Unbound Gravel is a big challenge no matter how you approach it, whether racing to win or trying to finish the massive 320-km event. For four Hamilton, Ont. riders, the challenge of completing the race didn’t feel like quite enough. On top of racing, the Canadian quartet raised $16,000 (and counting) for New Hope Community Bikes.
The four friends, Chris Griffiths, Brian Harskamp, Kyle Ford, and Matt Penman, aren’t pros. They all have day jobs and limited training time. But all four value the sense of community they get from riding bikes, and especially from gravel events.
The goal of fundraising for New Hope is to spread that sense of community to riders that might not otherwise have the opportunity. New Hope Community Bikes engages with Indigenous communities in Ontario, “using bicycles as a means of building community and creating equitable access to cycling-related resources.” It is a learning hub for building and repair bikes, educating new riders on cycling safety and helping proved access to affordable transportation.
Check out the quartets experience at Unbound in the video below:
An Unforgettable Unbound Experience
Chris Griffiths and Brian Harskamp crossed the finish line in Emporia together after 15 hours and eight minutes on the bike. Kyle Ford and Matt Penman followed 47 minutes later, logging 15 hours 55 minutes in the saddle.
For the quartet of Unbound riders, New Hope’s direct impact on communities helped motivate them in their personal riding goals to complete the infamous Kansas gravel event.
“The four of us are very passionate about the work that New Hope Community Bikes is doing to address inequities as it relates to cycling. We have witnessed their impact in the First Nation of Pikangikum, through Ride Smart their reach of teaching children to be safe riders, through community workshops their ability to create confident riders and reduce barriers, particularly for women, and their generosity to those needing a bicycle to navigate a new city or have transportation through a pay-it-forward initiative. So, we ride Unbound and we raise for New Hope Community Bikes.”
If you want to support New Hope Community Bikes, the donation page is still open.