Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Stanley Park Fundraiser Ride Video

On Sunday, March 15th 2009, a group of 27 diverse individuals gathered together for an early morning bicycle ride around Vancouver's epic Stanley Park. The culmination of a term-long project aimed to raise awareness of microcredit and global poverty, this event raised over $500 for third world entrepreneurs to get the loans they need to pull themselves out of poverty through Global Agents for Change.

We barely dodged March's harsh elements of wind, rain, and snow, but a good time was had by all, including our videographer friend Kevin. Here is the video.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Bringing it Home - Musical Artful Environmental Fundraiser - Metchosin Style

On April 25th, Ride to Break the Cycle is coming to home sweet home, Metchosin, in conjunction with the first annual Earth Day celebration at the newly renovated, lovely/gorgeous Metchosin Community House.

This is a great excuse for all us islanders to rendezvous together in the beautifulest municipality in the world - and do it in style.

I'll be accepting donations for the Ride to Break the Cycle with the goal of reaching the my $4000 fundraising goal that day! Currently, my amazing supporters have helped me to fundraise approximately $2,850, which means I have a hefty goal of raising just over $1000 on April 25th at the Metchosin Community House!

All the money raised goes directly towards the Global Agents for Change youth-run microcredit fund which will give business loans to third world entrepreneurs who are trying to make a sustainable living for their familes and pull themselves out of poverty.

The day includes a silent auction with donated paintings from local artists Robert C. Anderson, and Frank Mitchell. Wendy Mitchell has donated a handmade item made from sheep's wool. As well, locally made jean tote bags will be for sale! Not to mention, lino print bicycle cards, handcrafted by your's truly.

Musical talents are being looked into, but we are hoping to have a very talented mandolin player from Victoria join us in the good times.

I'll be there to mingle and chat about what it is the 25 of us are hoping to accomplish this summer, and might even share a tidbit or two on how to change a flat bike tire - something I've just learned and am pretty proud about!

Please come and show your support! I would love to see as many beautiful Metchosin faces as possible.
This artful/ environmental/ musical event will run from 2pm at the Metchosin Community House on Happy Valley Road on Saturday, April 25th.

Optional: Bike ride along the goose before or afterward :) Let me know if you're interested and let's raise $1000 for microcredit and the trip of a lifetime!

cheers and bananas,


contact me at
applegala@gmail.com for more info on this event

Friday, March 13, 2009

Our Community Bikes

So maybe you're wondering, hey gala, why haven't you been telling us what's going on in that little brain of yours? I've donated some serious cash to your cause, and now there's no feedback? You aren't thinking of backing out, are you? ARE YOU?

To tell the truth, things are a little overwhelming right now. My 15 credits seem to be exploding in front of me before they come to a quick halt in the first week of April, and for some reason, this time of semester always seems to make my brain seem a little more dense.

Result? A minor meltdown!

This came after a busy day, which included nearly getting wiped out by an SUV at a crosswalk while cycling downtown to interview a local bike shop owner. The interview is part of a short video Candice and I are putting together for our class fundraiser event on Sunday. The idea is to question local shopkeepers about the empowering effects of running a business, in an attempt to further understand the benefit of microcredit loans, as we believe they enable 3rd world entrepreneurs to do something similar. The bike business was proving to be rough on this sunshiny friday morning, however, and his commentary didn't really suit the answers we were looking for, so we kiboshed the interview... but only after I got to wait in my favourite cafe nextdoor for about 1.5 hours and harass the owner there. Poor guy, stuck with me... he seemed nice about it though...

Did you say Fundraiser?

Yes! No. 2, coming up! The "Bike for a Cause" Stanley park pledge ride with afterparty at Steamworks is happening this Sunday (the 15th - sorry mom, I'm missing your b-day!) at 10:30am... with a beautiful forecast of slick, wet, cold, depressing, Vancouver special, rain - not to deter any potential riders from coming out, of course.

This fundraiser has a dual feature of being the final result of a semester-long project for an upper level Communications course I am taking at SFU. The goal of our project has been to inspire people to get on their bicycles, and realize that by peddling ourselves around the city, we become self-sufficient, and empowered human beings: 2 elements of life that we would be bare without.

Our hope is to have at least 20 riders bike around the seawall - even those who don't have bikes. We've gotten great support from the bike community in donating us loads of prizes, volunteers, and bicycles for the 1 hour trek. Steamworks has also helped out in letting us rent a room free of charge or minimum spending fee, and has given us some gift certificates to give away, as well! It's all pretty cool stuff, but I have to admit that the bike industry side, and asking for donations has been mostly Candice, my project partner's, suave work. At the Steamworks portion of the event we're having a woman from Global Agents for Change speak about the organization and microcredit, as well as a cool dude give a run down on bicycles!

I mean what I said though... I donated, and you can't back out now, Gala.

The fundraising has been wonderful... truly. Especially the part where I get 'real' mail delivered to my house with nice letters from really neat people, and the part where I get to have good conversations over coffee and/or beer with great friends and family that I haven't seen in a while. A girl in my class last week approached me and said, "hey! I saw that article!" I guess she has always wanted to do a big bike trip, and felt inspired, so she wrote me a $50 cheque on the spot.

The only thing now, is to do those tummy crunches I keep whining about.

nuts and bolts,


Sunday, March 8, 2009

elements of a bike - in other's words

"Get a bicycle. You will not regret it if you live." (mark twain)

why not?

"Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of a bike ride." (john f. kennedy)

how so? surely, there are other ways to get around...

"A bicycle does get you there and more.... And there is always the thin edge of danger to keep you alert and comfortably apprehensive. Dogs become dogs again and snap at your raincoat; potholes become personal. And getting there is all the fun." (bill emerson)

"Think of bicycles as rideable art that can just about save the world." (grant petersen)

save the who? saywhat now?

"Consider a man riding a bicycle. Whoever he is, we can say three things about him. We know he got on the bicycle and started to move. We know that at some point he will stop and get off. Most important of all, we know that if at any point between the beginning and the end of his journey he stops moving and does not get off the bicycle he will fall off it. That is a metaphor for the journey through life of any living thing, and I think of any society of living things." (william golding)

how do we maintain that motivation?

"The bicycle is a curious vehicle. Its passenger is its engine." (john howard)

any rewards for this challenge?

"It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle." (ernest hemingway)

wind in your face...

"Tens of thousands who could never afford to own, feed and stable a horse, had by this bright invention enjoyed the swiftness of motion which is perhaps the most fascinating feature of material life." (frances willard)

and what more, in this day of progress?

"When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race." (h.g. wells)