06 October 2008

Pedaling For The Less Privileged

On 19 Oct 2008, just a couple of weeks away, I will be riding in a bicycle race but I am riding for more than just the exercise. I need the exercise, to be sure, but it seems a little self-centered to ride only for my physical well being, especially since I live in the presence of hundreds of thousands who have so little and need so much. Therefore, I am adding another dimension to this event, orphans. I decided to use the occasion to raise awareness of the problem in general and to promote one project in particular, The South African Children’s Resiliency Project.

The SACRP (locally known as CRP) is spear headed by a good friend and colleague of mine, Dr. Bob Graham. I first met Bob in 1990 and since that time he has made numerous trips to South Africa and worked with us on many short term projects. Bob, however, doesn’t do things in a small way. His vision and dream involved helping the underprivileged on a long term basis and, therefore, the CRP was born. Bob is now living in South Africa developing orphan homes for those affected by AIDS.

To date Bob has purchased a large farm near Pietermaritzburg and he is in the process of building seven homes each of which will house six orphans and at least one caregiver. To see the village master plan and read some staggering statistics on AIDS affected orphans visit Bob’s web site here.

All the funding for CRP has been raised from individuals and institutions (religious and commercial) that care and donors have given generously but there is always a need for more help. Charitable projects like this do not make money. Therefore, I am asking everyone who will, to work with me on an idea I have for raising funds for CRP.

I will ride in the race and wear the CRP logo on my jersey (I can’t wait for people to ask about it). Each of you can help by making a donation which is very easy to do. If enough people donate, we can have an impact. Just click on this link and follow the instructions for making a donation. I tried it and everything worked fine with one exception for South African donors.

FOR SOUTH AFRICAN DONORS: You must add a zero to the front of your postal code when you register. The codes must have at least five digits. Do this and everything will work well. If you have problems or questions about the donating process leave a question in the comments. You can also contact Bob through his web site.

Now, just a few thoughts about the race. I am not a cyclists by nature. I enjoy it as a recreation and have tried to ride regularly but this particular race is bigger than anything I have done.

It is 106 kilometers long (66 miles) beginning in Pietermaritzburg and finishing in Durban. It is ultimately downhill but there is a LOT of climbing over the route. There is a total assent of 1160 meters (3/4 of a mile). The race starts at 600 meters above sea level and ends at 2 meters above sea level but there is still an average rise of almost 11 meters per kilometer. To describe it as "hilly" is an understatement. You can check out the race profile here.

What I am saying is this race is no “piece of cake” for an old guy like me. I have trained well enough to finish but will have many breathless moments on the day.

What I am asking is will you help? Not can you, but will you? Let’s work together to help those who cannot help themselves.

If you make a donation please leave a comment to let others know. You don’t have to say how much and you can make your comment anonymously but please respond. It will encourage others to do the same. For the record, I will be riding but I have also made a donation. Let’s make this happen. ThinkAboutIt!

PS – Don’t leave your friends out. Email this blog to others. There is no end to the need and no fear of doing too much.


Anonymous said...

I wish you well and will see you when I return from the states.

carl said...

wish you well. do you have gatorade there? here is alittle tip. be sure your shoe strings are tied. from home,

Anonymous said...

This is Bob - stay strong. That ride will be tough.