2020: Year In Review

by World Bicycle Relief
December 15, 2020
In 2020, you stepped up in unprecedented times to create incredible impact. You helped us launch our newest program country, Colombia, and provided 2,500 bicycles for COVID-19 response. Thanks to you, more than 39,583 bicycles have been delivered into the hands of students, healthcare workers, and entrepreneurs in 2020. See the incredible difference you made.

We celebrated 500,000 people on Buffalo Bicycles!


Damela Achieng’ Owuor, a student at Bar Union Secondary School in Kisumu, Kenya, along with 101 of her classmates, received bikes in February, marking a historic 500,000 Buffalo Bicycles in the hands of people in need around the world. They were cheered on by powerful messages of hope, handwritten on ribbons from supporters.

#500,000 thanks to you!

2,500 bicycles in the fight against COVID-19


As COVID-19 spread across the globe early in 2020, it was clear that the communities World Bicycle Relief serves in rural Africa and Colombia would be extremely vulnerable. You responded quickly and generously, funding 2,500 bicycles for frontline health workers around the world who put them to immediate use to raise awareness of COVID-19, care for patients and offer preventative care.

See our healthcare partners using bikes to fight COVID-19

Wheels of Change study SHOWS impact of Buffalo Bicycles on girl students

World Bicycle Relief commissioned “Wheels of Change,” a randomized controlled trial, to measure the effectiveness of our bicycle program on adolescent girls’ education and empowerment at 100 schools in Zambia. After a year of observation, this innovative study found that with bikes, girls’ commute time and absenteeism significantly decreased and punctuality went up while improving their scores and self-esteem.

See the impact of Wheels of Change

Spreading kindness on two wheels


This summer, friends from around the world joined our global movement to spread kindness in our communities – on two wheels! You shared your inspiring stories and photos while helping to provide bicycles for people in need. Thank you!

See the #Cyclingactsofkindess movement

Bringing El Poder de Bicicletas to Colombia

This summer, you helped us launch Colombia as our newest program country! World Bicycle Relief officially opened a field office and assembly facility in Barranquilla earlier this year, paving the way to mobilize students like Mariangel, who face long – and often dangerous – walks to school. As a special thank you to our Colombia campaign donors, we partnered with local artists to create a vibrant mural in our Barranquilla assembly facility.

See the Road to Colombia

Pedal to Empower


Riders across the globe came together virtually this year for a DIY adventure ride to help women and girls overcome challenges with life-changing bikes. 787 riders from 31 countries took on one of our challenges – or created their own – and raised $294,442,! We can’t wait to see you all back next year for our annual ride!

See how you pedaled to empower

A World of Support


In 2020, World Bicycle Relief supporters around the world rallied to mobilize others.

Rebecca’s Giddy Up Challenge: Longtime supporter Rebecca Rusch went virtual this year to raise funds for COVID-19 relief! Riders in the inaugural Giddy Up Challenge climbed more than 10 million feet, raising funds for World Bicycle Relief and two other organizations. 

Giant Ride Like King event: The 12th annual celebration of Giant Group founder King Liu invited people from around the world to ride in support of the Power of Bicycles. The Ride Like King event drew more than 2,700 riders on Zwift and raised 100 bicycles for people in need. 

Pinarello x Hani: Two original Hani x Pinarello F12’s were auctioned off for World Bicycle Relief, with both frames created in collaboration with architect Hani Rashid and Fausto Pinarello. The one-of-a-kind frames brought in almost $30,000!

Community for good: 

  • Fundraisers Andrea Orta and Janine Wuelker took on personal challenges in 2020 while asking their friends and families to show their support for The Power of Bicycles. We are so thankful for our entire community worldwide that helps make a difference. We couldn’t do it without you!
  • GCN presenter James “Hank” Lowesley-Williams challenged himself to descend the depth of the deepest point on Earth – the Mariana Trench – in just one day! After riding for more than 12 hours, Hank accomplished this huge challenge and raised over £47,000! Thank you, Hank!
  • Michael and Kim Ziock found a way to engage colleagues, ride bikes and take advantage of a company match, raising over $30k. They also challenged friends to fundraise more, with an extreme challenge of riding 500KM on December 30. Donations and matches are currently at $28k and counting. There is still time to join the WBR500 Challenge!

Rapha Black Friday Ride: On Black Friday, Rapha invited riders from around the world to join them on Strava to “swap the shops for drops” and ride 1 million kms to help them donate 1,000 Buffalo Bicycles. You delivered, riding more than 2 million kms in support! 

Ride on For WBR: The annual #RideonforWBR on Zwift had an exciting addition this year. Every donor received an invite to talk with riders from some of our favorite pro teams after the ride! Riders from more than 75 countries joined us and raised $25,000 for the Power of Bicycles, which was matched by longtime supporter Trek Bicycles. 

From Our Village to Your Village: Led by Alex Obriecht from Race Pace Bicycles and Chris Fortune, CEO of Saris, the cycling dealer family has come together to bring the cycling community together to provide reliable transportation for people in need. Thank you to David’s World Cycle, Jax Bicycles, Summit Bicycles, Cahaba Bicycles, Bike World Iowa, American Cycle and Fitness Stores, and Mack Cycle and Fitness, for helping to fuel this effort and drive momentum.

Sharing the story

Partners, filmmakers and journalists shared The Power of Bicycles with new audiences around the world.

  • Forbes explores how bicycles can help relieve poverty in developing regions of the world.
  • The Guardian highlights Zambia’s female farmers on two wheels.
  • Bicycling magazine features the incredible Ruby Isaac and her work with World Bicycle Relief.
  • United Nations shares how bicycles can help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals 
  • Kenya News Agency reports on Buffalo Bicycles donated to the Kenya Red Cross in the fight against Covid-19. 
  • Real Simple spotlights #cyclingactsofkindness.
  • One  and Tom Boonen document the story of Monica as she receives her Buffalo Bicycle.
  • Mothers2mothers, an international healthcare nonprofit, celebrates World Bicycle Day and 100 bicycles from World Bicycle Relief for Covid relief.

15 Years Forward: A Global Celebration

In November, our global community came together virtually to celebrate 15 years of life-changing impact. The event, hosted by Peloton instructor Allie Love, commemorated longtime supporters like Rebecca Rusch and CitizenM, included updates from past bicycle recipients, and helped raised incredible funds to support the Power of Bicycles. Thank you to everyone who joined us in celebrating this incredible milestone!

Watch the global celebration

Faces of Change

There’s still time to propel us forward into the next 15 years of impact! Since 2005, our global community has empowered people in need to change their worlds with bicycles. Your support today will empower generations to come, mobilizing students, health workers and entrepreneurs around the world to create new opportunities and brighter tomorrows. For a limited time, your donation will be matched 1:1!

Double Your Impact Today

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