Friday, 26 April 2013

changing lives, from your garage

It's been a wee while since i blogged about my friends in Tucson and the Pascua Yaqui cycling project. Things have been progressing in the way that progress happens which is to say slowly and steadily but in a positive direction. Or at least that's what i thought, until I got an email telling me Lisa had lost 22LBS since January which is far from slow, if she continues at this rate she will have lost an entire James by the end of the year! Gloria is not just exercising but doing so with her whole family. If you point your internet browser of choice over to the Facebook page you can see some of the fantastic progress these guys are making. The idea that these guys lack the motivation to make huge changes in their own situation is simply eradicated by the evidence you'll see there. The only thing lacking are resources. So head over to the facebook page, but read this first. It's worth it with all the rubbish news on the TV lately. Take a break from bombings and bankruptcies and get some of the incredible life changing affects of bikes into your system.

This weightloss is a good thing as very soon it will be the day of the year which, in my opinion, is better than Christmas, NEW LYCRA DAY (please, keep your tightly wrapped package puns to yourself). Thanks to Primal wear the fit kits are on the way and soon the little bundles of joy will be arriving, packaged in those enormous ziplock bags which look really useful until you realize that they have a hole in them to prevent injury prone fools like me from choking themselves.

Sadly not all is going according to plan. A major sponsor has pulled out of the project and we're basically down a couple of dozen bicycles. we have funding to administer the project but we can't absorb the cost of that many shiny new (or even grimy old) bikes. So this is where you come in: you like bikes, you buy bikes because you like bikes. You ride the bikes and then, someone overtakes you on a bike which looks newer, shinier, faster. So you save up and you write a letter to father Christmas and you send it up the chimney and low and behold, the elves get into overtime and a new bike arrives. But you don't want to sell the old bike, it was your baby. You keep it like the hypothetical person for whom songza created the "looking at photos of your ex" playlist (seriously has anyone else seen that?). Like photos of your ex, and your first school photo, and your wedding dress, and that vinyl record player it ends up in a shed or a garage or an attic.

Well, now is the time to don the rubber gloves and that fetching headtorch you keep for such occasions and stride purposefully down to the garden shed. Push past the partially assembled flat pack outdoor dining set and the "only slightly" leaky hosepipe and reclaim that bike. Because I want to give your bike a new life, and use it to help change someone else's. Drop me a comment or a tweet or an email and i'll get you an address to send it to. I''l get you a charity number and you can write it off against taxes, yes, that's right not only do bikes save money, look cool and provide a great source of entertainment they also pay your taxes for you!

I'm going to assemble a crack team of soldiers of fortune, or failing that bike mechanics and we'll turn rust into gold in a storm of alchemy,  degreaser and allen keys then deliver the bikes to our participants in Arizona where they will go on changing lives for years to come as opposed to growing rust.

On the off chance that you don't have a shed/ box full of carbon, rubber and oil. We'd love your money as well. The link is here and donating couldn't be easier. Drop me a line once your pennies are safely squirreled away and i'll even send you a special gift.

Remember the first time you rode a bike? remember the sense of freedom it gave you? this is your chance to share that, along with health and a sense of empowerment with people who through no fault of their own have been deprived of all three. Please help people to become positive role models for their community and to make change in their own lives. I really don't want these guys to be let down again and certainly not on my account. In general and all over the world i have found bike people and 'betes people to be good people and i know i basically exist because of the generosity of people i barely know, but it wouldn't be me if i wasn't throwing myself totally at the sympathy of others. So please help.

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