Teaming up with our sponsors and distributors globally, Pinkbike's Share The Ride raises money to bring disadvantaged children from all over the world the opportunity to share the joy of being on two wheels by providing them with bicycles, helmets and locks. Since its inception in 2013, the foundation has raised over $200,000 and brought smiles to hundreds of children around the world. Once again, our industry friends have come to the table with tons of incredible prizes for you to win this year, including a Cannondale Habit and a Norco Bicycles Range, with more being added all the time.
Even disadvantaged kids want to cycle. Eight bikes were handed over to the elementary school at Drotarska Ave. in the Slovak capital city of Bratislava that is mostly attended by children with hearing impairment. Although most of them are living in complete silence, you can hardly find a more cheerful event than an act of handing over the bikes.
After getting in touch with school's director Ms. Jarmila Cifrová, Gaspi and his Share the Bike crew loaded eight bikes to the van and drove eastbound. They arrived at the school early to coincide with the morning classes.
The handover was scheduled to the local gym where some wooden obstacles were prepared to make the ride more entertaining. However, entertainment was not the only purpose of the event as hearing impairment causes not only barriers in communication but also body balance disorder.
According to some studies, cycling could improve both imbalance and coordination and might develop the reduced physical skills of the hearing impaired children. On top of that, the delivery was intended to be a surprise, and so prior to the event, kids didn't have the slightest idea what was about to happen.
Before the kids entered the room, all the bikes were neatly lined on the floor, waiting for their new owners. As soon as the bikes were discovered, the atmosphere in the gym lit up, and at the moment the sign language interpreter explained to the kids that all the bikes were brought as presents for them, the real party exploded.
Boys and girls were cheering, and touching any possible parts of the bikes. Right after that, they queued up for the helmet check and first rides. Guided and supported by the Czech Share the Ride crew, kids were circling around the gym until complete exhaustion. If the director hadn't promised that the bikes would stay at the school, the kids probably wouldn't have got off them.
We hope that bikes might bring some happy tunes to their silent worlds.
PS: We'd like to thank the whole school's staff for being extremely helpful, particularly to Ms. Jarmila Cifrová for her kindness.
text/photo: Adam Marsal
video: Marty Smolik
Interested in hosting a Share the Ride event in your community? We are always happy to hear from you - please let us know more about yourself HERE