Like many kids of my generation, I grew up riding my bike. Our parents didn’t drive us everywhere. Life was safer then and we had a lot more freedom than kids of today. Also, typical of my generation, once I was of driving age, the bike was left behind and I would drive whenever I could convince my mom to let me borrow the family car. If I couldn’t get the car, then some other friend would drive. We most certainly wouldn’t be caught riding our bikes. It quickly became something that only little kids did.
From my twenties to my forties, I hardly ever rode a bike. When I was in my fifties, I happened to see a poster advertising a fund-raising bike ride called the Cycle of Hope. After some trepidation, I signed on and this rekindled my love of bike riding. It was a completely unplanned rediscovery of something I loved as a child and has brought me many hours of enjoyment since my first Cycle of Hope in 2011.
If you want the full story, check out the post The Bicycle – A Connection to our Childhood
As a bit of a background, the Cycle of Hope is a two-week bike ride covering 1000 miles. It is a significant fund-raiser for the Manitoba Affiliate of Habitat for Humanity. Up to 50 cyclists have participated in this ride each year since its inception in 1993. Annually, the Cycle of Hope raises enough money to build one Habitat home. All cyclists pay a registration fee of $475 and commit to raising a minimum of $2500.
Since its beginning, the Cycle of Hope has raised $2,500,000, a very impressive amount.
Each year the Cycle of Hope ride begins from a different point in Canada or the United States, riding back to Winnipeg and the build site for the home we are sponsoring. The cyclists are welcomed home by family, friends and the many volunteers building the home. It is an emotion-filled homecoming.
This July, our group will start at Niagara Falls and travel along the northern shore of Lake Erie before heading south into Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota and finally, onward to Winnipeg.
The Habitat for Humanity model is really remarkable. The concept centers on those in need of an adequate home working side-by-side with volunteers to build simple, decent homes. The new homeowner is directly involved in the building of their home. They have a commitment of 350-500 hours of “sweat equity” in building their home or other functions in support of the Habitat organization.
The houses are sold, to qualifying families who meet the criteria to join in partnership with Habitat. The homes are sold at fair market value without a down payment and with an interest-free mortgage.
Since 1976, Habitat for Humanity International has built or repaired over 1 million homes, serving more than 5 million people worldwide. Today, Habitat for Humanity is a true world leader in addressing the issues of poverty housing.
The Manitoba Affiliate has been in existence since 1987 and has built 323 homes.
As I prepare for my fourth ride, I ask you to consider making a donation on my behalf to the Cycle of Hope. You may access my fundraising page with the following link.
One of the truly great things about donating to the Cycle of Hope is that 100% of all donations go directly to the home being built.
You can look forward to updates on my fundraising progress and the ride itself in the coming months on my blog, http://www.WellSpokenBlog.com. If you haven’t already done so, sign up to receive blog updates in your email every time I make a post. Click on the “Follow” button under “Follow Blog by Email” on the top of the home page.
Thank you for your generosity in support of this worthwhile charity.
P.S. Many of the details of this post are summarized from the Habitat for Humanity Manitoba website and can be found at www.habitat.mb.ca