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My entire life I've tried to ride my bike faster. It was what I was taught to do from a young age. But now, I'm actually enjoying the slower pace of the rides. It's given me the opportunity to get to know the riders and listen to their stories. And it's no surprise that they feel most comfortable on the bike. The horrible Belgium like rain we are getting in South Africa doesn't seem to dampen anyone's spirits. So we go out each day, ride for a while and share stories.
Here are some things that I would like to share with you from some of my MDR conversations:
RadioShack team director Johan Bruyneel is blogging about the World Bicycle Relief mission he is directing in Lusaka, Zambia.
Million Dollar Ride
Talking about a durable bike, here's a Million Dollar Rider trying to ride a bike with 70 lb. (31.8 kg) of charcoal. Not an easy task, but imagine if there was no bike. How would the charcoal seller do his job?
operate in an assembly line structure, enabling 100 to 120 bikes to be built in one day. These bikes are designed to be durable, carry several hundred pounds and can easily be repaired with a rock or hammer.
can start to understand the snowball effect that bikes can have and how bikes can influence education and ultimately placement in the workforce. Here's a picture of FK's wife personally giving a school girl her new bike. What a great feeling for both! Directly seeing and feeling that you've influenced someone's life in such a special way. Speechless.
I will try to gather some more photos over the final couple days here, as well as post some videos. Eva and I are proud to let you know that we will in fact make the trip to Zambia with FK and family before the end of the year. Listening to stories, seeing pictures and watching videos are all pretty powerful, but every Million Dollar Rider says that there is nothing like the first hand experience. We need to go!
Before I shut the computer down for the night, I want to thank our virtual Million Dollar Riders (yes, that's YOU) first for allowing me to share these experiences with you. Eva and I are truly moved by your generosity. Thank you for recognizing the needs of others and giving back.
Even though Eva and I missed the "heart" of the trip (the fieldwork in Zambia), we felt it was still important to go and meet with the donors during the final part. We were determined to make the best of the situation and personally thank each and every donor for their commitment to World Bicycle Relief's mission. The trip ends in South Africa and not in Zambia because it's important that the Million Dollar Riders have time to reflect on their experiences. In only a few days, strangers bonded together, went into the rural areas of Zambia and experienced what few of us will ever experience. In a couple days they will go back to their respective homes, but they will always be united by this trip.
I know some of you have asked about the actual bikes. Here's what I found out. They come from India, four in a box, completely unassembled. World Bicycle Relief has workers that Nike Air Huarache Men On Feet
Million Dollar Riders built their own bikes at World Bicycle Relief headquarters and then went into the fields and followed caregivers. These caregivers support the needs of anywhere between five and 10 patients, many who have AIDS. There was one caregiver named Susan who actually had AIDS herself. The Million Dollar Riders followed Susan to a Air Huarache Run Ultra White patient's house and it took 30 minutes by bike. If Susan didn't have a bike, it would take her more than two hours by foot, which probably wouldn't even be possible with her health status. She brings her patients medicine and ensures that they are following their limited treatments. If they need to go to the clinic she takes them there on a 20 km bike ride. Oh and I forgot to mention Air Huarache Le
The Million Dollar Riders had the opportunity to take part in a bike distribution at a local school. 90 bikes were distributed to children, enabling them to get to and from school quicker and increasing attendance rates. I think you Nike Huarache Ultra Mens Grey
Million Dollar Ride: To South Africa
Each World Bicycle Relief bike serves the needs of approximately 10 people. There have been 50,000 bikes distributed to date so 500,000 Zambians have truly felt the power of the bike! How's that for numbers?
Last Wednesday my fever and nasty cough were gone, which together had kept me in bed for a week. My kids, Christian and Victoria, were feeling better, too. So my wife, Eva, and I decided that we needed to join World Bicycle Relief and the Million Dollar Riders in Africa. I had a chance to meet some of them on my daily video conference calls. Their experiences, thoughts and feelings were so powerful. The calls were recorded and as soon as I receive them, I will share them with you. Writing them down won't do any justice.
she is a single mom caring for her two children and her late sister's three children.
So we are now in South Africa to reflect on what we saw and felt; to share this with the group and new friends; and then find ways to recommit to World Bicycle Relief's mission. There are common questions that every Million Dollar Rider is asking these days: How can I get more involved? What can I do more? Why did I take certain things in life for granted? Though I wasn't in Zambia, I know from these questions and my conversations that the Million Dollar Ride was a great success.
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