Lusaka to Livingstone: Bike Zambia Spreads the Power of Bicycles
Bike Zambia is a 305-mile ride from Lusaka to Livingstone to raise awareness and funds for HIV/AIDS-related causes in one of Africa’s poorest and most highly afflicted countries. In Zambia, more than 1 in 7 adults is living with HIV/AIDS, 1 in 6 children are orphaned, and the life expectancy at birth is age 39. The need for help is clear. Bike Zambia’s goals are threefold: increasing awareness of HIV/AIDS health and wellness programs available in Zambia, raising money for HIV/AIDS-related NGO’s that have proven themselves effective, and promoting cycling as a means of transportation for people to get to the care they need. Bike Zambia believes that riding on location and supporting locally-based organizations allows them to have the greatest impact. A difference is already being made as the 35 participating riders, pictured above, raise funds, train for the ride, and spread the word about the importance of the cause. The June 23-28 ride aims to create a participatory experience between riders and the Zambian community.
World Bicycle Relief is the beneficiary of this year’s event due to the two organizations’ very aligned missions. Not only do both aim at promoting bicycles as a sustainable and cost effective means of transportation, but World Bicycle Relief’s Mobility=Health program concentrates efforts on providing bicycles for aid workers combating HIV/AIDS, while Mobility=Education focuses on making schools more accessible to vulnerable children, thereby further aligning with Bike Zambia.
Bike Zambia teammate JD Bergeron believes in the Power of Bicycles, stating “We ride to bring awareness to a country where HIV and AIDS have reached epidemic proportions. We ride to draw attention to children who have been orphaned by the disease which has reduced life expectancy at birth to only 39. We ride to show that bicycles have a role in empowering and sustaining communities.”
He continues, “Bike Zambia is unique from other HIV/AIDS awareness cycling rides in that it takes place directly on the ground at the root of the problem. We are excited to create an inclusive experience between the riders and the community by engaging locals and WBR in the event.”
Bike Zambia plans to raise $25,000 through the ride that will benefit WBR’s work in Zambia.