YOU THINK YOU’RE TOUGH?: THE TRANS-AFRICA BICYCLE EXPEDITION OF KAZIMIERZ NOWAK with Michael Kula, UW Tacoma
So you’ve done RAMROD and STP? Vashon’s Passport to Pain and Bainbridge’s Chilly Hilly? Maybe even RSVP, the Courage Classic or RedSpoke, too? You can handle days, even weeks in the bike saddle, and so you think you’re tough… Well, what about months and years? What about 12,000 miles across deserts and savannahs? Surrounded by droughts and predators, all on a bicycle with only a single gear? Yes, that was the reality of Kazimierz Nowak, a Polish journalist who bicycled alone across Africa in the 1930s, and in this talk, Michael Kula will present his research of Nowak’s journey, as well as readings from his in-progress book about Nowak’s experiences. In the end, it will give us a glimpse into the daily realities of one of the world’s original extreme-adventure-travelers and challenge us all to reconsider exactly how tough we think we are.
Michael Kula is Associate Professor of Writing Studies at the University of Washington, Tacoma. His novel The Good Doctor was published in 2017 by Urban Farmhouse Press, and he is currently completing his second book, a nonfiction account of the life and travels of Kazimierz Nowak, a Polish journalist who bicycled across Africa in the 1930s. He lives in Tacoma with his wife and two children, and when he isn’t writing or teaching, you might find him attempting his own bike travels somewhere in the beauty of the Pacific Northwest.