This is the time of year where we look for inspirational stories that grab our attention and inspire us. In the United States the headlines are usually dominated with shootings, political coverage, debates on racism and consumer news. Charitable organizations have to scratch and claw to get awareness and support to the point that they have to launch marketing campaigns just like any other business.
One charitable organization found a new way to raise awareness by competing on the road. The pro cycling team Bike Aid competes all around the world in the UCI categories from 2.2 to 1 .HC. Among their list of projects Bike Aid works with the development and education of African athletes, helping them come to Germany, providing them with an education, a home and an opportunity to compete against the top cyclists in the world.
“It’s no secret how devastated Africa has been with genocide, disease and famine. It’s challenging for someone there to build a better life but this amazing program gives them that opportunity. Cycling is a way of life for people around the world, it is a passion even here in America and it is something that has united communities and countries multiple times.” Stradalli Cycle CEO Tom Steinbacher
As the 2015 UCI racing season ended Bike Aid was in search of a new title and bike sponsor. While the team is very talented they knew there was going to be challenges finding the right sponsor.
“We were not just looking for someone who would provide us with a bunch of full carbon road bikes or put their name on our chests, we needed to find someone who would support our cause. What makes us different is that we aren’t just racing for wins; we are racing to help a tremendous cause, one we truly believe in. Not many people have the opportunity to visit Africa but if you could you see two things, a continent that has been riddled with war and people who find joy in the simple pleasures of life, one of them being cycling. This is why we race and we needed a sponsor who not only appreciated that but wanted to be a part of it. Stradalli Cycle gets what we are trying to do, they appreciate the goal of our club and pro team and that’s why they are the perfect sponsor for us.” Eric Haus, President of Bike Aid
New Stradalli Cycle/Bike Aid Team
There’s a lot of excitement surrounding the new Stradalli Cycle/Bike Aid team, especially with the new full carbon Aversa bikes being part of the deal.
“We knew that Stradalli had great bikes from what we heard about them from Richmond 2015 but we were curious how well they would handle. When Tom invited myself and a couple of the other racers to come to Florida to review and test the Aversa road bikes we were very impressed with how well they handled on the steep climbs as well as the aerodynamics of it. These bicycles are going to be a real advantage for us going into next season.” Stradalli Cycle/Bike Aid pro racer Nikodemus Holler
Ironically it was Richmond 2015 UCI Road World Championships where Stradalli was the official sponsor of the Colombian National Team and provided the full carbon road bikes used by the racers where Bike Aid first caught the attention of Steinbacher.
“I was in Richmond and I noticed this huge crowd surrounding one of the racers. It was Mekseb Debesay who is one of the best young pro racers in the world. What grabbed my attention was that he had a bigger crowd there to see him than anyone, more than Peter Sagan, Rigoberto Uran or anyone else. Debesay has such a great following and when you find out how much Bike Aid had to do with getting him into the pro cycling scene you realize what an amazing program this is and how much you want to be a part of it.” Tom Steinbacher
Mekseb Debesay is just one of many extremely talented athletes who will come out of Africa and potentially become stars in the cycling world. This is a bold move by Stradalli Cycle but they have already proven themselves as a formidable carbon fiber bike manufacturer in the US and now is their chance to think bigger and they aren’t hesitating.