Sunday, April 26, 2009

A bike that makes you feel good - in a lot of ways!

Yesterday I got my new bike...& one I feel pretty good about buying!Its the Africa Kona bike as pictured above.
Everytime two of these bikes are sold a third one gets donated to a community in Africa where they give the bikes to health care workers so that they can get out more & travel further to help those in need.
"BikeTown Africa began in 2006 with the delivery of 200 bicycles to health care workers in Botswana. A partnership between Bicycling Magazine, Rodale Press, Kona Bicycle Company and Bristol Myers Squibb, BikeTown Africa donates bicycles to health care workers, focusing on HIV/Aids, and then documents the way the bicycle changes their lives. The program grew in 2007 to include a donation of 150 bicycles in Katimo Mulilo on the Caprivi Strip in Namibia and 169 bicycles in Tambacounda, Senegal. The BikeTown Africa team assembles the bicycles in each location and does maintenance and repair workshops, providing tools and spares for mechanics in the area."
2009 Update On BikeTown
Global recession, un-employment rising, tightening of the belt.Those sorts of headlines don't usually foster up huge investment from companies into philanthropic activities, like bicycles for health care workers in rural Africa. Maybe there is different news up there in Canada-land, or it's so cold the global recession has stayed away. Actually after meeting the owner of Kona this year in Mozambique, I can assure you it's because Kona is a company that actually gives a damn. Kona's stand to support BikeTown Africa hasn't waivered this year. They have committed that by the end of 2009, instead of walking, another thousand health care workers will be cruising around on the Kona Africabikes.The second verse is going to be the same as the first. That is, we are going to do things pretty similar to last year. The partners are the same: Bicycling Magazine, Bristol Myers Squibb and Kona Bicycles. The bicycles will have slight modifications after the lessons we learned but are still the specially designed Kona Africabike. The health care workers will be part of Bristol Myers Squibb's - Secure the Future Foundation network.A large focus this year will be on formalizing the process of getting people involved in the builds. It's truly the best way to see the impact BikeTown Africa has on the ground. Working hand in hand with the recipient gives one a great sense of where the bicycle will end up and the effect it will have on the lives of the recipient. Those who participated last year are in constant contact with the project because, like all of us, it's gotten inside of them and it scratches at their hearts.Dates and locations are still being finalized but a bit of inside scoop is that we'll be heading to West (calling all French-speakers) and East (jambo rafiki) Africa, to countries that are quite rural and a bit more off the beaten track. The South African handover is going to take on a beast of its own but we are still working on exactly what that may be and are staying tight lipped.Are you keeping up to date?


bayrayschild said...

I love the bike and the cause!

Funny, as I was sitting here looking out of the window I saw two ladies ride by on beach cruisers and I wished I had one.

I am seriously giving thought to buying a bike for myself!


Cookie said...

what a wonderful cause - I've been to West Africa twice and North Africa once - to own a motorbike or regular bike like this is considered to be a great luxury. I love this whole concept, much like Tom's shoes - but I love this cause especially, as my heart is still in Africa. I fell in love with the people there and hubs and I have talked often of going back again.

Dogpatch Primitives said...

no wonder your new bike is so really is! I hope you get lots and lots of enjoyment out of it, as I'm sure whomever gets the one in Africa will! What a nice thing this company does by donating to keep the cylce of giving growing.

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