Pinkbike's Share the Ride Brings Bikes to Kids in Peru

Nov 1, 2018
by Big Mountain  
pinkbike s Share The Ride event in Lamay Peru October 2 2018 Photo Robin O Neill
Thank you Pinkbike!


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.

By Vanessa Stark.
Photos by Robin O'Neill

It’s October 2nd 2018, myself, photographer Robin O'Neill and eight other mountain biking obsessed women from B.C. are standing on a raised stage facing a school yard full of six to 17 year-old kids. Most are wrapped in a beautiful vibrant Peruvian blanket, no doubt hand-woven by their mothers. Their inquiring eyes peer at us from beneath Chullos (traditional ear flapped toques/beanies) and bowler hats.


Here in Peru’s Sacred Valley, schools are identified by numbers, not names and this small rural school Huama Institucion Educative 50161 is nestled in at 3000m/9,800ft high, deep in the mountains of the Lamay district. Accessible only by a winding unpaved road and with very few vehicles in the town, the villagers have limited access to the outside world.

pinkbike s Share The Ride event in Lamay Peru October 2 2018 Photo Robin O Neill
The school and it's kids, surrounded by some of the biggest mountains and best mountain biking on the planet.

Our group of friends from Whistler, Squamish and Pemberton are in Peru mountain biking with Whistler-based Big Mountain Bike Adventures and their guides, Peruvian brothers Nico and Chente Chirinos Pastor. Today, we are honoured to have the opportunity to be presenting donated bikes, helmets and bike gear to school kids from a small poor rural village through Pinkbike’s amazing Share The Ride program.

pinkbike s Share The Ride event in Lamay Peru October 2 2018 Photo Robin O Neill
Ten Canadian girls and two Peruvian guides representing the Share The Ride program.

For a decade leading up to this day, Big Mountain ran scores of guided trips that went through the village where the only interaction was a quick stop and a few photographs with the curious local kids, and sometimes lunch at a homestead. "It was tough to not be able to give back," says owner Chris Winter. "We've been looking for sustainable ways to give back, but nothing has worked over the years." Local guides Nico and Chente recalled times when they received hostility from the villagers, getting yelled at and even rocks thrown. They then approached the leader of the village and ended up negotiating a positive solution where they built a mountain bike trail and they now pay a small fee for each group that passes through the village. The small gesture has instigated a friendly relationship between the villagers and mountain bikers.

pinkbike s Share The Ride event in Lamay Peru October 2 2018 Photo Robin O Neill
The local school kids dancing to celebrate bikes.

Just below the stage is a row of 13 brand new mountain bikes and helmets that are about to be donated to the school. The bikes will be shared by all the students through their school’s physical education program. The school yard is full of wide-eyed kids, some holding hand drawn signs.

pinkbike s Share The Ride event in Lamay Peru October 2 2018 Photo Robin O Neill
“They made the cutest posters. One said “We Want Ride” that’s exactly what I think too. To be free, to play, to be carefree, to explore, to be expressive. This is what riding is to me and these kids want a part of it,” rider Sylvie Allen.

After the Peruvian flag is raised and the anthem is sung, there are several speeches. We are graciously thanked by school officials and in turn we express our gratitude for the warm welcome. We are then treated to music and a beautiful traditional dance performed by the older students. As the dance finishes there’s an air of impatient excitement among the kids. Finally, it’s time to try out the bikes!

pinkbike s Share The Ride event in Lamay Peru October 2 2018 Photo Robin O Neill

pinkbike s Share The Ride event in Lamay Peru October 2 2018 Photo Robin O Neill
“Some of the kids had tears in their eyes they were so excited about the bikes,” rider Lisa Ankeny.


pinkbike s Share The Ride event in Lamay Peru October 2 2018 Photo Robin O Neill
Beautiful colours. Albeit not the best riding attire, but it'll have to do for now.

The first person to step forward is a young teenaged girl dressed in a beautiful vibrantly embroidered traditional Peruvian skirt. In the rural culture of the Sacred Valley girls are taught to be submissive and reserved, they tend to have children at a very young age and do not to do things like ride bikes. Perhaps the presence of 10 mountain biking women helped empower her to be the first to courageously step forward or maybe she was just feeling that magical lure that bikes have, that universal feeling of joy and freedom.

pinkbike s Share The Ride event in Lamay Peru October 2 2018 Photo Robin O Neill
“My only hope is that these girls can participate in the weekly lessons and experience everything that we love about mountain biking and have a future that is more than just shepherding in the hills,” rider Sylvie Allen.

This young lady was followed by an influx of boys and girls eagerly wanting to have a turn on the bikes. We all helped them try pedaling around the school yard. Some kids tried to pedal backwards at first then proceeded to catch on very quickly, some pedalling on their own. The kids’ enthusiasm was overflowing and contagious. Everyone in the schoolyard was smiling and laughing.

pinkbike s Share The Ride event in Lamay Peru October 2 2018 Photo Robin O Neill

pinkbike s Share The Ride event in Lamay Peru October 2 2018 Photo Robin O Neill
Thank you Share The Ride, from the kids at Huama Institucion Educative 50161.

As the event wrapped up, we were presented with a small feast of roasted Cuy (guinea pig), potatoes, maize and lima beans. It was a kind and generous gesture made by the people of this small poor rural town. Pinkbike's Share The Ride program, Big Mountain Bike Adventures and guides Nico and Chente have agreed to keep supporting Huama Institucion Educative 50161 in the coming years. The seed is planted and this first Share The Ride event in Peru is a step in the right direction to extend the magic and joy of riding mountain bikes with these kids who otherwise wouldn’t have a chance.


MENTIONS: @robinoneill


Must Read This Week

21 Comments

  • + 12
 I am Peruvian and really appreciate this gesture. A mountain biker is the closes type of person i consider an ideal human being. This kids have the mountains, they just need a good ride to have a blast! thanks guys!
  • + 4
 Fantastic stuff!
I recognize the same grin on the kids faces that I had all those years back when I first set eyes on my first pedal bike, and rode it. (a funky little blue Raleigh boxer, that I jumped off everything with, pre BMX days) I know lego, is supposed to be the number one plaything/toy the world over, but put a kid on a bike, and show them how to ride it, and building stuff with plastic bricks, soon becomes very overrated.
Those smaller Peruvian groms, are probably willing a serious growth spurt, so they can get pedalling on the bigger bikes. Lets hope more bikes will be heading there way so they can rip when there knee high too Smile
  • + 8
 that little girl's helmet is on backwards.
  • + 0
 She's dressed as Jerralina for Halloween.
  • + 3
 its very disappoint to see the bike helmet worn incorrectly on kiddos . see it all too often
  • + 6
 Look out Trek, Specialized, Giant.
The suspension linkage concept in the first photo is about to slash your sales by 50%
  • + 2
 Excellent! I'm not convinced about the choice of frame sizes though...
Anyway; good work. We ran a similar project here in the mountains of Veracruz, Mexico, and it was hugely appreciated.
  • + 1
 This is amazing. Reminds me a lot of the work Project Bike Love (www.projectbikelove.org) has been doing in Paraguay. It's one of those areas where I love seeing more people doing the same kind of work out of passion. Keep it up!!!
  • + 3
 I'm thinking those ponchos aren't the best thing to wear, too much chance of getting it sucked into the back wheel... Not a criticism just an observation.
  • + 1
 Awesome to see! I did the Peru Big Mtn Adventures trip for my honeymoon in 2014, they engage you with the community during the trip. Its great to see them giving back to the community even more!
  • + 4
 This is what the world needs more of...How does one get involoved?
  • + 3
 This. Instead of wasting money on $3k forks and other stuff, I'd much rather help to buy bikes for kids that would never have gotten one otherwise.
  • + 1
 @sarahmoore: Thank you for the link, and I've helped out. Looking forward to seeing pictures of happy kids on bicycles. :-)
  • + 5
 This is awesome!
  • + 2
 Beautiful such a great cause!! Makes me stoked
  • + 1
 Great incentive !! Other bike companies should do similar things !!
  • + 1
 Awesome Vanessa and everyone... just pure awesome!
  • + 1
 Done and done. Keep it up Pinkbike.
  • + 1
 Super cool program
  • + 1
 love all the picture.

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