Riders from last year's Pacific Coast tour at the US-Mexico border. Photo credit: Global Agents for Change.
Biking to make the world a better, greener place can mean commuting on two wheels instead of four. Or taking a ride for exercise and ditching the treadmill. Or it can mean biking 3,000 km (1,864 mi) from Vancouver, British Columbia to Tijuana, Mexico over the course of seven weeks. And that's exactly what a team of six young British Columbians are doing this summer with an organization called Global Agents for Change. Their goal? To raise funds and awareness for global poverty. The six riders of Riding to Break the Cycle are setting out to raise $18,000, all of which will go towards to the Global AFC Opportunity Fund, which helps provide secondary and post-secondary scholarships for young students in the developing world, and gives microcredit loans to help break the cycle of poverty the world over.
Departing Monday, the group will take the route south through Seattle, California's Humbolt Redwoods State Park, San Francisco, and San Diego, among many other places, before crossing the border into Mexico on the 4th of July. Along their trip, the riders are put up by local hosts, sleeping in schools, churches, and campsites.
It's not just a fund raising trip, however. Participants learn about environmental issues, economic inequality, and as the US-Mexico border looms larger on the horizon, issues of immigration. You can follow the experiences of the Riding to Break the Cycle riders on their blog.
Bike tours of such epic proportions seem to be a rising trend, and we're glad to hear it. In the Amazon, Japan and the upper Midwest, we've seen riders taking on every longer trips, all for the issues of sustainability, living green, and promoting renewable energy sources.
Past Global AFC tours have stretched from Amsterdam to Istanbul and through Cambodia. In the four years since its creation, the organization has raised more than $200,000, and shows no signs of slowing down. Feeling inspired? Donate now! Really inspired? Plan your own bike tour!