Category Archives: Bikes

Join The Cause – Make A Difference

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With 3 weeks to go until our first Chianti trip of the season we are super excited to get the show on the road. Over the past few weeks we have been busy getting our equipment in from our partners and assembling a program that will continue to delight our guests. When it comes to partners we are as lucky as it gets. We have the partners we wanted.

Out of all our partnerships this year the one I am most excited about is with World Bicycle Relief. They are our non-profit partner. The partner that helps us truly make a difference in the world. Through a program called One Guest : One Bike inGamba will donate $134 per guest allowing WBR to buy one bicycle for their Africa program.

A bicycle to us and many cyclists is a recreational tool. To many more people around the world, a bicycle is an inexpensive sustainable form of mobility, when mobility can mean the difference between seeing a doctor, getting to school, or making a living – or not.

World Bicycle Relief addresses the lack of affordable, reliable transportation in rural Africa by designing, sourcing and manufacturing high-quality bicycles to withstand African terrain and load requirements while meeting the needs of students, healthcare workers, farmers and entrepreneurs. They strengthen local economies and promote long-term sustainability by locally assembling bicycles, training mechanics and improving the spare parts supply chain. We share common values and envision a world where distance is no longer a barrier to education, healthcare and economic opportunity.

Not everybody will have an opportunity this year to travel with inGamba but you can still join us in spirit and join our commitment to make the world a better place through the power of a bicycle. Donating a bicycle is more than a gift; it is a long-term investment in sustainable practices and economic opportunity in rural Africa.

And since you are joining us in spirit we think you should get one of our Giordana t-shirts (We told you we had the best partners). During the month of March donate $134 through inGamba and we will send you a limited edition inGamba t-shirt.

Simply click here and make a difference.

Thank you for your support and have a great ride this weekend.

João M. Correia

inGamba Owner and Founder

World Bicycle Relief: Mobility matters

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This is not a bike. This is a game changer for the young and a life saver for the sick and helpless. This is mobility, which in developing countries means access to a world of hitherto inaccessible opportunities. This is schools and medical treatment and a route to market. This is a future.

World Bicycle Relief is a Chicago-based charity that is dedicated to improving the lives of people in some of the world’s poorest places by providing custom-designed bicycles and the parts and mechanics to maintain them.

The heavy-duty Buffalo Bike was created as a sustainable solution to age old problems of poor infrastructure and isolated towns and villages. Because while donating bikes to people in need isn’t a new idea, the traditional approach of donating second-hand bikes to poor regions and disaster zones has always been hampered by myopia. Compatibility and availability issues mean that even if those normal bikes arrived in good condition, the vast array of different models, styles and brands would make maintaining them long-term totally impossible.

By contrast, the Buffalo is a rugged, reliable machine perfectly suited to life on rough roads in remote communities. It weighs 23kg including racks and fenders, with a frame made from oversized 16-guage steel tubing. Its coaster brake offers ease of use, safety and improved durability, while the heavy-duty wheels are more than able to withstand whatever type of terrain they’re faced with. And because there’s only one model, the mechanics can afford to stock a steady supply of spare parts.

Studies in the field suggest that with a bike, student attendance increases by up to 28% while grades increase by up to 59%. Healthcare workers can reach 40% more patients more often, and entrepreneurs increase profits by up to 50% by travelling farther and carrying more goods.

 

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To date, they have distributed more than 200,000 bicycles and trained more than 1,000 bicycle mechanics in countries like Angola, Botswana, Indonesia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Peru, the Philippines, Rwanda, South Africa, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The goal is to eliminate distance as a barrier to education, healthcare and economic opportunity. And at inGamba, we’re extremely proud to support that. Our One Guest: One Bike program donates $147 – the price of one bike  – for every guest that takes a trip with us and whenever possible we urge people to match this donation with a gift of their own.

For us, a bicycle is a recreational tool. But to millions of people around the world, a bicycle is an inexpensive, sustainable form of transportation, one that can mean the difference between seeing a doctor, getting to school, making a living – or not. One of the things we are most proud of at inGamba is our One Guest: One Bike program where we donate $134 – the price of one bike – to World Bicycle Relief’s Africa program in honor of each person who travels with us.

– João Correia, inGamba founder

It’s impossible for us to understand just what a difference these bikes make. $134 wouldn’t even get you a pair of high-end tubular tyres, but a Buffalo Bike from World Bicycle Relief will literally change lives. Their Educational Empowerment Program provides bikes to students – 70% of whom are girls – and to teachers and education workers in rural Africa. Local community committees select those most in need and oversee bicycle use, while students sign a contract committing to school attendance. They arrive safely and on time and studies consistently find that grades and attendance rates improve after students receive bicycles.

 

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And when it’s not in use for educational purposes, the whole family can benefit from increased mobility. For example, a 2012 survey found that clinic visits for children under the age of five had more than doubled, as mothers were more easily able to bring them for vaccinations and treatment. The program also aims to strengthen local economies and promote long-term sustainability by assembling bicycles locally, training mechanics and improving the spare parts supply chain.

Around the globe, World Bicycle Relief has shown that whether it’s giving kids the chance to get an education, helping farmers bring goods to customers, assisting in disaster relief or fighting HIV/AIDS, the bicycle can do so much good. It’s a viable, cost-effective and long-term solution to some of the most challenging problems in developing nations – and we’re delighted to be a small part of that. We hope you will be too.

If you’d like to find out more or make a donation, visit the dedicated inGamba page here

 

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#GivingTuesday: you can make a difference

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If you’ve travelled with us before, you’ll know how important World Bicycle Relief is to everyone at inGamba. We’ve been blessed in so many ways and we believe that it’s our duty to spread the love and make sure that we do what we can to help the less fortunate. That’s why we donate the cost of a bike to the WBR program for every single guest that comes on a trip with us.

We’ve written about why Mobility Matters in the past, but because we’re coming up to the holiday season and full of the spirit of giving, we’re reaching out to you all again and asking to help us make a difference to the lives of some of the developing world’s most vulnerable people.

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WBR gets people moving. To date, they’ve put more than 200,000 bicycles on the ground and trained more than 1,000 bicycle mechanics in countries like Angola, Botswana, Indonesia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Peru, the Philippines, Rwanda, South Africa, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Those people live in remote parts of poor countries, where having transportation can literally be a life-changing gift. A bike turns dreams into reality; it can promise an education or make a small business possible, it can help feed families and build communities. A bike can turn a struggle into a success story.

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The holiday season is all about being thankful for what you have, and we’re all lucky enough to have a lot. It’s the time of year when we reflect on the things that make our lives worth living – friends, family, successful careers … the ridiculously sweet bikes we ride – but also on what we could do to make a difference.

In the spirit of the season, #GivingTuesday brings together charities, families, businesses, and students around the world for one common purpose: to celebrate and encourage giving.

Taking part in World Bicycle Relief’s #GivingTuesday campaign can have a huge impact, and it won’t break the bank. Just $147 is enough to change the life of a young student or a local entrepreneur by providing them with an essential tool to pursue their dream and fulfil their ambition.

The goal is to raise enough money to give 800 bicycles for students in rural Africa. These bikes reduce travel time to school, increase safety, improve educational outcomes and help students thrive.

If you contribute this December 1st, your generous donation will be matched dollar for dollar, meaning your generosity will go twice as far. And as an added incentive, anyone who donates 10 bikes – $1470 – will be gifted a limited edition WBR/inGamba kit, produced by our friends at Giordana and designed by San Francisco-based artist, Zio Ziegler.

We know that  this time of year also brings with it inevitable financial burdens – and we know that a lot of you will already have your own preferred charities. But we really believe in what WBR do and we think that you’d have a hard time finding a more way to spend $147 that has more impact. So we’re asking: help us change some lives. 

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On behalf of our guests, inGamba has so far donated $100,000 to World Bicycle Relief – and that number grows with every trip we do. Donations are tax deductible, and help WBR continue their incredible work, which has distributed over 60,000 bikes in 2015 alone. Your money also supports education programs, infrastructure, product development, monitoring and evaluation and training mechanics. We hope you’ll join us in supporting this worthy cause. Click here to help now.  

#FitbySpring: Put yourself out there

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It all started about 10 years ago, when I was racing long distance triathlons. There was a humanitarian crisis in Uganda that I couldn’t shake from my mind, until one day I had the realization that I could use my athletic platform to raise awareness and funds for the cause at an upcoming event.

A few months later, I raced Ironman Wisconsin in freezing rain for 11 hours but it was one of the most vivid and special experiences of my life. I carried a lot of people with me that day and realized journeys are best when they’re shared.

There was a strong purpose to my event beyond the clock and I knew it had changed me. I was fortunate enough to snag a slot for the World Championships the following year and knew that I’d want to organize another fundraiser.

Given the importance of bikes in my life, I started researching the various organizations focusing on the bike as a development tool and I discovered the work of an infant organization, World Bicycle Relief.

Fast forward a decade and the story has played out well for me. I raced in Kona representing World Bicycle Relief, realized that I didn’t need competitive athletics in my life to be fulfilled and approached the organization for a formal job to see if we could “spread the word” about The Power of Bicycles. It worked out in my favor and I’m proud to share that when I started working with the organization we had distributed about 40,000 bikes and now that number is honing in on 300,000.

 

 

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As for how this relates to #fitbyspring, a lot of my personal journey over the past 10 years has been focusing on building the organization and raising a family which I’ve been totally content with.

There were a few years when exercise took a back seat. I remember showing up at one of our events in Boulder and having to actually dust off my bike, and another time when I arrived at our century ride in Chicago and did it without having ridden for many months prior. I was happy to define myself as a casual exerciser in those days. It was all worth it – time is finite and we all make decisions on how to best invest it.

More recently, I’ve started to redefine myself as an athlete and cyclist. Still casual, but I’ve spent more time on the trails – and specifically the bike – and have really (re)discovered the joy of riding. Two years ago I was fortunate to participate in the Leadville Trail 100 MTB and earned myself a small buckle and I’ve also really enjoyed myself at a variety of WBR cycling events where I felt fit and ready to be there.

For me, there is nothing as enjoyable as spending time with World Bicycle Relief supporters whilst pedaling. That brings me to this year and #fitbyspring. Like many of you, towards the end of one calendar year, I spent time thinking about the 12 months ahead and how I hoped to define myself and the experiences I wanted to have.

2016 is a bit of distinct year for me as I have a big birthday (okay, I turn 40), so I want to put a little more thought into what I’m doing. During this process I identified a few things that were really important: I wanted to do epic stuff, I wanted to be really fit and I wanted a new opportunity to redefine myself as an athlete (again).

When João and inGamba started using #fitbyspring and sharing the concept, it really resonated with me, so I interpreted it in a few ways that worked with my goals.

I signed up for a January race – the Fat Bike World Championships here in Colorado – that would give me the chance to do something epic and a reason to be dedicated to winter riding.

I also decided to embrace #fitbyspring when it came to my diet. I accepted that I probably shouldn’t eat handfuls of M&Ms throughout the day and that I could have a better dinner than a bowl of cereal. Eating cleanly = #fitbyspring.

Mind you, that #fitbyspring still earns me a beer each evening. The commitment has also given me the chance to plan out my year a bit. For my birthday, I wanted to tackle an athletic event that was epic and that would really test my endurance and ability to suffer again (like the old days).

So, once again, here I am prepping for the Leadville 100 MTB. Like in 2014, I don’t anticipate writing a formal training plan because I need flexibility in my life with my job and family (and I like spontaneity) but the #fitbyspring mindset has given me a sharper idea of how I want to approach the race and has also put me in a place to set a lofty goal that I’ll need to work hard for in the approach Leadville.

No flat pedals and 12 pound camelbak this year. I want to drop 100 minutes from my time (about 1 minute per mile!) so I’ll need to train hard but also focus on the small things in training that I’ve brushed off in the past.

Things like improved mechanic skills, a sharper awareness of fueling and putting considerable thought into my bike fit/race position are all details that are part of being #fitbyspring.

And, while Leadville is important to me, I don’t see one athletic event defining my year. My #fitbyspring means a variety of other things. It means that I’ll be able to enjoy an assortment of WBR cycling events throughout the year. As I said above, there is something so gratifying for me in spending time with WBR enthusiasts while cycling.

It also means that I’ve put some thought into what other experiences and opportunities I want this year. For example, taking my son to Africa with me is something I really want to do in 2016 so it’s been important for me to acknowledge that and start planning to make it happen. It also means that I should apply that same mindset to my family and professional life. Preparation, defining goals and creating a road map for all sorts of things counts as #fitbyspring.

So, let’s do it. Not just so we can race but so we can really get out there. Let’s be ambitous, let’s set goals, let’s live well and let’s be happy. Here’s to being #fitbyspring – so we can be #fitforlife.

Katie Bolling is development director at World Bicycle Relief. 

 

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