Pro rider Matt Brammeier is seeking to increase the number of bike shops willing to accept donations of cycle clothing and other kit for his Africa Rising kit appeal. The kit will be used by keen cyclists in Rwanda who generally do not have access to good quality cycle racing kit.
Brammeier told BikeBiz that his scheme is expanding fast and more drop-off points are needed.
"Bike shops store the kit. Posting it on to Rwanda is still something I am still working on. I'm waiting on confirmation from a couple of courier services that hopefully will help me out. Otherwise I will have to find another way to fund the shipping or pay for it myself.
He added: "If any bikes shops anywhere in the world can offer to deliver to either Italy or Rwanda then we would love them to jump on board. They can contact me by email."
Brammeier is Liverpool born, is a multiple Irish national champion and rides for African team MTN Qhubeka-Samsung.
The idea for the Africa Rising kit appeal came after visiting the Adrien Niyonshuti cycling academy in Rwanda, where keen local cyclists struggle to find or afford race clothing.
Brammeier said: "After signing my first professional contract I couldn’t believe how much cycling gear I was given. Every year, bags upon bags of clothing would be sat at the back of my wardrobes – some used only once or twice. I used to get angry when we given such an excess of kit. I had to find a use for it, so I started sending bags back to my old cycling club. This was cool, getting this stuff to kids who wanted a bit of extra kit to get them going. Cool, but what would be even cooler would be to get this stuff who didn’t want it, but needed it."
He added: "I’m trying to empty clogged-up wardrobes, draws and garages and give a little inspiration to these young African kids that inspire me so much."
The kit appeal accepts any cycling gear that’s in a presentable condition, including shoes, helmets, and glasses.
"We ask that you do not donate anything useless, like odd socks or arm warmers," said Brammeier.
He also requests that donations of clothing do not include large sizes. Only XS, S and M will fit the cyclists at the Adrien Niyonshuti cycling academy.
Bike shops that have so far signed up as drop-off points include McConvey Cycles of Belfast, Giant Store Camden, Quinns Bike Centre of Liverpool, Lutterworth Cycle Centre and Spain's Girona Cycle Centre.
A full list of participating retailers can be found on the Africa Rising website.
Brammeier's email is firstname.lastname@example.org