Bike4GRUB Challenge

The Bike4GRUB Challenge Ticker

Friday, January 17, 2014

Bike4GRUB (A sneak preview)

You may remember that a few years ago I rode 2011 miles for the South Plains Food Bank, and in the process raised over $5000 for their GRUB farm. It started as a motivator for me to get into shape, but it turned into something a lot more meaningful along the way--so much so that I knew I'd want to repeat the experience someday. It took me awhile to get another one going, though, because I wanted to improve on the model.

For example, I needed to figure out a way to make the challenge sustainable. After all, once I reached the mark of 2011, it didn't seem likely that people would put up money to see if I could reach 2012 miles, so I needed another hook--and preferably one that could be used year after year.

I also wanted to find a way to get others involved in the challenge, in part because I want more people to know how much fun riding can be. Cycling can change your life in beautiful, unexpected ways.

Finally, even though the challenge is a great way to motivate people to ride, it is really, in the end, about the GRUB farm, and so I wanted to shift the focus from me (and this blog) to this urban farm itself, which is a remarkable, little known branch of the South Plains Food Bank. The Carolyn Lanier Youth Farm, created in 1988 to provide fresh, locally grown produce for persons in need, is also a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. Proceeds from the CSA are used, in part, to support GRUB (Growing Recruits for Urban Business) Program, which teaches young adults life and job skills by working on the farm and with its harvest. For more information on the food bank and GRUB, check out their website

So with these things in mind, I met with some people from the food bank and the farm, and together we have cooked up a new, improved challenge which we are calling, Bike4GRUB. Here are the details:

  • Official kick off will be February 2, at the Carolyn Lanier Youth Farm, and will end on November 1. (I started counting my miles on January 1, though.)
  • This year, instead of riding 2014 miles (to match the calendar year), we are just asking people to pledge either a penny (or more) per mile, or a flat pledge of some amount--not just for me, but for any rider who wants to participate. I am unlikely to ride more than 3000 miles in ten months time, so if you choose to sponsor me at a penny a mile, your pledge is almost guaranteed not to go over $30. However, if you pick another rider, I make no such guarantee!
  • Members of the Texas Tech Cycling Team will be joining me in the challenge this time around, and some of those people can ride, and ride, and ride... So if you like a thrill, pick a participating member of Tech Racing and make a pledge!

The GRUB farm team (kids, workers, and volunteers) is also joining the challenge and looking for sponsors, and anyone else who wants to join and raise money for the farm is also welcome. The Food Bank has set up a webpage where people can go and either sign up as riders or sponsors. The website is still under construction, but it should be ready to go by opening kickoff. I'll provide more details as they develop.

1 comment:

  1. What a great program. So inspiring on so many levels.