Grand Slam for Zambia: the Power of 5

11.30.2013 | 11:43 am

A Note from Fatty: If you’re already on board and are ready to donate, click here to go to the donation page. Thanks!

I think most people would like to think that they’re trying to make a difference in others’ lives. To be a force for good. And when you help another person, it feels pretty great.

But what if your donation had the power to make a difference not just in one person’s life, but in five people’s lives?

And what if your donation were automatically doubled, so that it had double the impact it normally did?

Oh, and what if…just by the way…when you donated you’d automatically be getting chances at winning not one dream bike, but at one of five dream bikes? Wouldn’t that be cool? (Answer: yes, it would be pretty cool.)

Well, I think you’re going to want to read a little more about the fundraiser for World Bicycle Relief I’m kicking off today: 

Grand Slam for Zambia: The Power of 5

Shouldn’t This Be Called “Grand Slam 3?”

Those of you who have followed this blog and my fundraisers for a while might be wondering why this isn’t called “Grand Slam for Zambia 3” or something like that. Well, the fact is, this is the fifth fundraiser I’ve done for World Bicycle Relief. First, there was the one Johan Bruyneel and I did together. Next, there was Grand Slam 1, followed by Grand Slam 2. Then, last summer we took advantage of Trek’s generous matching offer and the Trek Madone they were offering to someone who donated.

And that brings us to “The Power of 5,” which I think you’ll agree is a pretty special number.

Let me explain.

What Does “The Power of 5” Mean?

When a person in Zambia gets a bike from World Bicycle Relief, they can go much farther, and much faster. And they can carry five times as much as they otherwise could:

WBR bike, all loaded up
A loaded-up WBR bike I photographed at the market in Lusaka — a very common sight.

That’s a very powerful multiplying force.

The thing is, though, a $134 Buffalo bicycle provided by World Bicycle relief doesn’t just make one student’s (or one healthcare worker’s) life better. Each bike improves the lives of—on average—five people: the person who receives the bike, her family, and her neighbors.

And the bikes benefit five common groups. You know about the three I’ve talked about before: students, healthcare workers, and entrepreneurs. 

But these bicycles also provide jobs to the people who make a living building them:

Building up bikes in Lusaka, Zambia

And the people who make a living servicing them:

A field mechanic with his certificate

So. This is my fifth WBR fundraiser. People carry five times as much with a WBR bike, each bike affects five people, and they benefit five kinds of people. 

That’s a pretty good “Power of 5” story, don’t you think?

But there’s more. 

The Power of 5…Awesome Bikes

You know that I’m going to hit you up for a donation, and you know that I am going to try to sweeten that donation with some awesome prizes. 

How about this: we’re going to give away five dream bikes as prizes in this fundraiser. 

But it gets cooler than that. These five bikes will be come from five different bike makers. In alphabetical order:

That’s right. These five different companies—normally rivals—have joined together to show that while it’s fine to compete during business hours, when it comes to doing the right thing and making the world a better place, they’re more than happy to work together.

And that’s an incredibly powerful—and, frankly, beautiful—message.

During the next few weeks I’ll be revealing the details of exactly which bikes they’ll be giving away as part of this contest. For right now, let me simply say that they are dream bikes, each and every one of them. And they are all outfitted with top-of-the-line components from the SRAM family. 

This Wednesday, I’ll be revealing details about what bike Ibis is donating, and how it will be spec’d. As a hint, let me just say that it’s a highly desirable bike, and Ibis founder Scot Nicol—aka Chuck Ibis—is choosing the parts himself, ensuring it will be the most amazing bike you could possibly hope for.

So, you may want to make sure you check back on Wednesday, OK?

How Can You Donate (and Maybe Win)?

It’s simple to donate and enter the contest for these five dream bikes (and yes, no matter when you donate, you’re entered for the drawing of each of the five bikes). Just go to my WBR fundraiser page and make a donation. 

For every $5.00 you donate (yes, I’m looking for every possible opportunity to fit the number 5 into this contest), you’ll get a chance at winning these five bikes. So, please donate in multiples of $5.00.

As a bonus, though, if you donate the cost of a WBR bike — $134 — you’ll be given an additional (you guessed it) five chances

This contest goes through the end of December, at which point a WBR employee will do the drawing to ensure that I don’t somehow wind up winning all five bikes myself. (Don’t worry; my family and I aren’t eligible to win any of the prizes. Alas.)

The Power of 5, Doubled

With this fundraiser, your donation is already working incredibly hard to make life better for people in Africa who need the help (not to mention giving you a chance at an amazing group of bikes). But it gets better, because during this month — all of December — all of our donations are being matched, dollar for dollar.

So if you donate $5, some mysterious person with deep pockets and a big heart is going to donate $5. If you donate enough to buy a bike, that mysterious person is going to donate enough to buy another one.

And in short, your money is going twice as far as it otherwise would. Which means we’ll be able to fill warehouse after warehouse with bikes:


But that’s just the first step. Because once we get them built, we get to give them away: 

Bike Distribution Day

And then, because of our donations, thousands of children will be able to stay in school. And get better jobs. And have better medical care. 

And have better lives.

Because of the bicycle. And because of you. 

That’s what Grand Slam for Zambia: The Power of 5 is about. Thanks for donating and being a part of it

PS: Plus it’s kinda fun to dream about winning a dream bicycle. 

PPS: If you’ve got questions, leave them in the comments section; I’ll try to get to them, and Katie at WBR will, too.


  1. Comment by zeeeter | 12.1.2013 | 10:17 pm

    Done – I’m on board again Fatty! A couple more bikes on their way! Sure is a powerful number, five!

  2. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 12.2.2013 | 12:35 am

    So Elden. Will there be ’stickers’? We all love Stickers.

    You know, I had forgotten to do stickers this time, but just talked with Katie and we think we’ll go ahead and do a sticker. If you donate enough to buy a bike, you’ll get a sticker with the Grand Slam: The Power of 5 logo on it. Suitable for whatever you like to stick stuff to. – FC

  3. Comment by clayton | 12.2.2013 | 7:43 am

    You had me at Grand Slam. Happy to participate again and so glad you keep up with this work. Two more bikes on the way (or should I say four).

  4. Comment by Marcel Beaudoin | 12.2.2013 | 8:33 am

    Are Canadians permitted to enter?

    Yes! And other countries, too. – FC

  5. Comment by Rob L | 12.2.2013 | 8:45 am

    Fatty, can you remind us how many were donated the previous 2 drives, so we can have a target for demolition?

    Maybe a theme song by 5 for Fighting? J/k.

    I’ll look into that. It’s an interesting question! My *guess* is that we’ve raised somewhere near $500,000 for WBR so far. – FC

  6. Comment by Wife#.667 | 12.2.2013 | 9:06 am

    Woohoo! Awesome to the 5th Power! You can now imagine me doing my oh-so-excited-about-an-amazing-Fatty-contest-that-supports-WBR-dance. Can you see it? Are you picturing my dance moves cuz I’m doing them now!

    Now, grab some acid, throw it on your eyes and hope it helps etch that image from your mind permanently. :-)

    So Ms. Katie… look for an email from me today (Allison H). In addition to whatever bikes we want to buy from our family, we are making some $25 donations for OTHER Team Fatty people, and will want those entered as their names for the contest. Muy importante. But I want to do that in the easiest way for you possible, so please look for my email so you tell me the best way.

    Canot wait to hear about all these bikes! I actually have my own, er, ummm, how to put this… “request” in for Scot Nicol and his peeps at Ibis right now. Though it’s not for a donation but rather for some motivation.

    Fatty, you never cease to amaze, inspire and delight! So exciting. I will be cross-posting this contest like crazy throughout the month and hoping that the amount of bikes we can all buy together for WBR sets a new KOM for their fundraising.

    And THANK YOU to Cannondale, Trek, Ibis, Specialized and Boom. Our bike-crazy household boasts multiple bikes from 4 of you already. You ALL make utterly fantastic bikes and it’s heart-warming to see you all come together to support this effort.

    Side note for all our Fatty friends: You all need to move to Northern California. Yesterday was the most perfect cycling weather ever. It was just glorious! I only had time for a 20 miler but would have happily done far more just for the joy of being outside on a bike on such a lovely December day.

  7. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 12.2.2013 | 9:29 am

    @Wife #.667

    See…who says Global Warming is all negative.
    Ride on honey, ignore the sea lapping at the side of the bike path.

  8. Comment by Dave T | 12.2.2013 | 9:36 am

    So looking forward to this. Great job Fatty on getting 5 bike manufactures to join in on this.

  9. Comment by GenghisKhan | 12.2.2013 | 10:08 am

    I’m making an executive decision on the English language and changing the phrase, “Go big or go home,” to “Go Fatty or go home.”

    Just sayin’…


  10. Comment by GenghisKhan | 12.2.2013 | 10:08 am

    I’m making an executive decision on the English language and changing the phrase, “Go big or go home,” to “Go Fatty or go home.”

    Just sayin’…


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  12. Comment by Jeff Bike | 12.2.2013 | 10:53 am

    Ok Fatty I’m in. I have donated in the previous WBR fundraisers. I donated 5 times (really a little more) as much as last time.

    I challenge all the friends of Fatty to donate 5 times as much as they did in the last fundraiser.

    I like it! I think I’ll take you up on that challenge myself! – FC

  13. Comment by rich | 12.2.2013 | 12:26 pm

    AWESOME!! Thank you once again for allowing us to be a part of something amazing!
    One bike bought and will gladly accept the 5x challenge since I have until the end of December to reach that goal…great idea Jeff Bike

  14. Comment by ClydeinKS | 12.2.2013 | 12:32 pm

    NOW I know why One is the lonliest number – the power of 5 is simply AWESOME!
    Very nice indeed seeing manufacturers unite – its like seeing the Wonder Twins, er Wonder Septuplets taking action!!
    I’m nearing a new favorite number (I could only imagine this to the power of 27!) 5 is fabulous!!

  15. Comment by Eric L | 12.2.2013 | 1:15 pm

    My parents are IMPOSSIBLE to shop for at Christmas. So for a second year I am so happy to donate a bike for each of them. I had a mailing from WBR sitting on my coffee table and I kept thinking…wait for it…wait for Fatty…

    There’s an office furniture store on the ground floor of the blgd I work in in downtown SF. They had one of these bikes in their window for several months so I got to eyeball it many times. These are rock solid machines.

    Go Team Fatty!

  16. Comment by Heidi | 12.2.2013 | 2:02 pm

    I’m in! I’ve been looking forward to this fundraiser, and I’m happy to be able to make a difference.

    Every time someone buys a WBR bike, an angel earns its wings. That’s the saying, isn’t it?

  17. Comment by Wife#.667 | 12.2.2013 | 3:02 pm

    Side comment not at all relevant to today’s post of joyous tidings…

    So MattC and GregC: how are those bio bib-shorts coming along? If you are currently feeling stumped with that particular project, could you engineering genius-types please work on a mass-production ready Fatcyclist clydesdale logo cookie cutter? Sage did a free form one for a pie tooper and it made me realize it would be uber cool to have a cookie cutter in that shape for all sorts of fun things. AND you could also market it to horse owners (lots of disposable income there) and possibly even Ferrari lovers that aren’t too bright ;-)

    Could even be a source of income for Fatty as he writes the caregivers companion. But mainly, I just want to make Fatty cookies.

    Thanks guys. Let us know when ready to go into production. I can help market it to the horse folks.

    As you were. Back to the regularly scheduled WBR programming now.

  18. Comment by MattC | 12.2.2013 | 4:52 pm

    @Wife.667…my Mark I version of the “bio bibs” is something along the lines of the ‘clothes’ they wear on “Naked Vegas” (I caught a glimpse of that show the other day by accident…uhm…wow?)

    However it wouldn’t really be much of a help as far as seat-comfort (being as there is no chammy, or maybe just a teensy eensy one)…however it would be quite refreshing and airy…and the privy stops would be a ‘breeze’ if you will.

    Still working it tho…mostly waiting for that bolt of lightening of enlightenment in creating a world-changing set of bibs. In the meantime I’ll just keep my day-job.

  19. Comment by GregC | 12.2.2013 | 7:00 pm

    What MattC said- except I hesitate to get struck by lightning- tends to do bad things to my bike tires in addition to give me bad headaches! Actually this product fell off my to do list, but its back on now! Go WBR!

  20. Comment by Donnie Barnes | 12.2.2013 | 7:19 pm

    I’m going to donate. Any chance you can add paypal as an option for donation payment? I’ll likely donate MORE if that were a possibility. I might not be the only one.

  21. Comment by Susie H | 12.2.2013 | 9:57 pm

    So if I donate 5X’s as much as I’ve done for previous WBR fundraisers…hey, that’s pretty much a whole bike. #winwin =)

  22. Comment by cyclingjimbo | 12.3.2013 | 6:58 am

    Another awesome fundraiser from fatty! I’ll be in as soon as i can get my proverbial act together and find from free time in the evening.

    Fatty has some great friends who are willing to pony up some great prozes for this project. Kudos to Boom, Cannondale, Ibis, Specialized, Trek and SRAM for their help in this fundraiser.

    The mind reels with the possibilites for these great bikes. Awesome project, Fatty! WBR is one of our new favorite causes, and my family will be in for several buffalos.

  23. Comment by Minsk | 12.3.2013 | 1:55 pm

    Hey, thanks for the review!

  24. Comment by Jeff Bike | 12.3.2013 | 2:27 pm

    I miss the daily updates/entrees. It’s been a couple of days and I’m getting withdrawal symptoms. I know when they are coming on when I check the blog site 3 or 4 times in a day. Please help!

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  26. Comment by Greg | 12.3.2013 | 4:55 pm

    Awesome charity. Thanks for pointing it out to all of us. I would have donated anyway, but with a Ibis on the list, well, I couldn’t resist doubling it!

  27. Comment by Triflefat | 12.3.2013 | 10:41 pm

    I like this cause Fatty. Good job.

    In a quasi-related issue, has there been much money generated from Team Fatty hor WBR on Plus 3 of late?
    The numbers of active members seems to have dwindled to a very small core recently.

  28. Comment by Triflefat | 12.3.2013 | 11:31 pm

    “for” not ‘hor”

  29. Pingback by Fat Cyclist » Blog Archive » Win an IBIS RIPLEY in the Grand Slam for Zambia: The Power of 5 | 12.4.2013 | 8:20 am

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  30. Comment by MattC | 12.5.2013 | 9:53 am

    @Davidh…thanks for the info (hand’t checked the LS site)…sad for them to cancel all the rides tho..I would have ‘assumed’ at least the Austin event would go on.

    And Fatty…no worries…as of now I am totally focused on THIS fundraiser! I’ve had it in the back of my mind most of this year to alter my 2014 fundraising to support both LS and WBR…(not that cancer fighting isn’t important, but the WBR mission and results is just SO overwhelmingly awesome for so many reasons). Count me in…(well, not right this second, but surely before it’s over I will be “all in”).

  31. Comment by Steve | 12.6.2013 | 8:00 am

    Hey Fatty, just contributed. I wanted to make the contribution in honor of my parents but couldn’t find out where. Did I miss something?


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  33. Pingback by How Beeminder Paid for 14 Bikes | Beeminder Blog | 12.6.2013 | 10:56 am

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  34. Comment by Christina | 12.9.2013 | 11:52 am

    Dear Santa,

    This year I’d like to win one of Fatty’s Fancy Bikes. I’ve been really good. I even fundraised for WBR back in May.

    Think about it and get back to me, Santa. Don’t make me be naughty.


  35. Comment by 1 | 12.9.2013 | 1:25 pm


  36. Comment by DJ | 12.14.2013 | 10:48 pm

    I will be making a donation from a family fund at at community foundation. Therefore can’t do the cc route and must have check mailed to WBR. Should it be for: Grand Slam for Zambia?

  37. Comment by DJ | 12.15.2013 | 8:02 am

    never mind. I figured it out.
    Grand Slam for Zambia: The Power of 5

  38. Pingback by Fat Cyclist » Blog Archive » I love you guys. | 12.16.2013 | 12:34 pm

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  39. Comment by Michelle | 12.19.2013 | 1:38 pm

    Are there instructions this year if we’d like to donate and have it count towards your campaign, but (gasp!) don’t want to enter the raffle?

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