This March, seven-time world champion, author and volunteer firefighter, Rebecca Rusch, and adventurer Patrick Sweeney, summited Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak, to raise funds and awareness for the nonprofit organization, World Bicycle Relief. Rusch and Sweeney rode, carried and pushed their bikes to the summit at 19,341 feet, then braved the journey back down, with the goal to ultimately raise one dollar for every foot of elevation, equaling 131 new bikes for students in Africa.
Alongside local porters and a guide, it took the duo 6 days to complete the round trip journey. At 19,341 ft., Kilimanjaro is the highest point in Africa and one of the worlds Seven Summits. Due to its massive elevation gain of 13,238 ft. from the base to the summit, the team moved at a responsible pace to allow their bodies to acclimatize to the extreme altitude. Over 35,000 people attempt Kilimanjaro each year and the success rate is only 45%. Just a handful of athletes have completed the route by bicycle.
Professional athlete and world-champion, Rebecca Rusch has been working with World Bicycle Relief since 2013, to provide bicycles for individuals in Africa to access critical resources like education, healthcare and economic opportunities. “I love a monumental challenge like this, and it’s even more meaningful if our adventure can help change the world,” said Rusch.
Rusch rode a Niner JET 9 RDO with components, wheels and tire upgrades chosen specifically for this endeavor. Rusch’s bike used on this adventure is available for auction here and all proceeds will benefit World Bicycle Relief. Built for trail, the JET has an emphasis on weight and efficiency with speed inspired geometry, and was the perfect “do-anything” bike – super light for the strenuous uphill and capable for the varied, technical descent.
“We are thrilled to have the support of Rebecca Rusch and Patrick Sweeney on this project,” said Leah Missbach Day, Co-Founder of World Bicycle Relief. “To conquer Kilimanjaro by bike is beyond incredible. And, to do so in effort to empower rural African students with mobility…it’s humbling. They are beautiful role models. We’re truly inspired by this duo with what they’re accomplishing on and off the mountain.”
For information on supporting Rebecca and Patrick’s efforts, visit http://win.gs/bikekilisupport.
Photos available here: http://win.gs/bikekiliphoto.
ABOUT WORLD BICYCLE RELIEF
Founded in 2005, World Bicycle Relief is dedicated to mobilizing people through The Power of Bicycles®. World Bicycle Relief accomplishes its mission by designing, manufacturing and distributing high quality bicycles that withstand the challenging terrain and conditions in rural, developing areas. Entrepreneurs use the bike to increase productivity and profits. Students attend class more regularly and their academic performances improve. And, health care workers visit more patients in less time, providing better, more consistent care. World Bicycle Relief also promotes local economies and long-term sustainability by assembling bicycles locally and training over 1,000 field mechanics. To date, World Bicycle Relief has delivered over 275,000 bicycles.
ABOUT REBECCA RUSCH
Red Bull Mountain Bike Cross-Country athlete Rebecca Rusch has run the gauntlet of endurance sports over her career as professional athlete- climbing, adventure racing, whitewater rafting, cross-country skiing, and mountain biking- racking up accolades and world championships along the way. Rusch has continually redefined her limits, pushing deep into the pain cave and emerging ready for the next great challenge. Rusch is not only a highly decorated endurance mountain biker with some of the hardest races under her belt but a world-renowned author, event producer, advocate and motivational speaker.
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