Editor’s Note: Over the years, RBR has done what we can to help support cycling great Lon Haldeman‘s efforts to provide cycling gear to programs he works with in Peru and elsewhere to help promote cycling. Every year or so, I’ve run a small article on Lon’s efforts, along with the address for sending any donations. And I’ve personally done my best to box up any unused or little-used apparel, along with still-functioning old equipment I’ve pulled off bikes and set aside “just in case I ever needed it.” In the spirit of Thanksgiving, Lon wrote last week to say thanks to all RBR readers for their contributions over the past year. Read Lon’s message, below, and note the address at the end in case you have any equipment that could use a good home. —John Marsh
I just returned from Perú and I wanted to give you an update about the clothing donations we have received from RBR members during the past year. Thanks to your promotion we have received hundreds of clothing items and parts. I took about 300 items to Perú with me to give away as race prizes.
There were three main races this year. The Masters National Road Race had about 50 racers with several age groups. Most everyone received a prize of a jersey, shorts or shoes. The next weekend was the Gringo Race, which was a two-day stage race with a 50-mile road race one day and a series of criterium races around the town plaza the next day. Over 200 riders competed In the men’s and women’s divisions and 5 age groups. We gave out another 250 prizes over the weekend.
This was the 7th year for the Gringo Race and it has a good reputation in Peru for having the best prizes. The racers were very thankful to have such nice prizes.
One of the most memorable thank-you’s came from a woman on the national team who spoke English. She said our support was not only important because of the prizes and equipment we gave them, but because it showed that someone cared about their cycling future. She said knowing that someone in the United States cared enough to follow her progress gave her the motivation to keep training and become a serious cyclist.
She became quite emotional and tearful during her explanation of why our support was so important during the past 10 years we have been helping the racing teams in Peru. I wish I had a video of her thank-you speech, but it is something I will always remember.
Next year the Gringo Race Series will expand to offer two days of velodrome racing on the track in Lima. The Pan American Games will be held there in 2019 and it will be a good way to get teams from South America to come together for some track racing in 2018.
I wanted to let your RBR readers know that their donations of clothing and equipment are going to a good cause. The equipment is changing lives and giving many riders the motivation to reach their potential.
P.S. The address to send items to is….
P.O. Box 303
202 Prairie Pedal Lane
Sharon, WI 53585
We can use any clean cycling items such as clothing, shorts, jerseys, outer wear, helmets, gloves, shoes, etc.
We build up bikes to take to Peru, so we can use assorted components. Probably the only parts we can’t use are old chains, freewheels and worn out parts. Sometimes, we build up old bikes so parts from the 1980s and 1990s are needed as spare parts.