|Club Correcaminos in Retiro, Antioquia gets a box of donated goods|
Recent events in professional cycling have made one thing about Colombia abundantly clear. The country now has an almost embarrassing amount of riches when it comes to young talent. To a large extent, as I've written about before on the blog, this is because Colombian development teams and cycling academies are a dense and unique human network that begins training children as young as five years old to race competitively (this very topic is also the subject of an ongoing collaboration with Manual For Speed, which you can see here, here, here and here).
In doing so, academies also aim to improve the lives of the children they teach, and in turn better their communities. But as you can imagine, many of these children come from families of meager means, and competitive cycling can be a costly ordeal.
|Members of the Esteban Chaves club in Bogota receive donated goods|
In the past, I’ve written about my ongoing effort to send donated cycling goods to children in these Colombian academies, something I continue to do every other month or so, using funds from Cycling Inquisition jerseys, caps and socks. While my effort continues (with local donations, as well some items I buy), I've been pleasantly surprised by the fact that one of the blog's readers has taken this cause on as well. A year ago, Onedin Giraldo asked me for contact information for the different clubs that I was sending donations to. With that, he's started sending two boxes a month to clubs in Bogota, Medellin, Urrao, Retiro and Manizales, and he launched Dreams to Wheels.
Last month, in an effort to generate more donations for kids in Colombia, I asked if Team Colombia riders at the Pro Cycling Challenge in Colorado would sign a few items, to give away as prizes for those who donate. They kindly obliged.
|Members of the Esteban Chaves academy line up to receive donated goods|
So, this is where you, the Cycling Inquisition reader comes in. If you want to win one of the items pictured below (a bidon, cap, or one of two musettes signed by the team), you have to send at least five donated items to Dreams To Wheels, postmarked by Friday, October 4th. Four winners will be picked at random from those who send donations in.
|Rigoberto Uran cycling club, Urrao, Antioquia|
Donated items should be in good, clean and usable condition. Please make sure that zippers on jerseys work, that there's no big stains, holes or rips on the clothing. Smaller sizes tend to be preferable, since these are young Colombian kids.
Other good items to consider are gloves, helmets, shorts, jackets, vests, new bar tape, new inner tubes, bottle cages, shoes, stems, bars, cleats, road pedals, cycling sunglasses, saddles etc.
If you are sending bike parts, make sure that they are usable (in other words, that old French bottom bracket, or the shoes that are drilled for weird cleats that you can't even buy anymore will be tough to put to use anywhere). Mountain bike donations will work as well, as there are a couple of clubs that have mountain biking as a component too.
All items were signed by:
Edwin Avila (world champion, points race, 2011)
Fabio Duarte (U23 road world champion, 2008)
Jarlinson Pantano (Tour de l'Avenir KOM, Vuelta a Colombia stage winner)
Darwin Atapuma (Colombian road champion 2008, stage winner at Tour of Poland)
Juan Pablo Suarez (stage winner at the Vuelta a Guatemala, overall winner at the Tour de Rio
Julio Camacho (stage winner Vuelta a Boyaca)
Robinson Chalapud (Sixth at the GP Miguel Indurain, fifth at the Tour de l'Ain)
Dreams to Wheels – Cycling Inquisition Contest
2236 El Camino Real
Santa Clara, CA 95050
Please make sure you include the words “Cycling Inquisition Contest” on the address label to be entered into the drawing, and include your email address inside the box, so I can contact the winners.
Thanks to all those who enter, to Onedin for taking the time and effort to continue with this project, and to Team Colombia for their help.
|Club Corrercaminos in Retiro, Antioquia|