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Friday, 22 August 2014

How Far Would You Ride to School

Although I ride small motor bikes around the coast of the world, I will be breaking from this mode of transport for a couple of weeks for a project that has captured my heart and soul. That project is Project Mala, a small organisation that strives to emancipate children in Uttar Pradesh in Northern India.
I came across the project last year and was impressed by the English founded project that provides schooling and education to some of the poorest children in the region. On visiting the project one of the things that amazed me was, the dedication and determination of the children to attend school and to achieve good results. Many of the children travel great distances by bicycle, often up to twenty five kilometres morning and afternoon, so It seemed only natural to put aside motorised transport on my next visit and take to the traditional one speed, sit up and beg Hercules bike that is so common in this country as a means of transport.
It has been a long time since I was able to ride a bike, even though, I used to ride 100 miles a day when I was a teenager. But if a small child can ride a bicycle to school and back everyday, then it's my challenge to ride a similar distance daily to visit the school again, while raising awareness and much needed funding in aid of the project.
The Hercules bike I will be riding

My plan is to fly to Dehli the first week of November 2014, purchase a new Hercules bicycle, then ride the eight hundred kilometres to the school in Guria,  near to Varanasi. I am not setting any targets as to duration or daily distances, as I discovered, during my many stops at chai stalls on my last India venture, that they can  result in lengthy discussions with the locals, that could keep you there for an hour at a time.
I also intend to travel via Agra to visit the Taj Mahal so I can show the children in the school photographs, which they were hankering for, last time I was there. Although I am not putting a time scale on the journey I expect the ride to take two to three weeks.
A I said earlier, I hope to raise more funds for the project as they are desperate to build a new boys dormitory and additional classrooms in the Guria school.
S pleas donate to my just giving page here or click the link in the right hand panel.

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