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. Living on the edge of the Sahara desert, there were numerous thorn bushes and fixing flats was a daily battle. It was during these couple of years living in Tansila and a few bike trips around Burkina Faso and neighboring countries that I began thinking about the problem of flat tires in Africa. It wasn’t until graduate school following Peace Corps that the opportunity to try and address the problem presented itself. I am beyond excited at what has resulted and believe Baisikeli Ugunduzi will truly make a difference for the millions of people who depend on bicycles in Africa.