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You’re only going for 90 days, right?
I’m going to three countries for 90 days each, for a total of 270 days. I will spend 90 days in Guatemala, 90 days in India, and 90 days in Zambia, attempting to fix at least one bike a day during my visits.
Note: For logistical reasons I am only able to visit Zambia for 2 months. I will still attempt to fix 90 bikes during that time. The budget has been adjusted accordingly.
When do you leave?
I left for India on February 4th, 2013. I’ll stay for ninety days, return home for a bit, then fly to Guatemala on May 15th. Finally, I’ll fly to Zambia on August 23rd, 2013, and back home to Minneapolis in November.
Am I funding your vacation?
I’ll admit it: I love fixing bikes. Guatemala, India, and Zambia aren’t exactly prime tourist locations, however. Most of the time I’m there, I’ll be working on bikes. I wouldn’t be going if I didn’t want to, but I have better ideas about where and how to take a vacation (–France, anyone?). This is a service project, not a vacation.
How reasonable is it to fix one bike every day?
Some days I may find myself doing ten minute brake adjusts on practically new bikes. Some days I expect to find myself buried in used and rusted parts searching for compatibilities. One bike per day is my goal average. If I can fix more than that amount, I certainly will.
From the head of India Cycle Services, the organization I’ll volunteer for in India: “Don’t worry – there will be plenty of bikes to fix. Perhaps you should rename the trip 900 bikes – 90 days.“
Where exactly does my contribution go?
My goal is complete transparency, so feel free to check out the budget page for an itemized list. In short, I only need help with airfare, room, and board. I provide the tools and expertise. Any non-necessary expenses I will cover myself.
Is my contribution tax-deductible/Are you a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization?
In a few words, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization is a business indefinitely committed to sustaining itself. My plans have a definite time frame. As such, I cannot register to be a non-profit organization. Unfortunately, this means your contribution is not tax-deductible.
What if you don’t raise enough by the time you plan on leaving?
I will go on as much of the trip as I can afford. If I only have enough to go to Guatemala, then I’ll only go to Guatemala. I’ll still keep a blog. Fixing 90 bikes is better than fixing no bikes at all! That being said, I’m confident that my goal will be reached. My motive is sound and my project is well laid out. Please donate!
What if you make too much?
There are some costs to this trip that are required, but are not “airfare, room, or board” (visas, web hosting, and vaccinations, for instance — a detailed list is at the bottom of the Budget Page). Any additional funds acquired will go to pay for these items.
What about Visas?
In Guatemala, US Citizens do not need a visa for stays of 90 days or less (but there is an entrance fee). In Zambia, a single-entry visa can be obtained at the port of entry. This lasts 30 days and can be renewed twice, for a total of 90 days. India grants six months of legal stay with a visa application.
How will people find you?
In Guatemala, India, and Zambia, I will volunteer for Maya Pedal, India Cycle Service, and Zambikes, respectively. These organizations are already established and well-known in their locales. They just need more skilled mechanics, like me!
How will your trip be documented?
I’ve already started a blog, which will continue throughout the trip. It can be found in the nav bar above, or at 90bikes90days.org/blog.
As a kid I had a dream – I wanted to own my own bicycle. When I got the bike I must have been the happiest boy in Liverpool, maybe the world. I lived for that bike. Most kids left their bike in the backyard at night. Not me. I insisted on taking mine indoors and the first night I even kept it in my bed.