Impactful Gifts for Your Beloved Cycling Do-Gooders

By Frantiska Blazkova

Ah, ‘tis the jolly season upon us again and we might fret over what to give to the cyclist who has everything. If you made a “no presents this year” holiday agreement with a cycling friend or a family member but you know they have a philanthropic bone in their body, these tips might be right up their alley. Because giving something in their name with the potential to have a positive impact both holds up your end of the deal and will put a smile on their face.

Help develop the UK’s cycling and walking networks

Sustrans is a grassroots charity organization from London that is “making it easier for people to walk and cycle.” They are custodians of the National Cycle Network, a UK-wide network of traffic-free paths for everyone, connecting cities, towns and the countryside, bringing people together to create places with clean air and green spaces, where friends and facilities are just a short walk away. They have been organising events, rides, infrastructure improvements and a plethora of other cycling-related activities since 1977. Currently the organisation counts 650 colleagues, 3,000 volunteers and 30,000 supporters whose dedication and commitment really makes things happen. If you want to join their ranks, there is nothing easier than donating.

Help communities through bikes

PeopleForBikes is one of the biggest cycling advocacy groups in the world. Since 1999, they have fundraised over 30 million dollars to make bicycling better by investing in community cycling projects, pursuing sponsors, leveraging private, state and federal donations and engaging individuals and big corporations alike. They work with a huge network of members and organisations across the US and are tireless advocates for bettering all aspects of the cycling experience, from organising events to fixing infrastructure. They are not just an organisation – they are a global movement. With their worldwide renown, you can be sure that your money will be well spent.

Help thy neighbour

It is good to remind ourselves that not everyone can afford to spend the holidays in peace and quiet, surrounded by loved ones and heaps of delicious pastries. One of the most burning European issues is, of course, still the Russian invasion of Ukraine that has been dragging on for nearly ten months. The great non-profit organisation Bikes4Ukraine has been tirelessly working to provide bicycles to areas where bombardment has left streets and roads impassable for cars. Your donations to Bikes4Ukraine will pay for the transport and delivery of used bicycles to various Ukrainian cities and will help defray the administrative costs of this not-for-profit organisation.

Something for the young’uns

Trips for Kids is the largest cycling initiative for kids and youth in the USA, helping those from disadvantaged backgrounds experience the unique feeling of togetherness, joy and adventure that comes with riding a bike with friends. The charity aims to cultivate the feeling of belonging and a healthy attitude towards teamwork, responsibility, and sharing through organised outdoor trips all across the country. When you click the ‘Donate’ button, you have the option to dedicate the donation to someone and then you can choose to print out the dedication or have it sent directly to their email as an online gift. Or print it out and wrap it nicely for them under the tree!

Think big

At Qhubeka, an offshoot organisation of World Bicycle Relief (to which you can also donate), they truly believe that bikes can save the world. Qhubeka means “to progress” or “to move forward” in the language of the Nguni people of South Africa – because their mission is to help people change their lives via affordable, reliable and accessible means of transport. From their own years of monitoring, it is evident that in the areas they support, the living quality has gone up, and the needless hours spent on foot getting essentials and care have gone down. This, in turn, means that education, business and healthcare opportunities are booming. Since 2005, Qhubeka has delivered more than 250,000 specially designed, locally assembled bicycles to South Africans in need.

Find a local cycling club to donate to

Look around the neighbourhood for grassroots organisations that spread good all year with organised rides for people from all walks of life, infrastructure initiatives and civic pushes to create friendlier urban policies for cyclists, pedestrians, people in wheelchairs, and more. Your favourite cyclist will surely appreciate that your gift made an impact so close to home.