On July 1st, I will join Techbikers Germany for a charity bike ride from Poznan to Berlin to raise money for World Bicycle Relief. The ride relies on donations, so I hope to explain why the ride is important to me, that the charity is not only a good cause but also effective, and hopefully convince you to donate.
As most of you will know, I am pretty passionate about tech and love cycling, despite an accident or two. Some of you will have even donated in previous years, for which I am eternally grateful, we made it and I am really excited to be doing it all again.
The Techbikers initiative started in London in 2012, the idea was to organize a ride from London to Paris every year and have participants raise money for charity. The ride successfully raised over £170,000 for Room to Read over the first 3 years.
In 2013, Lea and Jan who participated in the inaugural ride decided to bring the idea to Berlin. Techbikers Germany's first ride was from Prague to Berlin. I joined the group a week before that ride and later wrote about it. It's been a pleasure to ride together in 2014 from Copenhagen to Berlin and in 2015 from Hamburg to Berlin.
Since the 2014 ride, we have been raising money for World Bicycle Relief, a charity whose work nicely aligns with our common interest, cycling. World Bicycle Relief designs and manufactures rugged bicycle parts engineered specifically for rural terrain and load requirements and provides training and tools to assemble and maintain the bikes locally. The bikes are mostly distributed to students and healthcare workers, but also entrepreneurs and family businesses in a number of African countries, but also in Thailand and Colombia. I am really impressed by how efficient they are: they distribute a high quality bike for €134 raised. 64% of their income comes from individual contributions, so rides such as this one are important to them. And they are passionate about what they do!
Cycling is my primary form of transport, even though I live in a city with a world class public transport system. It's also pretty flat which helps, but nevertheless I personally really believe in the power of bicycles. I am happy to be supporting a program that gets quality bikes to people for whom this really makes life a lot easier and who could otherwise not afford them.
This year, 34 of us will cycle 400km from Poznan to Berlin. It will be a little different for me as I had to take a break from cycling this year and I'm leaving my much trusted Koga Miyata at home and riding my fixed gear bike (hey 8bar-bikes, it would be great if you could donate too!). It should be fun.
This year we are targeting €25,000. My personal goal is €750 and every donation no matter how large or small will help reach this goal. To the companies I work with, a percentage of this is small relative to the value of our relationships and I will thank you in a follow up post. To friends and family who donate, I will thank you in person or if that's not possible by phone. For my Australian friends an extra hug when I'm back later this year!
Update 15/6: The link should be in english now.
(The above link is in German, you can visit the Techbikers group page, here, and change the language in the top right corner then scroll down to find my page, don't donate to the other people, they are already mostly ahead of me)