The hot trend this holiday season is to create memories, not garbage. That means finding zero waste ways to be nice to the people you love. If you have cyclists on your list for a Christmas gift of some kind, and want to do it in a eco-friendly fashion, why not make a donation in their name to a worthy bike-related non-profit? If they’re like most cyclists, they already have twice as much gear and gadgets as they’ll ever use and half as much storage as they need. What could be more representative of the holiday spirit than giving the gift of paying it forward, to a cause you know the recipient will support? Here are some worthy contenders in the Metro Vancouver area. I will update the list as I find more. I want to know your favorites too. Post them to the comments section and let us know why they get your support.
Disclosure: I am biased about the first group on the list, because I am proud to be a volunteer member of the board. PEDAL helps people learn to ride bikes, fix bikes, and save money. Three great reasons to help the organization. PEDAL also had a hand in the beginning of Maya Pedal and continues to support their important work in Guatemala.
If you want a make a holiday donation in the name of an off-road aficionado, look no further than the North Shore Mountain Bike Association aka the voice for the mountain biking community of the North Shore. The group’s hard work has resulted in a world-famous network of trails that allow for challenge and progression for the thousands of riders who use the trails each year.
No group has done more of late to make cycling in Metro Vancouver possible for a wider range of people than the Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition. Importantly, your donations help fund the ongoing advocacy relationships the VACC has forged with all levels of government. Make biking better for your favourite starving student with a membership to the AMS Bike Co-op at UBC. Just a few dollars opens the door on bike education and other services, including a cargo bike share, advocacy work on behalf of UBC cyclists, and bike lockers.
If you’d like to donate to a program with a focus on developing nations, Kona’s Basic Needs primary initiative is to donate Kona AfricaBikes to organizations and individuals who can directly benefit from the transportation virtues of the bicycle. Kona AfricaBikes will be going to a number of different projects over the coming years. The first under the Kona Basic Needs umbrella occurred in September 2008 with the donation of 120 bikes to a water management project run by WWF Tanzania