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19,341ft for the Power of Bicycles
19,341 ft. for the Power of Bicycles
Rebecca Rusch and Patrick Sweeney recently mountain biked to the summit of Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak (19,341 feet) and back down without assistance in an effort to raise money for the global charity, World Bicycle Relief. The pair reached the summit at 10:20 am local time on 24th of February and will cap this monumental trip with a visit to one of the charity’s most impacted villages.

Rusch and Sweeney set a goal to raise one dollar for every foot of elevation of Mt. Kilimanjaro. This amount will allow World Bicycle Relief to provide 131 new bikes to people in need in Africa. With the gift of these bikes, students attend class more regularly, entrepreneurs use the bike to increase productivity and profits, and health care workers visit more patients in less time.



The true power of these bicycles will be experienced first hand by Rusch and Sweeney as they travel to the Kenyan village of Busalwa to see the impactful program in action and learn how the bicycles have truly changed lives.

Not only does the duo seek to conquer the 19,341-foot ascent of Africa’s tallest peak on a mountain bike, but she also has a humanitarian agenda: To help mobilize others. Partnered with World Bicycle Relief, who assists remote African communities — improving access to education, healthcare, and economic opportunity — by providing bicycles for personal transportation, the six-time world champion and volunteer firefighter has been helping bring bikes to remote villages in Africa since 2003. WBR’s unique method has created accessibility and improved the quality of life, helping villagers feed their families, get fresh water and become entrepreneurs. The team’s grueling journey up Mount Kilimanjaro is a true parallel to the local villagers and the bike rides they make every day to survive. Using her passion for mountain biking and a pay-it-forward attitude, Rusch and fellow cyclist Patrick Sweeney will begin their ascent on Monday, Feb. 21 with the goal of raising funds to supply new bicycles to 100 local African students — get involved with WBR.

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