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Cycling for Ukraine

By Siegfried Mortkowitz

Fighting in Ukraine has been going on for one month now, since Russian armed forces invaded the country on February 24. Since then, some 3.4 million Ukrainians have fled the country, looking for refuge while waiting for the fighting to end.

As a result of the conflict, countries, companies, aid organizations and people around the world have stepped forward to provide support and aid to the Ukrainian people, including cycling-based initiatives. Have a look, below, at the way you can help Ukraine via actions based on your favorite two-wheeler.

Cycling for Ukraine
Fighting in Ukraine has been going on for one month now. © Profimedia

The New York City cycling brand Rubber N’ Road is raising money for relief efforts in Ukraine by selling T-shirts with a logo using a Ukrainian flag and the message “Ride Bikes Not tanks.”

You can purchase the T-shirts directly from the company’s website for $40, which is steep for a T-shirts, but justified by the cause and the fact that every cent of the proceeds will be handed over to the Ukrainian Red Cross Society – which you can access HERE if you want to donate directly.

“Cycling for us is a vehicle to foster a community and drive change,” said Rubber N’ Road co-owner Gil Lavi in a press release. “’The Ride Bikes Not Tanks’ T-shirt is a grassroots effort by our community which warms our hearts. It showcases the faces and hands of the riders who make Rubber N’ Road a global family.”

The company has raised some $10,000 so far.

The Czech-based indoor cycling virtual platform Rouvy hosted an ongoing fundraiser ride called Ride for Ukraine. To participate, riders had to complete a 10km virtual route  that was accompanied by a video from a ride near the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv. In order for the ride to be valid, the route had to be completed in time trial mode – that is, the ride could not be paused and the rider could not change their virtual avatar’s position on the route.

For every completed ride, Rouvy had pledged to donate one euro to UNICEF. Well over 15,000 riders participated. Though this challenge is over, you can still contribute directly to UNICEF and help Ukrainian children here.

Finally, Denmark’s Ministry of Transport has teamed up with the Cyclists’ Association to create the “Give a Bicycle” initiative, which provides Ukrainian refugees with free bikes.

Danish residents can donate their old or unused bikes by uploading a photograph and information about its size and condition through a dedicated website. Ukrainians can use the same website to request a bike using a form available there. Volunteers will then deliver the bikes to refugees when a donation and request match up.

The initiative is intended to give refugees freedom of movement in the country and help them to become integrated in that bike-loving society and feel at home in local communities. These initiatives may seem modest compared to the enormity and cruelty of the war, but everything that helps save or improve lives, whether in Ukraine or outside the country, is sure to make Ukrainians feel that they are not alone.

And these three actions provide three more reasons for why We Love Cycling.