In Service to Humanity
The bicycle has served humanity for more than 200 years. Today, it is the sole mechanical source of mobility for hundreds of millions of people.
More than 50 percent of the world’s population knows how to ride a bike, and it’s estimated that there are more than two billion bikes in use around the world; a number expected to increase 150 percent in the next few decades.
At this precise moment, all around the world, millions of people are riding bicycles. They’re riding in cities and riding in rural areas. They’re riding in good weather, and they’re riding in bad weather. They’re running errands, commuting, riding with friends, or simply enjoying being outside.
All around the world, near and far, separated by oceans and continents, but joined together by two wheels, bike riders are experiencing the utility and freedom their machines offer.
The Value of a Bicycle
What is a Bicycle Worth?
A bicycle is an affordable, reliable and sustainable method of transportation. It's a source for social, economic and environmental change and a key component of transformational life change for people, particularly people living in low- and middle-income countries.
Bicycles open up the world. They bring education, health care and employment into peoples’ lives by making schools, doctors, food and jobs accessible. Cycling to gain fitness offers health benefits and fosters friendships, and riding a bike has a positive impact on climate and the environment.
"Quantitative evidence demonstrates that a quality bicycle, coupled with holistic programming, creates catalytic, sustainable and empowering change."
— Dave Neiswander, World Bicycle Relief CEO
Bike-Focused Charities Bringing Freedom, Mobility, Opportunity and Joy to Life
Kids on Bikes works to inspire and empower all kids to lead healthy, active and happy lives through bicycling education programs, access to bikes and opportunities to ride.
They brings joy and freedom to kids and families in Colorado Springs, one bike, one ride and one mile at at time.
Bikes Without Borders uses bikes and bike-related solutions as tools for development in marginalized communities around the world. They believe in the bicycle as a means of increasing access to vital health services, economic opportunity, educational empowerment and independence.
They serve marginalized individuals and communities where bikes and bike-related solutions can have a significant, positive impact on community development by providing bicycles, repair and maintenance training and program support to residents through partnerships with local community and social welfare organizations.
Qhubeka is a global charity that equips people in Africa with bicycles, improving their access to schools, clinics and jobs.
Through Real Bicycle Company, a wholly owned Qhubeka subsidiary, Qhubeka designs and manufactures bicycles that it then distributes and maintains through locally-run progams that provide work and economic opportunities in the communities.
World Bicycle Relief partners with communities to deliver specially designed, locally assembled, rugged bicycles for people in need. They've developed an efficient, innovative, and scalable model to empower communities of students, health workers, and entrepreneurs in rural regions with life-changing mobility.
Cycling and Education
How Does a Bicycle Affect a Child's Education?
In many low- and middle-income countries, children must walk for miles to get to school, which can be quite unsafe for children walking alone — especially girls. Bicycles help reduce this vulnerability.
For a child who relies on public transportation, which is often undependable and can also be dangerous, a bicycle is a safer, more efficient way to get to school.
A child with a bicycle can travel to and from school in substantially less time. This means they have more time to study, are less tired and can be more productive overall. It also means attendance rates and academic performance improve.
According to World Bicycle Relief, a child with a bicycle can reduce his or her school commute time by up to 75 percent.
A bicycle promotes fitness and health and creates a fun, bonding experience for a child and his or her friends. It contributes to a child’s physical and emotional development and helps develop a child’s independence by enabling children to travel without the help of older siblings, parents or grandparents.
What is World Bicycle Day?
First observed in 2018, World Bicycle Day is a United Nations (UN) international day celebrating and promoting bicycle use around the world. It is held annually on June 3.
The Turkmenistan Permanent Mission to the United Nations introduced the draft resolution for World Bicycle Day to the 72nd Regular Session of the UN General Assembly. The resolution, co-sponsored by 56 countries, was signed by all 193 member states of the UN and encourages governments around the world to:
- Include the bicycle in development strategies, policies and programs.
- Improve road safety, planning and design.
- Promote pedestrian safety and cycling mobility.
- Advance bicycle use as a means of strengthening education for children and young people and promoting health and disease prevention.
- Develop a culture of cycling in society.
The next blog post at the pointy end is...
Getting Started With Training for Cycling
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Pedal the Springs Podcast + 719 Ride
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1911 Tour de France
The 1911 Tour de France was the ninth edition of the race. It consisted of 15 stages and included the race’s first foray into the high Alps.
The Tour is a fun, fast, and entertaining tale celebrating cycling and the Tour de France while acknowledging a sad part of cycling’s past. It’s Jan Ullrich finishing second in the doping marred 1998 Tour de France.
The Race harnesses the sensations of the best ride of your life and the thrill of the most electrifying race you’ve ever watched. It’s not a novel about cycling. It IS cycling!
A Race for Madmen
A Race for Madmen gives context and color to the legendary stories that have made it into our collective cycling consciousness. It’s like a well-executed team time trial — graceful, fluid and a beautiful thing to experience.
It’s All About the Bike
A devotional to one of humankind’s greatest inventions, It’s All About the Bike celebrates the tradition, lore and beauty of bicycles. It delivers a mature winning performance that can be appreciated for its simplicity, elegance and manner.
Pedalare! Pedalare! is light on tales of racing, heavy on the analysis of Italian society, generous with introductions to notable Italian cyclists and absorbed with The Golden Age of Italian Cycling. It performs well, deserves respect and is worth a read.