Sometimes I need a little kick in the ass. And the other day I got it by way of an e-mail from an old friend. So this post won’t necessarily be a funny one. (They usually aren’t.) Or about the differences in Swedish vs. American culture. (It’s usually just nitpicking.) Or even a scathing critique of the worthlessness that is Stockholm’s public transportation. (Which really does suck.) Instead it’s one of those good old calls to action. For a good cause though. So bear with me.
We met in Sweden while studying abroad in Uppsala. Keenan suffered from some insomnia at one point during the winter and somehow decided it would be a good idea to ride his bike from Uppsala to Gävle. In the middle of the night. In the middle of the Swedish winter. With that in mind, what he has been doing since then seems downright normal.
Keenan and his brother Jeff have been on their bikes for over 13,884 km. From Canada they have managed to cycle down to central Peru. In just over nine months they have biked one continent and are well on their way to riding through another. My ass gets tired just thinking about it. Luckily, Keenan has managed to wear ladies biking shorts for most of the time. Large for those of you wondering.
Riding a bike from Canada to Argentina with ladies shorts on is no small task. And the brothers are raising money along the way for an organization called HOPE. Which, despite recent events, has no ties to Obama as far as I can tell.
The money goes to rebuilding communities in the Dominican Republic focusing on community greenhouses and irrigation systems. The goal is 50,000 dollars. Canadian I think. And for the Swedes, that is 50.000. Notice the period. With just a few months left, they are hovering around 15,000 dollars. A nice chunk of change, and something that will most definitely make a difference for the organization they are supporting. But it’s a long ways away.
If you want to donate, according to their blog, “HOPE's donation page can be found here - just select 'other' on the drop-down menu, and write "ride for HOPE", or "Keenan and Jeff's ride for HOPE" on the comments section to make sure that the money goes towards this project in the Dominican.”
Not everyone will be able to donate money. Or even want to. But you can do something. Even if it is just sending a friend the link to a Ride for HOPE (http://canadatoargentina.blogspot.com/). Or read their post as to why in the hell they thought it would be smart to ride their bikes tens of thousands of kilometers: Why We’re Still Riding. Send their links to other people on Twitter. Facebook. Digg their stuff. The internet is an amazing thing. And theirs is an amazing story. It’s a match made in heaven. Or central Peru.
Welcome to North and South American bike riding.