Those of you who follow me on Twitter know that I have started posting there pretty often. Perhaps more often than I ought. And it’s (almost) always a lot of fun when someone posts a tweet with my handle included.
And then, yesterday afternoon, I saw this one from Johan Bruyneel:
As you might expect, I was just a little bit intrigued. And then early this afternoon, while I was having some Twitter-free time, Johan posted this:
Yeah, as you can imagine, I didn’t waste a lot of time jumping over to the link, which I highly recommend you read, too.
No, it’s not an invitation to fill in for Chris Horner in the Tour de France, even though I’m roughly his height and have an identical hair style.
It’s an invitation for The Hammer and me to visit Africa to witness the good World Bicycle Relief (WBR) has done and is doing for children there — to watch how a bike can change a person’s life in very important ways.
And it’s also a challenge (Johan Bruyneel evidently loves to challenge people) to Team Fatty to raise enough money to buy 1000 bikes for kids there, with some amazing incentives to give you extra reasons to get on board.
I have to say: I’m amazed by this opportunity and challenge, and humbled, and very inspired.
And if we do this right, I’ll get to take one of you with me, and together we’ll put stickers on 1000 bikes, letting 1000 kids know that Team Fatty stepped up to help them.
Let’s go into some details, OK?
Why This Matters
Before we talk about how the contest works and what you might win (and there is definitely some cool stuff to win!) by donating, let’s talk about why this contest is important to me, and why it should be important to you, too.
$134 is not a lot of money, but it will buy a good bicycle for a kid in Zambia. That bike will make it possible for the kid to make what would otherwise be a prohibitively long commute to school. Which means a kid that couldn’t otherwise stay in school, now can.
And that means new opportunities. And a better life.
Think about that for a sec: $134 can change a person’s life. Permanently, and in a big way.
And Johan Bruyneel, along with his friends at WBR, are giving us the opportunity to change a thousand lives.
And to make it fun, he’s made it into a cool game: the more we raise, the more awesome prizes go into the drawing.
Let’s look at those for a minute.
Those of you who know my contests know that I like to give away some cool stuff. In this case, though, the coolness level and quantity has gone so far through the roof that it’s in danger of passing out due to lack of oxygen.
The thing is, though, the more we raise, the more prizes there will be.
So, no matter what, we’ll be giving away WBR casual clothing and bike kits, Team RadioShack kits, a Team RadioShack jersey, cycling cap, and botttle signed by everyone still in the Tour, Road ID gift certificates, Giro Aeon helmets, Strider no-pedal bikes, and a set of HED Ardennes SL Wheels.
But as we raise enough money to buy certain numbers of bikes, increasingly mind-blowing prizes get added to the pot. Like this:
- 100 Bikes ($13,400): SRAM Red Pro Gruppo – SRAM’s top-of-the-top road group. And — if I may say so — darn near close to a work of art, appearance-wise. Win this and you’ll want to get a new frame, just to be worthy of the components. [UPDATE: We've already hit this goal!]
- 250 Bikes ($33,500): A Team RadioShack Trek Madone Bike (Race Ridden). You can’t look more pro than riding on a pro’s bike. Who’s bike will you get? Well, that depends on what size of bike you need. One thing’s for sure, though: it’s gonna be as light and sweet as UCI will allow. Oh, and the saddle will be nice and level, too. Ha.
- 500 Bikes ($67,000): A yellow jersey, worn on the podium by Lance Armstrong in the Tour de France. Holy smokes, do you have any idea how much this thing is worth? Hint: enough that you might want to take good care of it.
- 750 Bikes ($100,500): Trek Travel 2012 Tour de France Paris Trip, with airfare and accommodations included. You haven’t ever wanted to go Paris and see the finish of the Tour de France, have you? No? Me either. Why would anyone want to do that? But you know what? If you win you can give the prize to me and I’ll go anyway, just so you won’t have to. That would be really nice of me.
- 1000 Bikes ($134,000): 1000 bikes. 1000 lives changed. When (not if!) we achieve this Grand Slam for Zambia, one of you will get to join The Hammer and me on a trip to Africa, where we’ll report back on how the work we’ve done together has changed lives. We’ll put “Grand Slam for Zambia” stickers on a thousand bikes. I’m told it’s going to be the experience of a lifetime, and I don’t doubt it.
Check Johan’s blog for more details on and photos of all these prizes, and I’ll be describing them in more detail soon, too.
And you know what? These aren’t even all the prizes there will be. I’ve got more good stuff lined up, and will be announcing them soon.
How the Contest Works
Anyway, here are the basics:
- Click here to go to the donation page.
- Donate any amount, but at least $5.00.
- For every $5.00 you donate, you get a chance at a prize.
- If you donate $134 — enough to buy a bike — you get a bonus 3 chances. (If you donate in multiples of $134, you get a bonus 3 chances for each 134 you donate).
- You have between now and August 27, Midnight (MT) to donate.
- We’ll notify the winners by email and phone.
Questions and Wrapup
Got any questions? Post them in comments. Don’t email me questions; I won’t see them. I’m currently so far behind on email I’m thinking of just deleting the whole 650+ (really) unread messages and starting over.
And a huge “thanks” goes out to Johan and the WBR folks for giving us this challenge. I am still trying to wrap my brain around it, but I am incredibly excited to do something so big and good with Team Fatty. And to have one of you come along to Africa with me to help tell the story of what Team Fatty is capable of accomplishing.