Bicycles for Humanity is hosting its third annual Summer Solstice Bike Ride on Sunday, June 26, raising money for a worthy cause.
Thanks to Bicycles for Humanity (B4H), two cargo containers packed with bicycles recently left Vancouver for a war-torn, impoverished region of Uganda. After 20 years of war, according to Brenda Montani of B4H, the people of the Karamoja region have known just two years of peace.
The bikes will be distributed by aid agencies based on need, and could be used for anything from pedal ambulances to helping nurses cover more territory, to aiding locals getting to work. Some bikes will be converted into machines that do everything from mill grain to power cell phones.
The two additional containers make five in total, including three that were sent to an aid agency in Malawi. Most of the first three containers were filled with bikes and gear from Whistler, but for the simple reason that the town is running out of old bikes to donate, B4H has looked outside Whistler to the rest of the corridor and to the Lower Mainland as well.
Collecting the bikes is one thing - John Henry bike stores in Vancouver assembled 1,000 donated bikes for the shipment, and Whistler residents added another 100 - but raising the money to ship the containers to Africa is another challenge. The Summer Solstice Ride is just one of the ways that members of the public can help.
The ride starts in Pemberton, and participants will have three options - an 80-km out-and-back ride to Anderson Lake with a barbecue at the halfway point, a 100-km ride that includes a section of the Pemberton Meadows and a 140-km ride that includes all of Pemberton Meadows road as well as the barbecue at Anderson Lake - a good option for riders training for Ironman or the RBC GranFondo, said Montani.
"Riders are supported with snacks and water along the way and mechanical support as well," she said. "Fortunately the last two years we've had beautiful days and we're hoping for the same this year, too."
It costs about $2,500 to purchase each container, and around $6,000 to ship that container to Africa. The global Bicycles For Humanity project has donated close to 20,000 bikes to developing countries.
The deadline for registration is June 23. If you want to take part, email Brenda Montani at firstname.lastname@example.org.