As Rob is nears the end of the West African section of his epic cycle he finds the time to drop in on two active recipient partners in Ghana.
The first stop was the Village Bicycle Project in Accra who will receive Re~Cycle's first shipment for 2010. Unfortunately, as Rob arrived the bicycles were still to leave the port of Tema - otherwise he would have no doubt been employed in the unloading effort! The VBP specialises in getting bicycles into rural villages and townships - where they are in most demand - and supports their distribution with maintenance training workshops.
Next stop was the Ezetela Bicycle Workshop in Dodowa - a small township just east of Accra. Ezetela is new partner being developed on-the-ground by two Re~Cycle volunteers. Rob was able to see first hand the beginings of a new recipient and talk through their ambitious plans for the future.
Rob was also invited to speak to the children at one of the local sunday schools - who were thrilled to learn all about his 'home-on-wheels', which included a tent demonstration!
Many thanks to all of you who bought tickets.
We'd like to suggest you have a "card-lite Xmas" and get people to donate to Re~Cycle and post a message via JustGiving, rather than sending cards, especially if you're going to be away.
Volunteer of the year has to go to "Brave Sir Rob" (Monty Python's Grail) for his epic triathlon from the UK to South Africa, scroll down for more info.
Wishing you an excellent festive season, from all at Re~Cycle.
Another shipment of 363 bikes has just left our warehouse and is now on its way to The Village Bicycle Project in Ghana. There were slightly less bicycles loaded this time but an extra large quantity of spare parts and tyres, many donated by Recyke-yer-Bike in Newcastle and OWL Bikes in Cambridge, were sent.
50 of the bikes and a portion of the spare parts are being shared with a new project - Ezetela - which is being supported by our long standing supporter and volunteer, Jason Finch, who is spending 12 months in Ghana.
Jason is also visiting both existing and new potential partners whilst he is there and providing valuable feedback to and from Re~Cycle and is also encouraging our partners to share and exchange information and ideas. Hopefully Rob Forbes will have time during his epic bike ride from Cirencester to Cape Town (see separate news story, below, for more information) to meet up with Jason and see at first hand, some of the great work that our partners do.
On the 1st October 2009, Rob started his massive sponsored bike ride, swim and run to South Africa, and has already raised a very impressive £13,442 for Re~Cycle!
We're amazed and impressed and thank and salute him.
As if cycling 19,000km across 21 countries through some of the most remote and rugged terrain in West Africa wasn't enough of a mission (phew!), he's planning to make it an "ultra triathlon" by braving sharks and ships in swimming the Strait of Gibraltar and running an "ultra-marathon" of 56 miles (89km) in South Africa. He plans to visit a number of Re~Cycle's partner projects on route and conclude this epic physical and mental challenge by donating his bike to a partner project in South Africa.
He may sound like a nutter (hell, he's got to be a nutter!), but Merlin and Derek have spent two days with him in Colchester, one planning the trip and organising support along the way (see photos - here), and one he helped loading a container of bikes.
If you wish to follow his progress, donate or get involved please visit his website - www.tri4africa.co.uk
He writes a brief and entertaining blog, when he's got signal.
Update - Rob has swum the straits of Gibraltar, 6.5 hours, 25km, details HERE
We've shipped 382 bikes to a new partner in Kenya, Glads House, who work with street children. As usual with new projects, we pulled out all the stops to send even more spare parts than usual, and we send tools for the new workshop.
Merlin, Re~Cycle's founder, was interviewed on "Mid morning on BBC Essex". You can listen online, here - the Re~Cycle section starts at 2:30:25
Matthew Modine supports the launch of a short film showing how unwanted bicycles can transform the lives of people in developing countries.
'Re~Cycle - The Journey of the Mighty Bike' shows how bikes are collected and prepared by Re~Cycle volunteers in the UK, and the impact they have in Africa. The film focuses on Ability Bikes in Ghana, a bicycle co-op run by disabled staff.
Award-winning actor Matthew Modine (Full Metal Jacket, Memphis Belle, The West Wing, Sex and Lies in Sin City) is a keen cyclist and founder of Bicycle For A Day (BFAD). He is a big fan of Re~Cycle the charity that for 10 years, has collected second-hand bikes, parts and tools in the UK and shipped them to African countries. There local partners teach people how to repair and maintain the bikes, helping them to improve their lives in a sustainable way.
“BFAD supports the efforts of Re~Cycle because it puts bikes within the reach of people that have no access to bicycles. Re~Cycle empowers individuals and offers them the possibility to learn how to rebuild bikes. Everybody wins: from the bike donors to the recipients whose lives are transformed upon receiving the gift.”
"Bicycling is one thing that most of us can do that has an immediate positive impact on the environment. Encouraging people to pedal bikes instead of using a petroleum powered vehicles is one of the goals of Bicycle for a Day/everyday. Bikes make people smile and the world can use a lot more of that!"
The Bicycle Film Festival hosted the premiere of Re~Cycle’s short film, "Re~Cycle - The Journey of the Mighty Bike". The festival and film will tour the world, appearing in 39 cities. Re~Cycle is looking for other film festivals and avenues to promote the film (please contact us if you have any suggestions). The film will later be available to view on its website.
In 2009 the BFF will be in London in September, 23rd - 27th, volunteers needed to help with valet bicycle parking and selling raffle tickets.
A Huge Thanks to the brave Transport for London (TfL) riders who not only cycled from London to Canterbury, but took some detours to climb 4 hills, and thereby follow the Tour de France route - not for the faint hearted.
All the riders finished, an inspiring effort! Thanks also to the support team for food and water, and for Adrian for mechanical assistance.
Total donations so far, from the ride, party, raffle, dress down days, film night (these people are amazing!) is £10,500, and still coming in!
I've put up a section on our How To to help other people who might like to ride this route, here (more thanks, for preparing these quality documents)
The bike was donated by Trevor Moles of Colchester. It belonged to his wife's Aunt who sadly broke her hip and is no longer able to ride, but wanted her bike to be given to someone in Africa.
You can join our FaceBook group, if you're into that sort of thing.
Transport for London (TfL) are doing a sponsored ride for Re~Cycle. They put on a GREAT event, many thanks to Sofie Ward for organising it and thanks to all the amazing bands and comedy acts, raising £741. Details HERE and some photos HERE.
TfL are riding the first leg of the Tour de France, from London to Canterbury, on 6th June, to raise money for Re~Cycle, for which we thank them.
There's a TfL raffle, prizes including; a nice racing bike, Eurostar tickets to Paris, beauty product hamper. Tickets from HERE.