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Black Unity Bike Ride goes to Ghana

Black Unity Bike Ride goes to Ghana

Riding 500km in the African heat, BUBR raise £10,000 for female focused cycling programe

See full article here: https://www.voice-online.co.uk/lifestyle/2023/05/10/black-unity-bike-ride-goes-to-ghana/

IN AN effort to promote cycling opportunities for young Ghanaian women, the inaugural Black Unity Bike Ride (BUBR) Africa tour took place last month. 

The UK-based BUBR partnered with the Accra-based Gladiator Cycling Club, as well as riders from the USA and the Middle East, to cycle 500km between The Cape Coast and the Asuogyaman District of the Eastern Region in Ghana. 

The tour was undertaken in support of Vida Cycling Program (VCP), an NGO founded by Vida Juliet Vivie, which provides access to competitive cycling events, repair and maintenance development programs, grass track cycling events, and free cycling equipment.

BUBR founder Tokunbo Ajasa-Oluwa recognized the great work being done by VCP and set about organizing a cross-country bike tour to raise funds for the organization. 

“We partnered with the Vida Cycling program and the Gladiator Cycling Club to raise funds to support the program that Vida has been doing on a grassroots basis for many years,” he explained. 

“We put the call out to the cycling community internationally, and thankfully we raised over ten thousand pounds that we have donated to Vida’s program.”

All 18 riders completed the tour, with the exception of Tokunbo, who was hit by a passing vehicle but fortunately escaped with only minor injuries. 

Despite the physical challenge of the ride and the logistics involved in organizing the tour, Tokunbo expressed his gratitude to the team for bringing the vision to fruition, stating that the value accrued by all involved surpassed the money raised. “We rode a lot to raise awareness,” he added.

For Vida, the donation from BUBR will make a great impact on her life and the VCP program. 

“In Ghana, no one values cycling, so this donation will help us to climb higher than where we are now,” she said. 

“It means so much, and I believe that from today, my program will change.”

She also spoke about the transformative power of cycling for young girls. “Cycling for girls can help them to go higher,” she said. 

“Normally, us girls, they don’t give us a chance to ride bicycles. If you ride bicycles, you may get called a lot of names, but bicycles made me who I am today.”

Through VCP, two of her girls will be going to South Africa in August through the Cycling Federation. “So we can encourage girls, I’ve been doing it,” she said.

Overall, the BUBR Africa tour was a success, both in terms of raising funds for VCP and raising awareness for cycling opportunities for young Ghanaian women. 

Tokunbo expressed his gratitude for the support received in Ghana, saying, “For us, it was very important to come to a place like Ghana and do the work that we are doing here.”

He added: “It was a very challenging logistical project, working with many meetings outside of our day jobs and in addition to the donation we also rode over 400km in four days.

“For us it feels like it’s done a lot of work to welcome those of us from the diaspora, with the year of the return and other factors we wanted to come to a country that would welcome us.

“Ghana ticked all of the boxes and for us it’s been an amazing trip. We’ve bonded with brothers and sisters that we didn’t know before who are now partners with us long term.”

BUBR managed by a small team of passionate volunteers. The BUBR Alliance consists of over twenty black-led cycling collectives and utilises its collective power, network and influence to bring about positive change in the Black community.