Riding for Good at the 2021 Swiss Epic

Thanks to the Epic Series’ partnership with GivenGain it is now easier than ever to ride for a good cause at the Swiss Epic. Riders can choose to support one of the official charities – Pump for Peace and the Anna Foundation – or use the race to raise funds for the charity of their choice.

Now, more so than ever, it is clear that those of us privileged enough to be able to take part in mountain bike stage races are the fortunate few. We have our health, the financial means and the fitness necessary to complete multi-day rides in spectacular parts of the world. The vast majority of people are unable to share in these joys. It is for this reason that the Epic Series has partnered with GivenGain, a global fundraising platform, to help raise funds for charitable causes.

The partnership, between the Epic Series and GivenGain, launches with the 2021 Swiss Epic in Graubünden. Riders, who wish to use the event to raise money for charity, can support one of the two official Swiss Epic charities; or utilise the race to support the organisation of their choice. The official charities are Pump for Peace and the Anna Foundation.

Pump for Peace is the charitable arm of Velosolutions, the pump track creators. They partner with governments, local organisations and private companies to bring pump tracks to underprivileged or disadvantaged areas. The Velosolutions pump tracks are fantastic for these areas as they are virtually maintenance free, as they are constructed from asphalt.

BMXs have long been an easy and cost-effective introduction to cycling. The simple and robust bikes require limited servicing and stand up to the rigors of jumps and crashes well. This makes them the ideal tool to allow children from underprivileged communities to learn cycling skills on. When combined with pump tracks BMXs can teach young riders bike handling skills which many older riders can only look upon with envy.

In the last three years, Pump for Peach has partnered with the City of Durban, on South Africa’s east coast, to build three pump tracks in impoverished areas. Facilitated by the Go!Durban Cycle Academy they constructed tracks in KwaDabeka (2018), Chesterville (2019) and KwaMashu (2020). Through supporting Pump for Peace at the 2021 Swiss Epic in Graubünden riders will be helping the charity construct further pump tracks, which act not only as a safe place to learn cycling skills but also fulfil the role of a social hubs and provide a great platform for communities to develop a sense of togetherness.

The Anna Foundation will be familiar with anyone who has ridden the Absa Cape Epic. The charity is also one of The Race That Measures All’s official charities and does amazing work with the rural communities along the event’s route. Through their 3 R’s programme the Anna Foundation train facilitators to teach Reading, Running and Right-ing to over 700 South African children.

Implemented in after-school centres, in rural communities, the programme focuses on reading skills, fosters a love of movement through running and provides life-skills in their ‘Right-ing’ component. More recently the Anna Foundation has launched a fourth R to its programme, in the form of Riding.

South Africa has a very active schools’ mountain bike calendar; with national, provincial and local leagues providing children with a competitive outlet for their energy. The Anna Foundation programme slots into this, but also upskills children to the point where they are ready to take part in races through regular coaching sessions, using community pump tracks and open spaces to focus on bike handling skills.

While both Pump for Peace and the Anna Foundation are worthy causes, perhaps riders have a charity close to their hearts. The GivenGain platform allows users to fundraise for charities which are already listed on the site and create campaigns for new causes too. By linking those charities to the Swiss Epic’s GivenGain page the organisations receive the boost of additional exposure while the fundraisers can be creative in their donation strategy. Riders could for example be supported by donations of a Swiss Franc for every kilometre ridden or a Euro Cent for every metre of altitude gained.

To find out more visit www.givengain.com/e/2021swissepic.