Cycling for a Cause: Using Bikes for Global Good

We love bicycles. Any avid cycler knows that little can top the feeling of clean air moving past, of the ground slipping beneath you, of adrenaline pumping. For many people, cycling feels like freedom.

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But bicycles are are increasingly being used for global good. They are eclipsing the role of “getting from here to there,” becoming a beacon of sustainable travel. But the benefits of biking even extend beyond reducing our carbon footprint. Let’s take a look:

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Moving Libraries

In Seattle, you don’t have to find books – they come to you. As a part of the “Books on Bikes” program, librarians across the city hitch a trailer to the back of their bicycle, the cart teeming with up to one hundred books. The tome-laden trailers make their appearance at festivals, concerts, and parks throughout Seattle, enabling people to borrow books on-the-go. In an interview with NPR, librarian Jared Mills notes that the mobile library is important because “It’s a really great way to tap into communities that feel they’re not being served… And also, you know, a lot of millennials that traditionally may not be coming into our branches.” Making books more accessible without creating a carbon footprint? Sounds good to us.

Mobile Ambulances

Many communities in Uganda are without adequate resources to help in emergency situations. Based far away from medical facilities, thousands of families don’t have a way to get help when they really need it. Chris Ategeka experienced the horrific consequences of this after his brother passed away while he was trying to get him to the nearest hospital, which was ten miles away. His tragic experience inspired an idea called CA Bikes. The organization manufactures bicycles, which are then converted for a multitude of purposes: some are ambulances, and others are wheelchairs. Many HIV-positive patients who are located a distance from health clinics are given the bikes in order to get treatment. Orphaned children receive the bicycles so they can get to school. Simply put, CA Bikes has saved lives, creating a future for countless men, women, and children.

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Charity in Motion

Every day, tons (literally) of food from businesses and restaurants are tossed into landfills. The kicker? It could be used to feed thousands of people, providing a nutritional meal to those in need. A group of people in Boulder decided to take action, and the result is Boulder Food Rescue. The organization works with businesses to help them divert food that would otherwise be thrown away, and travel by bicycle to pick up the would-be-trash. The cyclist then delivers the food directly to the organization or food bank that is providing meals to those in need, ensuring that people have access to healthy, fresh food.

When we broaden our mindset of how bicycles fit into society, we open the doors to thousands of ways in which we can forge a better planet.



Cycling for a Cause: Using Bikes for Global Good
was last modified: September 23rd, 2017 by Brian Peterson

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