Low lights, pumping music, fellow cyclists sweating alongside you – indoor club cycling has all the ingredients to motivate you to push your hardest.

But for a group of 40 riders on Saturday, there was another factor driving them – raising money to give children in the Sinana District of Ethiopia an education.

The event was RIDE vs ONE, an imaginative fundraising effort from an inspired group of Vancouverites.

The challenge was put out there: Forty riders had to raise as much money as possible, and then cycle their hardest, as a pack, for one hour at the Ride Cycle Club in Vancouver.

And they delivered: raising an impressive $45,000, and exhausting themselves on their gruelling hour-long ride.

The money did not reach their highly ambitious goal to raise enough to build an entire school from scratch, but it will make a monumental difference as part of our work on-the-ground in Ethiopia.

It’s enough to:

  • build and furnish an early childhood education classroom
  • train 15 teachers
  • purchase a school’s worth of science kits, writing supplies, books and sports equipment
  • build a playground, and
  • train 14 community members, such as local leaders and parent-teacher association members.

And thanks to imagine1day’s model, where our endowment covers all our administration costs, every cent raised will go directly to our education activities in Sinana.

With this year’s inaugural event such as success, event founder Bettina Khan is promising a return and expansion in 2016 and beyond, with a goal to raise $1 million by 2020. Keep an eye for RIDE vs ONE events in Los Angeles, New York, and a return to Vancouver.

We’d like to congratulate everyone involved in this hugely impressive fundraising efforts, including Bettina, the Ride Cycle Club, primary sponsor Le Domestique, clothing sponsor Design Sportswear, and the many other supporters who made the day possible.