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ben.mitchell's blog

Thinking back ...

As a Peace Corps volunteer in Burkina Faso from 2006-2008, I realized the importance of bicycles in Africa.  Living in a remote secluded village, I depended heavily on my bicycle to commute the 60km to the next town where a fellow volunteer lived and I could catch a bus to the city. Many people in the village of Tansila also depended primarily on bicycles. It didn’t take long for me to realize that the most valuable thing I owned was a quality, Peace Corps issued bike pump. People would stop by my house daily to pump up their deflated tires.

Oh, the anticipation...

As the launch of the milele tube draws closer, the anticipation is building. Not only is Baisikeli Ugunduzi excited, but everyone along our value chain from Joseph (the mechanic), Susan and Albert (local shop owners) and of course, boda boda anxiously await the launch of the milele tubes. Spending time at Susan’s shop, New Generation Cycle Spares, brings about numerous boda boda anxious to get their hands on the new milele tubes.

Our friend Owen prepares for a bike trip accross Kenya

Last week, Jackie and I went to visit a friend’s school. His name is Owen, a small man in his sixties with a long white beard who is infatuated with snakes and reptiles. We heard of Owen as he is preparing for a bicycle trip from Kitale to Mombasa (a journey of 850 km) to raise money for an expansion at his school. While we were intrigued, we had little idea how influential Owen has been in one of the poorer communities of Kitale.

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