Pro road and cyclocross racer Adam Myerson and his coaching company, Cycle-Smart, have added an unusual name to their jerseys – Bikes Not Bombs. Myerson has granted this Boston-based nonprofit a free sponsorship to promote the organization’s local youth bicycle programs and international development work.
In a meeting with Bikes Not Bombs staff, Myerson explains: “Cycling as a sport was a way for me to get out of the situation I grew up in and improve my life. I want my success to mean more than just me getting to play on a bicycle, and I have a platform I can employ to affect some kind of difference. Bikes Not Bombs is using bikes to change the lives of kids here in Boston and around the world. It’s amazing work, I support the political message for peace that is behind it, and I want to get the word out so that more people will pitch in to support what BNB does.”
In 1984, Carl Kurz was on a flight from Boston to Nicaragua with two bicycles, brought south to support health workers, labor unions and teachers working to rebuild a land ravaged by war. From this simple action sprung a movement that became the organization Bikes Not Bombs, now built on the simple actions of tens of thousands of individuals, touching lives of many more. Over 40,000 bicycles have been shipped to Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa since 1984. Thousands of local youth have been empowered by BNB’s Boston youth programs since 1990. And the momentum is growing.
Arik Grier, BNB’s Outreach Coordinator, explains, “The philosophy really is to do concrete, hands-on work on a grassroots level, bringing bikes and bike knowledge to individual people and groups in other countries, and also here in the US. We’re building micro-enterprises to help economies, we’re educating and employing teens, we’re running a bike shop in Boston, and all of this is done on principles of local ownership and empowerment, environmental sustainability and respect to work towards a more just and peaceful world.”
Look for the Bikes Not Bombs logo on the Cycle-Smart Elite and grassroots cyclocross riders this fall. For more information about Bikes Not Bombs, you can visit their web site. For more information about Cycle-Smart and the team, visit http://cycle-smart.com.