Every time we introduce and promote bikes in African communities as a green and affordable transportation solution, we're always delighted to see that a certain group of folks immediately starts racing each other on the bikes. Guess that's just human nature, no matter where you're from.
As these racing groups start to develop and improve, they start wanting better and better riding gear - again, maybe just human nature.
And on the other side of the world here in the States, every serious cyclist has a closet packed with bike clothing that's still in great shape but no longer in use. That's where Adam Austin steps in.
The opening message on his Facebook page says it all:
Hello, I'm Adam Austin. Welcome to Kit Up Africa! I am starting a non-profit organization that collects used cycling clothes (kits) and gives them to the growing cycling community in Africa. With the help of Mike's Bike's Africa and Serious Cycling, we are launching our donation drive soon.
Mike's Bike's Africa has been sending donated bikes to Africa since 2008. CEO and Founder Ken Martin has offered to help in shipping the clothes with his bike containers and distributing them through their Sister Shops in Africa. They have shipped over 10,000 bikes to 7 countries in Africa. Check them out and donate at MikesBikesAfrica.com.
Scott B. Johnson and Justin Shniderman are the owners of Serious Cycling in Agoura Hills CA. I ride for their shop team. They have joined in as avid supporters of the project and the central donation site. In the coming weeks we will start collecting good condition cycling clothes - both men's and women's jerseys, bibs, shorts and shoes.
Please start looking through your gear and setting aside your "hand me ups". I soon will be contacting other shops to help as donation sites around the Los Angeles area (you know who you are!)
I can't tell you all how excited I am about what we all are about to embark on. Just imagine someone riding in Africa wearing your kit.
Check out Kit Up Africa at www.facebook.com/KitUpAfrica