Cyclists complete 250-mile Bangladesh charity ride

time:2023-05-31 02:52:54 source:The New York Times

A group of charity cyclists have completed a 250-mile (402km) bike ride in Bangladesh to raise money for a new school.

Birmingham-based Freedom 50 took the cyclists from the capital Dhaka to Sylhet in a bid to raise £100,000.

Organiser Aftab Rahman said the bike ride, which they completed on 8 February after four days in the saddle, was "a lot of fun".

He said the group was more than half way towards their fundraising target.

"I've been driven by trying to improve the lives of children and young people," Mr Rahman said.

The proposed school would be built in Jamalpur, which has been badly affected by flooding and erosion made worse by climate change.

Mr Rahman described the current building, attended by 114 pupils, as "a tin shack" whereas the new school would include solar panels and rain capture technology, making it more resilient to extreme weather events.

For the second phase of the project, Mr Rahman hopes to build a playground complete with cycling track.

He gathered a group of cyclists to take part in the charity ride and said: "Most of the participants were Bangladeshi, for us, it was like a homecoming."

The group also welcomed cyclists from Germany, Belgium and Pakistan and Mr Rahman said they would get a "hero's welcome" when they arrived in towns and villages along the route.

"People knew who we were," he said. "As we came into cities people would join us on their bikes and welcome us."

The group has planned other charity bike rides including across the UK in May and another from London to Paris in August.

Follow BBC West Midlands on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Send your story ideas to:

Recommended content