2023 SHOW INFORMATION

WILL BE COMING SOON

The Story of World Bicycle Relief’s Buffalo Bike

This year we are super excited to be part of a unique coffee and bicycle collaboration. When we heard that SRAM wanted to bring coffee along with the indestructible World Bicycle Relief Buffalo Bike, we realised we had a great opportunity to bring together our love of coffee and bikes for a good cause.

With the help of expert coffee roasters Album we sourced coffee from a region serviced by World Bicycle Relief bikes. SRAM will be selling 100 bags of this limited edition coffee on their stand, with all the proceeds going straight to World Bicycle Relief.

What’s more, SRAM will be giving out this coffee all weekend for free, with a £1 donation if you need a paper cup. Legends !

We caught up with Ellie at World Bicycle Relief to tell us a bit more about their story, the buffalo bike and the work they’ve achieved so far.

A bicycle may not be the first thing that comes to mind when people think about life-changing technologies. Yet, this unassuming mode of transportation is an innovative tool that can help people transform their lives in areas where distance is a barrier in rural regions around the world. For many people in isolated communities, it can be the difference between surviving and thriving. 

The Buffalo Bicycle, the result of over ten years of product development, is a new category of affordable bike created specifically to withstand rugged terrain and harsh climate conditions, based on the needs and preferences of the women, men, and children who ride it. The Buffalo Bicycle is extremely durable, easy to maintain and longer lasting than other models on the market designed for the users at the base of the economic pyramid. It is field-tested and assembled in the countries in which we work. These wheels drive real change: farmers bring their produce to market faster, workers enjoy a more reliable commute, medical professionals reach more patients in remote locations, and children get to and stay in school. 

The power of the Buffalo Bicycle isn’t in just the object itself. Coupled with the rider, it is a fierce force for change. We have provided more than 635,478 bicycles to students, healthcare workers and entrepreneurs in need through our non-profit programmes, as well as through sales and partnerships in rural regions across more than 20 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

The Story

World Bicycle Relief was founded in 2005 by F.K. Day and Leah Missbach Day in response to the Indian Ocean tsunami. As a founder of SRAM Corporation and a leader in product development, F.K.’s role offered a unique opportunity to problem-solve with cycling industry leaders. As a documentary photographer, Leah’s gift for sharing stories helped bring the devastation of those affected by the tsunami to light. Together, with support from SRAM and other industry leaders, F.K. and Leah launched World Bicycle Relief to provide bicycles for those in need. In partnership with aid organisations in Sri Lanka, World Bicycle Relief distributed more than 24,000 bicycles to displaced survivors, providing access to education, healthcare, and livelihoods while reconnecting entire communities.

After seeing the impact these bicycles had in Sri Lanka, both Leah and F.K. realised that this was only the beginning and that so many more lives could be changed through the power of bicycles. Today, 17 years later, we’ve helped accelerate the journey out of poverty for more than 3.5 million people. We have provided more than 635,478 bicycles to students, healthcare workers and entrepreneurs in need through our non-profit programmes, as well as through sales and partnerships in rural regions across more than 20 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. 

The Approach

An evolution of our work since 2005, the Mobilised Communities model drives sustainable bicycle use through community-led programming to improve rural access to health, education, conservation, and livelihoods. With widespread access to reliable transportation, individuals within these communities can begin to lift themselves out of poverty by increasing productivity, income and access to education and healthcare. Women and girls, whose empowerment is essential for community wellbeing, are prioritised under the Mobilised Communities model. That’s why World Bicycle Relief directs 70% of Buffalo Bicycles to women and girls. 

As a core tenet of Mobilised Communities, sustainability is built into the programme’s design which is why World Bicycle Relief has trained over 2,700 mechanics in the field to ensure the wheels on the bikes continue to turn. Our assembly facilities in five of our programme countries engage more than 50 local employees to build and deliver the Buffalo Bicycles. Assemblers become experts in Buffalo Bicycles, creating further innovations and efficiencies.

Our approach is based on partnerships with communities, NGOs, governments, and the private sector. Based on assessments with local communities, our programmes can be designed to address needs across sectors, across districts, provinces, countries, and a variety of partners.

WBR's Impact

To measure our impact, we are continually collecting data. We believe that all answers lie with the people and communities with whom we work, so we rely on data from our riders to measure the impact and define our path forward. Here are some highlight statistics: 

 

• With a bicycle, girl students in Zambia boosted their school attendance by 28%. 

• With a bicycle, dairy farmers in Zambia increased milk deliveries and incomes by 23%. 

• With a bicycle, healthcare workers in Kenya increased monthly patient visits by 88%

 

Recently, WBR met an unforgettable superwoman named Indie, a compassionate-warm-hearted engineer who personifies ingenuity, style and leadership. Another brilliant African woman turning challenge into an opportunity – not with a Buffalo Bicycle, but rather by turning its empty cardboard packaging into egg trays for her business. We’re all about making our packaging more sustainable and supporting the community at large, so partnering with Indie was a natural fit.

Those attending the Bespoked event in London will be able to see the bicycle in person, not only the ones being raced by top athletes in the world, but the one that individuals use in their daily race against the sun. 

WBR's Goal

In line with our 2021-25 Strategic Plan to reach a cumulative total of one million bicycles and empower five million people, World Bicycle Relief advocates for a global transformation in rural transportation. Key to our vision: Fostering a sustainable bicycle ecosystem, deepening collaboration with partners, and publicising our data and learnings about rural mobility. We welcome all newcomers who would like to join us in transforming rural transportation! 

If you would like to know more about World Bicycle Relief UK, please contact uk@worldbicyclerelief.org

We look forward to meeting you at the Bespoked event in London soon! 

 

SHARE THIS

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Explore...

Stay Up To Date

Join the newsletter and get all the latest Bespoked news, events and opportunities.