In underdeveloped areas of the world, the bicycle is less about choice, and more about survival. A bicycle can allow a child to obtain an education by reducing their commute from an unrealistic time to one that is realistic. It can allow a healthcare volunteer to cover a greater area, and see more patients in a week than walking would allow. It can increase the earning potential by allowing an individual to cover a greater distance and carry a greater load than they could by walking. The bicycle represents a better life.
World Bicycle Relief is an organization whose mission is to provide access to independence and livelihood through The Power of Bicycles. Started in 2005 by SRAM and Trek Bicycles, they are working to provide a sustainable transportation alternative to walking to people in underdeveloped areas. They are working to accomplish this mission by providing a sturdy, durable bicycle that can withstand the environment, and that is simple to operate and fix, and by providing mechanical training to keep those bicycles running.
Simple sustainable mobility in the form of a bicycle multiplies a person’s effort and efficiency with improved access to healthcare, education and economic development, especially when compared to the alternative of walking.
Healthcare: Brings healthcare to patients and patients to healthcare.
Education: Brings educators to the field and students to schools.
Economic development: Sustainable mobility is a fundamental requirement in all economic systems. Bicycles multiply an individual’s efforts by:
- Bringing goods and services to markets;
- Enabling workers to get to jobs or find better jobs;
- Fueling an individual’s entrepreneurial drive – entire businesses can be run off the back of a bike.