Kitty’s 2016 Christmas Gift Guide : Bike charities

I think it’s safe to say that we all love bikes, in one way or another – and many of you have spoken about how getting into cycling has changed your life. Perhaps riding has made you more fit or brought you a group of new friends. Maybe the love of cycling has actually given you a new career. So why not spend a little money to help cycling change someone else’s life? Here are some charities that can do that … 

Qhubeka

When a charity is connected with a cycling team – in this case through Team MTN Qhubeka, now Team Dimension Data – it gets a lot of attention. But do you know what Bernie, Cav and Stevo are riding for?

Qhubeka raises money to buy bicycles for communities in Africa – bikes that can cut the travel time to school by 75% (thereby raising the percentage of children who regularly attend school), increase a person’s carrying capacity by five times, and double the number of patients a healthcare worker can visit in a day. Truly life-changing. To learn more about the charity’s work and details of how to fundraise or donate, go to their website.

World Bicycle Relief

World Bicycle Relief provides students, healthcare workers and entrepreneurs across Africa, South American and Southeast Asia with locally assembled bicycles – giving the recipients a way to get to school or carry heavy loads for greater distances while providing training for field mechanics and employing bike assemblers. Win win! And this is what these bikes brings to those communities:

Our friends, Ashley and Jered Gruber, are fundraising for World Bicycle Relief this year by offering two of their fabulous images as limited edition runs of 25 each. All proceeds from the $500 donation (which gets you a 16×20 unframed print of your choice) go to the organisation. To see the images (which are gorgeous) and to donate, go to their fundraising page here. You can also donate any amount through the WBR website and (at the time of going to press) your donation will be matched.

Africa Kit Appeal

Many of you will remember Matt Brammeier collecting spare cycling kit in the past few months to help young African cyclists realise their goal of joining their national team one day. Riders from the African continent are starting to make a real splash in the professional peloton – who can forget when Daniel Teklehaimanot (or Daniel TeklePolkaDots as we like to call him) became the first Eritrean rider to don the Tour de France’s KOM jersey?

So if your loved one has given you new kit for Christmas, why not give your spares to a great cause? Or if you can’t bear to part with that well-loved jersey, you can donate through PayPal. Go to the website to find local drop-off sites, donation details and to learn more about the charity.

Bike Libraries

We’ve hit you up for your spare kit, now we want your spare bikes! And yes, we know that this is like asking for your right arm – but again, it’s for a great cause. Donate your bike to the Yorkshire Bike Libraries and local charities will loan them out to children and families who might otherwise not be able to ride. Hey, if the Podium Enforcer™ Bernard Hinault is behind it, it’s got to be brilliant.

These are just four good causes you can support this Christmas. And let’s face it, 2016 has been a breathtakingly shit year so why not end it on a positive note. Give a little, give a lot, give your time, give your attention, do 100 small things or 1 huge thing, but do something to bring some light into someone else’s life. Because we all need it.

 

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