Two Wheels of Change
On On the morning of August 11, over a dozen cyclists will roll out of the Silver Bean Café in Peterborough, Ontario on a either a 2-day ride to historical Kingston, or a 5-day, 500+ kilometer ride to Kingston and back via beautiful Prince Edward County. Both options promise to offer plenty of camaraderie, adventure and fun. Never far from our minds though, is that for the people of Africa, bikes are a critical element of daily life and survival, and this is why we Ride for Africycle.
Africycle is a Canadian-based charity that collects unwanted bikes in Canada and ships them to Africa where they are refurbished and sold to residents as an affordable alternative to motorized vehicles. In their intrepid hands, bicycles become the means to generate income, carry children to school and lift families out of the cycle of poverty. Bicycles deliver medics to patients, convey valuable medications in the fight against HIV/AIDS and other diseases and are a crucial tool in the distribution of clean water.
Africycle’s mission depends on the ‘planting’ of community-focused bike shops to carry out the refurbishment, repair and sales of these bicycles. This unique approach has created employment for 8 Malawian residents, providing opportunity, income and valuable skills. Income generated by the shop is returned to support the needs of each community. Africycle has also established “Grace Shop”, an tool to generate income for Grace Orphan Care, a support group for children orphaned or disabled by HIV/AIDS. In just five short years, this program has created a permanent facility, added staff and programming and seen the number of children swell from 20 to 200!
In the month leading up to our ride, I encourage you to think about the work Africycle is doing and support it with a donation through my Giving Page. Leading up to and during the ride, you can follow our adventures and learn about our riders through the Ride for Africycle site. Or come down to the Silver Bean on the morning of August 11 to see us on our way and maybe even ride with us for a bit.
Here at home and across the globe, two wheels are all it takes to change lives and to change the world. Thank you!