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The Big Ride for Africa 2017

5th July 2017

Just over two weeks ago, over 400 runners and riders cycled over a collective 80,000km across Cologne and Denver for Lessons for Life. Avid cyclists and runners in Europe climbed over a million metres choosing from one and two day options ranging from 50km to 160km per day. Some swapped a day in the saddle for a day pounding the dirt on the half marathon. It was our hottest ride to date with temperatures reaching 31C!

Our friends in Denver took to the mountains at the same time as our European colleagues on a 60-mile ride and a 5km run. Our riders powered out of the city centre continuing up to Golden Lookout Mountain and they crossed the line for a big finish at the famous triangle building. Well done to our Big Ride heroes from across the pond!

It wasn’t just in Europe and Denver where our riders took to the road, we had our first-ever rider in Africa. John Paul from Liberty Global visited a project in South Africa that Lessons for Life supports called the Kusasa Project. The Kusasa Project is an early-learning centre in South Africa, the project provides quality pre-school and foundation phase education to disadvantaged children. While John was there he even took to his bike! Check out his time there here.

The Big Ride wouldn’t have been possible without the fantastic support from our Big Ride sponsors. A huge thanks to Accenture, Scotiabank, Deloitte, Unitymedia, BNP, Cartesian, Ciena, Technicolor, Shorts TV and Gemaco. You all went the extra mile.

The routes this year were named after the schools which Lessons for Life supports; Busanza School in Rwanda, Busalamu School in Uganda, Mwulire School in Rwanda, Muthale School in Kenya, and Banada School in Uganda. See Philemon from Busanza School tell his story here. Philemon is just one of thousands of children that Lessons for Life support in Africa. His personal journey brings to life the impact your support has on helping children like him complete their education across Africa.

This year the Big Ride for Africa didn’t just support Lessons for Life. Through the organisation of the Big Ride we managed to support other charities along the way, from the sleeping bags and pillows to the venue itself. Everything particpants slept on was donated to homeless shelters, women shelters and drop-in centres around Cologne. The basecamp held at Ehreshoven Castle is a charity set up to look after elderly ladies who have little means and no family. So well done Big Ride heroes. Your charitable efforts went even further than you thought!

Our amazing riders and runners are still hard at work to reach their fundraising targets, our total is currently just under €1.2million. Watch this space for updates on next year’s Big Ride and see you on the road again in 2018. Remember you can take a look at photos and the video from the ride and try and pick yourself out of the crowd.

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