A Global Community Unites

World Bicycle Relief is all about community. It’s the community drawn together with the powerful tool of the bicycle. Zwift, too, is a global community drawn to the bike for different reasons nonetheless. The Ride On for WBR was a perfect example of that overlap. Communities coming together on the bike for a fantastic cause. – Ted King

On Saturday, December 5th, 5,029 riders joined in for the first-ever 24-hour Ride on for World Bicycle Relief presented by Zwift. Aimed to raise funds and awareness for the work of World Bicycle Relief and to promote The Power of Bicycles, cycling icons such as Jens Voigt, Evie Stevens, Ted King, Fumy Beppu, Steve Cummings, Mirinda Carfrae, Jordan Rapp and more, helped pack Watopia from the opening hour to the closing lap.

To inspire participants to ride farther and reach higher fundraising goals, the group was issued a challenge by Trek Bicycle to ride a collective 100,000 miles over the day-long event. 14 å_ hours in, Zwift announced that the group had reached the goal and, by the 24th hour, the Zwift community had ridden 126,089 miles – equal to 5 times around the globe – smashing the goal!

“The Zwift ride was fantastic! So much pride to be rocking the WBR jersey and rolling on Buffalo bikes with so many supporters, the time (12 hours) just flew by!” – John Arneson

Throughout the 24 hours, Zwift’s Watopia and Richmond courses were chalk-packed of Buffalo bikes and World Bicycle Relief kits. Zwift had pulled out all stops to ensure this special feature was available to be unlocked by all riders who had formally registered for the inaugural event. This was a milestone in itself for World Bicycle Relief given that the coveted Buffalo Bicycle, which is only available in the regions where WBR has programs, was available to be raced and enjoyed by thousands of participants.

In addition to the scores of Buffalo bikes on the course, here are some other notable mentions from the day:

  • Through the fundraising challenge and other generous gifts, the inaugural Ride On for WBR raised over USD $84,000. Through the $ for $ match, this means that the ride helped fund 1,150 Buffalo Bicycles for WBR programs.
  • 126,089 miles ridden in total – 5 X around Globe
  • Group unlocked bonus $40,000 from Trek for reaching the collective 100,000 miles ridden.
  • The farthest distance cycled during the official 24-hour time of the ride was by Kevin Connors (Team dZi) who rode a distance of 533.8km/331.7miles. We also recognize Team dZi’s dedication to the event as a team and thank them for the incredible distance they cycled collectively.
  • 13 professional cyclists led official group rides throughout the day. Participants from more than 28 countries.
  • 221 centuries (imperial and metric) were ridden during the 24 hours
  • Inspired by the event and the participation of the pro riders, one generous, anonymous Zwift rider pledged a further $41,000 to the Year End Appeal

Fundraising challenge winners were:

  • Julynn Washington
  • Eric Carcoux
  • Nathan Guerra

Congratulations to the 118 participants who fundraised. YOU were part of our success in helping create change in the field. The power of fundraisers lies in the many individuals that help accomplish our goal. And sometimes, the goal of a single bike, leads to much more. Julynn Washington, our top fundraiser, tells her story here:

When Zwift first promoted the Ride on for World Bicycle Relief I thought, okay, I’ll dedicate that day and ride at least 100K for the cause. There was already a challenge posed to the Zwift community; if registered; every mile ridden counts towards the team goal. It was later I saw the video We Are Palabana; which changed my entire outlook on the cause; so I decided to start a personal project of my own. I’m not big on fundraising, I don’t like asking for money for charities or otherwise; but I thought hey; people don’t hesitate to ask me so I’ll just put it out there to a few people and see where it goes. My initial goal was to get $5 here $10 dollars there; enough to purchase one bicycle then I would personally match it for a total of two; simple goal. Little did I know that a few people were paying attention and I received a message that stated; don’t worry about meeting your goal; I’ll make up the difference. This message was from a complete stranger; our only connection was Zwift. Even my co-worker jumped on board; I barely completed my pitch; they were handing me money for the cause. Before I knew it another hand full of people made single donations that would purchase a bicycle; I was completely overwhelmed.

I thought, really, one bicycle is $147. My saddle cost nearly that amount; surely in the spirit of giving I could make a small difference at that cost. Improving the life of one person is a major step toward improving the world; something we can make it happen together. Julynn Washington

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Fumy Beppu pushed the pace around Watopia in the opening hours of the ride.

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A group on Buffalo bikes descend together. The ride brought out World Bicycle Relief supporters from around the globe.

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Jens Voigt leads a lap around the Richmond Course to close the ride out.

One noteworthy ride was from Jeff Rooney, who did a 24-hour ride in New Zealand and garnered up some press on his efforts as well: http://www.stuff.co.nz/southland-times/news/74786127/jeff-rooneys-24hour-bike-slog-buys-bikes-for-africa

The global support continued with the dedicated Zwift community in the UK. Steve from WBR-UK asked customers at Sigma Sport Kingston to join him on their Zwift set up in-store.

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We were thrilled by the outpouring of support we saw from around the globe. From people who rode one lap to people who spent all day in the saddle, thank you for showing up to support the inaugural Ride On for World Bicycle Relief. We’re looking forward to next year already.

 

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