Pledge Drive – Can You Help Us?


Funds used in this year’s event will support two non-profits in Africa
:  World Bicycle Relief and Team Africa Rising.  You are helping to provide life-changing bicycles to school children in Africa who would otherwise have no access to education.  Walking 10 to 15 kilometers each way to school is not an option – but a bicycle allows the child the opportunity to attend school and still get back in time to help on the family farm.  We are also continuing our support of Team Africa Rising, helping them reach their goal to one day field an all-African team in the Tour de France.

You can help us reach our fundraising goal by creating a PLEDGE PAGE.  Once your pledge page is set up, simply send a link to your family, friends, and co-workers.  Then sit back and watch the money roll in!  (At least, that’s what we hope)  Thank you for helping us change lives both here and in Africa.  You are making a difference!

Team Rwanda Wins Tour du Rwanda

Team Rwanda wins the Tour du Rwanda for the second year in a row!

(Excerpts from the New Times Rwanda publication):
After Valens Ndayisenga’s historic win last year in the UCI Africa 2.2 Tour du Rwanda cycling race, Rwandans have found a new champion in Jean-Bosco Nsengimana. The young rider from Rubavu on shores of Lake Kivu, stood out throughout the week by winning three stages and wearing the yellow jersey from first to the last day. Like Ndayisenga, Nsengimana, 22, recorded the first major victory of his young career after clocking 23:54:50 in the seven-stage race that covered a total distance of 928.4 kilometers.

Rwandans dominated the entire race since the first day, leaving no chance to their opponents from Eritrea, Morocco, France, South Africa and elsewhere.

General Classification:
1. Jean-Bosco Nsengimana (Team Karisimbi) 23:54:50
2. Joseph Areruya (Team Akagera) 23h56:35
3. Camera Hakuzimana (Team Muhabura) 2’45”
4. Eyob Metkel (Eritrea) 3’02”
5. Patrick Byukusenge (Team Karisimbi) 3’04”

Grand Prize Winner Gets New Tallboy

Kimberlee, John and family

Kimberlee, John and family

grand prize john kim derek

Winners Kimberlee and John, and Prize Coordinator Derek Melberg

Congratulations once again to Kimberlee Staff, the happy and proud winner of our 2015 Grand Prize Santa Cruz bike.  Not only is Kimberlee happy and proud, she is also GENEROUS – as she gave this new bike to her husband John.  (Kim had recently purchased a Santa Cruz 5010 for herself, so she generously shared her Grand Prize with her hubby.)  John, Kimberlee and family recently picked up their new Tallboy at the awesome new Shimano hospitality center in Irvine.  A big thank you to Derek Melberg from Ride Rep Group, who completed the bike build and coordinated all the bike components (Shimano), frame (Santa Cruz), and fork (Fox).

You can have a chance to win an awesome new bike too!  All you have to do is participate in our 2016 event (last Saturday in April 2016), purchase some Grand Prize raffle tickets – then sit back and wait for your number to be called!

Bike Distribution in Musanze

bike distribution musanze6

Thank you to all who participate in our 50 Mile Ride for Rwanda. You are creating a future and a hope for a new generation in Rwanda. In May 2015, 80 bicycles were distributed to school children in the Musanze District near the Africa Rising Cycling Center. Message from Kim Coats, Director of Marketing for the Team: “We gave 40 bikes to Kabara School and 40 bikes to Kagano School children to help with their daily commute. Thanks CHT, Musanze District and FERWACY for your support…AND the 50 Mile Ride for Rwanda which raised the money for these bikes!”

bike distribution musanze7These Musanze bikes were made possible by a portion of the proceeds of our 2013 8th annual Rwanda Ride.  In 2014, proceeds of our 9th annual Rwanda Ride enabled 220 bikes to be distributed to schoolchildren in South Africa.  And this year, our 9th annual event will result in 220 bikes heading to Eritrea, where rural children who live too far to walk to school will now be able to get there by bike.  And these kids will have the opportunity to receive an education that would otherwise have been impossible.

Once again, our 50 Mile Ride Team says “THANK YOU” to all participants, supporters, and volunteers.  Way to go!

Record crowd, record fundraising, record RAIN


kimberlee with poster

Our 9th Annual 50 Mile Ride for Rwanda is now “in the record books”.  Thanks to the support of our riders, sponsors, volunteers, and vendors – we achieved new records in every category.  Our goal was 1000 riders this year, and we had 1292 registered fun-loving riders.  Our “stretch goal” was to raise $150,000 for our Rwanda non-profits, and we raised over $161,000 (including our generous 15% match from Allstate Insurance).  Our goal was “no rain”, and we exceeded that goal by one perfectly imperfect-timed rain storm right in the middle of our prize raffle.  Oh well.  At least the weather and the trails were perfect during the ride itself.  Congratulations to Kimberlee Staff, the super-excited winner of our Grand Prize Santa Cruz bike.  She couldn’t stop smiling or shaking, and it wasn’t from the cold!  THANK YOU ALL, for sharing in an epic day for an epic cause that will have a life-changing impact for students, care-givers and athletes in Africa.  Well done.

50 Mile Ride Featured on Radio Show


Founder of the 50 Mile Ride for Rwanda Doug Grant joins Critical Mass Radio show for a special non-profit segment to talk about how he chose a bike ride as a fund-raising method. The upcoming 50 Mile Ride for Rwanda in April supports two non-profit organizations: Team Africa Rising and World Bicycle Relief. Doug also talks about how his firm Westamerica Communications helps non-profit organizations get their message across through marketing and branding, fund-raising methods and budgeting and planning annual reports.


Featured Food Court Vendors

oakley crowd scene

We know you’re going to work up a big appetite out on the trails on event day.  We’ve got an amazing lineup of food choices for you – we promise you won’t go away hungry!  Our featured Food Court Vendors include THE HABIT BURGER GRILL, CHICK-FIL-A, URBAN GRILL, BOWL OF HEAVEN, and HAVEN GASTROPUB.  This year, we’re going to locate the food court right next to our main vendor expo area.  Bring your friends and family for our giant post-ride party and HUGE RAFFLE at Oakley Headquarters.  The Food Court opens at noon, and the raffle starts at 3:00pm.  It’s the mountain bike party of the year for Orange County!

Rwanda Ride Bike Distribution in South Africa

bike distribution 2015

Yes we are known as the “Rwanda Ride” and supporting Rwandan non-profits is our heritage.  Yet as our event grows, so does our impact in Africa.  Proceeds from last year’s Rwanda Ride were intended to be used to distribute bikes in Rwanda.  But unforeseen difficulties and increased Customs duties in Rwanda made it very challenging to deliver the bikes as planned.  So, we worked out another plan – a better plan.  Our bike partner, World Bicycle Relief (in partnership with World Vision), already had plans to distribute their utility bikes to needy school children in South Africa this spring.  They had the plans, they had the local connections – all they needed was the bikes.  That’s where we come in.  Our container load of 230 bikes was the perfect solution.  And 230 young students in South Africa – who would otherwise not be able to attend school – will be getting an education this year.  Because of you and your support for our 50 Mile Ride event.  Thank you for making a difference!