Milwaukee to Chicago: Father-Son Team Rides 100 Miles
Todd Franklin and his five-year old son, Thomas, "Toto,” decided to spend a weekend pedaling on the hot summer roads of Illinois to bring the power of bicycles to children in rural Africa.
Toto learned about World Bicycle Relief in class and discussed it with his parents. Todd mentioned how worried Toto was when he heard that many fellow students in rural Africa did not have a way to go to and from school. “He insisted we had to do something to help,” Todd said. “We did some research together online and realized that World Bicycle Relief was an organization that we wanted to support. We love biking, so it was a no-brainer for us,” Todd added.
After a few weeks of preparation, the team started their cycling expedition from Milwaukee to Chicago on July 7. Todd said that the first day on the road was quite a challenge between trying to locate themselves on the map, entertaining Toto for 10 hours in the trailer, and staying hydrated. But they made good progress and set themselves up for a more enjoyable ride on day two. “Anytime that I felt fatigued or sore, I just remembered how good we have it here compared to those we were trying to help,” Todd said. “I also had a wonderful partner in my five-year-old son, who kept encouraging me to pedal faster and to ‘Keep fighting, Daddy.’” During their trip, Todd and Toto made sure to distribute World Bicycle Relief brochures and talked to fellow riders on the trail. The response was fantastic! They rode 100 miles by bicycle and trailer, with an initial fundraising goal of 10 bicycles or $1,340. They exceeded their expectations and fundraised over $2,600! “I was very happy to see my son show his humanitarian side at an early age, and I wanted to take the opportunity to encourage him to help others,” Todd added. “Doing something like this with my son is a memory I will always cherish.”
Todd and Toto are already thinking about a similar fundraising event for next year where Toto's peers can also do some pedaling and help others in the process.
Thanks for your passionate support, Toto and Todd!