I’ve written a few different times about my buddy who is riding with his brother from Canada to Argentina. On their bikes. Like pedal bikes. Not a motorcycle bike. It’s damn impressive. And they are raising money for an organization called HOPE. Which, in my opinion, makes it even more impressive. Because I’m a sucker for a good cause.
As of just a couple of days ago the Cook brothers had sat on a bike seat and pedaled their way 5695 km from their starting point in Canada. That many km will get you to Cabo San Lucas. Probably not a bad place to be as December rolls around.
With that in mind, I have done some shameful quoting. And by quoting I mean huge portions of text with quotation marks around it. Mostly because they are excellent writers and do an amazing job of describing their adventure. And how it came to fruition. And why they are doing it. So from their latest blog post Why We Ride:
“The idea was first born more than 4 years ago, as a dream to complete one day. In September of 2007, we decided that this was something that we really needed to do. We began planning; we were going to ride our bikes to Argentina, leaving the following September. Of course, we love traveling and thought that this would be an amazing way to see so much of the world. But we also felt compelled to do our part to help those in the world less fortunate than us. Being raised in Canada, we have been blessed with a future full of endless possibilities; we realize however that the majority of people in the world don’t have this same privilege. Furthermore, we believe that it’s our responsibility as the wealthy of the world to do whatever we can to change this. We wanted to undertake this bicycle journey in order to inspire and encourage those around us, coming from such privileged areas of the world, to do what we can to make a difference.
We knew that we wanted to find an international development agency to raise money for and so we began a detailed search of the many deserving organizations in existence. We finally found HOPE International, based out of New Westminister, BC, and were instantly impressed with the organization. First off, from a financial perspective the organization is outstanding – with only four percent of their income going to administration and advertising costs, they are the best financially managed international development agency that we found. In addition, all of their projects focus on sustainable development in the true sense of the term. All monies being donated are put into locally organized projects, with local labour being used in order to further economic development. From our first contact with HOPE International we have been impressed with their professionalism and dedication to their cause of helping the “poorest of the poor”. We were presented the opportunity to raise money for a project in the Dominican Republic, rebuilding community greenhouses and irrigation systems and we committed to raise $50,000 for this project. Thus, the ride for HOPE was born.”
That’s good stuff. And notice the Canadian way of spelling labor. With a “u.” Silly Canadians. My American spell check didn’t respond nicely to it. Anyway, now you know how this whole idea came about. Why they are doing it. What they are doing it for. But no good explanation of an adventure like the one they find themselves on is complete with a call to action. But Keenan and Jeff do damn good work. And so, the ride for HOPE call to action:
“With Christmas right around the corner, and the evidence of our affluence being displayed in shop windows and down the street, we wanted to remind you all why we're on this adventure. We would like to thank all of you who have already contributed to our HOPE International project, and we'd like to encourage everybody, in this season of giving and of love to consider our ride for HOPE. Our website is set up with a link to donate online at HOPE International's website. It's all set up with a secure server so that you can make a donation with your credit card, right online. You can just select "other" under the dropdown menu, and type "ride for HOPE" in the comment section. This will ensure that the money you donate goes straight to our project (as well as going towards our $50,000 goal).”
Welcome to Sweden. I mean Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. And the ride for HOPE.