Last weekend Daniel and I joined a group of friendly cyclists and tech enthusiasts for the Techbikers 2014 ride. Starting in the middle of Copenhagen we rode the 430km or so back to Berlin over the course of three days.
The Techbikers group was originally started in 2012 in the Google offices of London. Encouraging the tech community to step away from their computers and ride their bikes to support some great charities. The original ride from Paris to London still takes place every year but there is now also a German Techbikers group as well. To date, the groups combined have mananged to raise almost £100,000 for charity.
World Bicylce Relief
This year's charity was World Bicycle Relief - a charity started in Chicago in 2005 by SRAM co-founder F.K.Day, whose original idea was to donate bikes to those in need after the December 2004 tsunami disaster. From there they've gone on to donate over 116,000 bikes to needy families in developing countries all across Africa (Zimbabwe, Zambie, Kenya) and Sri Lanka. Something as simple as a bike can help immensely in some of these rural areas, where there are long distances to travel. Building more schools is quite expensive, but a bike is relatively cheap and can be used by the whole family, encouraging kids to go to school more often (88% instead of 60% attendance rate) and enabling adults to find work easier (increasing the family income by an average 35%).
So now that you know what a great charity it is, we'd love for you to donate to the cause at our donation page and if you still need more convincing you can watch a video of me (entirely unforced and casual) talking about the ride here. Remember, all donations go directly to the charity, the costs of the ride itself (i.e. accomodation, transport and food) was all covered by the riders themselves and other sponsors.
The ride was very well organised and there was some beautiful countryside to cycle along over the 3 day adventure, even managing to stop for a few lake swims as well. Surprisingly, even though there were quite a few novice riders that had barely done more than 30km on a bike before, they all kept up with the group very well. The group from Cycle Friendly did a great job of providing cycling support - leading the way, supporting tired riders, feeding us snacks, drinks and repairing all of the (many) tyre punctures we had along the way.
It was a fantastic feeling riding down the 'Straße des 17 Juni' past the Siegesäule, the whole cycling group cheering and waving and finishing at the Brandenburger Tor, where an enthusiastic crowd (and no doubt some confused onlookers) gave us a hearty welcome. At the end, Axel Springer was kind enough to offer us their offices in Mitte for the after party, so we could enjoy a well earned meal and beer. At the presentation discussing the charity, Daniel (on behalf of kreuzwerker) offered a box of our famous red wine.
Hopefully we can do it all again next year, with even more of the kreuzwerker staff!