In our lives, we experience occasions of disconnectedness. In these times, it’s easy to feel like we are on our own—isolated from everyone and the world around us. But even in these moments, we are so much more connected than we know.
Earlier this year, Bud Reeder and Lentine Alexis set out to find the connection they had been missing. They wanted, as Lentine put it, “to breathe meaning into our lives in a time when we felt powerless.” They turned, naturally, to the bicycle—not just because cycling was the territory upon which they had built their lives, but also because they believed in the bicycle’s power to connect. They set their sights on a challenge of epic proportions—an eight-day stage race across some of the world’s most grueling mountain bike terrain.
By taking on the challenge of ABSA Cape Epic, Bud and Lentine sought to inspire women around the world to ride more. But even more than inspiration, they wanted to actually put more women on bicycles. “When you love something,” said Bud, “you want to share it.” And so that’s what they did.
They partnered with Qhubeka and World Bicycle Relief, to help more women use the bicycle as a tool to carve their own paths in life, setting a lofty goal of raising enough funds to provide 50 bicycles to members of the township of Kayamandi, on the outskirts of Cape Town, South Africa.
Qhubeka—a Nguni word that means “to carry on,” “to progress,” or “to move forward”—is a non-profit that provides bicycles in return for work done to improve communities by planting trees, taking on leadership roles, or earning spectacular academic marks.