I became interested in helping support a movement in Ghana back 2011 when I became friends with Nick and Typhanie Mahlstadt, founders of The Move Project. I saw the impact they were making on the people of Ghana and wanted to be involved as well. When The Water Ride started four years ago, I didn't even own a bike.
However that wasn't going to stop me from being involved. I borrowed a bike from my nephew who was 12 at the time and painfully road the 27 mile route. I was sore and tired the next day, but felt good about my contribution. That ride sparked an interest in me to begin riding more. I bought my own cruiser bike, then a road bike, then I upgraded to a nice road bike. Since then, I have rode thousands of miles on two wheels using my legs as power. I feel the biking world is a wonderful community full of amazing people willing to support others for the greater good. If you get a flat tire in your car, how many people drive by without even slowing down? If you get a flat tire on your bike, just about every passing biker will offer assistance or stop and hang out until the change is completed.
Each year when The Water Ride comes around, more and more friends and family are interested in participating and supporting a movement that many cant even understand. In America, we take for granted that we will have water flowing from the faucet and that every child will go to school. These are instead just daydreams for many of the people of Ghana.
The impact that The Water Ride has made over the past four years is amazing. Three water wells installed and construction on the school that will educate almost 200 kids a year is almost complete. These were made possible because someone decided to make a move. Someone decided that a small amount from their pocket and an afternoon riding bikes with friends was worth it. To see the reaction from people when I explain the positive changes in Ghana is amazing.
They want to know more. They want to help. They want to be involved and I get it. I'm right there with them. Knowledge is power and power creates change. I ride to change my body, to improve my health and to change the lives of those who may never be able to pay me back. That is #WHYIRIDE