This Thursday, Sept. 13th, in Long Beach, California, the League of American Bicyclists is hosting the first-ever National Women's Biking Summit. The event features a keynote address by Leah Missbach Day, co-founder of World Bicycle Relief, which sits right at the top of my list of awesome organizations that are literally changing the world for the better.
The fact that you're reading this means you already understand the fun and beauty of bikes, but for people in third-world countries whose feet are their main form of transportation just having a simple, reliable bike for travel can make a profound difference in their quality of life.
"At World Bicycle Relief, we work to transform the lives of individuals and their communities through the power of bicycles," says Day. "A single-speed bicycle can improve the dignity and quality of life for women. Entrepreneurs can get their goods to market; mothers gain access to life-saving medical clinics; girls are able to attend and stay in school."
As just one example of the impact that the 110,000 bikes World Bicycle Relief has placed into service, Day tells the story of Maureen, a girl in rural Zambia who wanted an education so badly she would walk seven miles to school. However with a two-hour journey each way, she would often miss Fridays due to sheer exhaustion. With a bicycle, Maureen now goes to school regularly and in fact dreams of becoming a doctor.
It's simple, but powerful. For every ten miles traveled, a bike saves a person three hours of precious time compared to traveling on foot. Check it out if you want to find out more how you can help. Visit World Bicycle Relief's full site here.