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Black Unity Bike Ride raises over £10,000 for charity in Rwanda – as 23 cyclists from UK, Netherlands, Ghana and the Middle East ride 400km across five days

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The Black Unity Bike Ride (BUBR), completed its second annual cycling tour of Africa earlier this month in Rwanda. The tour consisted of 400km of cycling included climbing 23,500ft of elevation across five days with destinations including Rukomo, Gisenyi and Muhanga.

Twenty three cyclists arrived in Rwanda on May 3 from the UK, Netherlands, Ghana and the Middle East to be part of the special trip. The tour was run in partnership with Ruhengeri based Africa Rising Cycling Center and fundraised over £10,000 for the NGO Twin Lakes Cycling Academy (TLCA).

TLCA is an NGO that was set up by Florent Nsengumuremyi in 2019 with the aim of providing former street children in Rwanda with access to education, hope and a better future through cycling.

TLCA is rooted in Florent’s lived experience as he lost his entire family in the Rwandan Genocide 30 years ago, which left him on the streets at the tender age of seven.

TLCA takes a holistic approach to support, they teach children to cycle alongside ensuring they receive a comprehensive education. As a result, it helps break the cycle of poverty and homelessness.

The Black Unity Bike Ride (BUBR), completed its second annual cycling tour of Africa earlier this month in Rwanda

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The Black Unity Bike Ride (BUBR), completed its second annual cycling tour of Africa earlier this month in Rwanda

Twenty three cyclists arrived on May 3 and helped raise £10,000 after riding 400km

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Twenty three cyclists arrived on May 3 and helped raise £10,000 after riding 400km

The team of 23 cyclists rode to various destinations in each of the country’s four provinces either through road race or mountain bike depending on the stage altitude. Their first destination was in Bugesera District where they raced over 80km journey from Kigali to Nyamata and back. They used the opportunity to honoring the victims of the Tutsi Genocide against the Tutsi laid to rest at Nyamata Genocide Memorial.

They later rode to Rukomo (Gicumbi), Rwamagana, Muhanga, Rubavu where they explored the shores of Lake Kivu among other features before concluding their visit in Musanze which currently hosts the Africa Rising Cycling Center (ARRC).

During their final tour, the cyclists toured Kinigi on Mountain Bikes before then met the children of Twin Lakes Cycling Academy, which consists of former street children living in the neighborhoods around Burera and Ruhondo Lakes. It was then that BUBR presented a cheque for £10,000 to the children in addition to cycling equipment to help them in their everyday lives.

‘We are thankful for this support which we hope will help us improve our children’s lives. With the support, we are going to improve children’s education by giving them enough materials and better coaching backup to ensure that children study well because, beyond cycling, they can venture into other careers,’ said Florent Nsengumuremyi, a former street child and founder of Twin Lakes Cycling Academy.

Nsengumuremyi founded Twin Lakes Cycling Academy with an objective to bring street children back to school and give them hope for a better future.

‘As a former street child, I founded this academy because I just wanted to give back to the community,’ he said.

The five-day journey included climbing 23,500ft with destinations incorporating Rukomo, Gisenyi and Muhanga

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The five-day journey included climbing 23,500ft with destinations incorporating Rukomo, Gisenyi and Muhanga

‘A bike changed my life. I dropped out of school because I was staying far from school and, when I was asked what I needed to go back to school, I asked for a bike that would help me for transport. My life changed later and I wish to do the same for former street children,’ he added.

The Black Unity Bike Ride is a registered UK charity (1208033) that began as a community initiative in 2020 at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. BUBR aims to encourage more Black people to enjoy cycling and prioritise their health and wellbeing.

For more information, please visit www.blackunitybikeride.com.