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SRAM opens its bike component manufacturing facilities to tours on July 23 to benefit World Bicycle Relief 

In developing countries, owning a bicycle can mean the difference between success or grinding poverty, which is why the nonprofit organization World Bicycle Relief works to provide people with free bikes and the know-how to maintain them.

This Saturday, July 23, SRAM’s California Development Center (4720 Allene Way, SLO) is holding a fundraiser to benefit World Bicycle Relief by offering guided tours of the bicycle component manufacturer’s new facility between 3 and 7 p.m. The family event includes a barbecue (vegetarian options are available), beer, wine, and festival style games and music.

click to enlarge TAKE THE TOUR:  On July 23, you can tour the SRAM’s new bike component manufacturing facility during a fundraiser for World Bicycle Relief, an organization that gets bikes into the hands of poor people in developing countries. - PHOTO COURTESY OF SRAM
  • TAKE THE TOUR: On July 23, you can tour the SRAM’s new bike component manufacturing facility during a fundraiser for World Bicycle Relief, an organization that gets bikes into the hands of poor people in developing countries.

Facility tours begin at 3:30, 4:30, and 5:30 p.m., followed by a slideshow and presentation about a recent World Bicycle Relief visit to Zambia. A $10 donation for the tours is requested, which includes food and drink. If you can afford more, give more. For a $50 donation, you can also get a “guided tour of the Development Facility with demonstrations in the test lab, machine shop, and composites lab as well as CAD engineering methods,” according to organizers. A $147 donation will give you all of the above as well as the “satisfaction of knowing [you] provided a complete bicycle and supporting infrastructure to improve a life.”

These annual fundraising events for World Bicycle Relief have proved fruitful in the past. The local World Bicycle Relief Poker Run resulted in enough donations to provide more than 200 bicycles. This year, a generous supporter has offered $75,000 in matching funds.

World Bicycle Relief is “a comprehensive bicycle distribution organization directed at poverty relief for developing countries in Africa and around the world,” according to organizers. “At present, nearly 300,000 bicycles have been distributed in Angola, Botswana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, South Africa, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.”

These bikes are essential in improving people’s lives.

“Studies show that utilizing a bicycle for transportation can increase school attendance, help health care workers reach more patients, and increase profit for small businesses and farmers,” organizers say.

Bicycles are particularly important for students, and World Bicycle Relief’s Educational Empowerment Program provides bikes to students—70 percent of whom are girls—as well as teachers and education workers in rural Africa.

“Students with bikes arrive at school on time, safe, and ready to learn,” according to World Bicycle Relief’s website. “Local community committees select those students most in need and oversee bicycle use. Program studies consistently find that grades and attendance rates improve after students receive bicycles. Recipients learn about bicycle safety and sign a contract agreeing to use the bike to attend school regularly. Students’ families also benefit from using the bike when school is not in session. For example, a 2012 survey in one community found that clinic visits for children under 5 more than doubled. This was attributed to the bicycles, as mothers were more easily able to bring young children for vaccinations and treatment.”

More information can be found at, and you can buy tickets to this Saturday’s event or simply make a donation online at

Fast fact

Meathead Movers recently announced the launch of #MoveToEndDV, a nonprofit aimed at helping shelters and individuals around the world facing domestic violence situations. What started as a community service to move victims of domestic violence quickly and for free, turned into a national movement to inspire other businesses to step up in the same capacity. Corporations interested in joining the movement through sponsorship can contact Visit for more information.  

Senior Staff Writer Glen Starkey wrote this week’s Strokes and Plugs. Send story ideas or tips to

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