Rural Africa: better with bikes

This post was originally published by Trek, sponsor of Team MTN-Qhubeka’s race bikes.

The bicycle can change a life

The bicycle can change a life

Trees. Opportunity. Bikes. Team MTN-Qhubeka and World Bicycle Relief are working together to bring these much-needed assets to rural sub-Saharan Africa, where access to transportation can change the fortunes of a child, a family, a village.

Rural Africa has a transport problem. As in, there often isn’t any. Kids walk hours to and from school, arriving so tired it’s hard to learn. Families make day-long treks to market, and can buy only what they can carry home on foot.

Enter the bicycle. Bikes are the quickest, most accessible solution to the rural transport problem. A bike can cut a student’s commute time by 75%, and can quintuple one person’s carrying capacity.

On a recent hot Thursday in Vosloorus, South Africa, the members of Team MTN-Qhubeka took a break from their rigorous training schedule to deliver one hundred bicycles and thousands of seedling trees to children in this sprawling township. Why trees? Because rural sub-Saharan Africa also has a deforestation problem. Kids earn their rugged, practical, purpose-built Buffalo Bike by planting 100 seedlings, or by removing 1,200 kg of refuse from their village.

The impact of the bikes, the trees, and the trash removal is profound. It’s a great return on the time and resources invested by World Bicycle Relief, which designed the Buffalo Bike and administers the Trees for Bikes and Trash for Bikes programs, and by Qhubeka, which to date has delivered over 40,000 bikes to kids in need.

Just another example of bicycles making great things happen. It makes us proud to be in the bicycle business.

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