Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Water Bottles for Team Rwanda

Clay &  Bosco with the first delivery of bottles.
Sabotage Cycling Gear is selling water bottles with the Team Rwanda logo on it. For every bottle that is purchased by you and me, a bottle is donated to the Rwandan cycling team. They have trouble covering basic cycling necessities for the team, and water bottles are scavenged and recycled. Click here if you want to help this courageous team with this basic item. Purchase of water bottles also helps fund their trip to  worlds.

How did I, a senior citizen and one who never in her life used pedal clips, come to be involved with the Rwandan cycling team? It’s a great story, and I’ll tell it below, but you can’t read it until you’ve gone to Sabotage Cycling and bought your bottles. Well, maybe you can read on. I’ll put another link at the end. 

Clay on his first trip to Rwanda.
My son Clay is a passionate cyclist. Last year, as he traveled for his job with the government, he took a Ritchey break-away bicycle with him. After work and on weekends he’d explore the particular country he was in at the time.

He was riding the roads in Rwanda and met up with one of the members of Rwanda’s team. They rode together for a couple of hours, and through hand gestures and rudimentary English, they were able to talk cycling and get acquainted.

Clay told us about the encounter on one of our Skype sessions, and when Christmas came around, remembering the conversation, I got him the movie Rising From Ashes for Christmas. Here’s the blurb from the web site: 

“Rising from Ashes” is a feature length documentary about two worlds colliding when cycling legend Jock Boyer moves to Rwanda, Africa to help a group of struggling genocide survivors pursue their dream of a national team. As they set out against impossible odds both Jock and the team find new purpose as they rise from the ashes of their past.

One of the things you learn from this wonderful, well-done  
movie is that bicycles are an integral part of the Rwandan transportation system. In such a poor country, they’re often cobbled together out of materials at hand—usually wood. Just google "wooden bikes in Rwanda" and you'll see what I mean.

Our whole family was powerfully moved by the movie, and Clay was especially intrigued when he found out that Tom Ritchey (mountain biking pioneer and manufacturer and the “Ritchey” of Clay’s Ritchey bike) was the author of the cycling team resurgence in Rwanda. There’s a great writeup of Tom Ritchey’s connection to Rwanda at the end of his Wikipedia article.  

When Clay returned to that country for work after Christmas, he got in touch with Team Rwanda and asked if there was anything they needed him to bring over. He met up with some of them and had some great rides.

In the meantime, Clay and some cycling buddies began designing and selling cycling gear. Their company name is Sabotage, and they’re having a lot of fun and some success with their shoestring enterprise. When Clay heard that Team Rwanda had no water bottle sponsor, it was a logical step to have Sabotage do what they could to supply bottles to Team Rwanda.

So, there you go. If you need some water bottles, or if you’d like to plan ahead for Christmas presents, or just want to foster some goodwill, I hope you’ll go to this link and buy a water bottle or two…or a dozen. 

Go Team Rwanda!

No comments: