Founder: Global Wheeling initiative

Kayden Kleinhans

“Stand upwind when urinating outdoors.” That’s good advice coming from a solo adventurer, environmental activist and founder of an non-governmental organisation that converts the carbon-free kilometres accumulated on his global bicycle expeditions into trees that get planted in disadvantaged communities. Easier said than done. On his latest expedition, 28-year-old Kayden Kleinhans cycled across 20 countries in Europe and Africa, accumulating 15 000 km to help to offset “the colossal carbon footprint … left in the wake of the Fifa 2010 World Cup”.

Besides the normal physical and logistical demands, he had to cross the Sahara Desert and negotiate his way through war-torn Côte d’lvoire. It’s safe to say that finding food, water and shelter has become standard practice. Kleinhans uses his pedal- powered expeditions to highlight society’s over-reliance on fossil fuels and the power of the bicycle to alleviate congestion and minimise carbon emissions. It’s a serious mission for a man who describes himself as a “diehard Manchester United fan”.

— Cat Pritchard