Amanda Rigg

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Amanda Rigg

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

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Ryan Morrison

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Ryan Morrison

This was my first year for the water ride and I was lucky enough to experience the event through the viewfinder of my camera. It is wonderful to join together for an event that will impact people thousands of miles away while meeting like-minded in your own community. The proceeds of the Water Ride are currently going to not just help build a school in Ghana, but they are filling a need in that community. Community is how we stay accountable, find inspiration, gain confidence, receive healing, build strength, and grow in our faith. We are all built for community, but it still seems hard to connect on the human level.
I believe the way to make lasting change in an area is through education and community.
In the past few years I’ve worked in schools here in the United States as well as in Kenya, South Africa, and Cambodia. Across the board, there is a need for quality education that can cultivate hope in a country. If we are educated, we can start to move forward on the journey of sustainable growth. When you can unlock a child’s mind you can give them a new hope and start the ripple of change. Knowledge can’t be taken away and can span across different borders, income levels, races, and genders.
This bike ride is not just for the community in Ghana, it is education and community for us here in Des Moines as well. It may not seem that we are making a difference, but we are. Not just for the community we may never meet, but also personally with other riders we join here in Iowa during the Water Ride.

We all need things like this in our life.
We all need to join in to something bigger than ourselves.
We all need to make change we will never be able to see. 

That is #whyiride

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Evan Poe

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Evan Poe

IT ALL STARTED WHEN...

I became interested in supporting The Move Project and specifically The Water Ride in its initial year.  In 2011 I worked with Nick Mahlstadt's brother, Sam. Sam shared his passion in regards to charitable giving and returning God's gifts to us to the less fortunate in the world. I'm an avid bicyclist who you will find out on the trails of Central Iowa most evenings and weekends in the summer. When Sam shared his dream regarding The Water Ride growing into a large fundraiser for The Move Project I couldn't resist wanting to be there to support him and to support the noble cause every year.  This will be my fourth ride. Last year I was the very first to register per Emily Boyd. I think I won a prize for being so loyal!  

I can't think of a better non-profit to support. Their passion is contagious and inspiring. I've even taken the step to contribute via my company's United Way campaign to allocate my giving to The Move Project. I'm also happy to see Amazon has a charitable wing to their company and created Amazon Smile (https://smile.amazon.com/ch/27-4064758) where if you sign up, .5% of your purchases will go to your organization of choice. I was thrilled to find out I could allocate funds this way too!  

I support this group in multiple avenues as you can see. The bike ride is just one small way. This is #WhyIRide.

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Sam Mahlstadt

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Sam Mahlstadt

IT ALL STARTED WHEN...

It was about 6 years ago that my brother, Nick (founder of TMP) and I sat down to discuss an interesting exchange he'd had. Over breakfast, he told me a story of his team's recent monthly outing. Each month, they chose a local organization doing good work and volunteered with them to be a part of the community and practice teambuilding while giving back. Following the volunteer outing, a member of his team thanked him for coordinating and mentioned that if it weren't for his team outings, they'd never have gotten engaged in volunteering. 

 Although a relatively benign comment, the realization that this individual represented many - who weren't sure how, or weren't insipred to, get involved - in our local community and across the country and world. It weighed heavy on his as he posed the question to me, "What can we do?" We knew we had to do something

 We spoke about the barrier of entry many face when they encounter a massive and/or deeply rooted social issue. We brainstormed ways to make the first step of engagement easy, while still taking on large challenges. Soon after that breakfast, we launched The Move Project, focused on holistic and sustainable poverty alleviation. 

 We eventually landed on a strategic partnership in Ghana, focusing on providing clean water to those without access. One thing led to another, and we ended up installing three clean water wells and took on the challenge of building and staffing a school to serve the children of the communities who benefited from the wells we installed. 

 That goal of providing education is the next step in long-term, holistic and sustainable, poverty alleviation and creating new realities for the future leaders of Ghana. Together, with our sponsors and community who ride each year, we are creating new possibilities, and a new reality for our neighbors and friends in Ghana. 

That's #WhyIRide

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Eugene Frimpong

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Eugene Frimpong

I have been part of Water Ride since it’s inception and have supported it since then. I have several reasons for being part of this. The primary reason has to do with the fact I personally know some of the leaders/organizers and their heart towards the continent of Africa in particular and their innate desire towards poverty reduction in general. I have known Nick and Typhanie for about 5 years now and their compassion for the poor and underprivileged in society is unparalleled. You simply cannot think about the cause without the heart behind it. Nick and his team care about the poor!

Secondly, In 2014 I did all the 8 sessions of the indoor water ride at the Indianola YMCA and I clocked about 80 miles at the end. I was a guest/motivational speaker prior to each session and I spoke about the daunting task I had to go through as a child growing up in Ghana when I had to make a journey of 2 miles each morning to fetch water from the river. My cadence and endurance wasn’t based on my cycling skills but the fact that I didn’t want those without water to go through what I went through. I have seen the problem faced by the poor in Ghana, a firsthand and i see that any little effort through the water ride will be a step towards solving the problem. Herein lies my support.

I have supported lots of charitable causes in Iowa for the past 10+ years and I can say for sure that funds raised from the water ride goes to impact lives in Ghana and for that matter I will always be an advocate and supporter of the water ride. 

Your bike ride will be somebody's ride out of poverty- no need to be spectator, be part, not apart!!!

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Doug Gaumer

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Doug Gaumer

IN 2011 I WAS ASKED IF...

I wanted to ride RAGBRAI. Having not been on a bike for well over a decade I decided "why not?!" So I started training for it. I found riding some of the scenic trails to be mentally heathy as well as the obvious physical benefits. I found myself going on rides strictly just to sort things out, and reflect on my life and those around me. My mother's untimely death in the Winter of 2013 fueled this even more. The summers of 2014 and 2015 were filled with many solo rides which I found myself reflecting on all aspects of life. As I continue to ride for my own mental health I have always been a part of the social riding scene as well. I often find myself on weekend rides that benefit others. The Moonlight Classic which helps kids in the metro, Above and Beyond Cancer, Miles for Melenoma, Rotary Ride Indianola, and of course The Water Ride. I'm attracted to rides where the proceeds help other people dealing with problems. Riding has helped me with my struggles and it's great that the greater Des Moines area has so many rides that benefit others and their struggles. The Water Ride has become one of my favorites to join. I have known Nick and Sam and the Mahlstadt's since I was a kid. Their family has always helped others without thinking about themselves, and I love the work they are doing with the Water Ride.
#whyiride, Because it's cheaper than a psychologist

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