Tag Archives: World Bicycle Relief

Visit to World Bicycle Relief in Lusaka Zambia

I spent the afternoon of my rest day in Lusaka, Zambia with Kristin and Brian of World Bicycle Relief. I visited their operations center and than met some people who have had their lives changed by the bikes provided by World Bicycle Relief. It was an eye opening experience and helped give me a better understanding of their efforts.

Buffalo Bicycles

Built For Big Loads on Tough Roads

I first learned of World Bicycle Relief through the Wrigley Field Road Tour, a century ride that starts at Wrigley Field in Chicago and ends at Miller Park in Milwaukee WI. It was a great ride on familiar roads. Even with the added bonus of hours riding in the rain, it was a fantastic time. I was enthused at how tangible a benefit World Bicycle Relief provides. A $134 donation equals one bike to a person or child that is in need. For each 20 bikes distributed they train someone to repair them.

Racing Tour d’Afrique and Tour Divide was a great opportunity to combine my cycling adventures/races/escapades with a fundraising effort.

My visit began with a conversation with Brian, the WBR Country Director for Zambia. He explained a number of the programs that WBR is currently engaged in and some new ones that they are testing. The amount of different ways they distribute bikes was new to me. I had assumed donors donated and those bikes were distributed to young girls to get to school or healthcare workers to visit people in need, but this was only part of the the way bikes made it into the hands of people. People and organizations can buy the bikes, WBR partners with a micro-loan organization to finance the purchase of the bikes, and other organizations are purchasing bikes for use in their programs. WBR has some excellent organization in the way the community and schools are engaged in the bicycle use and tracking the effect the bicycles are having on the area. He was very candid about some of the challenges they face. Brian was also very descriptive of his life growing up in Zambia and experiencing the difficulties in rural Zambia.

We next hit the road for a Chonga to meet Albert, a young entrepreneur. It was a bit odd to be in a car at highway speeds again. I hadn’t been in many cars other than a couple cabs and tuk tuks in 3 months. Albert began as a mechanic of WBR bicycles and has grown that into an expanding bike shop business on the verge of moving into a larger space for the 2nd time in a few years. He has since diversified to building some rental properties to house students at the local high school as well.

A walk through the edge of the market area brought us to Joe, a farmer, livestock middleman, political pundit, and storyteller. He purchased a number of bikes through a micro-loan program for small businesses. He started his business by biking further out in to the surrounding area, buying goats, than carrying them into the city for sale. An 80K day was not unusual. Joe could tell a story and our conversation flowed from his cycling, to how he moved around trying to make a living, to sending his children to school, to the way in which the 72 tribes are the political parties in Zambia (and why his should have the next president). Joe always had a friendly laugh no matter the subject.

Thank you to Brain, Kristin, and David for being such great hosts for a tired cyclist, They really went to great lengths to make me feel welcome, see WBR, and get me ready to hit the road again the following day. Hope I can make it back one day to see even greater success.

More Info About World Bicycle Relief

Donate To World Bicycle Relief

Joes Farm

Joe - a WBR bike recipient via a microloan program, Brian - WBR Country Director for Zambia, and Brian's son

Albert, a WBR Bicycle Mechanic who has grown a healthy bike shop where he sells buffalo bikes and replacement parts

Albert, a WBR Bicycle Mechanic turned Entrepeneur

Albert's WBR Shop

Albert's WBR Shop

Naperville Central High School and World Bicycle Relief

NCHS Skype SessionDuring my convalescence in Arusha I was lucky enough to speak via skype to group of students and teachers at Naperville Central High School. They have been reading and writing about Major Taylor and cycling, and also raising money for World Bicycle Relief. Its a very cool, creative program.

here’s a few links to media coverage



Donate to World Bicycle Relief at: http://action.worldbicyclerelief.org/page/outreach/view/individual/brycewalsh

Biking & Rocking for World Bicycle Relief

Tour d'Afrique Route

Tour d'Afrique Route - 7281 miles, 10 Countries, 120 days

“Chicago Ultra Endurance Athlete to Conquer Two Continents and Ten Thousand Miles. And Cal’s Bar.”

Date: Dec 10 9:00 pm add to calendar
Location: Cal’s Bar – Corner of Wells and Van Buren – Google Map

Bryce Walsh, a Chicago-based endurance athlete and coach, is set to compete in the world’s longest bicycle race – Cairo to Cape Town in the Tour d’Afrique – then follow it with the Tour Divide: the world’s longest mountain bike race, self-supported from Canada to the Mexican border along the Continental Divide.

2 continents, 10,000 miles, and a great night of music at Cal’s in support of World Bicycle Relief (www.worldbicyclerelief.org), a 501c-3 organization bringing the power of bicycles to students, healthcare workers, and entrepreneurs in rural Africa.

Along with surprise special guests, the evening’s entertainment includes:

  • LOINS – Collaboration of members of Penthouse Sweets and Dodge City Getouts – preview music
  • Tea and Sympathy – The band Bryce played with for 10+ years – buy/preview music
  • “Tea and Sympathy is one of the best live bands to come out of Minneapolis,”beautifully messed up and mesmerizing”. Jim Meyer, Star Tribune

$10 donation at the door earns you admission plus 10 tickets for the evening’s raffle. Every additional dollar you donate at the door earns you another raffle ticket.

Raffle prizes generously sponsored by Cal’s Bar, Infinit Nutrition, and Vision Quest Coaching include (among others):

Tour Divide Route

Tour Divide Route - 2745 miles, touches 3 countries, days unknown - current record 17 days 21 hours 10 minutes

  • 1 taste of VQ class (value $165) – more info …
  • 1 performance test with Robbie Ventura (value $300) – more info …
  • Set of cycling training DVDs by former US Postal Service pro rider, Tour de France commentator and professional coach Robbie Ventura (value $250) – more info …
  • Infinit Nog Recovery Drink – more info …
  • Infinit MUD – more info …
  • and more

If you can’t make it on 12/10 but still want to get in on the raffle and support WBR, please donate here:

Chainlink Event Page: http://www.thechainlink.org/events/walsh-biking-and-rocking-for-world-bicycle-relief

Facebook Event Page: http://www.facebook.com/events/252156651505801/

More about the Tour d’Afrique: www.tourdafrique.com

More about the Tour Divide: www.tourdivide.org

More about World Bicycle Relief: www.worldbicyclerelief.org