa. It’s pretty funny, we both come from polar opposite ends of the filming spectrum, Sich an award winner, and me who probably comes in somewhere towards the chimpanzee holding a video camera hitting buttons end. An example, I pulled my all my camera equipment out, which I haven’t even had time to look at, I go through it and innocently say to Sich:

“Sich bro, I brought this $20 wide angle lens, you want to have a look at it and let me know if it’s any good?”

“I can tell you now, it’s shit.”

“Oh real? How much you pay for a lens?”

“The one I’m wanting is $3-4K.”

“Ohhh, I suppose my $10 no name batteries won’t be good either.”

Today we spent the afternoon capturing some footage of me getting my bike ready. I learnt pretty quickly that the chimpanzee I talked about before may also be better at multi tasking than me. Sich wanted me talking whilst working on the bike, but it was like I had a switch for talking and a switch for working on the bike but both couldn’t be switched on simultaneously. There were great patches of me talking away but I would be staring mindlessly at the wheel in my hand that I was meant to be fixing, or vice versa I would be fixing the wheel whilst making noises like “ummmm, ahhhhhhh, what the f#*#K am I talking about Sich.” My lack of multi tasking reminds me of one of my supervisors on the rigs who would always say to me whilst I asked him questions mid task, “I can’t bloody walk and chew gum!”

But from the whole afternoon, less than 30 seconds will make it into the final cut. Check out the time lapse Sich has whipped up for the afternoon, pretty bloody good.

Container pack and radio interview.

22 May

Howdy folks,

Here are some photos from our container pack today and a radio interview I did on the Melbourne 3CR bike show (if you want to hear the video, go to 9 minutes in).

Interview on 3CR bike show (thanks Sarah Caufield for photo)

Matt packing it up.

ummmmmm ahhhh yeah.

Some of the team standing out the front of yet another Africa bound container.

Hap Rap yo!

17 May

Yo yo waddup!

Never did I think I would be saying that I had a rap written about me! The rapper goes by the name of Elijah, a rapper straight out of the States. This lyrical genius isn’t a potty mouthed, medallion wearing, gun totting gangster but a pencil totting (probably have to say keyboard tapping these days eh?) primary school kid from the classrooms of Colorado. I gladly present to you Elijah’s hap rap performed by the Foster Elementary possie! (If the embed doesn’t work then hit up the link here)

If you had trouble hearing the lyrics on the video, check em out below

Hap Rap

You probably don’t know what’s up with this rap,

The answer you are seeking is a man named Hap

We must help him to complete his dream,

But to do that we must work as a team.

To work on all 7 continents he would like,

to help him you can donate a bike.

If you think giving a bike is funny,

It would be great to donate some money.

If you don’t know about this man,

I’ll explain him to you the best that I can.

His dream is to work on all 7 continents,

he has completed 6 of these big events.

He doesn’t’ care if he gets dirty,

he is trying to do it before he’s 30.

He is going to fix tons of bikes,

I think that’s what people in Africa would like.

So if you have some cash or a bike,

donate it to Hap, that’s what he would like..

How cool is that!

The kids at Foster Elementary school in Denver, Colorado have been doing some AWESOME work raising money for the FCE through their spirit week. They held a hat day, and a crazy hair day where the kids had to pay $1 to wear hats and crazy hair. If you watched the video above you would have seen some of the photos of the hats and crazy hair! The class even went around all the other classes giving presentations about my goal to raise awareness as to what the hat day and crazy hair day were for. And some of the kids even sold treats at a Wizard of OZ play to raise some money.

The kids ended up raising a wooping $412.85!!!!!!!!

That’s pretty darn cool I reckon. The cool thing about it is that the Foster Elementary school kids in Denver are helping out Orphan’s the same age on the other side of the planet. To us a bike is a recreational tool. But to these orphans it is more than fun, the bike that would other wise still be sitting in someones garden shed collecting dust, is now giving that orphan a way of getting to school, or getting to health services. For example, before the bike they had to walk 2 hours to school, now they can bike that distance in 30 minutes, giving then 3 hours extra per day to help with chores and do homework. It’s the great efforts of the Foster Elementary kids and teachers that make this all a reality.

This all just blows my mind. Here I am in Melbourne, the south eastern tip of Australia sitting in a dark little café writing this blog post about to head off to my bike mechanic course, and yet somewhere in the heart of the American Rocky Mountains there is a classroom of rocking little American kids talking about this guy called Hap that has a goal to live and work in every continent of the world before 30 and is sending bikes to Africa. And because they have helped raised money, a bike will be given a new life in Africa. I promised Dawn that I would upload a video onto this blog post to show the kids what a difference they have made by helping to get bikes to Africa, and that in Africa a bike is not just a bike. The video is an advert, but it gets the message across. Enjoy.

OK, it’s time for me to stopping writing ridiculously long sentences and get to the last class of my bike mechanics course. Here goes from this little café in Melbourne, a big McMassive thank you to Dawn, Crystal and all the awesome kids at Foster Elementary, you all rock! In fact, if you were chairs, you would all be rocking chairs!

PS And remember you can still get your hands on some of the round again rings, with the $20 raised going to Bicycles for Humanity.

And best cinematography goes to Richard Sidey!

16 May

Awesome news for Richard “Sich” Sidey! The man who will be behind compiling all the Final Continent Africa footage into a film master piece has just won “Best Cinematography” at the Reel Earth Film Festival for his film “Landscapes at the world’s end”

To celebrate he has put it free to air on line for this week.

<iframe src=”;byline=0&amp;portrait=0&#8243; width=”400″ height=”225″ frameborder=”0″></iframe><p><a href=”″>Landscapes at the World’s Ends</a> from <a href=”″>Richard Sidey</a> on <a href=””>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

If for some reason the above embed hasn’t worked, check it out at this link (If you have slow internet I suggest you give it a while to upload, then come and settle in for 30 minutes of icy cinematic goodness)

I definitely recommend you to check it out, it’s truly amazing, mind blowing Antarctic and Arctic visuals presented in a artistic triptych way with very complimentary sound track. Without going to these fairy tales like regions, this is as close as you will get!

Sich will be arriving in Melbourne on Wednesday to start the pre filming for the Final Continent documentary and to train me, his apprentice in the finer details of filming. Excited, WOW, so much happening, we will be in Africa in 3 weeks!