There’s no question that bikes can provide independence and livelihood, especially in the developing world. World Bicycle Relief was founded on that exact idea, using bicycles to assist in poverty relief and disaster recovery initiatives.
Founded in 2005, WBR has an enormous amount of industry support, and for good reason: since its inception, the organization has distributed over 75,000 bicycles and trained over 700 field mechanics.
After seeing their efforts highlighted in With My Own Two Wheels, a film that we recently saw at Mountainfilm, there’s no doubt that WBR is doing amazing work.
We caught up with Matt Pierce to learn about WBR and the organization’s work.
What inspired the launch of World Bicycle Relief?
World Bicycle Relief was founded in January, 2005 in response to The Indian Ocean Tsunami. Cofounders F.K. Day and wife Leah Missbach Day traveled to Sri Lanka and found an acute need for basic transportation amongst those individuals struggling to rebuild their homes and their lives.
The need was for simple, sustainable transportation. At the time, F.K. Day had nearly 20 years of experience as head of product development at SRAM Corporation and connections with some the worlds brightest minds in bicycle engineering. World Bicycle Relief was founded by SRAM Corporation and industry leaders to address this need.