Bike-Aid goes through Maybell | CraigDailyPress.com
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Bike-Aid goes through Maybell

A cross-country bike tour to support fair trade and sustainability rolled through Maybell early Saturday evening.

Ten riders from states including Nevada, New York, Colorado and California are participating in the 20th anniversary Bike-Aid ride. Along the way, partakers will participate in local community service projects and engage in cultural and educational exchanges.

The riders will stop at 63 communities and cover 3,800 miles to learn about various issues facing a range of people, in addition to spreading awareness about Fair Trade and Sustainable energy — two themes delegated for this year’s ride.



“We go through and learn from different communities and see how they deal with sustainability,” said Lynda Forward, educational facilitator.

The cyclists said that by using their bikes as a mode of transportation, they will promote environmentally sustainable transportation to the people they meet along their route.



At the end of the ride, cyclists will meet with legislators from their respective states and discuss what they have learned during the trip.

Although this year is the 20th anniversary of the Bike-Aid program, 10 bicyclists marks the event’s lowest turnout. In the past, more than 1,300 riders from around the world have participated.

Nevertheless, the bicyclists said they consider one another family.

“Just like birds flock together,” rider James Duncan said, “we’re flocking together on bikes.”

Throughout their trip, the cyclists have stayed at gyms, churches, parks and wherever they can sleep.

As part of their training, riders fundraised to receive pledges from friends, family and other supporters to cover the costs of the program.

Steve Tchudi, one of the riders along the trip, estimates that most of the riders trained 500 to 1,000 miles to prepare for the ride.

Jonathan Mejia, who is from New York but came to America from the Dominican Republic, said his stop in Northwest Colorado was reminiscent of his home.

“(Maybell) reminds me of my place in the Dominican Repuplic,” he said.

All the riders said the best part of the trip has been meeting people along the way.

“It’s heartwarming to know how much people want to help,” Duncan said. “It touches my heart.”

This year, Bike-Aid has offered three rides: a cross-country route; a “border ride” from San Francisco to Tijuana, Mexico; and a trip in Hawaii.

Anyone interested in participating in next year’s event can visit the Global Exchange Web site at http://www.globalexchange.org or call 1-800-ride-808.


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