A Note from Fatty: This is a guest post from Katie Bolling, Development Director at World Bicycle Relief. She’s the one who’s been wrangling most of the incredible prizes (like the three dream bikes I announced earlier this week) in the WBR Grand Slam fundraiser we’re doing here at RKP. For the past couple weeks, she’s been telling me that if we can hit the million-dollar mark in our fundraiser, she’d add an incredible prize to the pile. And she said that she wouldn’t even announce it unless we hit the $980K mark. Which, as of a few minutes ago, we did.
So, just by way of clarification: if you donate, you’re eligible for drawings for all the prizes, including the ones announced after you donate. Which means that by donating now you’re eligible for the drawings of the Kuat rack. And the Silca pump. And the Silca toolkit. And the dream bikes. And — if we cross the million-dollar-mark — the prize that Katie’s going to talk about.
And in short, if you love bikes and want to be a part of a charity that makes an immediate difference in peoples’ lives through the gift of a bike — you should go donate now.
I’ve been keeping a secret for the past few days, and now I get to tell you what it is: a bonus prize to share with you IF we reach the $1,000,000 milestone for Fatty’s 2016 fundraiser for World Bicycle Relief. I will get to that in just a moment but first let me take a moment to introduce myself. My name is Katie Bolling and I’ve been working with Elden Nelson, AKA the Fat Cyclist, for the past eight years on his annual contests for WBR.
For those of you who know me, you’ll naturally understand that I’m writing this with tears in my eyes — I’m all heart. For those who don’t know me or are new to World Bicycle Relief, what I find most compelling about the RKP+Fat Cyclist community and the generosity you’ve shown towards our work is that most of you will never meet the people whom your generosity is impacting.
Yet you consistently show up. You give, you share, you ride, you represent.
Perhaps these are little miracles that simply make up life, but we don’t take them for granted at World Bicycle Relief. My colleagues and I have traveled with you, we’ve signed off from emails with “Love,”we’ve cried with you and we’ve ridden lots of miles together. Your support around Fatty and his efforts for World Bicycle Relief have impacted the lives of thousands and together I KNOW: we’ll surpass the $1,000,000 raised mark.
And now, I’m excited to have my first opportunity ever to share a Grand Slam prize with you :). Here’s what is waiting for you IF we reach the big milestone:
A cycling trip to Portugal with InGamba!
Yes, that’s right. You will be riding in Southern Portugal on an experience Bicycling Magazine has called “The best Ride on Earth.”
More? You will be on the annual WBR/InGamba trip (dates October 15-22) that will have you riding side by side with SRAM President, Stan Day and other cycling insiders from around the world. The 2017 trip will take you to Southern Portugal’s Alentejo region and will be led by Joao Correia, Founder of InGamba who knows that Western Portugal is one of Europe’s last hidden gems.
As the InGamba experience is defined by the phrase Mangia, Beve, Bici, (Eat, Drink, Ride): here is an overview of what will await you in Portugal.
Alentejo is Portugal’s Bread Basket, and while many people abroad aren’t familiar with it, at home its salt cod,sheep’s cheese, black pork, olive oils and mushrooms are highly prized. The style of cuisine is unfussy and simple in an elegant way – cooks allow the wide array of fresh ingredients and rich flavors to do the talking.
This region’s viticulture is both old and new. There were vineyards here dating back before Roman times to the Phoenicians, but much of it was forgotten and the land transferred to other uses until a renaissance in the later half of the 20th Century brought it back to its former glory. With the help of modern irrigation, extremely hot and dry summers make for a dazzling array of styles, from palate-cleansing and crispy whites to deep, dark and mysterious reds.
And in a neat symmetry, the region is also the world’s largest producer of cork.
Much of the Alentejo countryside is unblemished by human interference. Despite taking up a third of the country, it is home to just 7% of the population, so you can often ride for hours without seeing a single car. Stretching from the Atlantic coast to the Spanish border, this wild, lonely landscape has to be seen to be believed.
Like the Fat Cyclist, InGamba is a long-term partner of World Bicycle Relief whose community has shown equal dedication to World Bicycle Relief. That is why we believe this is the perfect prize to be celebrating the $1,000,000 milestone with.
Thank you for supporting Fatty’s epic achievement of rolling towards $1,000,000 raised. Thank you to Fatty and the amazing people who make up the Friends of Fat Cyclist. You are remarkable and you’ve impacted the lives of thousands. Thank you so much for believing in the Power of Bicycles.