We’ve been contacted by Loop Cycles, an organization that wants to donate Burner bikes to Africa once they’ve had a full Playa workout. Delivering nobility through mobility:
My name is Lily and myself and some fellow Australian Burner friends have started an organisation this year called LOOP Cycles. We are supplying Custom designed bikes for Burning Man ordered online, that are picked up in Reno, and then returned to us after Burning Man. We then donate them to Namibia, Africa where they are re-cycled and re-purposed as a means of mobility.
Here is our website: www.loopcycles.org
We are very excited about the potential of this project and the positive impact it can make in Namibia. We also feel that it a is very unique way for Burners to extend the Burning Man way of GIFTING beyond the vicinity of Black Rock City…We want people to be able to personally make a difference 1 bike at a time!
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We’re happy to promote anything Burners can create out of Burning Man that makes a difference in the world, Loop Cycles probably doesn’t have tens of millions of dollars in their budget, but this initiative seems like it could be more impactful to someone’s life than a $150 scarf. Just sayin’…
[Update … Lily from Loop Cycles has visited us and explained further 2/7/14 7:26pm]
Hi guys. just a little more information about the project. Loop Cycles is not just ‘shipping these bikes off to Africa on a whim thinking we are saving the world. We have partnered up with an Organisation called Bicycles For Humanity who are an established grassroots movement and have been supplying bikes to developing countries for 7 years. If you check out their website (http://bicycles-for-humanity.org/) you can see the work that they have provided for the communities throughout Africa, not only providing mobility to healthcare workers, students and empowering females, but turning the containers into bike workshops. With tools, spare parts and comprehensive training material on bicycle maintenance it is designed to empower people and their communities with transportation and the means to maintain it. Nigel who runs the Namibia chapter lives there and works with these people all year round. He has developed an understanding of the needs of the community, and is working with them to improve their health and lives, not just dumping a whole lot of bikes on their door step as a token gesture. Hope this bit of information is helpful in understanding our goals at Loop Cycles and why we think this is a good idea.
…and in regards to the issue around bikes getting trashed, we have specifically designed this bike for its 2 lives. Firstly we have custom designed features of the bike to survive its duration in Black Rock City and endure the playa dust, and secondly we have worked very closely with LEKKER bikes and Bicycles For Humanity to design a bike that will also withstand the conditions of the kalahari desert. Luckily these two lives have similar needs…big thick tyres, limited amount of superfluous parts that can easily break, and no gears, single speed with back pedelling breaks. Also the bike has a steel frame as a key feature, allowing the community bike workshops in Namibia to easily weld extra parts onto the bikes, (eg. a day bed to carry patients) depending on the specific use of that bike. And with the Namibian communities receiving multiple of the same bike allows them to familiarize themselves with the parts, and easily fix anything that might be broken. Most bikes you buy for Burning Man are not designed for the desert, that’s why they are trashed by the end. But we have spent the time to make sure ours is!