The Ride to Raise Awareness of Poverty and AIDS in Africa - Latest News


We had a meet-&-greet and informational session earlier this month for all of the participants in the SF Bay Area. It was great to meet all of the interested riders and to feel a growing sense of community. If you couldn’t be there and want to find out what we discussed, please read on. It’s important stuff.

Registration deadline: The deadline for registration has officially passed, and we currently have a full roster of riders. If you missed it and want to join us, please email us to get on the waiting list.

Why Zambia?: We’ve put a video up on our home page summarizing why we’re going to Zambia to do this ride. It’s a great fundraising tool because it lets people know the issues in Zambia and what we are trying to accomplish with this ride. Feel free to share with potential supporters by sending them this link, sharing it on facebook, tweeting it, etc.

Health forms and vaccinations: This is a reminder that your health forms are due by 2/29/2012. Please send your completed form to Dr. Heidi Queen, 2006 36th Ave, San Francisco 94938. You can also scan and email it. All medical information will be kept confidential and only be viewed by Heidi. A sealed copy will be taken on the trip to be used only in case of emergency.

The vaccines that we require that you get for Bike Zambia are Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Typhoid, Rabies, and Yellow Fever plus the routine recommended vaccines for Adults in the USA. Please send your completed vaccination card to Heidi as well. All riders must have their first vaccination appointment on or before April 1st and must complete all vaccines and send in their card by June 1st.

If you live in the Bay Area we suggest that you go to the AITC . They have agreed to give a $50 discount on the third dose of the Rabies 3 dose pre-exposure series to all Bike Zambia participants. If you go to the AITC here’s what you need to do:

Training for Bike Zambia: We cannot stress enough that while Bike Zambia is open to all levels of riders, everyone is expected to train and prepare sufficiently to ensure the safety of themselves and other participants of the ride. Please view our suggested training guidelines. Contact us if you have any questions about your training. And don’t forget, we always post information on our training rides here on the blog. Subscribe to stay in the know!

Bike Zambia Beneficiaries: We are still finalizing the list of beneficiaries for the ride, but we wanted to give you a chance to see some of the organizations we are considering:

Sponsorships: We intend for this to be a participatory ride, and hope that registered riders will help us make the ride a success. One of the biggest challenges we have is getting sponsorships. Any personal connections that our riders have could be instrumental in getting us to our goals, since most people would be more far more likely to respond to a personal rider connection than to an email sent from an unknown entity. So take a look at your contact list. Think about where your friends work, and whether or not their businesses would benefit from the PR and publicity that will come from being involved with our ride. Feel free to reach out on behalf of the ride. Please contact Stephanie if you need any additional information or a sample email to send out to potential sponsors.

Fundraising: All participants will be required to raise a minimum of $3,000, but there’s no limit! You can raise as much as you like. We are hoping to minimize the operational costs of the ride through donations, so your participation is especially important. According to the current plan, no less than 2/3 of your donation amount will go directly to the beneficiaries. We’ve shared some initial ideas for fundraising on the blog. Be sure to get creative and make these your own! We are in the process of building personalized fundraising pages for each of you, but in the meantime you can send family and friends to the Donate page on our website. Additionally, we’ll be organizing a fundraising workshop very soon to share ideas on how to get those funds rolling in.

The route We have posted a preliminary summary of our route on the website, so you can get an idea of where you’ll be riding.

Ride logistics: We’ll send out more info on ride logistics over time, but to start with, let’s talk about dates. All riders should plan to leave the US on a flight on June 20th, which will get us to Lusaka on the 22nd. Riders can leave earlier if they wish, but we can’t have anyone arriving later than the 22nd. The bike ride will end on the 29th and we’ll plan to travel back to arrive in the States on July 1st.

If you’re a registered rider/roadie, you should have received a longer version of this post in your email. If you have missed past newsletters or want to review what has already been covered, you can see all of them in our newsletter archive. As usual, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you have any questions about the ride.

On Saturday, 2/11, we had our first informational meeting of Bay Area Bike Zambians. We're putting together a summary of everything we discussed to send out to you later this week, but first wanted to get you an update from our medical team. Dr. Heidi Queen, Pete, Doug and Andy will be keeping everyone healthy on the trip. The best way to ensure a safe, successful and fun ride is for you to prepare fully for the trip. Here's what you need to do:

Please do not hesitate to email us if you have any general questions. Medical questions should be sent directly to Heidi.

NEWSLETTER 3: Info Meeting, 501c3 Status, Donations, Registration and More!
- Sent February 8th, 2012

It’s been a busy few weeks for the Bike Zambia Planning Team and we have some big updates for you this week. A few items have tasks for you (in blue), so be sure to read the entire newsletter and respond as needed. We are using these newsletters to get important information to pre-registered and registered riders, so it’s important that we know you’re out there and reading these. We want to work with everyone to put this ride together and will need information from you along the way, so the more we hear from you the better.

Bike Zambia Info Meeting this Saturday!
If you are in the Bay Area, don’t forget to join us for the first Bike Zambia info meeting this Saturday, February 11th 3-5pm at 1571 Fulton street. If you haven’t let us know whether you’re able to join us, please RSVP to All are welcome so if you have friends who are interested in joining the ride please encourage them to come. We will be doing a short training ride Saturday morning so keep an eye on the Bike Zambia blog for more information.

501c3 Status
A few of you have asked us about this and we are happy to announce that Bike Zambia is registered as a California non-profit (under the parent organization Chooda) and our 501c3 status is pending. This means that your friends and family can make good faith donations to Bike Zambia and receive tax deductions on their donations. You can now start encouraging your network to visit the Bike Zambia donation page to support the ride. Please ask them to put your name down on the PayPal payment form so that we know who to credit the donation to.

What is Chooda? Chooda and Bike Zambia are exactly the same organization. When we registered for non-profit status we wanted to leave room for future projects outside of Zambia (ie Hike Nepal 2013!) so we created a more inclusive name. Chooda is a Bulgarian word that means “wonder.”

Registration is now open!
You have all pre-registered for Bike Zambia and now it’s time to complete the registration process. There are two steps to completing your registration:
Pay your registration fee: Our early bird registration deadline is February 15th. After that, all participants will need to pay a fee of $150 before the registration deadline on February 29th. After the deadline all additional registrants will be placed on the waiting list and will not be guaranteed a spot on the trip. Your registration fee is considered a donation to Bike Zambia and will be tax deductible. It will go towards paying for ride logistics.
Health form and immunization card: Fill out and submit a health form and immunization card (your Doctor to fill out) and send back to us. All participants must complete both to ensure that we can provide the best support to you on the ride.

Do you have your passport?
This is your last reminder that by now you should have your passport in hand or on its way to you. The Zambian Embassy requires that your passport be valid for 6 months after your trip concludes and have at least 2 blank pages marked with the words "VISA" or "ENTRIES" to process your visa. If you already have your passport in hand, please email us to tell us how many blank visa pages you have in your passport and the expiration date. If you don’t have you passport, let us know where you are in the application process.

Special dietary needs
Please email us to let us know if you have any special dietary needs. Because of the nature of the trip we may not be able to provide special meals to meet everyone’s needs, but if we are aware of your needs we will be able to help you to make special arrangements.

This is YOUR event and we need your help!
We want to remind you that this is everyone’s event and we want all of you to have the opportunity to help make it happen. Many of you have already reached out to us and are helping to make Bike Zambia a success. If you haven’t heard from us about volunteer opportunities yet, please let us know the specific way you want to help out and we’ll find a job for you.

Thanks for taking the time to read through this (long) newsletter and respond. We’re getting very excited to start fundraising for Bike Zambia and we hope you are too! As usual, please feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions.
Back to Top

NEWSLETTER 2: FAQs, A Day on the Ride, Training and Bike Maintenance
January 25th, 2012

We’re excited to announce that as of today we have 35 riders and roadies registered for the ride. It’s going to be a great group! Here is this week’s newsletter:

Bike Zambia FAQs
Have some questions about Bike Zambia? We’ve put together some FAQs to address the questions that we’ve been hearing the most. Don’t see your question(s) on there? Feel free to email us.

A Day on the Ride
Bike Zambia planner JD Bergeron has put together a blog post on what he thinks a day on the ride will be like.

Training Ride this Saturday!
Don’t forget that we’re holding training rides weekly. We’ll post updates about the training rides on the Bike Zambia blog so be sure to check that on Friday night or Saturday morning. Generally we’ll meet at 9:30 at McLaren Lodge and 10:00 at Golden Gate Bridge.

Mike’s Bikes Group Rides and Maintenance Clinics
We wanted to make sure that everyone was aware of the great group rides and free maintenance clinics that are offered by Mike’s Bikes all over the bay area. Can’t make our Saturday training ride? Check out one of the group rides. Want to learn how to change your tire? Go to one of their free Wednesday night clinics. Check out their calendar.

Well, that’s it for this week’s message. We’ll be in touch again in two weeks with more info. As always, feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions.
Back to Top

NEWSLETTER 1: Communications, Training, Passports and More
Sent January 11th, 2012

Thank you for pre-registering for Bike Zambia! We are thrilled by the interest we've been getting in the ride and are working hard to make it an exciting and rewarding experience for all. Here is your first Bike Zambia newsletter, packed with important information to help you (and us) prepare for the ride.

Bike Zambia Communications
From now on we will send out a Bike Zambia newsletter twice a month to keep you informed of what we're working on and to help you prepare for the ride. To ensure that you receive all communications from us, please add to your contact list. You can also reach out to us at any time at that email address if you have any questions about the ride. We will also be posting news to Facebook and Twitter so be sure to watch our Facebook group and follow us on Twitter @BikeZambia.

Bay Area Training Ride this Saturday
This Saturday we will be holding our first official Bay Area training ride. From now on we will have a training ride every Saturday, so keep an eye on our Facebook group for updates.
Meeting point: For this Saturday's ride you can join the group at McLaren Lodge in Golden Gate Park (see map) at 9:30am or at the Strauss Statue at the Golden Gate Bridge at 10:00am. For those of you who want to meet at McLaren Lodge, we'll show you how to get to Golden Gate Bridge -- an important skill for the coming months! The route is still TBD but you can expect to ride about 20-25 miles and the ride will be suitable for all skill levels. We won't be able to wait for late-comers, so please arrive at the meeting point at least 5 minutes early.
What to bring: Helmet, gloves, sunglasses, sunscreen, layers, water, and (of course) your bike.

Let us know if you plan on coming on the ride and where you'll meet us so we know who to expect. If you have questions about the ride feel free to email us and if you have trouble finding the location call JD at (415) 608-3764. If you aren't able to make this training ride or you don't live in the area we encourage you to get started training on your own. Check out our training guidelines for suggested monthly mileage.

Passport Reminder
Now is the time to make sure your passport is in order. The Zambian Embassy requires that your passport be valid for 6 months after your trip concludes and have at least 2 blank pages marked with the words "VISA" or "ENTRIES" to process your visa. If you don't have a valid passport or if your passport is expiring soon or short on pages, you should send in your passport application by the end of January. It can take 1-2 months to receive your new passport so this is priority 1 for getting ready for the trip.

Registration Fee and Welcome Packet
In the next month or so we will be reaching out to everyone who pre-registered for Bike Zambia to collect a registration fee. This $125 fee will help pay for your travel insurance and other ride logistics. Once we have processed registration fees we will be sending out our Welcome Packet with important information on Bike Zambia and helpful materials to prepare you for the trip.

Bike Zambia Volunteers
As we prepare for the ride, we will be looking for volunteers to help out with certain tasks. We have noted the volunteering interests you listed on your pre-registration form and will reach out to you as specific needs arise. If you have an idea of how you can help us prepare and would like to get started right away, contact us at

First Aid Certification
Are you certified in First Aid? If so, please let us know. The Bike Zambia planning team members will all be attending a First Aid Certification Course prior to the ride, and we're looking for other participants who are interested in getting trained. The more First Aid-trained riders and roadies we have on the trip the better! Let us know if you are interested in taking a certification course. If you live in the Bay Area we'd love to have you join us and if you live elsewhere we can help you find training centers in your area.

AIDS Ride South Africa
The Bike Zambia planning team met with AIDS Ride South Africa founder Bryan Urbsaitis over the weekend to pick his brain on how to plan an international organized bike ride. Bryan was full of helpful advice about everything from what kind of gear to bring along with us, to how to connect with locals in getting our message of awareness across. If you haven't yet, click here to read about our meeting with Bryan.

That's all we have for you this week. Please feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions.
Back to Top


February 11th, 2012

Sent February 14th, 2012

NEWSLETTER 3: Info Meeting, 501c3 Status, Donations, Registration and More!
Sent February 8th, 2012

NEWSLETTER 2: FAQs, A Day on the Ride, Training and Bike Maintenance
Sent January 25th, 2012

NEWSLETTER 1: Communications, Training, Passports and More






























































































   Join Us on Facebook    |       Follow Us on Twitter    |      Subscribe to our Blog    |      Send Us an Email