We Believe In The Power of the Bicycle: World Bicycle Relief + Saris

“The bicycle is a simple solution to some of the world’s more complicated problems.” – Source unknown

It’s one thing to ponder a quote; it’s another to put words into action. Yet, that’s exactly what World Bicycle Relief does. Their mission is to eliminate the barrier to education, healthcare and economic opportunity by providing transportation to those in need.

Men in Zambia with bikes

Saris has been a proud supporter of World Bicycle Relief since 2008. Our partnership began with a custom, red Bones bike rack. For each purchase of a red Bones, $15 is given to this incredible organization. To date, through this program alone, we’ve been able to donate $78,175 to World Bicycle Relief. Recently, our co-founder, Chris Fortune, upped the ante by putting out a fundraising call. Along with his son, Will, Chris announced they were heading to Zambia to join World Bicycle Relief in their work. They set a goal of raising $14,700, enough to build 100 bikes. With the help of 86 donors they more than doubled their goal, raising enough for 243 bikes for a total of $35,862.

Men in Zambia with bikes

Men in Zambia with bikes

Chris and Will in Zambia with bikes

When Will and Chris arrived in Zambia, they worked alongside the World Bicycle Relief team to help build and distribute specially designed, locally assembled Buffalo Bicycles for students in rural areas. Through the power of the bicycle, these young women were able to better connect with educational opportunities.

Chris with bikes

Will with bikes

World Bicycle Relief’s specially designed bikes have a story unto themselves. The Buffalo Bicycle is a true workhorse. Sporting frames, forks and spokes made from durable, steel alloy, the Buffalo bike is engineered to support big loads and passengers in remote areas. In fact, this robust bike has a rear carrier capacity rated to 100 kilograms, or 220 pounds. That’s a lot of cargo.

The Buffalo Bicycle's original concept bike
The Buffalo Bicycle’s original concept bike.

Want to try a Buffalo Bicycle out for yourself? One day a year you can, virtually, within Zwift.

For the last few Decembers, World Bike Relief has partnered with Zwift to host a 24-hour bike-a-thon. During the 24 Hour Ride On For World Bike Relief event, your avatar rides the Buffalo bike through Zwift’s virtual landscape alongside pros like Jens Voigt and Laurens ten Dam, and many others - all in support of The Power of Bicycles.

Buffalo Bicycles all lined up in the school yard
Buffalo Bicycles all lined up in the school yard on distribution day.

In addition to participating in this global event, the Saris team created custom smart trainer packages through our CycleOps bike trainer brand. With each package purchased, a percentage of the sale is donated to World Bicycle Relief.

We hope you’ll join us for the 24 Hour Ride On for World Bicycle Relief on December 2nd, 2017.

Gear Up

And if you’d like to stand with us in our support for World Bicycle Relief, you can contribute to Chris and Will’s page, start a fundraising campaign of your own or donate directly to World Bicycle Relief.